Introduction: DIY Electric Longboard for $300

Picture of DIY Electric Longboard for $300

An electric longboard is a great way to get around! It’s also easy to make, lightweight, and it can be charged relatively quickly (with the right charger).

This longboard can get up to 32km/h using the motor before it gets wobbly and dangerous. The acceleration is also great, and the controller can be programmed to eliminate any wheelspins that may occur from a standing start. As for range, it can get a solid 10km range on a full charge; however, it is not-recommended to discharge lithium batteries more than 80% as it wears down their life.

A benefit of this design is that the trucks can be put onto virtually any longboard deck. This means that your longboard can be any size you desire. This is a huge benefit for me since I’m using this longboard to get to school and back, thus I need it to fit in my locker.

This longboard has braking and can also be programmed with different acceleration rates.

It also has regenerative braking, sorry for any confused commentators down below!

Want to follow the rest of our electric longboard builds? Here's my blog where I regularly post updates!

Denial Media

Step 1: Gather Materials Needed

Picture of Gather Materials Needed

Longboard Materials:

Hardware:

Small Bits:

  • 6x 1/4" by 2.5" bolt
  • 6x 1/4" - 20 nut
  • 4x M4 by 12mm bolt
  • 4x M4 washer
  • 2.5" washer
  • 2.25" washer
  • 6mm strip of aluminum
  • 4mm banana jack connectors

Where did you get your parts from?

SDP/SI: Large pulley (Part#: A 6L25-040SF0910), small pulley (Part#: A 6A25M014DF0906), timing belt (Part#: A 6R25M057090)

eBay: Trucks, wheels, speed controller, connectors

Hobbyking: Motor, batteries, charger, transmitter, receiver

Hardware store: All of the nuts/bolts, washers, aluminum

Homemade: Longboard deck

Notes:

  • The higher the mAh rating on the lithium charger, the faster your battery will charge. Our 800mA charger charged reaaally slow, so I went ahead and bought a 5A charger.
  • The "strip" of aluminum has minimum dimensions. It needs to be a minimum of 121mm by 51mm by 6mm so the mount can be cut from it.
  • The cost for all of these parts is around $300, which is barely nothing compared to commertial electric longboards

Step 2: Cutting and Welding the Motor Mount

Picture of Cutting and Welding the Motor Mount

Use a jigsaw and a router to cut the aluminum down to the dimensions above. For no particular reason, the back-wheel was chosen to be powered.

The positioning of the mount is important. It needs to go as far back as possible onto the trucks. It also needs to be angled down as much as possible without touching the board (see images above). The positioning was tested with a dry-fit of the motor, wheel, pulley, and belt; then pushing the trucks from side to side to see if it touched the board.

Since I did not have direct access to a welder, I had to temporarily clamp the truck and the mount together with scrap wood so that a professional could weld it. I was worried that the weld would melt the rubber part of the truck, but it came out fine with no problems.

Step 3: Attaching the Wheel to the Pulley

Picture of Attaching the Wheel to the Pulley

The large pulley (40 teeth) needs to be attached to the back wheel. These wheels were chosen specifically because they have 6 holes going around the shaft. It is possible to use this to our advantage.

Six 1/4" holes were drilled 17.5mm away from the center of the large pulley, the 2.5" washer, and the 2.25" washer. I also had to drill a 24mm hole through the center of the pulley in order for the truck to fit through.

Then I put the 1/4" by 2.5" bolts through the pulley, through the 2.5" washer, then the wheel, then the 2.25" washer, then finished it off with the appropriate nuts.

The wheel should still spin freely when put onto the trucks, but now the wheel can be spun with the motor.

Step 4: Assembling the Motor and Wheel

Picture of Assembling the Motor and Wheel

Mount the motor with M4 by 12mm bolts (and washers), then mount the smaller pulley onto the motor shaft by tightening the included set screw. There were some problems with the motor skipping inside the pulley so I filed down one side of the motor shaft, then tightened the set screw with some thread-lock.

I pulled the belt over the small pulley, then the large pulley (which was already connected to the wheel). After that, I tightened the truck nut which held the wheel down. Make sure to put the included washers around the wheel!

Step 5: Hooking Up the Electronics

Picture of Hooking Up the Electronics

The electronics components were connected according to the diagram above.

The batteries were connected in series (plus to minus) by flipping one of the connectors.

The ESC came with two cables which were used to connect the ESC to the batteries.

The ESC also had to be connected to the receiver channel 2. The button that came with the receiver made it easy to turn the whole system on and off, but just for safety, the batteries were unplugged as well.

I made a connector-holder out of wood which came in handy when I needed to solder the banana connectors for the motor. Those connections were finished off with adequate shrink-wrap, to make sure they don't short-circuit.

Step 6: Hiding It All in a Case

Picture of Hiding It All in a Case

You can use almost anything in order to protect your electronics from the elements. I had fiberglass left over from a 37 foot catamaran project that my dad is working on, so I rolled with that.

If anyone is interested, here are the steps:

  1. Build a mold, a square was cut out of some foam
  2. Stretch a thin layer of plastic over the mold
  3. Put 12oz. fiberglass over the mold
  4. Pour epoxy and disperse it enough to soak the fiberglass
  5. Throw it in a vacuum bag for 24h
  6. Take it out
  7. Bog and fire the case
  8. Sand
  9. Paint the case
  10. Drill and apply and hatches

Some people also prefer to mount the electronics to the top of the board. This has the added advantage of having more clearance under the board, but it does clunk up the deck...

Step 7: Some Extras!

Picture of Some Extras!

How to track speed and range:

I used My Tracks by Google to track the range and speed of our board. It's a good thing I live in a quiet town; the streets are all empty, and that can be used to set some records!

How to build a deck:

If anyone is interested, I documented the construction of our homemade deck on my blog @ denialmedia.ca

The Proof of Concept Prototype:

One of the first versions of this board ran off the same motor, but used a 1.8Ah battery and a teeny tiny 30 amp speed controller! Unfortunately, I learned about the dangers of over-heating. The controller got so hot, it melted the wiring, causing a short-circuit, bricking both the battery and the controller. Here's a video from before that...

Models:

Included with this Instructable should be a model of the mount that I used as reference for videos and animations.

And that's it! If you are going to build one of these be sure to drop a few images down in the comments, they could potentially help another builder :)

Step 8: Version 2.0

Picture of Version 2.0

After the thorough testing of the first electric long-board, I decided to modify the design and create version 2.0. This version is only 31" long, (unlike the original at 45") and goes just as far, and even faster than the original.

By hooking the batteries up in series, I was able to charge both batteries at the same time. I also modified the original ESC with a really nice toggle switch.

As with the first board, everything was encased in a sturdy fiberglass case, this time featuring solid PVC fittings for the wires and charging ports, as well as a rubber gasket.

Here's the instructable for version 2.0!

Comments

toxuin made it! (author)2015-07-05

So, today I did the first test ride on this skateboard. It rides!!! Board has a few derps with cheap Chinese ESC but apart from that (and wrong rotation direction, lol) everything runs smooth!

This picture is a quick hack to test if it even works. Not going to leave the battery hang on duct tape!

I've made a simple android app to control the board via Bluetooth 4.0. Should work with iPhone too, gonna make an app for it too. Bluetooth works through HM-11 board, powered off 3.3v BEC (ESC is opto).

Battery is NiMH 6500 mAh from Honda Civic Hybrid. Those are ~40$ at ebay on lucky day. Trick is to buy them used. They are usually sold as "bad" batteries – you cannot use it in Civic, but more than good for projects like this.

As you can see from the pics – I didn't make an enclosure yet. I am going to make one out of fibreglass if everything works out.

By the way, final price went around 130$. Chinese ESC, used longboard and helpful guy at welding shop!

Big respect to the author of this instructable. You inspire others – like me. I guess this is the best feedback and appreciation of your work as a maker.

Thank you, comsa42!

FabioC42 (author)toxuin2017-03-20

Great job mate, I would appreciate if you write the the esc you used and the motor, beacuse I'd like to motoryze my longboard but I don'thave enough money so I want to reproduce yours

comsa42 (author)toxuin2015-07-13

Wow! Awesome build man! And $130 is far from my $300 estimate... It's suspiciously a bit too low! If the ESC runs in the wrong direction just change two of the wires on the motor. $40 for the battery sounds good, but how did you charge them? Anyways, great build, and I'm always happy to help! :)

BTW. I'm going to be releasing my bluetooth controller soon, along with an easy charging connector in another instructable, so stay tuned!

Skiek (author)comsa422016-09-06

can you use mountain board wheels instead? Will it change the way its built? Thanks

toxuin (author)comsa422015-07-19

Well, I did not include Bondo stuff for making an enclosure at the time of writing, so now it is around ~150$.

Single stick pair (one battery) can be charged with Imax B6 no problemo, but since my board have 2 stick paris – I have to charge one pack at a time, and that's annoying.

I've made a fiberglass enclosure with Bondo and fibreglass mat in 2 layers. Painted it red – red ones go faster!

Also, I rewrote the app – now I can select the underbelly LED color and control the brake properly.

I also made a kill switch – a strip of velcro with a washer that is magnetically attached to a "sensor". You attach this strip to your ankle: when you fall off the board – controller pushes full brake.

Since I've incorporated Arduino in this design – this is an open source thing. Code is ugly, I admit. But if you wanna improve it or build your design around it – go ahead! https://github.com/toxuin/CivicBoard

BeniR3 (author)toxuin2016-02-28

How far can you ride with this configuration?

DylanB42 (author)toxuin2016-02-22

thank you for the base code for the app that will help. I will send you the code once i am done messing with.

NicholasT1 (author)toxuin2015-07-25

What wheels did you use?

toxuin (author)NicholasT12015-07-25

Those are some random 77mm wheels I bought used. Called the guy, he said he bought em from Nord boards (?) in USA.

I had to drill holes in them in order to pass the bolt through. Better get some other wheels, I guess. Be sure they are as large as possible though. 77mm wheels exceed the wheel gear by only ~5 mm.

I found out that wheels with holes are some sort of an expensive kind (if you would call 40$ expensive for set of longboard wheels anyway). I must say drilling polyurethane is no rocket science and can be done easily by my grandma blindfolded. I mean don't be scared of it, better save some buck if you can.

NicholasT1 (author)toxuin2015-08-06

Did you have to change the washer sizes since you used different wheel sizes? I plan on using 83mm for budget reasons

comsa42 (author)NicholasT12015-08-06

Yes. I'm using 83mm as well in my next build. Instructable coming soon!

ku786 (author)comsa422015-08-20

@comsa42

Hi,

This looks like a really great instructable and I will hopefully be making it. When do you think (roughly) your improved instructable will be up, along with how much will it cost?

Thanks

comsa42 (author)ku7862015-08-21

I've already made the video for the instructable. It will be up in a day or so from now. As for cost, I'm not quite sure; I'll have to calculate that.

corbonzo (author)comsa422015-09-12

the motor you used is completely out of stock, what would be a good substitute?

order it from hobby king. its on backorder. I ordered it when it was on back order 2 weeks ago. I got it in a week. it shipped 5 days later. got here the next day. shipping was 40$. im in canada

HenkP1 (author)toxuin2015-12-14

Nice build, Good job!

Could you link me where you got all the items from?

Thank you.

Randominteresteddude made it! (author)2015-06-29

Awesome Instructable! Really helped guide me into building my own. Designed the enclosure and made my own connectors (y-plug and extender bridge). Always loved being able to look at the inner workings of anything electronic so I made channels to slide in clear acrylic panels into the enclosures. Everything else comes from following the instructable and use of autocad to make templates for the gear holes. Board weighs about 12-13 pounds and planning to go lower KV for next board along with wider belts and pulleys. Again awesome instructable Thank you for sharing.

Awesome build man! Looks good. How did you connect the two boxes to the board? Screws? I honestly think that that is the hardest part of this build, lol! Anyways, glad to help. I'm going to publish another instructable soon with how to incorporate bluetooth, and quick charging, so that might give you some ideas on how to improve.

What does that push button thing do on the side in one of your pictures?

MariaT66 (author)2017-11-16

I have a question.When you assemble everything, isn't it too close to the ground? It looks really neat, but fragile!

MariaT66 (author)2017-11-16

I have a question? When you assemble everything together isn't to close to the ground? To my opinion the batteries and the motor will bump into every dip on the ground, it looks need, but fragile.

Fuxi (author)2017-06-05

Hey! Can you help with Lithium battery charger.
In HobbyKing website, I cant find, can you put a direct link pls, to the same as you use?

Lithium battery charger

FredericA9 made it! (author)2017-02-16

Comsa42

thx for the great guide!
Made it myself, picture is attachted

greettzzzz

th

KristiánF9 (author)2017-02-13

My motor is trambling can you help me with programu v esc . Motor is shaking only when I run up

KristiánF9 (author)KristiánF92017-02-13

Programing esc

KristiánF9 (author)2017-02-13

Hi, my motor is trambling, here is video can you help me ? :)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByPT1E7FC_MdOU1fckplMWtkTjg

KrewTahnC (author)2017-01-11

I have a question! Is the power being produced only go to one wheel on the longboard? Or does the gear allow for both wheels to turn? If it is the one wheel, does the board pull to the right/left when you are riding?

bhanon815 (author)2017-01-04

Great! I built mine, but I'm having trouble with the belt. When I step on the board and pull trigger on my remote. The belt seems to be having trouble pulling the weight. Do you have any suggestions?

AlienC2 (author)2016-12-10

work with this controller https://pl.aliexpress.com/item/New-arrival-2-4Ghz-mini-remote-controller-with-receiver-for-electric-skateboard-longboard/32729752651.html?spm=2114.010208.3.290.wZthC5&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_6_10065_10068_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10061_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10073_10103_10102_10096_10052_10050_10051,searchweb201603_1&btsid=178a553c-3d03-41a2-ae7b-58743f5dfb03

AlienC2 (author)2016-12-10

work this with this controler https://pl.aliexpress.com/item/New-arrival-2-4Ghz-mini-remote-controller-with-receiver-for-electric-skateboard-longboard/32729752651.html?spm=2114.010208.3.290.wZthC5&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_6_10065_10068_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10061_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10073_10103_10102_10096_10052_10050_10051,searchweb201603_1&btsid=178a553c-3d03-41a2-ae7b-58743f5dfb03

AlienC2 (author)2016-12-10

work this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-arrival-2-4Ghz-mini-remote-controller-with-receiver-for-electric-skateboard-longboard/32729752651.html?spm=2114.01010208.0.0.Uod261 instead of this three channel reciver and transmitte

KoenS1 (author)2016-11-17

nice build tutorial! I just started to make my own. https://youtu.be/yWeLAkTYFoY (build log)
I will try to make the best quality board under 400 $

ArnoD2 made it! (author)2016-05-28

Did my own . I used a cable holder like in the picture to hold my motor plate ;)
I'm running 2x6S in parallel. 16km range and 50km/h top speed. Though I never tried

martinmitrik1989 (author)ArnoD22016-06-28

hey man, could you take a closer and more detailed photo of how you attached the motor plate to the truck. I wanna do a no weld mount and its been driving me bananas. I appreciate it. Thanks.

ArnoD2 (author)martinmitrik19892016-11-06

Sorry I was away for a while, will update at the end of the day. I hope your build is finish tho..

ArnoD2 (author)martinmitrik19892016-06-29

there you go.
Not the most elegant solution but it works well!

martinmitrik1989 (author)ArnoD22016-06-29

Dude thank you. I replied to another post by mistake. I really appreciate it.

AlexanderS189 (author)ArnoD22016-07-29

very best when the big wheel they are very maintainable. could you tell about the engine pulleys the belt

ArnoD2 (author)AlexanderS1892016-11-06

Hi sorry for the late late replys:
Belet and pulleys come from conrad: Model craft
http://www.conrad.fr/ce/fr/product/226041/Poulie-courroie-crantee-Modelcraft-30-dents

mURPHY32 (author)ArnoD22016-11-06

How did you mount the motor? I have the same trucks but im having difficulties mounting the motor. How did you clamp it??

ArnoD2 (author)mURPHY322016-11-06

By he way, if you haven't puchased id yet, go with VESC for the controller. Anything else isn't worth it.
I burnd one ESC already and VESC is the best.

Regards,

ArnoD2 (author)mURPHY322016-11-06

Hi,
Yes it's kind of clamped by the part you can si on the picture.
I also had to grind parts of the trucks to be able to push the mount further in.
But if you can weld it's better. I don't change anything as long as it holds but to be honest this instal is a pain. Now that I have my good clearance and everything is tighten, I don't touch it...

martinmitrik1989 (author)ArnoD22016-06-29

Hey man, thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately in those photos i cant see the way its being mounted to the truck. Could you snap something from the bottom so i can have a look ?

mURPHY32 (author)2016-11-06

Un struggking with the motor mount. What is the best way to do it? I cannot weld and I dont think I can drill the holes myself unless its really easy, is there a good clamp mount I can make? or evenbuy?

AdyotH (author)2016-09-21

please share link of the washer placed in the wheels of the board

Triguy1234 (author)2016-09-20

What would happen if I used a bigger and better battery than the ones you used?

DarylO3 (author)2016-09-18

Ok, i dont know if this chat thing is still up to date, but i need help. I have a school project to do and I basically want to be able to travel 10-20 miles at around 20-30km/h. Can one of you please make me like the ultimate list of supplies i would need. I don't have anything at all right now and my budget is $500. Please and thank you so much. big or small wheels. Doesn't matter, just whichever would be recommended.

Skiek (author)2016-09-06

Also, can I use a more powerful battery?

PingalaS made it! (author)2016-09-02

Hi people,

I've made a 3D printed bracket to hold the ESC to your board for those who prefer to place the ESC outside the case for better airflow.

Here's the link to donwload the file:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1750884/#files

And here you have some pics:

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Bio: I'm a highschooler who is interested in technology, science, and engineering. In my spare time I work on projects that allow me to learn ... More »
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