Introduction: Electric Skateboard V4.0: the Banana Board

Picture of Electric Skateboard V4.0: the Banana Board

Here's a DIY electric skateboard: The Banana Board! This board is an electric motorized skateboard which can reach speeds of 35km/h, it has a max range of 15km per charge, and can be charged in under an hour. It weighs about 11 pounds, which makes it perfect for commuting to school or work, and places where a bike would not be portable enough. This Instrcutable will show you how to build the fourth version of my electric skateboard. The instructions for the previous prototypes are available in the next step of this Instructable.

The board is controlled by a Bluetooth smartphone controller, which serves as a replacement for the bulky 2.4Ghz controller that is usually used for electric skateboards. The board also uses a series charging circuit, so you can charge the battery all in one go. This fourth prototype is more refined than the previous ones, and is comparable to commercial electric skateboards. The deck was a new custom design made on a CNC mill, and the case for the electronics was also custom made from fiberglass.

In this version I've also used a new chain drive. This new chain drive provides better stability when starting from a stand-still, and is much more durable than a belt drive. It can also deliver much more torque than a belt drive. The best part about this new drive system is that it is compatible with the old ones, so you can build a belt drive if you want (belt drives are quieter).

Step 1: Versions 1.0 and 2.0

Here are the YouTube videos I have made for version 1.0 and 2.0. There's a lot of content in these two videos, and I would really suggest watching them if you are interested in making your own board.

Version 1.0 is a very simple approach to making an electric skateboard, while version 2.0 has some more advanced features; and the video also explains a lot more about the belt drive.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here's a list of the parts:

Belt Drive:

Electrical:

Skateboard:

  • Skateboard deck (made from 3/4" marine-grade plywood)
  • Truck spacers (optional)

Total Cost: ~$350

Where did I get my parts from?

Pulleys and belt from SDP/SI (http://sdp-si.com/)

  • Motor, batteries, receiver, transmitter, and charger from HobbyKing (http://www.hobbyking.com/)
  • ESC, banana jacks, wire, and components for the Bluetooth receiver prototype from eBay (http://www.ebay.com/)
  • Bits, pieces, and aluminum from Home Depot

High demand for parts:

The parts we have listed are in very high demand right now. If a part is in back-order or simply out of stock, you may need to choose a suitable replacement instead. Leave a comment on this Instructable if you are unsure about the specifications of a replacement part.

Step 3: CNC Deck

Picture of CNC Deck

For this skateboard, I made a custom deck out of 3/4" scrap plywood. The reason I wanted to cut the deck on a CNC was because I wanted two identical skateboard decks; one to make a skateboard for my cousin, and another to use as my own. You can use any deck you want, as long as it has space between the trucks to accommodate the electronics.

After drilling the holes and milling the deck, it was sanded down, sprayed with four coats of yellow spray-paint, then grip-tape was applied.

Step 4: Build the Chain Drive

The fourth version of the skateboard uses a chain drive instead of a belt drive. Check out the video above to find out how to assemble the trucks/motor assembly!

Step 5: Or Build the Belt Drive

Picture of Or Build the Belt Drive

Another option is to build the belt drive from my previous two electric skateboards. You can find the video tutorials in the first step of this instructable, or you can view the separate instructables here and here. The only difference between the two belt-drive systems is the material the gear is made out of, and I would personally use the second belt drive.

Step 6: Building a Case for the Electronics

Picture of Building a Case for the Electronics

To protect the electronics I decided to make a case for it out of fiberglass. It is a very similar procedure to the first two electric skateboards, and it involves the following steps:

  • Build a mould, I built one out of foam
  • Stretch a thin layer of plastic over the mold
  • Put 14oz. fiberglass over the mold
  • Pour epoxy and disperse it enough to soak the fiberglass
  • Throw it in a vacuum bag for 24h
  • Take it out
  • Bog the case
  • Sand
  • Paint the case
  • Drill and insert the conduit fittings/switch

Step 7: Build the Electronics

The electronics for this project are very similar to the electronics of the second prototype. It basically works like this: the motor is connected to a 150 amp ESC, which is powered by two 5Ah 3 cell LiPo batteries. There is a switch that is connected to the ESC, which allows the user to turn the skateboard on and off.

The main aspect of this design is the balance charging system. I used a balance cell splitting cable in order to safely charge the batteries using the balance charger. Please refer to the previous instructable to learn more!

Step 8: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

Now that the electronics and the hardware is all finished, it's time to attach everything to the deck! I used some bolts and nuts to secure the electronics compartment to the CNC'd deck. I then proceeded to attach the trucks using the included mounting hardware.

And you are done! Check out some of my other project on my blog, at denialmedia.ca

Comments

JohnH858 (author)2017-05-05

Anyone know if an anti spark is required with this setup?

DanH179 (author)2016-08-11

I want to do this on a penny. I cannot make the protective casing though. Anything I can purchase online. I also need a way to attach the motor mount to the trucks without welding. HELP!!!

Andrew Palar (author)DanH1792016-09-11

You can try using a plastic case of some sort and drill holes in the side for the wires. You can even make a wooden one, just as long as the electronics are protected. You can try using some sort of glue, but welding works best. Also you might want to use a different motormount if you're going to do it on penny board trucks, so I would recommend switching to paris trucks. Good luck!

JedDog1999 (author)DanH1792016-08-20

I would like to do this to Penny board. I'm looking into it my self, so if you do find anything please let me know too.

TomL129 (author)2016-07-27

Does this board have the regenerative braking like V2?

TomL129 (author)2016-07-27

Does this board have the regenerative braking like V2?

Julian_1992 (author)2016-07-27

Hey guys, great tutorial comsa42 !

can i also use two of these batteries without problems? http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewI...

and can i use the same charger for those?

jaimegsus (author)2016-07-22

I'm building my own E-Board! Trouble is that in Spain we got real problems to get all this parts. I've found a 245kv motor wich works with 9-10S but my ESC only gets 6S, so my battery will be 2 x 3S Lipo 5000mAh 20C. Will it work? I'm worried about my motor needing 32V and my ESC only gives 22V

Fugit185 (author)2016-07-19

Everything else is easy but I have no tools to make aluminum motor support? Is there any ready made or kit available?

poozer42zer (author)2016-07-08

Could I get the approximate dimensions of the deck please?

benjineering (author)2016-07-04

has anyone figured out to program your motor so it doesn't beep when turned on?

flanjak (author)2016-01-18

It seems the only available motors i can find in stock are the SK3-6374-149kv

and the SK3-4250 500kv

I'm just wondering which is better to use and if ill have to switch anything else.

VikK3 (author)flanjak2016-07-04

500kv is too high. You need something below 300kv or else the setup won't pull your weight too well.

The nonavailability of these motors is extremely annoying!!

JustToComment (author)2015-12-15

Great job!

Can you post a video? How does it handle at high speeds? Any wobble? Could you tell me the size of the deck? Thanks .

Why don't you use LIFEPO4 instead of standard lipos?

JakeM54 (author)JustToComment2016-06-27

Lipos are cheaper and easier to setup. To get a decent LiFePO4 Pak you usually have to make your own.

JustToComment (author)JakeM542016-06-27

What do you mean by easier?

JakeM54 (author)JustToComment2016-06-27

Well since the hobby world uses them primary, they are widespread and there are lots of fuses on how to set them up.

ThomasK19 (author)JustToComment2015-12-20

Read here about the difference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery The main difference will account in 2050 when Cobalt is exhausted...

JakeM54 (author)ThomasK192016-06-27

Thomas im not sure what you were respomding to based on his question but LiFePO4 cells do not have cobalt.

ThomasK19 (author)JakeM542016-06-27

Yes. But LiIon-batteries use Cobalt. And that will eventually be exhausted in 2050. So that time we just will have a need for LiFe cells.

JustToComment (author)ThomasK192015-12-21

Well they seem to be the way to go according to the article:

More recharge cycles

Much more safer

Don't worry about the size because its a skate so a bit more pounds wont hurt(for the same capacity)

You can charge them faster in a safer way

Is true that they are a bit more expensive.

LiFePo4 is the way to go as I see it.

EvanR22 (author)2016-04-29

is the chain drive noisy?

MostaphaB1 (author)EvanR222016-05-11

no ! it's kind of like riding a bicycle

EvanR22 (author)MostaphaB12016-06-12

Thank you!

EvanR22 (author)2016-04-29

Is it possible to add more batteries?

RobV25 (author)2016-03-12

Are there any motor alternatives? they all are backorder...

CoolRextreme (author)2016-03-03

According to the comments, this has been up for about three months.

My one question

HOW THE HECK DID I MISS THIS?? :o

Great job man (As always!)

Denito1 (author)2015-12-24

Great project!

Can you list the part number for the chain drive?

Thank

eric is here (author)2015-12-16

Can it do a burnout?

eric is here (author)2015-12-16

Can it do a burn out?

eric is here (author)2015-12-16

Can it do a burn out?

_dooit_ (author)2015-12-15

Wow! You explain it very clear and seems easy! But there are a lot of knowledge in this project!
Great! thanks to share!

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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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