Picture of Skateboard with PIC microcontroller and LEDs
christmas 2007 027.jpg
final led.jpg
What do you get when an Electrical Engineer builds a Skateboard from scratch for a 13 year old's Christmas present? You get a skateboard with eight white LEDs (headlights), eight red LEDs (tailights) all controlled via PIC microntroller! And I might add, one very happy 13 year old, well as happy as a 13 year old can be. Following is how I modified a skateboard kit (from ROAROCKIT.COM), added LEDs to the front and back, added PIC circuit, and covered with a comic book and custom graphics.
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Step 1: Start building the Skateboard

Picture of Start building the Skateboard
Starting with a laminate kit that was purchased from, laminate the first three layers together. The laminate kit from roarockit includes everything needed to laminate and form your own skateboard. This is the second kit that I have used from them and have been very happy with their product.
1. Place the first laminate on the foam mold.
2. Spread the skateboard glue on the first layer.
3. Place the second laminate on top of the first.
4. Spread the skateboard glue on the second layer.
5. Place the third laminate on top of the second.
6. Insert guide pin.
7. Slide the assembly into the netting.
8. Slide the assembly into the vacuum bag, seal the bag, and pump out all the air.

Step 2: Create Channel for Wires

Picture of Create Channel for Wires
The wires that connect the LEDs at the front and the back of the Skateboard to the circuit board are installed in the fourth (middle) laminate of the skateboard.
1. After 24 hours remove the first three laminates from the vacuum bag.
2. Cut a channel/groove into the fourth laminate.
3. Add glue to the top of the first three laminate.
4. Place the fourth laminate on top of the assemble.
5. Place the assembly onto the foam mold, insert guide pin.
6. Place the entire assembly into the netting, then vacuum bag, and vacuum all the air out again.
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nodoubtman1 year ago

Hi! Nice project!.. would you mind posting .hex file?

thank you!

traxxer2 years ago
I bought a micro cruiser over at a couple of weeks ago to try something similar like this project but I think i'm way in over my head... I just want the lights so that I can skate at night so I think i'll just fork over a little more and get the risers that mangomango linked.
not good for grinding.. lol.
jimmytvf3 years ago
seems like a christmas tree, but is very cool though
you should make one with a peace of lexan or plexey glass at the core and have the LEDs inside of the board. then the lights could be arranged any way. and the light would shoot out the edge of the board. could also be done with a fiberglass coating so the entire board is clear. Minus the grip tape.
Iron Dude6 years ago
what the heck is a pic microncontroller
it's a microcontroller- something that works like a mini less complex computer
TSC4 years ago
Nice does the top have grip????
theadamlevy7 years ago
you could add an automatic turning signal by hooking up pressure switches to the back trucks then wiring it to orange LED's idk if they make orange leds if they dont you could take white LEDs then add an orange plastic opaque sheet over them
Since it's a driven by a micro controller you could achieve the the same effect with an accelerometer(s) inside the project box, could even give you brake lights... And yes they most certainly make orange leds.
kewlkat0075 years ago
 epic just wondering were i could get the materials plees help i have been wanting to do this for ever
the link is in the step,
GroggDog5 years ago
will do it to my snowboard lol
mangomango5 years ago
there's a website that sells risers for lonboards with those built in.
there actually shock proof so they wont break when your riding
that was a horrible video. good idea though.
denilsonsa5 years ago
The YouTube video from step 8 has been removed by the user.
Flaky_Jay's6 years ago
what did the other board look like.
fourball (author)  Flaky_Jay's6 years ago
Here is the top and bottom of the other board before the trucks/wheels were put on.
Newblit6 years ago
That's great. I really do think this is a great way to skateboard at night and not get hit by a car lol. Where did you purchase the LED's from anyways?
fourball (author)  Newblit6 years ago
All of the electronic components were purchased from Digi Key.
cool i would love to boardside with that baby. actually i think this mod would have been better for a longboard.
That's pretty sweet, he needs to be careful with it though.
This is a great article. very informative. Do you mind if we use this article at ? we will acredit you fully.
fourball (author)  thriveepidemic6 years ago
I don't mind at all, feel free.
thank you much.
=SMART=6 years ago
Wow you actually built the board!!, the comics look great ! your son is very lucky!!
damasta7 years ago
is it possible the electronics all inside the board instead of a project box on the bottom? because then you could still grind and do other tricks in which the board touches whatever you're riding
i agree. or turn the box 90 degrees so if he turns sharp it wont scrape the box.
bryanbrews7 years ago
really awesome! with that large controller box why didn't you consider using RGB LED's?
Dr.Paj7 years ago
Another idea is to put leds facing down along the edges of the board to create an under body glow (like some cars). Then with your electrical engineering skills, make it so that the line of leds light up just like yours, but along the entire board (facing down not out, or you might look like a UFO).
Dr.Paj Dr.Paj7 years ago
A good site for lighting (vehicle or otherwise) is Oznium. You can buy individual leds really cheap, or just buy a tube/string of leds by the foot.
fourball (author)  Dr.Paj7 years ago
Thanks for the link. I have been considering building another one, a Longboard this time. Will look over everyone's comments and see what happens. It's still in the "thinking about it" stage, but you never know.
Dr.Paj fourball7 years ago
No problem. I used that site to put cold cathodes under my car's seats for a glowing floor, I've heard they have good customer service. Good luck if you build the longboard.
summit7 years ago
They do sell clear grip tape. Maybe that would have been easier to apply.
I believe these people sell them.
fourball (author)  summit7 years ago
The Tread Tex was by far the easiest part of the whole project and produces a much better finish than clear grip tape. Thanks for the link.
summit fourball7 years ago
No problem!
bduffman7 years ago
1 they do make orange leds , 2 if u cant get them u can buy paint for them , 3 they idea would be great on a long board , 4 mayb more powerfull lights tho for the front like 3 watt leds , 5 do them battarys recharge if not u should go with say a 6 volt rechargeble battary i used one for a speaker box then u could just plug it in and be all charged up ready other then that great build love the ideas if i didnt give my skate board away ild try this
thats crazy dude... i like. if you want simple though use this one

you can still do tricks with the board too...
fourball (author)  pyrothepenguin7 years ago
I saw that one before. Basically like you said it's crazy, which was pretty much what I was going for. If I hadn't given him two skateboards (both made from the kit), I probably would have done something more along those lines. Thanks for the comment, glad you liked it.
WoodWinds7 years ago
I can see it now..."Pimp my Skateboard". I'll be waiting for the one with hydraulics and lift kits. Good job on the Instructable.
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