Introduction: ECOtravel - Electric Longboard

We are the ECOtravel team which is composed by 5 students in Electromechanical engineering. We are all studying at HELHa high school located in Mons in Belgium.

We are all aware it is time to think about our footprint. We decided to think about a way to change easily mobility in our society and avoid to use traditional car for small distance. After a brainstorming we choose to modify a longboard in order to make it electric. The longboard will be drive by a WI remote. We hope you will enjoy do this DIY!

Step 1: What Do You Need ?

Components :

  • A longboard
  • An electric motor
  • A transmission kit
  • An ESC
  • A remote contol ( WII is Ok )
  • A raspberry one or two battery(ies)
  • A box to protect all the component
  • A LED
  • A relays
  • A small piece of steel/wood to attach the LED
  • 4 bolts M10 (for the engine)
  • 4 long bolts M10 (for the protection box)
  • 4 nuts M10
  • 1 Conector to connecte the battery to the ESC

You will find the price, the characteristics and the website where we have bought all the components in the excel below.

To achieve this longboard, you don't need lots of tools :

  • A drilling machine
  • A flat screwdriver
  • A little screw driver for electronic
  • A drill bit
  • Soldering iron
  • Clamping sleeve
  • Crimping tool
  • A laptop
  • Strong glue

Step 2: The Software

Components and materials used :

  • The raspberry
  • A laptop

What do you have to do?

  1. Power the Raspberry
  2. Import the cwiid Library with the Following command line : sudo apt-get install python-cwiid
  3. Open a python file
  4. Copy/past the code below
  5. Run the code. If you want to run the code after powering the Raspberry, use the command in the shell (picture 1)

What does the code do?

On the picture 2, you can find a simplified diagram of the programming steps.

  • The first part consists of connecting the WII remote control to raspberry via bluetooth.
  • The second part to be able to acquire the data of the WII remote control.
  • The third part to be able to generate a PWM signal according to the data acquired.

These last 2 parts will be repeated in a loop and when the button "home" is pressed, the connection between the Wiimote and the raspberry is closed proprely

Step 3: Assembling the Hardware

Components and materials used :

  • ESC
  • The electric motor
  • The raspberry
  • The battery
  • The little screw driver for electronic Soldering iron

What do you have to do?

The ESC is the main part which collect and send all the informations.

  1. First you have to put the connector on the battery and the ESC. In usual there isn't any connector on the ESC that's why you have to solder the wire.
  2. The three phases of the ESC are connected to the motor. The color doesn't matter.
  3. The two other cables are connected to the batteries.
  4. The little wires are connected to the raspberry pi

How does it work?

The Wiimote will send information to the Raspberry about the speed that the electric motor must have. This information is analysed by the Raspberry which will command the ESC with a PWM signal. After that, the ESC will let go the power from the batteries to the motor to drive the longboard.

Step 4: Assembling the Motor and the Transmission

Components and materials used :

  • The longboard
  • The electric motor
  • The transmission kit
  • 4 bolts M10
  • Clamping sleeve

How to do it ?

First, remove the rear wheell with the clamping sleeve.

  1. Place and secure the motor bracket
  2. Place and secure the gear wheel
  3. Place the belt Screw the bolts to fix the engine but not too tight
  4. Put the belt around the motor gear and tension it
  5. Once there is enought tension on the belt you can tight the bolts

You can now put back the rear whell on the longboard.

Step 5: Assembling the LED

Components and materials used :

  • The LED
  • The relay
  • The small piece of steel/wood
  • A drilling machine
  • A drill bit
  • A clamping sleeve
  • Glue

What do you have to do ?

  1. You need to drill a hole through the steel piece
  2. Unscrew the nut that holds the truck
  3. Put the piece on the bot and tighten the nut
  4. With some glue fixe the LED on it

About the connections, follow the diagram and it should be all right (picture 2)!

Step 6: Assembling the Hardware on the Longboard

Components and materials used :

  • The longboard
  • The ESC
  • The raspberry
  • The battery(ies)
  • The box to protect all the component
  • 4 long bolts M10
  • 4 nuts M10
  • A drilling machine
  • A drill bit
  • Clamping sleeve
  • strong glue

How to do it ?

  1. Put the protection box under the longboard and make 4 holes using the drilling machine and the drill bit.
  2. Make a bigger hole on one side of the box for the motor and LED cables
  3. Fix the 4 long bolts with nuts
  4. Stick the components inside the box without impede the 4 holes made in step 1
  5. Fix the box on the longboard with nuts

Step 7: Connect the Wiimote and Calibrate the ESC

How to connect the Wiimote?

You juste have to push simultaneously on the button"1" and "2" of your Wiimote.
The four leds of your Wiimote starts blinking.
When your Wiimote is connected to the Raspberry the led 1,2 and 4 are on!

How to calibrate the ESC?

The first time you use the ESC, this one has to know the maximum power it has to provide. The procedure to calibrate the ESC is the following:

  1. Press the "b" button the top arrow of the wii remote
  2. Connect the batteries to the ESC
  3. The ESC will beeps meaning that it is calibrating the high power
  4. When it doesn’t beep anymore, you can release the top arrow and the B button
  5. The ESC will beep again meaning that it is calibrating the low power
  6. When it doesn’t beep anymore, the ESC is ready to be used

Step 8: Last Informations and We Let You Play !

How to use it?

  • Press the B button and don’t release it till you don’t want to stop. If you want to go faster you just need to press the top arrow button and in the same way, if you want to go slowly press the down arrow button
  • No worries, if you fall you will instinctively release the B button so the longboard will stop by itself.
  • If the B button is released or if the down arrow is pressed the led lights meaning that you decrease the speed or want to stop the longboard
  • To disconnect the wii mote of the raspberry, you can press the “home” button

Have fun!!!!