Introduction: 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
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
Here's a list of the parts:
- 180mm Paris Trucks with 83mm flywheels ($56)
- Turnigy Aerodrive 190kv Brushless Outrunner Motor ($50)
- 1/4” pitch, 28 tooth sprocket with 3/4” bore ($20)
- 1/4” pitch, 11 tooth sprocket ($11)
- 1/4" pitch chain
- 1/4 aluminum blank (Min size 121mm by 51mm)
- 6x 1/4" by 2.5" bolts
- 6x 1/4" 20 nuts
- 4x M4 by 12mm bolts
- 4x M4 washers
- 2x 5000mAh 20c 3 cell (11.1v) Lithium Battery ($47)
- EZRUN/HobbyWing 150A-PRO Brushless ESC ($80)
- HK-GT2B Transmitter and Receiver or Bluetooth controller ($25)
- Lithium Battery Charger (I use the IMAX B6) ($25)
- 4mm Banana Jacks (6 pairs) ($4)
- 10 gauge flexible wire (2 feet) ($7)
- 2 3s to 6s Balance Adapter ($1)
- 6s Balance Extension Cable ($1)
- 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
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
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
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
- 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
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