Introduction: How I Built My First Electric Skateboard
Hello guys, I'd like to share all of my skateboard stories from the beginning with you. (in the video's beginning) This was the moment when I tried my first electric skateboard for the first time. Back then, there wasn't a power limitation at all. I couldn't help but scream because it was so powerful, so fast, and so exciting! It was one and a half years ago. I took videos and pictures as many as possible to share what I have done with you.
All the Materials are here.
Project Blog is here
Step 1: Board
I bought a pintail longboard from a sports shop in Finland called Stadium.
Three years ago, I bought this small skateboard from a nearby grocery store. I practiced riding a skateboard with it. It was challenging, but that practice was really helpful for me to drive this big longboard. Anyway, this board is a pintail longboard. Back then, I didn't know anything about the longboard. I later regretted buying this board because the rear is too narrow to put my feet on there. When you drive over 10 minutes, it gets tired quickly because all your weight goes back when you start. If you want to buy a longboard for an electric skateboard, please buy this shape longboard. I will put all the purchase links in the description. I put my Korean name on the belly side. Even anyone can not recognize, though.
Step 2: Battery
The black device with a yellow stripe is a charger that I bought with the batteries. We need either this kind of specific charger or BMS (battery management system) to charge lithium batteries. At the time, since I didn't have BMS yet, I had to open the case and charge the batteries manually every time it needs.
These are the batteries and the charger. It was 42v with a 3,000mAh battery when I began. It was powerful even the capacity was a little bit smaller than what I am using these days. at this moment, I am using a 9,000mAh battery. 3,000mAh is enough for 8km range with 70kg. If you are not familiar with electricity, I recommend buying a well-made battery pack rather than using this. Managing this kind of battery is very tricky and picky. It would be best always to be careful when you charge, discharge, and store the batteries. The only reason why I bought those things is power and budget.
Step 3: Safety Bag
This is a battery pouch for safety. just in case fire
Step 4: Hub Motors
This hub motor was my favorite. of course, these wheels are also very nice. But I have been suffered from vibration and shock from the wheels. Because the thickness of rubber/urethane was way too smaller than regular wheels, the ground's shock was not absorbed enough.
Step 5: First Case
This image shows how I made an enclosure with a 3d printer. This application is called Fusion360 from Autodesk. It is great and handy once you learn a bit. in the picture, the bigger case is for the battery, and the other is for VESC (motor controller)
This design was straightforward and primitive. I don't use this case anymore, but it was a nice try, though. You can always download my final latest 3d models from the link. If you have a 3d printer, you can always print the case by yourself. Another option is to buy a case from online shops. It is not that expensive and looks good. I will share the link with you. When I started to build Electric Skateboard, there's no option like this all in one case and deck. I would buy this one if I knew it.
Step 6: 3d Printing
Sometimes, a 3d printer doesn't go well. It takes a lot of time and care. it happens many times.
At last, the printer finished printing parts.
Step 7: Assembly the Case
Now, I am going to show you how I fix the batteries on the board. I used screws from Ikea.
The small parts are for holing the batteries. I placed batteries on the board, put the holders around them, and put the screws through the holder's holes.
Step 8: Fixing the Batteries
Luckily, it was okay. I changed the design for the battery holder. I got inspired by a strip of shoes.
Step 9: Case Picture
At last, I fixed the batteries with those strings. Because I didn't have the BMS, I had to expose those connectors and cables outside of the enclosure. every time I need to charge them, I need to use the white small connect (JST 2.4 connector)
Step 10: Case for the VESC
I also assembled the other part, which was for VESC. This part is relatively easier than the front part because it is small. I also made a round arch shape of the case for protecting cables.
Step 11: Introduction to VESC
This is the VESC! A powerful but opensource motor driver! This board takes your remote control signal, runs motors. It is slightly more expensive than a normal ESC, but it worth buying. There are so many advantages to using this board. You will see it soon about this.
The first thing I did with the board is soldering the power connector. This connector is very commonly used around the world for the hobbyist.
Unfortunately, this corner was broken a bit, but it was okay to use them.
I bought FSESC, which is manufactured by Flipsky. Since the manufacturer uses the opensource, all the firmware and circuits are compatible with each other. I selected Flipsky because they were cheap. You can also use another manufacturer.
Step 12: XT60 Serial Connectors
After I made a power connector, I also made a serial connector for those two batteries. Choose the XT60 serial.
The noise from the motors is okay. The first time, I was worried about the noise and vibration, but that was the way to find the parameters.
Setting motors was okay, but I couldn't run motors with them. It turned out that the cables with clips were too small. It couldn't carry a large amount of current properly.
Step 13: Bullet Connectors
The original connectors are fragile and not stable in the long run. Here's the result of this type of cable.
I replaced the connectors to a better one. This is a 3.5mm bullet connector; you can see what I bought the link.
After soldered all the connectors, I put a heat shrink so they won't be short each other there is one issue with the power switch from Flipsky. The switch was off when it got shocked. Some of the users reported that issue on the skate forum. Mine was also BAD. So, I replaced that to my switch. Check your switch by hitting the ground before installing it. Push the switch and try hitting the ground. If the switch released, you should change it.
New product image has a different switch. The manufacturer probably knows the issue and sells VESC with another switch.
Step 14: Hall Sensor Connector
These connectors are for sensing motor position. without this, it is also operational, but it gives you much accurate operating mode
Step 15: Setup the VESC Using VESCTOOL
I hook up the connectors correctly and set up the motor by using VESCTOOL, which is also available online.
Step 16: TEST!
I had to install a remote receiver, but the receiver was coming from Aliexpress. My colleague, who had taught me a lot since I decided to make the board lent me a receiver and remote.
This is the first moment I rode on the electric skateboard. There are many issues that I've got, such as a switch, batteries, BMS, remote controller, which could've killed me, vibration, making another board, etc. I will share those things one by one.