Introduction: Ripstick Under-body Kit

Like to ride at night?  Here is how to make an under body kit for a Ripstick skateboard.  An under-body kit is a set of lights or light (typically LEDs or neon bulbs) mounted under a car or truck.  Under body kits can flash, fade, and flash in sync to music using a microphone.  We will be making the simplest kind, which is just when the the lights are a steady on.

Step 1: Supplies

For this project you'll need a few basic parts and tools including:

-Phillips screwdriver/drill bit
-7/32 inch Alan wrench
-Knife from a multitool
-Flathead screwdriver
-3/16 inch drill bit
-Electrical tape
-Cut off/grinder attachment for dremil
-Drum sander attachment for dremil
-Safety glasses; when using the dremil
-1 10-100 ohm resistor
-3 AA enclosed battery holder (recommended)
-10 5mm clear LEDs (any color)
-Slide switch
-Wire Strippers
-Soldering iron
-Rosin core solder
-Hot glue gun
-Wire, 20-24 gauge
-And, a ripstick of course!

Step 2: Disasemble the Ripstick

Starting from the rear, use the drill with the Drill and a Phillips drill bit to take out the screws.  The plastic cover should pop off with the help of a flat head screwdriver.  Using a 7/32 Alan wrench take out the bolt in the rear.  The bar in the middle should slide out now.  Repeat this process in the front of the board.

Step 3: Prepare the Inside for Wiring

 When you've opened it up take out the dremil with a cutoff wheel attachment.  Cut notches on the sides of  the same cells in the picture.  *Use safety glasses*.  Make these notches at least 2 layers wide.  Use a knife to scrape of the burrs.  On the rear half there is one big open section in which the bolt for the wheel is mounted.  This is where all of the wires will meet and be connected.  With the drum sander attachment sand off some of the excess plastic to make more space.  It is not necessary to sand it off on the front.

Step 4: The LEDs

On the inside of the ribstick I made 5 marks all around the wheels.  I used the drill and a 3/16 inch bit to cut out the holes.  When you stick the LEDs through the brim on the bottom should stop it from going all the way through.  If they don't go all the through then push it in with a flat head screwdriver    Make sure the LEDs don't scape the ground when the board is tilted all way the over.  

Step 5: Wiring

Cut the LEDs leads to about half their original size.  Solder two wires onto the LEDs (red to positive and black to negative).  Then use hot glue to hold the LEDs in place.  Make sure that the wires reach the opening in which they will all meet.  Have the wire run through the notches.  If the wire comes out, pin it down with some hot glue.  Have all the wires meet in the opening.  Solder all the black wires together and all the red wires together.  Solder a 10 ohm resistor to the positive connections.   

*helpful tip*  Always solder before hot gluing something.  If you do this in the opposite order the hot glue will melt under the soldering irons heat and mix with the solder and stink and create a lot of hazardous fumes.

Step 6: The Switch

On the bottom of the ribstick there are small rectangular holes.  In the rear of the ribstick use the hole closest to the part where everything meets.  If your switch fits, then great.  If it doesn't then use a small file to make the hole bigger.  Solder one wire on of the leads of the switch.  Connect it to all the negative connections from the LEDs.

Step 7: The Battery Pack

All I had was this 4 AA battery holder but I recommend a 3 AA enclosed battery holder.  Or even AAA if you want it a little smaller.  You will only need 3 batteries anyway.  Using the hot glue gun glue the battery pack on the bottom of the ribstick behind the rear wheel.  Drill a hole from the central point on the inside of the board down to the battery pack on the bottom.  Solder the red wire from the battery pack to all the positive connections.  Run the black wire from the pack to the switch and solder it on.  When done soldering with the switch hot glue it in place.  Now you should have a functioning circuit. 

Step 8: Connect the Two Sides

The final step to all the wiring is to connect both sides of the board.  Remember, everything is wired in parallel with one battery pack and one switch both on the rear of the board.  So, Its recommended to test it first with some jumper cables.  If you don't have something to drill though the the thick steel in the bar then drill one hole behind the wheel on the front of the board and another in the front of the wheel in the back of the board.  Measure out some wire and unite the two ends if the board - positive to positive and negative to negative. 

Step 9: Reassembley

 Slide the bar back into both sides of the board and fasten the bolts.  Don't forget the washers!  When putting the covers back on do not use a drill to tighten the screws-the holes can be stripped easily-just use a screwdriver, there's no rush.  Now the hardest part of this project is to wait for darkness...

What Can You Do with a Dremel Tool?

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