Introduction: The Budget DIY Electric Longboard
Hey yall! CoolRextreme here with yet another DIY Longboard post...
Yes, I will give you a detailed account of my build. From frustration to fascination. Why?
Cause we all know builds are not just about going smoothly and coming together perfectly.
No, I will not talk to you as if you have already done your homework on electric skateboard (or E-Board as they are called) builds either. Why?
Cause I wish I had found a post that gives the details of how and why the components work, and how they work with each other. I will make sure to try and tell you everything I know and learned throughout the build. Plus I will add links to VERY helpful reference pages.
So, without further ado, I present my Electric Longboard Build:
It moves at a pace of 19mph (30.58 kph)
with a range of 5.01 miles before the ESC's auto-shut off kicks in.
So who should read this?
- Anyone who is new to the idea of building an electric skateboard/longboard
- Anyone who wants to build their own electric skateboard/longboard.
- Anyone who wants to read about the build of an electric longboard.
- Anyone who wants to get a general understanding of electric skateboards.
- Anyone who wants to correct my knowledge about anything on electric skateboards.
And why should you read this?
- Detailed list of supplies, and prices of the supplies used in this build.
- Helpful list of terminology.
- As always, tips and warnings, cause learning from someone else's mistakes is a lot more cost effective then learning from your own ;)
- And of course, see the outcome. (Again, its pretty good!)
Step 1: Introduction
Once again, CoolRextreme here! And today I'm bringing you the journal on how I built my Electric Longboard
It has always been my dream to build something that can simply blow the minds of other people, without blowing myself up.
I really have no idea how I came to the idea of building an Electric Longboard. I believe it was on one sunny day when I was parked at a stoplight. I was waiting for the green light, when I saw this guy on an electric bike cruising up the highway overpass without touching the pedals.
I immediately thought to myself "Cool!"
Then came the "Wish I had one of those"
Then the "Actually, I could probably build one"
When I got home later, I got on the web and looked up some DIY electric bike builds.
Believe it or not, I had no idea about Instructables.com at this time. In fact, it wasn't till after I had ordered the parts for my electric skateboard that I was reading Popular Mechanics (or was it Science?) and saw the smiling faces of about 30 people. It was an article on these different people who had started different websites where people get together, share ideas, and build, make, or design stuff. Sites such as Local Motors, a site where people can upload their own vehicle designs, realistic, or not. (I was a fan of this site, mostly because of the sick futuristic car designs some of the users had poster)
One of the people just happened to be the Founder (or 'president'?) of a site called Instructables.
Curious as to why such a funny name, I looked up this site.
To my delight, it was an amazing site where users could post "'ibles" where they detailed how to do, or, *gasp* make, things.
Love at first sight.
But hold on, I'm getting ahead of my build there.
I was looking at electric bike builds, and wishing things could be cheaper/smaller.
I really liked the thought of making something that could 'go' on electricity, but didn't really want something the size of a bike. Maybe I could electrify something smaller?
Then, out of nowhere (or maybe just my highly imaginative brain, I couldn't tell) The idea hit, an electric skateboard!
First I looked up "electric skateboard" What I found amazed me. Companies that had already started making a[nd selling electric skateboards, and I had NEVER even HEARD of such a thing! What also amazed me was the price for these things. Anywhere from 700$ to $2000+. There was no way I was going to spend that much on an electric skate board, then my maker side kicked in. Surely I could make one for cheaper, right?
I looked up "DIY Electric skateboard" and found a whole bunch of posts on them. Part of me went "YES! I CAN!" the other part of me went "Darn, I wasn't the first"
To tell the truth, I knew nothing about skateboarding, what's even worse, I had limited knowledge on anything electrical. I needed some serious info/help...
Step 2: Supplies and Prices
1. Main Longboard Components
- 1X Longboard/Skateboard/Penny Board (I used the board from my Longboard Renovation) (Price Varies)
- 1X Paris 180 LONGBOARD TRUCKS Package 90mm 78a BIGFOOT YELLOW Wheels ($59.98)
- 1X 1/4 Inch 3"x12" 6061 Aluminum Tooling Flat Sheet Plate Bar ($12.00)
Total amount for Longboard Components: $71.98 (Give or take for price of the board)
2. Small Pieces
- 1X 7/8" x 2.250" OD Stainless Steel Large General Purpose Flat Washer*
- 1X 1" x 2.500" OD Stainless Steel Large General Purpose Flat Washer*
- 6X 1/4 in. -20 tpi x 2-1/2 in. Zinc-Plated Hex Bolt ($0.20 each)
- 4X Everbilt 1/4 in. -20 tpi x 1 in. Zinc-Plated Hex Bolt ($9.57 for 100 pack)***
- 6X 1/4 in.-20 Zinc-Plated Hex Nut (25-Pack) ($1.47 for 25 pack)***
- 4X 1/4 in.-20 tpi Zinc-Plated Nylon Lock Nut ($1.18 for 2 pack)
- 4X M4 8 mm. Phillips Pan-Head Machine Screws ($0.97 for 2 pack)
- 1X Large 40-Tooth Plastic Pulley: Part#: A 6L25-040SF0910 ($5.10)
- 1X Small 14-Tooth Aluminum Pulley: Part#: A 6A25M014DF0906 ($11.10)
- 1X 57-Tooth Timing Belt: Part#: A 6R25M057090 ($8.27) <*>
<*>You can also get the same belt from HERE. Its much cheaper shipping, and you save 3 bucks on the belt compared to SPD's pricing ($8.27 vs. $5.05). Awesome source for replacement belts!
Total amount for Small Pieces: $37 (Give or take $5 for bulk items)
3. Main Electronics
- 1X Imax B6 Lipo Nimh Nicd RC Battery Balance Charger Discharger+AC Adapter ($19.86)
- 2X ZIPPY Flightmax 5000mAh 3S1P 20C ($23.20)
- 1X 150A Sensored Brushless ESC 2-6S Li-po for 1/8 RC Model car on-road / off-road ($69.48)
- 1X Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 5055-280kv Brushless Outrunner Motor ($49.23)
- 1X HobbyKing® ™HK-GT2B 3CH 2.4GHz Transmitter and Receiver w/Rechargable Li-ion Battery ($23.63)
- 1X Turnigy USB Power Adapter ($8.82) (Optional)
Total amount for the Main Electronics: $168.21
4. Wiring Connectors
- 1X 2 x 3S - 6S Splitter JST-XH (5pcs/bag) ($5.55 for 5-Pack) (Optional)
- 1X 4mm Bullet Banana Male to Deans Female connector ($3.93) (Optional/Depends on set up)
- 1X 4mm Bullet banana Parallel Lipo Battery Adapter ($6.20) (Optional/Depends on set up)
- 1X 4mm Bullet banana Series Lipo Battery Adapter ($6.25) (Optional/Depends on set up)
- 1X HXT 4mm Gold Connector w/ Protector (10pcs/set) ($4.44 for 10-Pack) (Optional, for re-wiring)
- 1XLipo Battery Voltage Monitor Meter 7.4V 11.1V 22.2V 2S -6S Cells LED Display ($3.70) (Optional)
Total amount for Wiring Connectors: $30.07
5. Electronics Housing
- 1X 12 in. x 24 in. Silver Diamond Tread Aluminum Hobby Sheet Sleeved ($13.20)
- 1X 3 ft. Lock-on Black Gutter Guard ($13.98 for 5 pack)***
- 5X #10-24 x 2 in. Phillips Flat-Head Machine Screws ($1.18 for 4 pack)
- 5X #10-24 tpi Zinc Rod Coupling Nuts ($1.08 each)
- 5X #10 x 5/16 in. OD x 1 in. Aluminum Spacer ($ each)
- 5X #10-24 tpi Zinc-Plated Steel Wing Nut ($1.18 for 4 pack)
- 5X #10-24 x 1/4 in. Philips Flat-Head Machine Screws ($ each)
Total amount for Electronics Housing: $39.76
6. Miscellaneous Items/Tools used
- Socket Wrench Set
- Adjustable Wrench
- Electric Screwdriver
- Drill Press
- Drill Bits
- Measuring Tool (in millimeters)
- Angle Grinder (or the like)
- Bench grinder
- Eye/Ear protection.
- Breathing mask (Recommended for grinding aluminum)
Warning:Be aware that some of these electronic parts are on extremely high demand. Why? Maybe there is a giant move to build E-boards. I don't know, but just be aware...
And don't forget, these prices do NOT include shipping fees, which is where it can be nasty!
Also all parts for the Electronics Housing can be found at Home Depot or most other hardware stores!
*These came in packs of two at only local place that sold that size washer in my town: Fastenal. I cant remember how much they where.
*** These items are either also sold individually, or in less numbers. I just could not find the link to the individual item/smaller packs and instead linked a bulk/larger pack. You only need to get the amount stated right after the item's list number here. Example: 5X wing nuts ( $1.00 for 3 pack). You will need to either find five individual wing nuts, or buy two 3 packs and leave one wing nut out)
Step 3: Helpful Terminology and Conversions
OD = Outer Diameter
CNC = Computerized Numerical Control
Kv = revolutions per minuet/volt (also KV or kv. Not to be confused with kV which stands for kilo-volt)
RPM = Rotations Per Minuet
Torque = Turn Strength
W = (watt) Measure of power or energy used
MPH = Miles Per Hour
ESC = Electronic Speed Controller
NiMH = Nickel-Metal Hydride
NiCd = Nickel Cadmium
LiPo = Lithium Ion Polymer
A = Amp
mAh= Milliamp hours
V = Volt
S = Cell
C = Discharge rated
DR = Dual Rear Drive (Both motors mounted on the rear skateboard truck)
DD = Dual Diagonal Drive (One motor mounted on one side of the front truck, the other motor mounted on the back truck on the opposite side)
HK = Hobby King (or Happy Kraken, Hunter Killer)
1000 mAh = 1 Ah
1 Mile = 1.609 Kilometers
1 Inch = 25.4mm
1 Cell = 3.7 Volts
1 Horsepower = 746 Watts (In terms of watt power)
Step 4: Inspiration and Research
Over the course of a few days I rooted out a few sites that really helped me to find knowledge on electric skateboard builds. Here are a few that you can also check out!
An online chat/build forum where people post their build progress, end results, or questions/answers!
Not only do they provide top notch E-board parts, but they also feature a few helpful tuitorials as well!
Title says it all!
And of course.
Plus some other random sites on which individuals wrote about their own build. But these are the main websites.
Also just SOME of the aspiring E-board builders here on instructables:
DIY Electric Skateboard by PracticalProjects
This guy made a very sleek looking electric longboard, something that looks like it rolled right off the assembly line at some giant company. I especially liked his Electronics housing, and (kind of) tried to replicate the thing in a cheaper fashion. If I wanted to buy a really nice looking E-board, I would defiantly talk to him, Fantastic build PracticalProjects!
DIY Electric Longboard for $300 by cosma42
Cosma42 has pretty much become the most well known model for how to do E-board stuff right. His first Longboard is no exception! He gives an awesome instructable, complete with a detailed video as well! But that wasn't good enough for him. So he went right ahead and created an electric skateboard.
You read that right. Smartphone controlled! Did I not tell you cosma42 dose things right? Awsome work Cosma42!
DIY 3D printed Electric Skateboard with 1500W of power! by Saral Tayal
3D printing... Seems like the boundaries of what is 'normally printed' is being pushed all the time. Well ahead of the game, Saral Tayal 3D printed his own motor mount and drive pulleys, saving him both time and money. Plus now he can make his own gear ratios any time he pleases, not to mention he could at any time 3D print his own controller to make it smaller... (Lucky ducky!) Good job dude, and keep that 3D printer hot!
If there was a daddy of all E-boards here on Instructables, it would be the one made by treyisgolfing:
Insane is right. With a 45mph top speed, and a sweltering 35mph cruise speed, treyisgolfing's 7.5 Horse power board is a beast! Check out that video on his post as well. And the best part? ITS NOT DONE YET! I look forward to see what you got in store for us trey!
DIY Electric Skateboard with lights by AllenInventions
This board is the newest of them all, yet it features something not seen in the instructables E-board community: Lights! AllenInvention stuck some LED lights on the underside of his board, giving it that awesome green glow when he cruises at night. What an attention getter. Brilliant!.
Propeller Powered Skateboard by crazybuilders
While this is not necessarily an ELECTRIC skateboard, it is an extremely clever way to do things and is totally worth mentioning! crazybuilders went ahead and stuck a model airplane engine on the back of his board, driving a propeller that pushes his board down the road! Dude, can you not get any more crazy then that? XD
Seeing that I was not the only one, I then decided to jump into my own build. I started by gathering/ordering the supplies I needed. This however, was not a simple task as I wanted to find the cheapest but also efficient components (I didn't want to spend $500)
Step 5: Finding the Right Motor...
So, you want to make an electric skateboard huh?
Welcome to a world of fun, patience, and options. Yes, options. There are tons of choices out there, whether it be motors, ESCs, or Batteries. But how do you narrow down what you want or don't want? Ill help you as best I can.
Finding the Motor:
I started by finding my motor. After looking around I found that most other DIY E-boards (as they are called) utilized RC Plane motors, to be exact, the Turnigy SK brushless motors. What dose brushless mean? Ill explain...
No actually, to this day I have not bothered to memorize the basics in brushless/brushed motors. I just got the Brushless motors because that's what everyone else was using
A Brushed motor has brushes and conductors that automatically make the motor rotate in one direction.
But basically a brushless motor has three wire coming out of the motor, while the brushed motor only has two. The third wire on the brushless motor is also a power wire. All three power the motor. The ESC has to reverse one or more of the currents to make the motor spin the right way, or reverse! Sound complicated? It is.
Check out this Brushless vs. Brushed motors guide for more info on the pros/cons of both brushed and brushless motors, and how they differ from each other!
Incase your wondering what an Outrunner motor is, and how it differs from an Inrunner motor, Ill explain.
An Inrunner is like most small motors, where you have the main motor body attached to the main surface immobile, and the shaft turns inside the coils.
Whereas an Outrunner is where the outer casing is connected directly to the shaft, and spins around the coils, thereby turning the shaft. The motor is mounted by the top part (Head I guess?) of the can where the shaft protrudes. If its really unclear what a Outrunner looks like, and how it functions, go on youtube and search it up.
An Inrunner is capable of very high speeds, but it's torque is low.
However, because the outer casing of the Outrunner is connected directly to the shaft, it is much better for torque as it's able to get the power of the entire casing to help drive it. (Remember, in normal use, it's used to turn the large propeller on RC airplanes!) Consequently it is not quite as fast as the inrunner.
In the end I decided to get the Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 5055-280kv Brushless Outrunner Motor From HobbyKing.
Why? Ill explain, but first here are some things you want to look for in your motor for YOUR build:
First of all Kv can also be written KV or kv, however this is not to be confused with kV which means kilo-volt. Kv stands for Rotations Per minuet/volt. So for example, the motor I am using is 280kv. This means for every volt going in, I will attain +280kv. So if your battery is 7.4 volts you can attain 7.4v x 280kv = 2072 rpm.
However, keep in mind that this is a theoretical number, and when put under load, your motor will not attain this speed, just a some less.
Also keep in mind that the higher the kv rating, the less torque your going to get. That's right. A 180kv motor will have less RPMs but have higher torque, then a 280kv motor. However a 280kv motor will spin faster then a 180kv motor but have less torque. I have heard that 300kv is about the limit for moderate terrain for E-boards, (small hills and street travel) And as there are not many hills where I live, I figured a 280kv motor wont be a problem, without stretching it (Plus I am a bit of a speed hog, outside the car of course ;) )
Step 6: ...ESC...
Finding the ESC:
After I found my motor, I knew that It drew a max 60A. I had read about the problem of ESCs over heating, or just heating up quickly. I wanted to minimize the heat, so I decided to go with a 100+ ESC. I also knew that I was going to be using up to 3S batteries in series (Ill get to that stuff when I talk about getting my batteries) So I also needed the ESC to handle up to 6S. I also wanted breaking, and if possible, some reverse. However a good selection of settings was a requirement (5 different breaking speeds vs. 2, cause no one wants to break 50%-100% while going 20mph XD)
The ESC is pretty much the 'brain' of the build. Its the link between your power and motor. It also connects to the receiver that goes to your remote control. The ESC gets the 'commands' from the receiver that tells it how much the remote's trigger/throttle is pushed. It then controls the amount of energy that passes from the battery to the motor, hence controlling the motor's speed.
Note: This is the one part of your electric skateboard build that you do NOT want to skimp on. Expect to pay 80-100+ bucks on this thing.
Being the money pincher I am, I tried to go the cheap rout and get an ESC for a helicopter, about 45$. Helicopter ESCs have to handle lots of voltage, and they do so for less then car ESCs. Unfortunately I learned that RC helicopter ESCs do not work with RC car receivers, so I ended up returning the helicopter ESC, and dishing out the money to get a RC Car ESC. Enter: 150A Sensored Brushless ESC 2-6S Li-po for 1/8 RC Model car
Be sure and get the correct ESC, and don't forget to check out the various other functions that your chosen ESC can offer! For example, this ESC offers different adjustable settings for thing such as:
Drag force brake
Starting power (Punch)
Low voltage cut off
And more! (More settings above!) You can program it using the little SET button located on the on/off switch pod, or you can make it easier on yourself and go buy the Hobbywing LED Program Card For Brushless ESC
Step 7: ...Batteries/Connectors...
Finding the right Battery(s):
Batteries store the juice your motor needs in order to turn.
Now for a quick guide on Lipo Batteries.
Lipo stands for Lithium Ion Polymer. Its pretty much what the battery consists of. Why did I choose the Lipo instead of the safer Nimh Battery?
You: Wait, safer?!?
Woah, hold on, Ill get to that in a bit.
Anyway, I choose the Lipo over the Nimh because of weight.
Lipos can also generally hold more of a charge then NIMH with less weight and size, and as a Longboard, while long, only has so much space for the power supply. Plus, Lipos shave a faster discharge rate (more power out quicker) I needed something small and powerful.
And yes, Lipos also have a rep for being more dangerous. If mistreated, seriously overcharged, or hacked to pieces with an ax, they will explode and set fire to stuff.
And while hurtling down the street at 25mph on a longboard with flames coming from the bottom may look cool, it certainly wont feel cool. (excuse the pun there)
However be assured that the risk is VERY low if you make sure to take care of your batteries. So, take care of them, and they will take care of you. But just too be safe, do not leave them charging while you are away from home. Put em in the middle of your garage (concrete floor) away from anything flammable, and go watch a movie/surf the net. Check on them periodically for any puffing of the cells. You should be good!
So how do you decide which battery to get?
Well, actually it starts back with your motor.
Find the motor you want, then find it’s max input in Amps.
Then find an ESC that can handle that input. (with a bit more)
THEN find a battery that can handle that rate of discharge.
You first have to find the max capacity of your battery. This is usually measured in milliamps. I will use the batteries I got for my build as an example: ZIPPY Flightmax 5000mAh 3S1P 20C Lipo Battery
My battery has a capacity of 5000 Milliamps, (mAh) or 5 Amps (A) It also has a C-Rating of 20 (Seen as 20C) To find my max discharge rate, I multiply my capacity (in amps) by my C rating. It's set up like this:
20C = 20 x Capacity (in Amps)
Calculating the C-Rating of my battery: 20 x 5 = 100A
100A is my max continuous load I can place on my battery. This is more then enough for the 60A my motor can draw, so things are looking pretty good!
Next is the cell count. Most Lipo batteries of this size are not a single cell battery, instead they consist of a few smaller cells wired in series. What is series? Ill talk about that in a bit, but I gotta get this covered first.
Each cell has a voltage of about 3.7V. This means that a 2S (two cell) lipo has a voltage of 7.4V, and consequently a 3S Lipo has 11.1V and so on
You can use this info to determine about how many rotations your motor will turn by multiplying your motor's kv rating by your battery's V rating. In my case that is 280kv x 11.1 = 3106 RPM max
Alright, now for the meaning of series, and how it differs from parallel.
Parallel and Series is how the cells of your battery or set-up is wired. I will again use my batteries as an example.
Series vs. Parallel:
Series is when the + of one battery and - of another battery are connected, with the - of the first battery and the + of the second battery hooked up to whatever you want to power (My ESC in this case). (See diagram###) This combines the voltage of both batteries. So if I wired my two 11.1V batteries in series, I would end up getting a total of 22.2V to my ESC. This can literally DOUBLE the RPM of my motor.
However, keep in mind that your ESC needs to be able to handle twice the amount of voltage for ONE battery if you hook up two batteries wired in series to it. (two 3S batteries in series combine to make one 6S battery)
Warning: If you get two 6S batteries, wire them in series, then hook them up to your ESC, this will 'create' a single 12S battery. And unless your ESC can handle 12S batteries, well, I don't want to think about the results for now. Just remember wiring in Series increases cell count. Make sure your ESC is compatible with the max cell count you plan to be using in series!
And yes, my two 5000mAh batteries DO add up to 'create' a single 10000mAh battery, however because they now have an output voltage of 22.2 instead of 11.1, they drain twice as fast, and therefore they can really only be counted as a single 5000mAh battery in longevity terms. (I have no idea if driving slower (like, under 22.2 volts?) will change this. Seek an expert for details XD)
Parallel is where the + of one battery and the + of another battery are both hooked up to the - Side of the ESC, and the - of one battery and the - of the other battery are both hooked up to the + side of the ESC. (See diagram###) Unlike the Series, which combines both the batteries' voltage, parallel combine's their Amperage (capacity). So if I wired both of my 5000mAh batteries in Parallel, I would 'create' a single 10000mAh battery. This is essentially double the capacity of a single 5000mAh battery, and will therefore increase your ride time by 100%
Unlike wiring in Series, You can wire as many batteries as you please without harming your ESC. However be aware of two things: Because you ARE doubling your run time, be sure your ESC wont heat up with this long continuous use. Also DONT combine different kinds of batteries, such as LiPo with NiMH or NiCD. Lipo should be wired with LiPo, NiMH with NiMH and so on.
This all sounds complicated, I know. To be honest, I did not get the whole concept of parallel/series wiring and how they diffred until looking at how you can charge more then one battery at the same time in parallel (not recommended), and reading more about the INSIDE of LiPo.
Don't worry if you don't remember/get this stuff. I leave you with this quick refrence site that REALLY helped me, and gives invaluable information and understanding on Lipos, their Ratings, Voltage, Parallel vs, Series, chargers, and WAY more then I could cover here! (after all, this is a BUILD journal, not a Science report ;D )
Read it well, I can guarantee you WONT regret it!
Step 8: ...And the Controller/Receiver, Plus Other Bits N' Pieces
So, you got the works, now you need to control it, via your hand!
Enter: HK-GT2B 3CH 2.4GHz Transmitter and Receiver
This is a great package, It's a Transmitter (remote) that comes with he receiver that you hook up to your ESC. However, probably the best thing this has to offer, is the fact that it comes with a re-chargeable 3.7 volt battery (and USB charging cord). Which means, No more messing around with AA batteries!
Quick quiz: Lets see how good you where reading! If this battery is 3.7V, how many cells dose it contain? Don't know? Scroll up and re-read the part on LiPo Batteries! For those of you who do know/remember, great! Read on!
The remote has three channels to choose from, and a whole bunch of other options/settings that we don't even need for this build.
Needless to say, its a good, cheap buy, and it's also popular among DIY electric skateboard builds!
Other Bits and Pieces:
I bought a few extra pieces to go with my build. Some for convenient building, and others for convenient riding!
Series/ Parallel Lipo Adapters:
I wanted to experiment with the different voltage/range I get from wiring my batteries in Series or Parallel. In some builds I have read about, people solder their own wiring. However I didn't want the complications of soldering. Plus, I wanted to be able to easily switch adapters depending on what I wanted to accomplish on my ride for the time. If I wanted to go fast, I would use the Series adapter, if I wanted to go far, I would use the parallel adapter. I could also easily switch adapters in the middle of my ride. Just stop, flip the board over, Open the electronics' housing, unplug one adapter, plug the desired adapter in, close the housing, flip board, get back on board, and go!
First, the Series adapter: 4mm Bullet banana Series Lipo Battery Adapter
If you want double the voltage amount of one of your LiPo packs, just connect two lipo packs to two of the plug-ins on this adapter, and plug your ESC into the third. Wala, double voltage, no need to wire/solder anything! (Remember, don't exceed the voltage rating of your ESC, EVER)
Then the Parallel adapter: 4mm Bullet banana Parallel Lipo Battery Adapter
If you want double the capacity of one of your LiPo packs, just connect two of them to the two far connectors on this adapter, and plug the last connector (where the other two meet up) into your ESC. Wala, double the capacity, and no need to wire/solder anything.
4mm Bullet Banana Male to Deans Female connector
Because ESC had a male Deans connector, (and so did my charger) I decided to get a 4mm Bullet Banana Male to Deans Female connector. This way I would not have to re-solder on 4mm Banana plugs to my ESC, or buy a charging adapter!
2 x 3S - 6S Splitter JST-XH
The name sounds complicated, but really it's pretty simple. If you have read up on Lipo batteries, you will probably have noted that there are smaller wires coming from the back of your Lipo Battery (Balance plugs). These are connected directly to each of the cells in your LiPo pack, and plug into your charger. They tell the charger how 'full' each cell is, so your charger can charge and/or balance them. This way you don't over charge one cell, and leave the other undercharged. I got this 2 x 3S - 6S Splitter JST-XH adapter so I could connect both of my battery's 3S balance plugs, and 'create' a single 6S battery. Why? So I could connect my:
Lipo Battery Voltage Monitor Meter
Using a LiPo battery past it's safe operating voltage can shorten, or in worst case, ruin, your battery. I got this Lipo Battery Voltage Monitor Meter so I could tell approximately how far I had de-charged my batteries, and therefore get the most out of them, without dangerously under-charging them!
Step 9: My Goals. What About Your Own Design?
Some people want to go slower and cruise at a normal longboard clip, also able to power carve up steep hills.
Others are speed demons, wishing to rip down pretty flat stretched of road at 25+mph
My goal was to create a board that was stable at higher speeds. (Tighter trucks)
Could reach speeds higher then 15mph, (Maybe even 20) with just me on it (I am about 140lbs with clothes on, no extra loading)
10+mph with my backpack fully loaded with this semester's college books/supplies + laptop. (An additional 20-30lbs)
Be able to board over small hills/inclines. (An overpass would be pushin it, (without the backpack) but I hoped it would be able to do for town riding)
Capable of turning a sidewalk corner. (Sounds easy, rather hard to achieve with tighter trucks)
What about you? What are YOUR goals?
Speed? Power? Range? Will you be using this board almost every day? Or is this just a fun unconventional mode of transport?
This is where you get to think about personalizing YOUR board!
There are tons of options for motors, each with it's different power, speed, and tourque.
Then all those ESCs! Do you want more braking/acceleration/voltage cut-off functions?
And what about those batteries? More mAh = longer power = better range. More C-Rating = faster energy out = faster motor.
And don't forget the Series and Parallel wiring methods!
Then the main part = the longboard/skateboard it's self! Will you design yours? Paint job? Grip tape design? Do you want people to say "wow, look at that board! its beautiful!"? or a more "totally rebel and rad!"?
I have merely introduced you to the options, pointed you to other research sites. Now it's your turn to act!
Dual/Single motor? Do plan to fit two motors on the same truck? Do you have space? Need wider trucks? Perhaps some 10in Trucks?(254mm) More power?
Speed? How fast do you want to go? Do you need to get places faster?
Power? Are you, *ahem* heavier? Or do you want to go up steeper hills?
Range? Do you want to go on long rides? Is your destination farther?
Weight? Will you be carrying this board on/off other transportation (bus, train). Will you be carrying this down some sidewalks, stairs, up hills, or university/college campuses?
Height/clearance? Will you be jumping off curbs? Do you want to ride low? Bigger/Smaller wheels?
Terrain? Will you be cruising over nice paved roads? Worn, old roads? Off road? Do you need pneumatic tires?
Control? Will you be using a RC vehicle controller? Bluetooth? Phone? Arduino?
Adjustability? More adjustable options on your ESC? Braking? Acceleration? Battery cell voltage cut-off? Reverse?
Aesthetics? Will your board be shaped like a dragon? Custom grip tape? Do you want a cover for your electronics? An LED Under-glow on your board? Headlights for night driving? Do ya want flames shooting out from the back of your board? (Flames not emitted from burning batteries mind you)
Accessories? USB Charger for charging phone/controller/speakers? LED Underglow?
And if your REALLY creative, Other functions? Will it fold in half? Become a jet plane? Strap onto a bike/backpack? Have a magnetic hanger so you can hang it on a wall? Transform into a beautiful unicorn able to wield it's magic horn power against the dark forces of Cookietron and his evil pulse-blender minions?
Step 10: Aquiring the Board; Wheel Modification.
Well, if one is gonna make an electric longboard, one MAY want to GET a longboard to electrify.
Enter: My renovated Longboard.
You can check out my renovation project here!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with that project, Ill give you a quick breakdown:
I bought an old longboard from a garage sale. I then stripped it down and did a custom paint and grip tape job. I painted Phantom Lace (A female unicorn zombie character from one of my stories (You wont find the story online, yet, ;D)) I also switched out the old trucks/wheels with some awesome 90mm Bigfoot wheels and Paris Trucks off of Ebay.
Tip: Why did I choose 90mm? Well I wanted that extra clearance between the ground and the bottom of my deck for electronics. Also if the large pulley was bolted to smaller wheels, there would be less clearance between the ground and the pulley rim. This would also bringing your belt closer to the ground, leaving it vulnerable to getting nicked by bad roads/rocky terrain. Plus the danger of sucking up a wayward pebble and subsequently jamming your drive system, sending you flying, and ripping up your pulley's teeth, not to mention wrecking havoc on your belt.
On the flip side, you may want a lower board so your center of gravity is closer to the ground, resulting in a slightly more stable ride!
You may want to take these dangers into consideration before getting YOUR wheels.
Anyway, This was going to be the canvas I was going to work off of. However I had to modify the wheels so they could be turned by the motor. This is done by sandwiching the wheel between two large washers and a large pulley with bolts fed through holes drilled into the washers and pulley.. I used sixe .25 inch by 2.50 inch hex bolts, fitted through.
WARNING: When possible use a CNC machine to get perfect hole positioning. And/or be sure to have adequate measuring tools available. This will save you tons of time and sweat (And I do mean TONS of time and sweat)
First I took some measurements from the wheel so I could try and use the holes which were already in the wheel’s design. However I didn’t have very good measuring tools available to me at the time so I ended up pretty
much guessing, making sure to error toward the outside of the inner wheel.
I marked the position of the center of each of the six holes around the ring of my 2.25 inch OD washer. I then centered my 2.5 inch OD Washer underneath and sandwiched them together with some random tape. I then took it to the drill press, and with a .25 inch drill bit I began drilling six holes through both washers, using my markings as a guide. Unfortunately as the measurements for my hole positioning where by no means perfect the washer’s
holes only lined up when flipped and rotated to the correct alignment. Which meant, with six holes and two sides to each washer I had 12 different combinations, of which only one was correct. I ended up making a small divet
near one of the holes of the 2.25 inch washer using the drillpress, and then making another divet next to the corrospinding hole of the 2.5 washer. This made finding the correct alignment extremely simple. Just find the correct side (Divets up) and find the the hole in each washer that has a divet next to it. Then just line the holes up and your good!
I then measured the thickness of the Longboard Truck’s axle which was about ( ) and found a corresponding drill bit. I then took the large pulley, and using the drill press I drilled a hole right down the middle. I then took the larger washer, setting it on top and taping it down to the large pulley. Then, using the already drilled holes in the washer as a guide, I drilled the same six holes into the large pulley.
Hint: I recommend you switch the order in which I drilled the holes in the large pully. Instead of drilling out the middle first like I did, I recommend you drill the outer holes with the washer first. This way you can use that middle shaft of the pulley to further steady the washer as it probably fits up and through the washers inner bolt hole.
After drilling the six bolt holes through the pulley I made a small notch on the rim across from the hole that would corrospnd to the hole of the large washer, this way I would know how to line up the pulley in relation to both washers. However, because the bolt holes where not perfectly measured from the center of the washer, they also ended up not perfectly centered from the pulley (Though the holes from the washer/pulley lined up
perfectly) This meant that some of the holes in the pulley where closer to the edge rim then others, when the bolts where pushed through, the hex head’s would hit the edge of the rim and not screw in completely. I ended up grinding one side of most of the bolts just so they could fit in the inside of the pulley’s edge. (yay!) This also meant that only a few certain bolts could correctly fit in a few certain holes of the pulley. So when repeatedly threading bolts through the pulley, I learned to guess which bolt fit where by looking at how much I had ground off each bolt and how close each bolt hole was positioned to the edge of the pulley.
Next up was bolting the washers and pulley to the wheel. WAY easier said and done, and this is where time REALLY started getting wasted. (And I thought hole alignment was bad enough)
Because I had not been able to get the correct measurement of the distance between the center of the wheel and the small holes around the center of the wheel, I had errored the drilled holes of my washers to the outside by about .12 of an inch I had to extend the six wheel holes toward the outside! I did this by first drilling down through each wheel hole (toward the outside part of the hole). Then, using the spinning drill bit as a make-shift file, I started ‘shaving’ the sides of each hole as needed so the bolts could align between the washers on either side of
This was the worst (and needlessly long) part of the entire build. I would stick the bolts through the pulley, 2.5 inch washer, and wheel, then try and align then to the holes in the 2.25 inch washer on the other side. Then, after making some marks on the wheel of which wheel bolt hole needed adjusting and which direction, I would take out the bolts, and would again shave away the side of each hole. It became a game of align and shave, me vs.
wheel bolt holes.
It was, hell.
(Excuse the extremely blunt term there, but it’s true.)
Some time later, I FINALLY got the bolts to align with the washer and go through the washer’s holes (with some coaxing on the part of a rubber mallet and flat head screwdriver.)
The entire pulley and washers to wheel drilling and assembly took close to three hours. No joke.
But don’t let that scare you. I trust your smarter then me and will find ways to NOT have to drill holes through the wheel. And if you are not smarter then me, take my warning and take the time to get the proper
measuring tools so you can align the bolt holes of the washers and pulley with the holes of the wheel!
Please, for your sanity!
Step 11: Ordering the Elecronics
Around the time of renovating the board I decided to start ordering the electronics.
Step 12: The Motor Mount Part 1: Problems
I already knew I wanted to make it out of 1/4 inch aluminum (about 6mm)
Unfortunately I couldn't find 1/4 inch aluminum at Home Depot, Lowes, or anywhere else in my town. The nearest place that sold 1/4 inch aluminum was about a hour+ drive away. Not really convenient, at all!
So I turned to Amazon, and found this:
I ordered it, and it came in about 16 days later.
During that time I began looking for a motor mount design. I found one made by cosma42 (see above)
It was pretty simple, just six holes, one to go over the pairs trucks, one for the motor shaft, and four for the motor attachment screws.
However, like always, I wanted to go better.
First of all, I wanted to plan and prepare for any future changes, such as experimenting with different sized pulleys/belts. This would mean I would have to have a good range of give for accommodating the different lengths of belts and sizes of pulleys I might use in the future.
I also wanted to be able to adjust my belt tension according to need. I didn't want it to be to tight and put strain on the motor/belt. I also didn't want it to be to loose and end up letting the belt skip pulley teeth (cogging)
So I took my ideas, and cosma42's mount dimensions into Sketchup (A FREE to download and easy to use 3D design software) and made my own mount design.
First I experimented with widening the length of the motor mount holes (Screw holes/motor shaft hole) to let the motor slide along the mount. (like Treyisgolfing's drawn diagram above)
Unfortunately I found that on the Turnigy motors, the screw holes are set (linearly) VERY close to the motor shaft (see notes in the pictures above)
Whereas the Alien Drive motor in Treyisgolfing's build gives more space between the shaft and mount holes.
This meant that the holes where so close in fact that it left very little, if any metal on the mount between screw holes and the shaft hole. So my motor sliding technique was out of the question for large adjustments.
Step 13: The Motor Mount Part 2: Solved
I decided to go with the mount sliding technique, where the mount is separated into two pieces. One half is welded/connected to the trucks. The other half is screwed to the motor. They are connected together with bolts that are slipped through holes drilled in the truck side of the mount, and set through slots in the motor side of the mount with washers. By loosening the bolts, you can slide the motor side of the mount forward and backward, thus adjusting the tension on the belt.
I created my final version, and with some testing, figured out how much slide I could get between the motor and the truck axel.
My finished concept design tells me I will get about 3mm of motor backward slide, and 11-12mm of forward slide. (See above)
Motor mount dimensions and the 3D model (with included dimensions) are included in the .skp (Sketchup) file provided at the end of this instructable!
Tip: In total you need a length of metal at least 183mm long (7.2in)
I now had to get my digital 3D model into the real world.
I printed off these diagrams and headed out to the garage...
I wish I had a 3D printer...
Step 14: The Motor Mount Part 3: Creation of Truck Half
My arsenal of tools was:
No CNC machine whatsoever :c I would have to make do...
MAJOR WARNING: Before I begin, I just want to make this really clear. Grinding/cutting metal causes friction which causes heat. In this case a REALLY good amount of heat, and I do mean GOOD amount of heat. Also aluminum is an amazing conductor of this heat. when your drilling/cutting the aluminum, try NOT to hold it with your bare hands.
Also when you get to grinding the bolt heads down be sure to let them cool sufficiently. I accidently touched one a few minuets after grinding the head down, and I still have a flat mark on my finger from where the side of the hex head 'melted' some skin.
If you know what I'm talking about, be careful and makes sure to cool the metal sufficiently before touching it (glass of water?) or, use gloves and/or pliers to manipulate the pieces you are modifying!
First off I took the aluminum bar (3 inches by 12 inches) and put a few strips of tape over it. This way I could measure and pencil out my design right on the aluminum bar as pencil dose not work on aluminum that well. I then took it to the drill press and started drilling. As I did, I created a bunch of shiny aluminum particles. I had the idea of putting them in a clear Christmas ball later on!
As I drilled I remembered that aluminum was an amazing conductor of heat, and I ended up utilizing some leather gloves to try and protect myself from the heat. Still the heat came through and I had to take a few breaks.
I started out by drilling four bolt holes, and finished with the Truck axel hole.
I finished drilling and took off the tape to reveal a nice, clean looking set of holes. Time to grind it out!
Using the angle grinder I made a cut down and a cut from the right, essentially cutting out the piece with a really beaten up side. I made sure to cut it a bit wider so I could grind it down smoother/flatter.
I then began cutting out the bevel so the edge could slide closer to the motor.
The piece was so hot that the bit of random packaging plastic I used to keep the bench clamp's clamps off (to avoid leaving a criss-cross design on my aluminum) melted!
Despite my gloves I had to use a wrench to pick it up and douse it in a rain puddle outside!
(FINALLY! CALIFORNIA NEEDS THE RAIN!)
Anyway, I was proud of the semi-finished product, and began working on the other half of the motor mount,
Step 15: The Motor Mount Part 3: Creation of Motor Half
I began with the motor mount half.
I clearly remembered the pain of re-drilling/grinding out the holes for my wheel assembly when the holes didn't line up. I did NOT want to end up doing THAT again. This time I prepared as best as possible.
I taped then drew of the aluminum, same as last time, using the measuring triangle to get my hole positions.
I then started with drilling the motor mount holes, which had to be rather precise to the screws could slide through them and screw into the motor. To get them as exact as possible I used the motor-to-plane mount that was shipped along with the motor (this IS a RC plane motor ;) ) I taped the mount onto the aluminum and using the holes as a guide, I drilled right through them. I ended up with four perfect holes.
I then un-taped the RC motor mount and taped on the truck mount half that I had previously built. I then drilled directly through the bolt holes to establish the general sliding cutout I would need for grinding later. I then drilled the motor shaft hole.
I again used the angle grinder to cut out the aluminum piece, using a hand saw to get the finishing cut finished safely. In the sixth picture you can see where I used the pliers to hold the aluminum piece. Man that thing was HOT! You can also clearly see how I used the four drilled bolt holes to line out the bolt sliding groove.
I then began grinding the grooves by drilling holes between the lines where the groove will be. After that I started grinding down and to each side of each line of holes. This got me a pretty reasonable pair of grooves where the bolts will slide!
Tip: Try drilling a final hole right at the end of the groove marks. That way you can just grind to that holes and stop. This way you will end up with a nice curved end on the groove, unlike me where I ended up finishing the end of the groove with the grinder which is not the most precise tool ever...
I finished up by smoothing and straightening the sides of the bracket, and slightly widening and smoothing the bolt sliding grooves as well. I also ground down the middle piece of aluminum between the bolt grooves so it could slide closer to the skateboard's truck, after which I created a nice curve at the motor end of the whole piece. It was about 8 when I finished with both pieces. Having started at about 5 I figured it took me about three hours to drill/cut/grind both pieces to semi-done status. I decided to wait till the next day to start hand filing down the sharper edges and make it look better.
Step 16: Mounting the Motor
Like I said earlier, I try and plan for any future innovations/additions, the positioning of the motor mount on the truck was no exception.
I did some careful measuring on my trucks, and found, if I made sure everything was snug, plus a few washers, I could fit my Turnigy SK3 5055-280, with space for another Turnigy SK3 5055-280 motor for a dual rear drive. In theory this left me with 2mm between backs of each motor, yikes! A tight squeeze, but very do-able!
The above diagram shows the spacing between the midline of the trucks (the red triangle) and the 1/4 inch aluminum plate if I used the single-piece motor mount WITHOUT adding washers to the drive wheel. I was going to add a 2mm gap between the aluminum and pulley for the screw heads under the motor pulley, but will now be using the gap for the flat heads of the sliding bolts. When I add a few millimeters of washers to the drive wheel's shaft, I would be able to squeeze in a bit more space for dual 280kv motor. Awesome!
Anyway, when I tested screwing my motor onto the motor mount, I found it fit perfectly! However, when I tried sliding the pulley on to the motor I found that the shaft hole was to small and the pulley had to sit 1/4 inch from the motor, totally ruining my plan for a future dual-drive. Confused, I looked back at cosma42's instructable, and found that he had positioned the pulley OUTSIDE of the edge of the aluminum plate as well, which meant his hole drilled for the shaft was just slightly to small. Then I realized why he had the pulley's edge set outside the metal. The small worm screw that held the pulley onto the shaft of the motor had to be tightened down, and in order to do this you would have to access it with an allen wrench or the like. Plus the screw heads sat outside of the aluminum, about extending about 2mm from the surface. This would also block the pulley from being flush with the metal.
Because of the possible future plan of dual raring my board, I needed the motor as close to the side as possible, which meant that the pulley had to be as close to the motor as it's shaft would allow.
I did not feel like getting so easily defeated.
To get the pulley flush with the metal I would first of all have to do away with the screw heads which se aluminum.at half way under the pulley. This was a simple fix. I just found a drill bit that was about the width of the screw head, and drilled down about 2mm. This allowed the screw to sit under the surface of the aluminum.
Also I figured out how to get the pulley flush with the motor. (When the pulley was flush with the motor, there was a little more then 1/4 of an inch between the pulley wall and the motor head, enough for the aluminum to be set between.) I widened the shaft hole so the pulley shaft could slide in. However I had the problem of tightening the set screws on the pulley. I solved this by cutting a groove into the aluminum, connecting to the shaft hole. This way I was able to slower the pulley onto the motor shaft, into the aluminum shaft hole, and be able to tighten it by sticking a long allen headed screw driver through the groove and tightening the screw down on the motor shaft.
I also ground another flat spot on the motor shaft so I could screw in the pulley's second set screw into the shaft, and prevent it from skipping.
However the troubles did not stop there. I noticed that the bolt heads kept the large wheel pulley from being flush with the aluminum. To do this I had to grind slots 1/3 of the way through the aluminum plate, on either side so the Hex bolt overlap could sink right in. Also I ground down the bolt head down so it could sit flush with the aluminum. (See the pictures above)
If I wanted to dual drive the SK3 280kv, I have to take the wheel off and add 3 washers to push the wheel and wheel pulley out. Then I need to space out the motor half of the mount from the truck half of the mount. This pushes the motor out, allowing a bit of space (if any) from the middle of the truck.
To put it all together I have to screw the motor onto the motor half of the mount. I then push the pulley down onto the motor shaft (the set screws are already in the pulley, just unscrewed enough to let the pulley slide onto the shaft.) Then I turn the motor so one of the flat parts of the shaft is face up. I then rotate the pulley with the set screw face up. I then tighten the pulley set screw onto the shaft by inserting a tool into the gap in the aluminum. I slide the four bolts into the motor half of the mount and add the washers if needed. I then loop the drive belt over the small pulley and the large pulley and slide wheel onto the truck as well as push the four bolts and washers into the truck half of the motor. I then screw the locking bolts to the other side of the truck mount half and tighten them as well as screwing on the wheel's axel nut.
Now I just needed a guy to weld the truck half of the motor mount onto the skateboard trucks, But first I had to position the truck side of the motor mount perfectly. I took a small bit of 2x4 wood, cut it in half, and screwed them down, one on top of the other. I then screwed that on a flat plywood board, center forward. I then slid the motor mount bracket on, and bolted on the motor half to the truck half of the motor mount. I measured it to the length of the pulley to wheel pulley, then took the wheel back off and tightened the sliding bolts. I then screwed the motor mount to the side of the two by fours, through the motor mount holes. I then positioned the truck mount so that the motor mount slid to its correct position on the truck axel, after which I screwed the truck down to the plywood board (axel up) with it's forward edge (the side I wanted to mount the motor) toward the two 2x4s. This held the motor mount in the correct position and kept it stable to ensure a good weld.
I left a note and a wrench and screwdriver with the guy and let him know that he had to weld the far half of the truck mount before loosening the washers and unscrewing the two 2x4 pieces, effectively removing the motor mount half so he could weld the other side of the truck mount.
I was worried about the plastic getting melted or burnt. However it turned out just fine.
I unscrewed the modified truck from the plywood with glee.
With my truck and motor mount FINALLY welded together I was ready to put everything together!
Step 17: Putting Most of the Longboard Together
I took the motor and mount and mounted the motor and wheel onto the truck along with the belt. However I left out the extra washers on the axel and motor mount because I didn't need the space as I was not dual driving as of now.
I then screwed the entire truck/motor/motor mount/wheel assembly onto the back of the deck.
Now I had to carry the electronics somewhere...
I made a quick 'Tail carry' Essentially a small lunchbag to which I sewed Velcro on. I then stuck this to Velcro I had taped down to the tail of my board. Tail carry!
I threw the electronics into the bag for now. While the I planned to use the tail carry to carry any random stuff (wallet, water bottle, tools, spare batteries, spare wiring, charger) I decided it could carry the electronics up until I started building the enclosure..
It worked well, but I left it partially unzipped to let any heat from the electronics dissipate.
I also refrained from showing anyone my build quite yet. I wanted to get the entire thing finished before I cruised downtown. (vanity, I know XD)
I finally got to making the electronics enclosure.
The tail carry could be used for it's own purpose now!
Step 18: Wiring the Electronics
The electronics wiring was a pretty simple task, But I made a pretty diagram which is provided above, for your convenience. (complete with a USB adapter add-in that I never got to ;) _
First I connected the motor and the ESC together. I had to use some 5mm-4mm adapters as the ESC has 5mm female bullet connectors, and the motor had 4mm male bullet connectors. I wrapped them in some electrician's tape to make a temporary guard against any shorts.
Then I attached Bullet connector to Deans connector adapter to the ESC's Deans power lines. This way I was able to hook the ESC to the Lipo batteries/series-parallel adapters as they all had bullet connectors. I could have cut the Deans connector off and soldered some banana connectors on, but as my charger did not come with banana charging connectors I decided to leave the deans connector on the ESC. (The charger came with a Deans charging connector)
The rest is all optional depending on the set up. For me I could hook up the parallel Lipo wire harness, or the Series Lipo wire harness. For example if I also wanted to run the USB adapter on the circuit I could one end of the parallel to the USB, and the other to the Lipos wired in Series.
I also used the 6-3 Lipo charging adapter to each of the Lipo battery, to which I then connected the voltage monitor. This way I could get a rough idea of how much juice I would have in total, on the fly.
I tried to keep everything as neat as possible, bunching up some of the extra wiring with zip ties. I planned to try and fit everything into one of those plastic boxes with the little sliders that slide in to make smaller organization boxes. I would use this to separate out the batteries, ESC, and wires, plus any spare items, (tools, other stuff, cash even? o.o) that I might need/want. At least until I get the energy/inspiration to make my own container, possibly out of (painted) wood.
Step 19: Building the Electronics Cover.
Because I did not have acess to any firberglass stuff, I decided I would make my electronics housing from painted wood. However I later decided to instead make a sharp looking cover from aluminum. Something like the one PracticalProjects made for his DIY Electric Skateboard.
I started by buying some aluminum diamond plated sheeting. This would function as both the bottom and the top of the electronics cover. I also bought a black gutter guard mesh thing. This would be the front and back of the enclosure, ensuring good airflow for the ESC.
I needed a way to hold the enclosure onto the bottom of the board. I also wanted an easy semi-quick toolless way to open the bottom of the cover to allow access to the electronics.
In the end I figured out a way to do both.
I used a 2 inch flat headed Philips machine screw. I would drill a hole through the board, thread the screw through the board, then slide a 1 inch spacer onto the screw. I then screwed a 3/4 inch coupling nut onto the last bit of the machine screw. The bottom of the electronics cover (The top when the board is upright) is held between the board and the spacer. The spacer/coupling nut combo provides a good two inches of space off the bottom of the board. The top of the electronics cover (the part that is closest to the ground when the board is upright) sits against the coupling nut.
I wanted to find a way to be able to remove the cover plate for the electronics, so I decided to get a machine bolt that had a wing nut head. Unfortunately I could not find a wing bolt thingy that was the same size as my coupling nut. Ended up making my own.
I just took a 1/4 inch flat headed Philips machine screw threaded it all the way through the top of a 10-24 wing nut so that about 3/16 in of the screw protruded from the bottom of the wing nut. I then tightened the wing nut and screw together really tight to ensure they wouldn't separate. I planned to use some glue or epoxy to really hold them together but they held tight as was.
This make-shift wing screw would be slid through a mount hole drilled in the cover and screwed into the coupling nut, holding the cover plate on.
I used five of theses board mount screw/spacer/coupler combos to hold the entire electronics cover on. One for each corner, and one for the middle.
I used a section of the diamond plated aluminum as the bottom of the cover to keep the electronics off the board, and the other section as the 'lid'.
I planed to hit the entire thing with some primer and some black gloss spray paint. However it looked pretty sharp as was, so I decided to leave it alone
Step 20: Adjustable Motor Mount Diagrams + 3D Model File
I initially made my motor mount designs in Sketchup a FREE 3D design program.
To be honest, this was the first time I actually used Sketchup for the purpose of designing something. Usually I just made spaceships for fun.
I felt like a pro, entering in millimeters and other measurements.
Anyway, take em, and if you want see if you can maybe even enter them into a CNC machine, save yourself some time and energy ;)
Step 21: [NEW!] Programing the ESC
I have gotten quite a few questions about actually syncing the ESC to the motor.
There is no instructions in the ESC manual, nor are there any online. So I sat down for an afternoon and figured out the correct way to sync the ESC/motor to the remote.
The sequence is as shown in the above image (instrucables's copy/paste is finicky, so I cannot just paste my write-up here)
First off, make sure your motor and ESC are connected in a way that the wires will not come apart. This will cause the motor to 'vibrate'
If your motor vibrates, it usually means one of the three wires have come undone.
Also, connect your ESC to a battery, then start the above process!
After completing the steps above, you should be able to move forward at 100% speed. Have a working break function, and have reverse-from-a-stop at around 50% speed.
Step 22: Statistics
Alright! Now for the numbers!
Weight: 13 lbs.
Clearance; Ground to electronics casing: 2 in.
Clearance; Ground to board: 4 in.
Top Speed: 19mph
Cruising speed: 16mph
Range: 5 miles
Power: 1510 Watts
Batteries: x2 3S (11.1 Volts) OR x1 6S (22.2 Volts)
Wheel size: 90mm
First I record the distance/speed and stuff for the two lipos wired in series, then Ill do the same for the batteries wired in parallel!
Both 3S, 5000mAh batteries in series.
Top speed: 18.95mph
Average Speed: 16.35
Range: 5.01 miles (at full speed the entire time)
Ride Time: Approximately 17 minuets (At full speed the entire time)
Maximum Grade Level: Unknown
Both 3S, 5000mAh batteries in parallel.
Top speed: Unknown (theoretically half the speed of the 3S in series)
Average Speed: Unknown (theoretically half the speed of the 3S in series)
Range: Unknown (theoretically twice the range of the 3S in series)
Ride Time: (theoretically twice the ride time of the 3S in series)
Maximum Grade Level: Unknown (same as the 3S in series)
Step 23: Finished Pictures and Final Thoughts
Man, It feels so good to be pretty much done.
At least the thing MOVES now.
Anyway, as always, Im quite proud of my build.
It goes about 19mph
Its funny. I WAS going just 9mph, but I realized I had calibrated the remote throttle wrong. After A bit of messing around I was able to get it right. This meant that I now had break, reverse, AND a top speed of 19mph. (Before hand I had forward at 9mph, no breaks or reverse, and when the trigger was at the neutral position, the board would run at half speed.
Hint: If your board is going substantially too slow, try recalibrating your throttle.
Now it IS great!
The best part is when I turn it on. It beeps a few times, and causes random people to look around to see where the beeping is coming from. And as the board looks like a regular board from the top, they never know.
The highlight so far was when this college guy was hanging out side of my work place, waiting for his family to pick up the kids from the roller rink. As I don't have a parking lot near my house, I like to do laps after work, or just roll down to the Dutch Brothers. He got quite excited when he saw me roll by and wanted a closer look. Aparently he had seen one of these things on Facebook. Seeing he was a good skateboarder, I figured I'd let him have a go at it. He jumped at the chance, and was soon doing laps in the parking lot, hooting and hollering.
Made more of a scene the board its self, heh.
Anyway, made his day, and mine!
Step 24: Real Life Updates
9/28/15 - I found that the ESC came with 5.5mm bullet connectors, incompatible with the 4mm bullet connectors the motor has. I grabbed some 4-5mm bullet adapters from Amain hobbys, and with a bit of electrical tape got it to work! My main problem is when it becomes loose, the motor starts cutting in and out rapidly, sounds like the whole thing is coming apart. What a noise!
A simple re-adjustment of the wires fixes the problem!
10/2/15 - One of the wires on the motor mount got rubbed down against the aluminum, electrical tape solved the problem!
10/8/15 - One of the bullet connectors for the motor broke off the wire itself, just a simple re-solder fix!
10/14/15 - a friend's little brother picked off some paint on the bottom of the board. Miss Lace looks a bit more zombie like! XD
10/22/15 - I found that I had calibrated my remote to the ESC wrong! I recalibrated it, and now the board goes 19mph instead of the 9mph it had originally be going! It also has breaks AND reverse as well! WHOOT WHOOT! However, in my excitement, I ripped up the drive belt on some high torque up-hill accelerations. (Idiot me) Ordering 2 new belts (one just in case ;)
11/15/15 - Am I glad I bought a spare belt! I killed my next one doing another high-torque start up an overpass with slightly decreased tension. From now on I am riding with full tension. (I first thought that high tension would put more strain on the motor, I guess I would rather strain the motor slightly then keep killin' belts)
12/01/15 - While I was charging one of the Lipos, I noticed that a balancing wire had been pulled out of the battery. I decided it was not the best idea to open the battery up and re-solder it, so I have been using it as-is. So far it has worked quite well! I keep a closer eye on it as I charge it.
12/23/15 - I got good news and bad news... The good news is that my area of California has gotten (lots) of much needed water with all the rain storms!! The bad news? My younger brother took the board through the rain, and as the housing is not waterproof, the ESC is now shot. I will have to go back and buy another ESC. *sigh*
2/23/16 - I finally just soldered the motor-to-ESC wires. They are never coming apart, ever, unless you un-solder them of course. I also decided to brave it and solder that battery's balancing wire. It was quite easy actually, and I never had to go close to the cells!
IM BORED WHEN I CANT BUILD BOARDS! XD
2/4/19 - Holy crap! It's been a minute eh?
I really want to articulate, that this board was on a SMALL budget. A big thing with small budgets is that you can only afford cheaper stuff. Cheap stuff will break, burn out, or not function as well (with less options too) as the more expensive stuff.
Things such as Electric Longboard SPECIFIC speed controllers - VESCs have come down in price over the years, and the technology has been smoothened by hundreds of users. Look into getting those instead of a cheap ESC that may burn out easy.
Also purpose built motors with 3x the torque strength (easy) work WONDERS both speed-wise and torque-wise. You will NOT regret paying more
Because of this, I would NOT recommend buying the ESC/Motor shown in this instructable. They were cheap.
That being said, this was my first build, I was young, and this has gotten so many views that I feel I should leave this instructable up!
Take the information you find here and learn it, yes. But do NOT cheap out. Trust me. ;) A build twice that cost 75% more then this one will yield results that are more then twice as fast, 100x more reliable, and 1000% more cool! Go read the forums listed in my research above and see what there is to see and learn!
Cheers my dudes and dudettes, take care!