University of Cincinnati CCM Technical Director Senior Capstone Automated Skateboard

Introduction: University of Cincinnati CCM Technical Director Senior Capstone Automated Skateboard

This is my senior capstone project as  a Technical Director student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
My name is Kate Dalo, I graduated with my BFA in Technical Direction in 2014. Please check out my website.

This is a step by step instructable on how to automate a longboard using a ryobi screw gun, and other assorted materials. Suggested to be built in a metal shop with a variety of tools at your disposal.

What to buy:

1 18V Ryobi Drill and Battery Charger (Home Depot)
1-1163-25             #25-10 10' BOX  OF #25 ROLLER CHAIN  (SurplusCenter)               
2  1-1086-25             #25 OFFSET LINK  (SurplusCenter)                                    
2  1-1087-25             #25 CONNECTING LINK (SurplusCenter)                                     
2  1-2742-23-C           23T 3/8 BORE 25P SPROCKET (SurplusCenter)                             
1  1-2742-36-C           36T 3/8 BORE 25P SPROCKET  (SurplusCenter)

You will also need:

Longboard, preferably with a kick tail
1/4" Flat stock Plate Steel for motor mount
Solder gun, spool, heat shrink, etc.
1/4" flat head bolts of assorted lengths
3/8" steel rod
Mig Welder
Assorted tools

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Step 1: Step 1 Drill Autopsy

After purchasing your brand new ryobi screw gun, you will need to take it almost completely apart.

Remove all of the screws holding the plastic shell in place. The protective shell should be in 2 pieces, exposing the drills motor, gear box, trigger and clutch component, and battery mount. KEEP YOUR SCREWS.

Using Wirestrippers, cut the red and black wires coming out of either side of the trigger component. This should separate the motor from the trigger, and the battery clips from the trigger.
REMEMBER to leave enough wire on all pieces to solder to.

Next you are going to cut the plastic shell in half, leaving a protective shield for your motor component, and a battery mount. I used a bandsaw and found that it worked very well. 

You will then want to solder on extension wires to the motor and battery clip wires. I gave myself about 5' of wire to start with. Hold off on soldering your end pieces back to the trigger until after your longboard is more assembled.

After your extension wires are soldered on, re attach your 2 pieces of plastic shell to your motor and battery clip.

You should end up with the top half of the drill containing the motor and gear box, and the lower half of the drill with the battery clips and plastic mount. Both pieces should have a black and a red 5' wire.

Save your trigger component for after your longboard is assembled.

Step 2: Step 2 Sprockets

In this step we will attach your sprockets to thier designated components.

You will need your 23T Sprocket, your 36T sprocket, your 3/8" Rod, 1/4" plate steal, a 1/4" twist bit, a countersink, and a welder.

To attach your 23T sprocket to your back wheel of your skateboard, you first need to make a mount out of your 1/4" plate steal. I used a hole saw to cut out a circular piece just a bit smaller in diameter than the actual wheel. 

You then want to weld your 3/8" rod to the center of your plate. Cut the rod to the depth of the sprocket, so the sprocket set screw will have something to dig into, but no rod sticks past.

Then drill 3 1/4" holes through your plate, and countersink for flathead bolts. Now drill the three holes and through your wheel so that your rod spins in the center of the wheel when your plate is bolted on. (see pic)

When you tighten your set screws on your 23T sprocket to the 3/8" rod, it should spin with the wheel with minimal offset and wobble.

To attach your 36T sprocket to your motor, simply cut some 3/8" rod to the combined depth of your ryobi drill chuck, and the depth of the 36T sprocket.

Tighten the ryobi drill chuck to the 3/8" rod as you would any screw gun accessory, then simply slip the sprocket over the 3/8" rod and tighten your set screws.

Step 3: Step 3 Mounting Plate

In this step you will build and weld your plate that attaches your motor to the rear truck of your longboard.

You will need your longboard, 1/4" plate steal, 3/16" twist bit, 3/6" bolts, and a countersink.

The most important part of this step is to make sure your sprockets will line up with each other perfectly, so that your rollerchain does not roll off when your are skating!

Cut your 1/4" plate to 5-6 inches by 3" depending on where you want to place your ryobi motor. 

Using your 3/16" twist bit, drill out the screw holes in your plastic protective shell around your motor. 

I found that by flipping the board upside down I could see how the sprockets lined up, and where I wanted my motor to sit on the plate.

When you are confident in your placement of the motor on the plate, drill out grooves past where your bolts will land to accomodate tentioning  your rollerchain later in the process.

Procede to weld your mounting plate to your rear trucks.
REMOVE YOUR TRUCKS FROM YOUR LONGBOARD BEFORE YOU DO THIS. Otherwise your rubber bushing will melt from the heat. And then you have to go out and buy a new bushing. I did this.

When you are done, you should be able to bolt on your ryobi motor to your mounting plate, and using a screwdriver, adjust the distance between your 2 sprockets.

Step 4: Step 4 Adding Rollerchain

In this step you will complete the drive portion of your longboard.

You will need your rollerchain, pliers, your connecting link, or your offset link.

Using your nifty mounting plate with grooves in it, tighten your motor down so that your sprockets are as close to each other as possible.

Then wrap your rollerchain around the sprockets, and cut it to the correct length, keeping it as tight as possible.

After you have your length cut, using either your connecting link, or your offset link, connect the rolerchain to itself while it is on the sprockets. (use your needlenose pliers)

After your chain is connected, loosen your screws, and slide your 36T sprocket as far away from the wheel as possible before re-tightening to your mount. 

The tighter your rollerchain is on your sprockets, the less likely it is to roll off.

Step 5: Step 5 Mounting the Battery

In this step, you will place and install your battery mount on top of your longboard.

You will need your ryobi battery half, a jig saw, and some 3/4" screws.

Your first step is to cut a hole in your longboard big enough for the stem of your ryobi battery mount to fit through. I placed mine as far back on the board as possible to allow for the most foot room.

Procede to slip the stem through your hole, and place the mount where you want it. Then I simply screwed through the plastic into the board to keep it in place.
Keep in mind that your ryobi battery still needs to clip into this piece, so make sure your screws don't interfere with that.

After your plastic mount is in place, drill a 1/4" hole in your longboard right in front of it. Then feed all of your 5' wire tails through that hole so that they come out of the top of the board.

These wires will all connect to your trigger in the next step.

Step 6: Step 6 Trigger

In this step you will solder your trigger back into your circuit, and create your custom cable length and handle.

You will need the trigger component of the ryobi drill that was removed in step 1, soldering equipment, and a clay hardener of your choice. (I found crayola makes a fun and cheap product for this application)

The first thing you will want to do is decide how long of a cable you want running to your trigger. Stand on your board and hold your 5' tails and see where it feels comfortable. You don't want your cable to entangle in your feet or your motor, or to drag on the ground.

Once you have decided on your length, you will solder your battery wires back into the wires coming out of the bottom of your trigger, and your motor wires to the wires coming out of the top of your trigger, just as they were before you cut them.

Once your wires are solidly connected, your trigger should drive your 36T sprocket through the drill. You can play with your clutch and torque settings on your drill to see what works best. If you reversed your red and black wires in any of your reconnections, you can change the direction of the drill by flipping your reverse switch on top of the trigger component.

Once you are happy with the trigger,  you can make your own custom handle. I found a cheap crayola product that I molded to my hand and let dry overnight. I then used electrical tape to wrap all 4 wires together to make 1 single chord coming out of my longboard.

Please let me know of any questions, or improvements you discover during your process in the comments!
Happy skating.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Cool! I wanted to make one too, but how fast does it go?


    5 years ago

    CCM? This looks like it should've came out of CEAS. Great job - from a fellow 2014 UC grad. BA in ME