How to Make a DIY Electric Skateboard- 8 Proven Steps
This article is a practical guide on some steps you can employ towards building an electric skateboard that is durable enough to carry you from one point to another. If you love to skate, we suggest exploring through the steps below to get a DIY electric skateboard.
Although there are a couple of technicalities involved in building a skateboard, today, we will be breaking each step into bits that are pretty easy to assimilate.
In most cases, it is difficult to get a DIY board at a cheaper and less expensive rate, as most boards with quality appear to be very expensive. If you intend to build a skateboard, you will be required to set up some requirements like affordability, speed, duration, and simplicity. With the listed specification, you are ready to go.
A List of Parts
The following list will be required for an electric skateboard.
- Drive train kit
- Better motor mount
- Extra belt
2x 3S 5000mAh 20C zippy Lipo’s
Remote + Receiver
- 25.2V Laptop adapter
- ESC programmer.
- Battery level indicator
- XT90 anti-spark plug
- 2 meter 12AWG black wire
- 2 meter 12AWG red wire
- Charger port
- Big latching button
- Little momentary button
- – 3s JST-XH balance leads
Toolbox from a hardware store
Anatomy of an Electric Skateboard
Electric skateboard is made up of three essential parts; these are the ESC, the battery and the motor. These three crucial parts are the most essential of all that will require more attention.
The ESC is very simple: you might want to consider the VESC. If you are on a tight budget, you can consider the purchase of the RC car ESC. The ESC is built with space to consider. The highest amperage, which is one of the most dominate ESC electric skateboards.
The device can regulate about 120 Amps, and this will be suitable enough. You will need to consider the maximal amount of voltage. Though this depends wholly on the number of battery cells, you intend to hook up in a series. You can use an ESC; if you prefer a sensor motor.
The last specification you will need is to you will need to give attention to, will be if the ESC has a UBEC. The UBEC allows you to hook up the receiver to the ESC in the absence of an external power source. Although about 75% of ESC is built with UBEC, in some cases, some ESC has no UBEC is it is often a wise opinion to look out for UBEC before making a purchase.
There are two classes of batteries; there are Li-ion and LiPo. Both batteries are built with similar electron potentialities. They both have a similar maximum voltage of about 4, 2V and a normal voltage of 3, 7v. LiPo is very affordable but tends to be more fragile. On the other hand, Li-ion batteries are expensive and less fragile. There are tons of ideas to put into consideration.
Attaching a pulley to the skateboard is a very vital aspect of building an electric skateboard.
The procedure needed to carry this out is very simple, and straight forward, all you will need to do is focus on the right direction and screw tight the pulley very close to the wheel.
We suggest using a brushless DC motor in the electric skateboard. The DC motor is durable enough to supply the necessary power to convey your weight from one point to the other. One of its significant specifications is the presence of a KV ratio. KV means rpm/volt in relation to motor. If you added 10v to 190 KV motor, it will complete 1900 turns on each minute. The higher your KV, the lesser torque the motor will produce. Although to get the right KV ratio can most times be a daunting task due to its scarcity? A usable KV- a ratio that is suitable for an electronic skateboard is within the range of 100 and 300 KV. If you are using a battery with a high voltage, then it is appropriate to source for a lower KV.
Electronics are straight forward enough. It consists of connecting the parts of the skate using soldering. Here some of the vital points to note while trying to carry out on your homemade electrical skateboard. You will need cables to connect the ESC with your battery. Well-Recommended cable thickness is between 12 AWG, or 10 AWG either of the both is suitable and recommended.
You can also use XT90 anti-spark safety connectors. Place an XT90 between a battery that can make it easy for you to disconnect whenever there is something wrong, although about 70% of people use it as a switch, to on and off the motor. They do this because using a normal small button can most time be a difficult task.
Finally, you will be required to connect the motor; doing this is simple and requires less technicality. All you need to do is to connect the motor and push the trigger button on your remote. If it fails to turn in the right direction, then you will need to switch both wires along-side the other. Once it is rightly done, you are good to go.
Adding an On/Off Button
You will be required to spread each button on ESC. Doing this is possible only when there is an ESC or an anti-spark switch PCB that is designed in off/on the button.
Wiring the BMS
We suggest using a BMS if you intend to charge up your battery. When charging, there are two viable options to bring into perspective when charging: A LiPo or BMS charger. Both chargers are built with their own unique advantages. Although the BMS charger can function using a laptop adapter. BMS is designed to monitor the status of the battery and strike a balance when needful.
It very simple and straight forward to connect any battery cell. To solder 3s JST-XH balance lead, you will need to connect the lead with 3s batteries to a 6s BMS. The BMS is designed with 6s wire balancing. Try to run a check with a multi-meter on all the connections before plugging the device to a battery.
Choosing the Enclosure
You will have to enclose the build once you are done. The primary focus of an enclosure is to help protect all the electrical circuit against external substances that can lead to potential damage like water and dust. In most cases, the concave of the deck and the flex appears to be the most difficult parts of an enclosure. And are one of the major limitations you are likely to encounter when making your enclosure.
Protecting the Batteries
Aside from the BMS, the LiPos most time requires more protection. One of the significant disadvantages of a LiPo is; once it damaged structurally, it can lead to explosion or fire at large. Try to pad in the inner part of your closure with foam; doing this will help reduce the degree of damages it can cause.
Designing the Enclosure’s Inside
To effectively design the inner part of your enclosure, you will need to empty the inner part of the box. Use a Dremel, as it is more effective in carrying out this function.
Once you have an empty enclosure, you can start the placement of all other parts is based on any sequence of your choice. You can also consider using walls that previously existed to map out potential places you need to mount other devices.
Try to look out for wires when trying to enclosing each placement. It is advisable to use wires with a higher thickness that can handle the flow of electrical current.
Finishing the Enclosure
While finishing the entire process, you can use sandpaper and sand out every other part in the enclosures that are also mounted with glue. You can sand the foam cage that is meant for batteries, the ESC and the buttons.
Mounting the Enclosure
You will need to drill a hole for each screw on the deck. This is quite simple. The hole will be the only needed step that entitles drilling. Drilling up holes will make each screw get the skateboard easily without causing any damage.
It’s possible to build your board and make an enclosure from ABS. You can also focus on batteries that will support more range.
Tips for Building an Electric Skateboard
Once you have all the parts of the board ready, then it’s time to start fixing it together. To start, arrange the deck top-down and put all the components of the skateboard on it. In some cases, you will be required to drill holes through the surface of the deck.
Firstly, you will need to mount the motors and the trucks. When fixing the motor to its mount, use the three positions, which depend on the direction you intend to place your wire.
Now fix the gear of the pulley to the wheel, you will be required to drill some holes to fix in you the bolts. Shift the motor to position on the body of the truck and fasten each screw gently. Place the belt on the wheel of the motor and gradually spin the wheel.
The entire process will be a lot simpler if you are using a hub motor. In such cases, the motor is built and attached to the wheel, so all you will need is to make sure the wheel of the motor will match up to the size of your truck.
You can finish up the installation of your trucks and wheels similar to the steps on a normal skateboard. Once you are done, then it’s time to fix up the ESC and the batteries.
If you are required to drill holes, ensure the holes are small in size and widen each hole gradually to avoid cracks on the plastic. Drill another hole where you intend to position the charging port or the power switch. Pay attention to the details during this whole DIY process since electric skateboards come with the most complexities among other types of skateboards.
Position the case in the right spot and clamp it. Once the port is in place, find the holes that are meant for the screw and drill across each hole. You can use a countersink drill bit to be sure all the screws are flush on the surface of the deck and won’t lead to bumps in the grip tape.
Position the battery and ESC in the case and plug in your charging port to the terminals of the battery, link switch to the ESC and connect your battery on the ESC. The next required phase is to connect the wires of the motor to the cases through the drilled holes.
Now link the wire to the ESC. Ensure you run a check on all the parts before sealing up the case. If you have a kit with different instructions from this article, we recommend following the set of instructions on your purchased kit.
In summary, building a homemade motorized skateboard is pretty simple; you can choose to change your current “manual design” to an “auto-designed” as save yourself the stress riding yourself up the hill. So, what are you waiting for? Guess it’s time to practice what you just read; I bet you will be glad you followed this DIY electric skateboard guide.