Can I build electric Skateboard for $300

Im new to this stuff and after doing a tiny bit of research I have a few questions. DYI vs Premade. Is there a premade that is around 300 bucks that can get the speed and hill that a DYI can for around that price? Is it even possible to make a DYI for $300 bucks? I don’t need to get anywhere over 20mph and a bit of hill. Also, how much electrical and motor ability do you need to make your own? I have a longboard already that I would try to convert if possible. Thanks

Hi. welcome.

I don’t think there is anything “prebuilt” you can buy for $300.

The closest thing I saw recently was the stary kickstarter campaign. It started at $399. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/staryboards/stary-worlds-best-electric-skateboard-get-yours-fo
But was only for the first 20 pcs. Which sold out instantly. I would say $399 would be very near cost price. It’s now $499

There is a good chance you can build your own for $300. But! There is a false economy trying to do things for the absolute cheapest. It probably won’t be very good.

Sometimes it’s better to pay more and over engineer things so they last a bit better.

Here is a sheet I created for my first ever build.

http://gdurl.com/erBM

I saw the kickerstarter. Is that a quality build? Id rather build myself, but with little knowledge on electric and motors im not sure it will work at the end haha. Are all the motor mounts and truck kits so expensive? The cheapest I have seen is a single motor for like 170 setup without the motor. I have an old gold coast pintail long board with 71mm wheels. Is making the motor work with the transmitter hard to figure out?

That kickstarter looks ok… but you just never know…

I won’t be buying one.

The thing is with building your own is to keep the cost down you need to do more of the work yourself. For example the motor mounts. You could build one yourself from aluminium bar. And maybe you will save some money. But how valuable is your time?

So if you buy all the stuff to build it yourself you save time but spend more.

There are two categories of parts to building an electric skateboard.

  1. The mechanical components
  2. The electronics components

We offer complete mech kits online now for building single or dual motor.

Here is single motor mech kit: http://www.enertionboards.com/diy-electric-skateboard-kits/enertion-single-motor-mount-pro-kit/

& dual motor: http://www.enertionboards.com/diy-electric-skateboard-kits/enertion-dual-motor-mount-pro-kit/

However currently the electronics kit is being redeveloped, all components are being upgraded & the kit will be offered again. Until then you may buy some of these new parts now seperatley.
Battery: http://www.enertionboards.com/electric-skateboard-parts/space-cell-electric-skateboard-battery/
Motor: http://www.enertionboards.com/electric-skateboard-parts/190kv-electric-skateboard-motor/
Speed controller: http://www.enertionboards.com/electric-skateboard-parts/vesc-beta-membership/
Wireless Hand controller: We don’t have anything so you need to buy from hobby store.

One question. If you get standard long board wheels and wanted to switch them out for the off road wheels do you need a dif setup or its easy just to switch out the wheels?

You’ll probably need to get a new wheel pulley and belt too. A bigger diameter wheel will need those parts to gain adequate torque

Doable on $300 - yes. BUT you likely will have to pick some only “so-so” components to do it. Having a deck already to save that $ is a must for your budget. I had a custom GBomb that was more than your budget for DIY e-board. So it’s really about picking your components wisely.

If you focus on budget - onloops “false economy” kicks in. Cheap electronics and gear will break and need to be replaced. BUT i think part of the fun is learning and incrementally improving. You might have some extra gear left over at the end, but anything that breaks you will know how to fix.

One other option is to look for items on your local craigslist or ebay that are used. Save some $ to start with. There also likely will be some used e-board gear if you look online from folks that upgraded. Just make sure you research a bit before you buy it. You might find tons of used Flier ESC’s (they have the single ESC for dual motors). Known to be problematic and the BEC is especially jinky and failure prone. I’d personally avoid. BUT if you want to play with something and someone is unloading one for a deep discount (a stand-alone BEC is not expensive) you might have a good option there!

Get a soldering iron, some connectors and wire - start learning and folks here will help if you get stuck!

GL!

I would really like to see a $300 DIY build that didn’t already start out with almost everything needed like so many “do this for just $that” things always do. You could easily spend $300 just on tools and materials, never mind actual components. Just a decent motor and ESC would be that much, and mounts are easily half that on their own. And hopefully you have Calibers because almost all mounts out there except for Torqueboard’s require them.

This weekend I spent about $100 just on fiberglassing crap to build a box and inlay some wiring. Honestly I’m starting to wonder if keeping my gaming rig up to date was a less expensive hobby.

I suspect trying to build a $300 DIY board would include doing things like building a motor controller by robbing parts from televisions and microwaves or maybe stealing one out of an RC boat or car, stealing prop drives from somebody’s wrecked model airplane, robbing the receiver and remote from an existing wrecked RC car, and then strapping all of that on to the bottom of your deck in a tupperware container. You’re still going to have to come up with pulleys and belts though. Maybe a wrecked CNC machine?

But if it can be done, I’d really like to see the ingenuity behind it. It would be a hell of a write up.

you forgot about using thrown away iphone batteries to keep it super thin and light- haha jokes aside, it would be a killer post if you could get by without all sorts of expensive tools that nearly nobody has.

Like being able to make and weld your own motor mount for example: it can be done, and many people do it. but if you cant weld/don’t have a welder, and you don’t have a way to cut metal, than by the time you get those tools you’ve already spend more than buying a pre-done motor mount…

That’s exactly the problem I keep running in to. Imagine the boards I could build if I had a TIG welder set up for aluminum, a CNC router with a working space of over 40" square, a drill press, a band saw, a stationary belt sander, a nice shop out back with excellent ventilation for removing fumes from working with plastics, a lathe, a few nice bench vices and oh yeah if I lived on my own and didn’t have responsibilities like taking care of my family.

DIY is expensive and time consuming, but nothing gives more satisfaction than a triumph of engineering despite hilariously limited resources.

3 Likes

So some quick math here from me if i had a theoretical “$300” limit. (again one custom deck was more than that)

Motor mount - if you can’t cnc one, or weld one… Used from someone who is upgrading. I also saw a simple motor mount for $100 from a guy on ES. Doable.

Motor - Tacon Bigfoot (if you are only doing one motor) - $55

ESC - now you have to skimp. Get one used on forums or ebay. A new XERUN can be had for $90-100, used you can probably get it for 60-80. (so assuming new we are at $255)

Tx/Rx - GT2B - get it at the same time as your Bigfoot for free shipping. $25

You have $20 for batteries (a small 3/4s). You will need to scrounge wire/connectors and misc. (velcro/enclosures, etc.)

If you got the ESC used (with programmer which is $25 new) you’d have maybe $40 for batteries. Low mAh cheap cells will equal short range.

You’ll need to have a charger already as well to charge your batteries.

A challenge, but especially if you get stuff used, it’s doable. Barely. Shipping/tax and a strong breeze might break your budget though.

1 Like

the cheapest board I have built came in at AUD$400 all told. (USD$294)
I don’t think you could get it done much cheaper than that.

1 Like

i’ve got $300 in wheels, trucks, bearings, bolts, bushings, and deck alone.

but back on topic: batteries. You could probably scrounge up the components to make a semi-decent 6S pack from 18650 cells found on the internet for under $60 before shipping, then its a matter of building a spot-welder from (wait for it) shit you have laying around the garage (that you probably don’t), i mean unless you build stereos for a living you’re probably not going to have a supercap or heavy gauge copper wire. So you could solder the batteries instead and tape the whole thing up. But even a slight mistake in making that pack and you’ll be welding yourself to something or setting the place on fire.

full disclosure: I have every intention of making my own battery pack at some point just for the experience of it.

Nice simple setup LowGuido! Looks similar to my spare (GF’s) board.

You could save a couple $ by skipping the wiiceiver and just using GT2B Tx/Rx. Which ESC is that? Welded on motor mount from DIYes or actually DIY?

Yeah I could have saved some bux on the wiiceiver, but the GT2B is way to clunky for my liking. I suppose I could have re housed it. I fabricated the bracket and welded it all myself with very basic hand tools. (hack saw, file, etc)

oh and the ESC was a cheapo $40 job. I wouldn’t recommend it, It was horrible. but the name of the game was cheap on this build.

LowGuido - that’s some mighty fine hacksaw work! Looks super clean.

I think you really hit it on the head for a budget build - build the motor bracket yourself! Save that $100 for batteries or to get a better ESC!

Longhairedboy - i hear you about tools… I just finally broke down and got a vacuum bag setup ordered. Looking forward to trying my hand on some CF/GF reinforcement! Went slightly overkill on the 2 stage 5 CFM… But i want to use it for vacuum forming kydex as well! Toys!!

TOYS! lol yeah I built my own hydraulic deck press a while back only to find out that the mold I made wasn’t quite precise enough and that I should probably get one machined. I still have enough 7ply rock maple veneer for about 5 decks.

Now I’m contemplating using the top half of the mold to make a CF deck of my own and a vac bag would be a good part of that. I’d love to see some posts of your experiences with it when you start using it.

LHB - I think i’m in a bit over my head, but looking forward to learning. I have a sheet of CF/Kevlar right now, but ordered some less $ GF (metalized like Texalium) to practice with. I will try on a simple shape like the bottom of another board first and if i don’t completely screw it up i’ll try the top of my new Omen Chief. If i still haven’t broken anything or killed myself, i’m going to work on reinforcing the battery box i’m routering out of the bottom of the Chief.

Well said @longhairedboy “DIY is expensive and time consuming, but nothing gives more satisfaction than a triumph of engineering despite hilariously limited resources.”

I also come to it with hilariously limited knowledge and skill, which is what makes it exciting!

Heck with buying all those expensive tools myself. Look for a local makers space, for about $50 a month I will have 24/7 access to all the cool tools you could think of. The one near me has already sorts of CNC, welding, battery spot welder, laser CNC plasma cutter etc. And it’s just a cool split to hang with other like minded peeps. Also tools shouldn’t be included in the cost of your board u less you plan on throwing them away when your done. Tools are an investment.

3 Likes