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How to build an electric skateboard


#1

When I first found out about electric skateboards I was desperate to build one and it wasn’t an easy thing to learn. There are a few sections in building an electric skateboard: The Electronics, The Motor Mount/Drive Train and the wheels/trucks etc.

The first thing you need to do is find the electronics. There are a few things you will need. The battery, the motor, the ESC/electronic speed control, the transmitter and receiver, the charger and accessories.

The Battery:
Most people use lithium polymer (Li-Po) to power their electric skateboards. Batteries consist of two basic things: The cells and the mah (milliamp hours)
So when choosing batteries you need to know what your ESC can handle. If you want to be climbing hills you might want to get something like ten or twelve cells. If you will just be riding on flat concrete then 6 or 8 cells is plenty. Most people do this thing called series wiring (basically when you connect two batteries together to double the cells.) Lets say you are in a situation where you want to ride on flat concrete, and maybe you want 6 cells altogether so what you would do is connect 2 3 cell batteries to get 6 cells altogether. This is a bonus if you want ground clearance aswell because if you had 1 6 cell battery it is bigger and may hit the ground. I would recommend 2 4 cell 8000mah batteries in series. Here is a link to some batteries that could work for flat situations or hilly situations.

Flat ground:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__16226__ZIPPY_Flightmax_8000mAh_4S1P_30C.html

Hills: (Remember you won’t have heaps of ground clearance with this option but you will have heaps of power going up hills)

The Motor:
The motor is the thing that turns and makes the wheels move. Ok so a motor has to have below 300kv if not 200kv if you can. The lower the kv the better torque you will get when starting up your board. You can buy motors specially for electric skateboards if you want to spend a bit more money but if you want to go with what most people use, Turnigy SK3 are a good way to go. Remember to get a motor that has a 30-44mm bolt spacing and a 63mm diameter. If you want to have two rear motors at the back then make sure that they are less than 55mm in length. If you are having them in a diagonal configuration get any 63mm ones. QUICK TIP: IF YOUR MOTOR IS SPINNING THE WRONG WAY SWITCH ANY OF THE TWO CABLES CONNECTING THE MOTOR TO THE ESC.

Here are some good ones:
This one won’t work in a dual rear configuration.

This one will work in a dual rear configuration but it has a higher kv.

You can have a dual rear configuration by using motors made for electric skateboards these have a lower kv. Here is a good one:
http://www.enertionboards.com/electric-skateboard-parts/190kv-electric-skateboard-motor/

The ESC:
The ESC is like the brain, it tells things when they should go and how fast they should go. You will need an ESC that will be able to handle up to 12s if you want to climb hills. The VESC is the BEST electric skateboard esc and it is a bit harder to configure but will give you great start ups and brakes. Here is the link:

The transmitter and receiver:
A transmitter is kind of like a remote and the receiver is the thing that receives the signal (when the trigger is pressed on the transmitter) and sends a signal to the ESC which tells the motor to go. There are a few good options out there but the FlySky GT2B is what lots of people use. It’s a bit bulky so if you can solder then search up BadWolf GT2B enclosure. It’s a smaller enclosure that can fit in your pocket. If you don’t know how to solder then bring a backpack :grinning:

Other ELECTRONIC things you will NEED:
Series adapter if tou are wiring 2 batteries in series.

Other ELECTRONIC things that you don’t need but can benefit from:
On/Off switch (get the high voltage one from their website)

The Motor Mount/Drive Train:
Enertion Single Motor Mount kit http://www.enertionboards.com/diy-electric-skateboard-kits/enertion-single-motor-mount-kit/

Get the PRO kit if you don’t want to buy trucks/wheels seperately.

Wheels/Trucks:
If you are using the Enertion kit get ABEC Flywheels and Caliber 50D trucks. Abec 9 bearings are a great choice.


#2

Firstly, Thanks for the write up! This kind of info really helps people when they first decide to build their own eboard!

This is not entirely true. This is the Carbon Fiber motor mounting plate that comes with the enertion motor mounts. So technically you could use a motor bolt hole spacing that ranges between 30-44mm

Also I think that the Torque Boards motor plate has even bigger range.

However Most motors will fit on the 30-44mm range, but there is one that does not. the 5055 280kv Sk3 motors actually has 25mm bolt holes spacing! So its not compatible with enertion.

I recommend no smaller than 63mm diameter motors for single drive boards! Basically my theory is the bigger the motor the better.