DIY Electric Longboard

DIY Electric Longboard: A Step-by-Step Guide

DIY Electric longboard kit is a doable way to maneuver. After finding out how it is made, you will know that it is actually easy to do. Aside from that, an electric longboard also weighs light and it can be charged quite quickly if the right charger is used. Many people have been using electric longboard because they have seen the convenience of using it.

The electric longboard can work well up to 32km per hour through the motor before it finally becomes unstable and unsafe. It also has great acceleration. The controller is also programmable so that any wheelspins which may happen from a standing position can be eliminated. It can function amazingly especially when it is fully charged because it can still keep its stability until 10km range. Nevertheless, it will not be ideal for the lithium batteries to be discharged beyond 80% as it may deteriorate its lifespan.

The advantage of this structure is that the trucks can be placed onto basically any kind of longboard deck. This implies that you can have a longboard in any size you want. This longboard also has braking which is also programmable with various acceleration rates.

If you want to construct your own electric longboard but not sure on how to begin it, here are some guides that will tackle the basics of a DIY electric longboard. Here are the step-by-step guides on how to successfully build it.

How to Make a DIY Electric Longboard– Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Collect all the required materials

Before you make up your mind in building a DIY electric longboard kit, you should know that there are some various approaches on how you can deal about it. You have the option to use an electric longboard kit with all the things you need, except a deck. You may consider the Mellow board route and acquire a pre-packaged unit. Or you may choose to canvas for prices and collect all the required materials from different sources. But prior to getting the basic facts, there are some things that you should remember:

  1. Choose the right deck
  2. Properly install the motor to the deck
  3. Motor type
  4. Choose the right battery
  5. Set up the wheels and the drive pulley
  6. Your instrument as a controller
  7. Calibrating the said controller

You will be needing many materials for your longboard, hardware, and small bits. Here are the lists of materials.

Longboard materials – It is more ideal to use longboard deck because you are most likely to gain stability, even ride, and extra space for added hardware. It would be better to choose a flat deck. Lighter and smaller boards can also be nice. The materials will have to be firm although a bit flexible. You must also use top-mounted trucks.

Common materials for longboard are the following:

  • Longboard deck
  • 180mm Paris trucks
  • 90mm Pro Flywheels

Tip: Choose huge wheels, preferably 83mm plus, for the flywheel style wheels. There is a good explanation of why people choose flywheels for their electronic longboard. Flywheels have spokes which implies that it is much more doable to attach a big drive cog to them and still manage to rotate or change the wheels. Another reason why it will be ideal to use huge wheels is that they are ideal for going over twigs, concrete cracks, etc. This will give you so much comfort and efficiency.

Check Out: Best Longboards Review Comparison and Buying Guide!

Hardware materials – There are various designs of a motor in the market, but the common classification is either single or dual motors. Double motors generate more power and speed. You must understand that the right motor for DIY electric longboard should have high power and torque.

Perhaps one of the stimulating parts to discuss is about the motor. How large they are, how much speed it can deliver, etc. Selecting a motor is a very crucial task for any kind of construction. A lot of times which type of motor and the number of motors you finalized on will tell so much of the entire build when it comes to what type of parts you have chosen.

Common materials for the hardware are the following:

  • Large pulley
  • Small pulley
  • Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 280kV Outrunner
  • Timing belt
  • Lithium battery and its charger
  • HK-GT2B Transmitter and Receiver
  • EZRUN 150A-PRO Brushless ESC

Small Bits:

  • 6x ¼” x 2.5” bolt
  • 4x M4 x 12mm bolt
  • 6x ¼ -20 nut
  • 2.5” washer
  • 4x M4 washer
  • 2.25” washer
  • 4mm banana jack connectors
  • 6mm strip of aluminum

Tools Used:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • tape
  • Measuring tool (mm)
  • Socket wrench set
  • Drill bits
  • Drill press
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Angle grinder
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Ear/ear protector
  • Breathing mask
  • Bench grinder
  • Time

It will be very helpful if you also have some knowledge of the best materials. If you want to come up with an impressive DIY Electric Longboard, then you should use the best kind of materials. For instance, lithium charger with a higher rating of mAh will characteristically charge faster. When considering the weight and the size, the power output is the greatest. A common 5000mAh battery pack can sustain up to 6-8 miles for every charge. Keep in mind that when selecting a battery pack, more volume corresponds to more power. Nevertheless, this also implies more cost.

LiPo batteries are commonly used by people. They are extremely energy massive.  However, the only thing to consider with LiPo batteries is that they may explode if improper treatment is done. These batteries can be maltreated if you overcharge them, pierce them, or unbalance charge them. You must know that cutting them will lead to flames.

Also, the strip of aluminum has minimal dimensions. Its minimum size should be 121mm x 51mm x 6mm hence the mount can be sliced from it.

A DIY electric longboard is composed of 3 major components. These are the motor, the batteries, and the Electric Speed Controller or ESC. But what are these components?

The motor is responsible for supplying power to the wheels. The batteries supply the electric power necessary for the motor. And the ESC is the brain of the longboard and it manages the motor through the electric power supplied by the batteries.

Step 2: Cut and weld the motor mount

Get a jigsaw and a router in order to cut the aluminum to a specified dimension. For no specific explanation, the back-wheel has been designed to be motorized. At this point, you must know that the setting of the mount is very essential. It has to be placed as isolated as possible toward the trucks. Also, it has to be angled down without having to get in contact with the board.

If you do not have a direct avenue to a welder, you may temporarily fasten together the truck and the mount through a scrap wood, then have an expert weld it.

Step 3: Connect the wheel to the pulley

Connect the large pulley to the back wheel. There is a reason why these were particularly chosen. The wheels were designed with 6 holes revolving around the shaft.

The holes were penetrated 17.5mm away from the middle of the large pulley, the 2.25” washer, and the 2.5” washer. Dig a 24mm hole in the middle of the pulley so that the truck will suit well.

Fix the ¼” x 2.5” bolts straight to the pulley, to the 2.5” washer, to the wheel, then the 2.25” washer, and finally complete the last part with the right nuts. The wheel is expected to continue spinning freely once placed onto the trucks, but this time the wheel can be rotated with the motor.

Step 4: Assemble the wheel and the motor

Fit the motor with M4 x 12mm bolts, with washers. Fit the smaller pulley into the shaft of the motor by gripping the set screw. If you notice some skipping of the motor in the inner part of the pulley, you may try to file down the one face of the motor shaft, then gripped the screw set with some thread-lock.

Pull over the belt to the small pulley, then to the large pulley. This large pulley is already attached to the wheel. Once the belt is already pulled over, grip the nut of the truck that held down the wheel. Do not forget to put the packaged washers around the wheel.

Step 5: Connect the electronics

Connect the batteries in series by tossing one connector. There are two cables in an ESC. These cables are used to attach the ESC to the batteries. Then, ESC will also have to be attached to the receiver channel 2. The receiver has a button that makes the entire system easily turned on and off. However, for safety purposes, the batteries must be unplugged too.

Step 6: Hide it through a casing

At this time, you have to secure everything in a case. Some packages have a waterproof case. However, if you are not comfortable with that kind of case, you may always buy your own personal choice from a hobby store.

You can literally utilize anything to make sure that your electronics are protected from the elements. Some people choose to install the electronics above the board. By doing so, they get an added benefit of having better clearance beneath the board, nevertheless, it does clump up the deck.

Some Considerations:

  1. Single motor or dual motor – Will the plan fit two motors on a similar truck? Do you have enough space? Will you need bigger trucks?
  2. Power – Consider your weight. Do you think you are heavier than the usual? Or are you planning to go up on elevated hills?
  3. Speed – What will be your ideal speed? Do you like to go to places faster? It would be ideal if you don’t target some ultimate speed just because you find it impressive. Put in mind that your common speed in actual would be 0-15kph. Further, reduced RPM motors imply that they are structured to pull at those reduced speeds.
  4. Range – Do you commonly go on long rides? Do you have more distant destinations?
  5. Height – Are you going to use smaller or bigger wheels? Would you like to ride low? Are you going to jump off barriers?
  6. Weight – Do you intend to carry your board?
  7. Control – What are you going to use for control? RC vehicle controller? Arduino? Phone? Bluetooth?
  8. Terrain – Are you planning to cruise on a nice concrete road? Off road? Old road? Would you require some pneumatic tires?
  9. Mobility – Additional options for adjustment on the ESC? Acceleration? How about the braking? Reverse? Battery voltage cut-off?
  10. Aesthetics – How would you want your board to look like? Do you like personalized grip tape? Would you prefer a case for the electronics? Are you going to use an LED under-glow? Will you incorporate headlights to suit on your night driving?
  11. Accessories – Will you accessorize it with LED under-glow? Will you use a USB charger in charging speakers, controllers, or phone?

Summary

Nowadays, electric longboards are becoming known. They make a common choice for personal transportation, particularly in urban places where vehicles can take a while. With the right materials and procedures, you can build your own DIY electric longboard. Doing it can extremely lower the expenses without having to compromise the general functionality.

You may select your own choice of battery and motor, personalize the general ride, and be outside soon as you take the pleasure of riding your motorized longboard. Although it is true that the building of electric longboard can be a tricky and shall require a bit of mechanical knowledge, you should never forget the fact that there are lots of kits, tools, and websites which you can utilize not only to collect your materials but also refer for instructions and guides.

Many people choose a longboard not just because of their stability and accessibility for a ride but because the board itself can tell almost everything. You may pick a longboard deck from wherever you want and still it will not make any difference on the electric components of the board. People will normally comment about the flex and the riding approach.

Sources:

  1. Electric Longboard – Wikipedia
  2. How To Make A Electric Longboard Easy – Kim Henriksen (Youtube.com)
  3.  Introduction to Electronic Speed Control (ESC) Working and Applications – elprocus

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