The electronic parts
There are a couple of parts necessary for the electronics of an electronic skateboard. But the good part is you can use standard RC car electronics. (or your can push it further with arduino blue tooth controllers and custom electronics if you’ve got experience in that field)
- A brushless motor (I’ll leave this to its own blog but the one thing to remember is you want a low kv motorless than 300 the lower the better)
- Electronic Speed Control (ESC) this tells the motor what to do
- Transmitter (thing you hold in your hand) and receiver (small little thing that connects to the speed controller)
- Battery charger (if you’re using LiPo batteries you will need a special charger)
- Cable connectors (maybe an antispark so you don’t get freakout when connecting the batteries and a voltage readout if you want to get fancy on us)
Transmitter and Receiver
Lets start with the easy stuff. Any RC controller will do. You’ll only be using the one channel to control the speed. Hence a cheap hobbyking.com number will do. This one has rechargeable batteries
- http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__31671__HobbyKing_HK_GT2B_3CH_2_4GHz_Transmitter_and_Receiver_w_Rechargable_Li_ion_Battery.html or
I’ve got a standard size RC controller which I’ve always been meaning to pull mine apart and make it smaller but have never found the time.
Electronic speed controller
You need a speed controller that can handle very high amps (150amps). I blew up my first one which was this: HobbyKing Red Brick 125A ESC and since moved up to a 150amp, 1/8 scale car esc from hobbyking. Here are a few:
Electric skateboards pull a tremendous amount of amps when they’re starting, pulling your weight from zero to go. Hopefully they’re only peaking out when getting you rolling which is also why you should push yourself to start. The sustain amount of high amps can fry the ESC and motors. ESC also put off a far degree of heat so they have heat sinks of fans on them.
Most people are using LiPo batteries. They’re very energy dense. (Think Telsa cars). The only draw back is they can be “explody” if not treated well. By this I mean if you overcharge, unbalance charge them or pierce them and they touch oxygen. Cutting them = flames. Do some googling about it but I think they’re pretty safe. The alternative is LiFePo4 which are a little less flamy, but also the reason that boosted boards is releasing boosted boards 2 as the first lot had complaints about the range. Honestly LiPo is fine. When looking at batteries (easiest place to buy is hobbyking.com, I should really get a sponsorship from these guys) you’ll see the following numbers. Here is what they mean:
- mAh = how long it will give up the power for.
- C = is how quickly it can give off the power.
- V = voltage. That’s pretty straight forward.
Now the choice comes up to you budget but what you’re looking for is 2 x 3 cell batteries (they run at 11.1volts) and wire them into series making 22.2 volts). 2 x 3 cells as opposed to 1 x 6 cell so you have enough clearance between the boattom of the board and the road the board has clearance. Here is a nice video about wiring in series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4KPGl1NMsg
Make sure you get a proper “balance” charger for your LiPo. Balance chargers have an additional little plug that charges all the cells of the battery evenly. Once again I’d try an appropriate charger from hobbyking.
The ESC doesn’t come with connectors so your going to need to buy some appropriate connectors also. You’re going to need to wire the batteries in series so you’ll need a soldering iron and some more connectors. I won’t bother writing about that because its boring.
Apart from that you could add in a anti-spark suppressor and a voltage meter if you want to get fancy.
To be continues