VOLOKNO DIY Electirc Skateboard Parts

Custom electric skateboard parts for great DIY builds

How to build an electirc skateboard?

If you're in the FAQ, then I suppose you have a desire to build an electric board, but there are more questions in your head than answers. Let's deal with them together.

The first important thing is to calculate the parameters of the electric longboard: https://vesc-project.com/calculators or https://calc.esk8.news/#/0. They will help you to determine the parameters of spare parts that will be needed in your electric longboard

How to choose the motor?
It is difficult to give a definite answer since each setup and rider are individual, but here are three options that will not let you down:

a) Board with one motor and polyurethane (PU) wheels: 6364+; 140-200kv; 10-12S for city riding and small hills

b) Board with two motors and PU wheels: two 6354+; 140-200kv; 10-12S for hill riding

c) Board with two motors and wheels with tires (mountainboard): two 6364+; 140-200kv; 10-12S for off-road and hilly terrain.

External look of a motor: choose to your taste, but the less holes it has, the less chance that it will collect dust and sand.

6364/5065: the size where the first two figures are the diameter and the second two are the length. However, it is so in the perfect universe, because the No-Name goods are famous with occasional inaccuracies in length. So if you build a board where the motors need to be close to each other, ask the seller for the exact scheme of the motors.

140kv, 190kv: the number of turns per 1 Volt

10-12S: Voltage. 1S = 3.6V

Of course, there are other options for motors and their parameters, but here you can experiment.

Motor wheels (Hub motors)can be singled out separately:
One of the advantages they have is the look and lighter weight compared to external motors, and the cons are everything else, namely: relatively low power, or high price, high rigidity, low variability (they do not change the maximum speed after just changing the pulleys). And it's not recommended to ride in the mud on them.

But if soul requires beauty, then you ride and on the hub motors. Just remember that asphalt is a better pick. And avoid puddles.

How to control these motors?
You need a controller (ESC). And there are three ways:

a) ESC from RC cars and aircrafts.
Advantages: sometimes cheap (15-50$)
Disadvantages: low operating voltage, no fine tuning, jerky control. Airplane/helicopter ESCs have no brakes. So this option is apparently not the best.

b) No-Name controllers with an included remote.
Advantages: included remote, the are relatively inexpensive (35-65$), there is a brake.
Disadvantages: low power, low smoothness, small number of settings, in some models there is speed limit.

It's better than the controller from the RC models, but still very questionable choice due to low power, high heat and low smoothness.

c) Controller based on VESC 4 or 6.
Advantages: A bunch! Many options for fine tuning, smooth gas and brake, recuperation, process voltage up to 12S, there is a telemetry phone app, etc.
Disadvantages: They are relatively expensive (from $50).

In General, everything you might want from a controller for a board can be found in VESC. It all makes VESC an obvious and unambiguous choice if you build a board in order to enjoy riding.

Of course there are other types of controllers but they are not very common due to the low functionality/high price.

Don't forget: if you make a longboard/mountainboard with two or more motors, then each motor should have one controller (the exception is the Chinese twin-motor ESC with remote control in the kit and dual VESC based controllers). You cannot control two motors from the same controller.

I've bought a VESC based controller. What's next?
It needs to be set up.

Links to the guide:
In text form: https://vesc-project.com/node/178
OK, I've chosen a controller, what about the battery?
The best option for electric-longboard if you have spot welding/soldering skill - high-current 18650 cells. They are long-lasting, hold high current (at 3P+), and the thickness is only 18mm.

18650 cells that are suitable for creating a battery:
  • LG: he2, he4, hg2
  • Samsung: 25r, 30q
  • Sony: vtc5, vtc6
and any other original ones.

If you've decided to design a battery from individual cells, you should think how you're gonna charge it. The most common option is to install BMS on the battery + charger.

There are two possibilities to install BMS:
  • only on the charge: in this case, the discharge of the battery will bypass the BMS
  • on charge and discharge: with this connection, the charge and discharge of the battery will be via BMS

The advantages of installing BMS only on the charge: saving space and money, because BMS with low current (5-15A) will suit you. They are cheaper and more compact than their high-current (60A+) counterparts.

The advantages of installing BMS on a charge and a discharge: reinsurance. But it's ambiguous. Since the discharge voltage control is in the ESC itself (and the VESC has settings for current limiting), it reduces the need to control the discharge through the BMS.

Make sure that the BMS you selected has a cell balancing function. This is usually indicated in the BMS description or specifications.

I've bought everything, how to connect it all?
Here's a scheme.
How do I know how much I will ride on one charge?
Average consumption of electric longboard:
  • with one motor and polyurethane wheels: 12-15wh per 1km
  • with two motors and PU wheels: 15-20wh per 1 km
  • with two motors and wheels with inner tubes: 24-30wh per 1 km

WH = battery Capacity (Ah) * Voltage (V)

What are the types of transmissions there?
There are three of them:

a) Chain with stars
advantages: quite reliable
disadvantages: noisy, you can get dirty with oil

This is not the most common option, because it is not much superior to the belt transmission in strength, but has drawbacks in the form of oil and clanging.

b) Belt with pulleys
advantages: inexpensive, reliable, quiet
disadvantages: the small pulley that is attached to the motor decays in a season.

This is the most popular option because of its reliability, low price and quietness. Choose the HTD 5M profile. For a longboard with one motor, the width of the belt should be from 15mm, with two ones - from 9mm. Order a few more small pulleys and belts to be able to change them if necessary.

c) Direct drive with gears
advantages: reliable
disadvantages: expensive

This is not the most common option since the price starts from 300 euros. The noise from transmission with straight gears is somewhat between belts and a chain, and transmission with helical gears is almost quiet.

Why do I need an Anti-spark switch?
Those who have dealt with batteries 6s and higher, surely know that when connected to the ESC, there is a powerful spark. As a result, the contacts burn and the connection becomes not so strong. To avoid this, this switch was invented. Besides, if you want to improve the appearance of the board and make the enclosure for the equipment, with this switch you do not need to open the enclosure every time in order to connect the power to the ESC. You can simply bring the button to the housing.

Why not take a regular button for $0.5?

Because the button is also a mechanical connection, which means there are two contacts inside of it, which can char and oxidate as well. Such button is enough for about 10 switches (I've been there), and then it either sticks and the board becomes impossible to switch off or it oxidates so you cannot switch the board on. Also, these buttons are designed for low currents, which leads to sticking.

What wheels do I take?
Overall, the larger the diameter is, the better. But, as always, it's ambiguous.

We can divide wheels on polyurethane (PU) and wheels with inner tubes:

• PU wheels are good for those who build a longboard for the city and will ride on relatively good roads. The required minimum diameter of PU wheels, in my opinion, is 83mm.

• Wheels with inner tubes give more comfort, which reduces the requirements for the quality of the road surface.

But here is a significant unpleasant difference: comfort requires higher battery consumption, which means consumption when riding on wheels with inner tubes will be 1.5-2 times as high as on a board with PU wheels. Besides, a board with wheels with inner tubes will be more expensive, not only the wheels are more pricy, but also pulleys, tracks and brackets as well.

If you have a question about your order, you need a custom part (deck, enclosure, etc.), or any other question - feel free to message me on any social media
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