16 year old high schooler's first build

Hi everyone, I’ve been reading on this website a lot the past 2 weeks and I’ve learned more than anything I could have imagined. Since a kid I’ve grown up with skating, my brother skated, my friends skated, and I skated. A while back I got into longboards, and longboard everywhere now, Literally. That’s my only transportation, the people that live in my town know me as, the kid that always longboards. And I love my baby, but I soon got hooked on Electric Skateboards while watching Youtube.

Researching even further, I found tons of people that make DIY Electric skateboards for way cheaper. I got hooked to build my own board. Now for starters I live on flat land (South Florida) no hills down here, so learning about torque, it doesn’t seem like I need to focus on that. I’m more focused on top speed. I have no fear for speed, and hopefully one day I can make a really expensive board that can go 20 miles a charge and reach top speeds of 40 mph, but for right now, I know that it’s not realistic.

My plan is to build a budget board that goes top speed of at least 20mph and can go 10 miles on 1 charge. Spending (upwards to about $700, no more than $750) my mind set is to build a really good board just without the really expensive battery. What I mean by this is that I’m willing to spend on buying really good parts, building the board with a 6s battery, and then eventually buy a 10-12s low profile battery in exchange for the 6s.

The build I was thinking would include: - Maple wood (around 40in) top mount board - 180mm Paris V2 trucks with 83mm Flywheels - Bone Reds bearings - Single Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 6364-245kv Brushless Outrunner Motor (when it comes back in stock) - DIYElectricSkateboard (TorqueBoards) VESC BLDC Speed Controller - DIYElectricSkateboard Single Bolt On Motor Mount Set - DIYElectricSkateboard 36T ABEC Pulley Combo Kit (36T/16T) (255mm 12mm Fiberglass Belt) - The GT2B transmitter, which im going to make smaller with Thingiverse BadWolf Case mod - 2x Zippy 3s 5000mAh LiPo’s - IMAX B6 charger - Enclosure- I plan to build my own out of aluminium with a coating of plastic on the inside for damage control.

Adding up all the costs (including shipping, and adding about $50 of misc items) I got the price to be around $675.

Some questions I still have:

  • Doing my own top speed check, theoretically I can get 23.5mph, however including weight (140lb) I’ll be satisfied if i get 20mph. Do you think my board will be able to get this speed?
  • Also, I couldn’t really find how long my board will last per charge, I know it all depends on how fast your going, and other variables, so I was wondering how long per charge I’ll be able to get out of the board?
  • And, I know I didn’t go with any Enertia’s products, but it’s because I’ve read so many things about pushed back deliveries, and VESC breaking. Now reading Torqueboard’s VESC, his have seen much more success. However this is due to the articles I’ve read so far. And since most of the prices on both websites are about the same, I’m willing to buy Enertia’s products if their better. So I just want your opinions on what I should get, and your experiences?
  • And ideas on weatherproofing? Down here in South Florida, it is constantly raining, and I don’t plan to actually ride in the rain, however, rain could come at any second (wet pavement back splash is what I’m really worried about).

Thank you for everyone’s time that read this, basically book, forum. I really look forward to building this board, and having a blast with it in the future.

I would say 5000mah is not going to get you to the wanted 10 miles. I would say 8 to 10k mah would get you to where you want to go.

A couple of things about the parts. The B6 is the way to go for charging, reliable and not that expensive. I actually am selling 6354 / 6374 190kv motors for $61 and $73. They are not in stock now but available for pre order. Also the GT2B MOD is not as simple as some point it to be. I am pretty handy with a soldering iron and still screwed it up. I would recommend the 2.4ghz mini remote. It’s reliable and really small. (I also sell them, pre-order) You can visit my store here: https://electric-skateboard.market/store/polar

All of the other parts seem rock solid. @torqueboards has great customer service and his parts are legit.

Anyway, good luck with your build and let me know if u have any questions!

Thanks Man, I think of myself being handy, and after looking at a lot of tutorials and such, it does indeed look really complicated. That is one of the things that I was debating on, buying a smaller controller (seems more likely). I am new to many of the electronics, but if I were to buy 2x 5000 mah 3s batteries, wouldn’t I get 10000mah?

Welcome! There’s an endless amount of information on here as you’ll find… and it’s almost overwhelming :sweat_smile:

According to this calculator found here, your weighted top speed is looking to be roughly ~18mph. I would say that this calculator is pretty accurate in weighted top speed and is commonly used around here. As @JLabs has mentioned, you might need a bigger battery to go the range you want as well.

It really seems to be hit or miss with ordering from Enertion and what you’re ordering. I ordered a motor, some belts and a mount from them on a Monday and my package was at my door the following Monday (AUS -> USA!) I know some people haven’t had this type of luck though.

For VESC selection, I’m sure you’ve read all about VESCs that have blown up from both DIY and Enertion. The only VESC that I will suggest is the VESCs that @chaka makes. Although more expensive, they’re praised around here for being the most durable and are in my eyes, the long term solution if you’re pressed on running a VESC. I run one myself nearly maxed out at the upper limit (12s/190kv) and it’s been running great. Think of DIY and Enertion’s VESCs as somewhat of a gamble - some people have had good luck and have ran hundreds of miles while others have not left the bench.

I don’t know if DIY sells a mount that is compatible with Paris trucks. Most people run Calibers because the shape and profile of the hanger provides a good mounting base.

I know this is always a possibility, but I think the very best way to combat this is to simply check the weather and not ride the motorized board if there’s any rain in the forecast. I know it stinks, but it’s really not safe to spin these wheels at the speeds they go when they’re wet. It’s extremely easy to slip and lose control when the wheels are wet just from going through a trail of water.

Lastly, make sure you save some funds to buy quality safety gear, a helmet at the very least. There are so many videos on the internet of people riding with no helmet and it just scares the living crap out of me. No matter if I’m going down the street on a nice 10mph cruise or finding some nice trails to hit full 28mph, I will always wear a helmet. It’s just not worth it.

Hope some of this insight was helpful. Feel free to ask questions and some of the bright innovators here will help out :wink:

Your running 6s with two 3s batteries (series connection). So the voltage adds and the mah stays the same (that’s the simplest I can explain it). You would need to make a parallel connection for the mah to add, but then you would run 3s (a no no).

@Goombaacez84 Going on the calculator with 6s count cells/245kv motor/ I dont know the Efficiency so I just put 80%/ 16motor pulley teeth/36wheel pulley teeth/ 83 wheel size, its giving me a theoretical top speed of 23.5 mph, which I subtracted 3.5mph for weight. I have looked at @chaka VESC, and at 165 I’m still debating on whether to get that one instead since I planned on buying Torques with warranty = $160. So that’s definitely a possibility. I didn’t even think about the trucks compatibility, I definitely will have to do some more research on that to see. But its inevitable down here, so i need to make sure that I have taken as much weatherproofing precaution as possible. And I most definitely will be using safety gear, I’ve been in way too many accidents to not wear some.

@JLabs Oh, I didn’t know that either, so if I were to use the 6s batteries with 5000 mah what do you expect would be my range


Another Minor on the forum :wink: It’s kinda lonely being @lox897 @cmatson and I (along with maybe a couple others I haven’t met-- introduce yourself :stuck_out_tongue: )

You could get faster than that if you wanted, my board goes 30mph on 6S (I’m 40lbs lighter than you, but as a proof of point, you probably could with dual motors and semi-crazy gear ratio) See: (NYCDRIVETRAINOFDEATH) Your understanding of batteries is a little off. See below. I would recommend 2, 6S batteries with a 5000mah capacity, wired in parallel. AT LEAST. This should give you around 8-10 mile range if you do everything right.

To me, all VESCs are the same. I personally don’t like them, I use 'em when I must, but if you are running 6S, do yourself a favor and get a cheaper (and more reliable) car ESC. Very rare they have accidents and mess-ups.

There are articles on top of articles on weather-proofing, take a search. I would start with some corrosionX, a good enclosure and heat shrinking everything. I get by pretty well in puddles and my enclosure isn’t even fully sealed, you should be fine as long as you cover everything. Also, you may want to look into getting some wheels better in wet terrain, just a thought tho.

And yeah @JLabs is right, voltage adds in series, amperage stays the same – in parallel wiring, the same is true, but in reverse. If you buy 2 6S

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It’s a no brained to get chaka’s vesc if you were going to get DIY’s with warranty. His are highly reliable and comes with a 1yr complete warranty (if I remember right).

I have found the DIY VESC to be fine, chaka has the best warranty no doubt. I still stand behind my car ESCs and 12S Maytechs, but no matter what, you are practically getting the same thing, so if you think you could break it, get one with a good warranty.

Hi @michaeld33 it’s good to hear from some other minors on the site. With my budget, going dual motors is a bit out of it right now, however in the future it is definitely a possibility. And yes I’m not completely educated on the batteries yet, obviously, but going with that I might go for the 2x 6s batteries after knowing I wont be able to get the board to go at least 8-10 miles. If I were to get the bigger batteries, which ones would you recommend and what “C” level?

I really do want to get a VESC though with all the added features of regenerative braking. However my mind is still open about it, I know the ESC is easy to use, but having the VESC that customizes to your board specifications seems like a really cool efficient feature.

Look for a 20c rating on th battery

True @JLabs if @chaka VESC already includes a 1 year warranty then I will most definitely be buying that one, I’d rather spend more money upfront then take a risk when I get it of not working or breaking in the first time uses.

I personally like the castle creations mamba monster 2 the best for a 6s esc. They run about $110-$125, and are absolutely bullet proof.

Used one on my first board for a year, and still have one in my brothers 6s single motor build.

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It’s all good man, when I first got here I didn’t know what the difference was either! You’ll catch on quick!

20C is fine, high discharge isn’t required for esk8, although it doesn’t hurt.

Any battery is fine, just don’t get cheap/shitty ones if you can help it. Get brand name-- Zippy, Turnigy, Multistar, etc.

I get around 5-6 miles going a constant 18-27 mph on a 5000mah pack, but keep in mind I’m very light, so most people may only get 4-5 or less. Going slower will help save battery. Try not to ever push the battery, get more than what you need, pushing it will cause it to break sooner. I got 10 rides out of a battery once just because I pushed it too hard. With 2, 6S lipos in series (capacity of 5000mah) you could probably get 10 miles pretty easily.

Try to look for lipos on Hobbyking, pretty good reputation, and brand name for the most part.

The VESC is good for the people that want the features, but I don’t find it good in terms of reliability, I’d rather buy a car ESC that works EVERY TIME, rather than a VESC with nifty features which will break every 6 months.

I KNOW PEOPLE HAVE VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES WITH THE VESC. I am not saying that it’s always shit, I’m saying in my experience, it’s only worth the trouble if you need the features, and size constraints, but even still there are other options in terms of size.

Also, regen braking doesn’t work that well, you probably won’t get much regen in terms of things unless you live by a lot of hills.

Honestly I find VESC setup and tuning a pain in the ass, I want it to work, not have to take it apart to change the damn settings every couple rides. but that’s just my opinion.

@cmatson I believe @Mikeomania12 uses the same ESC, VERYY good ESC, all of their ESCs are well made

@michaeld33 So after learning that, buying 2x Zippy 6s 5000mah 20C seems like the way I’ll go. Should I run them in parallel or in series? Still up in the air for which way I’m going to go. When I go up to college (hopefully FSU), I’ll be able to use the board to get around instead of a car. But after reading a lot of people building their first board then building a second, beastlier board, I think I might do that. And since FSU is really hilly, the VESC seems like the way to go. For right now though, the ESC might be the better choice. What ESC are you using/ recommend for my board?

@cmatson Is the Mamba Monster 2 really waterproof? and is it just a plug and play kind of ESC?

Series would give you 12S, which is NOT what you want. I built my first (and still ride it all the time) have recently finished (for the most part) my second board. I’m even now working on a third board, after iterating, I know what I want. I built my first board when I wasn’t on the forum, I figured everything out for myself, now that I’ve become part of the community, I understand more of what I want out of a board now.

VESC is a good way to go in your circumstance, but I personally would want a higher voltage battery if I were you. You could always do an 8S setup with two 4S (5000+ mah) batteries in series. But whatever you’d like. Most 6S ESCs will work, but make sure you go with a Car ESC, and it should have a fan on it, much better that way. It will have to be 6S (you can get 8S ones but it will be $$+ than the VESC)

I have a X-Car ESC, a lot of people like the Castle ESCs, and the FVT ESCs. The X-Car is on Hobbyking for pretty cheap (I believe like $60-$70) Make sure you get the 150A one, the more amperage it can handle, the better.

dang, UF is where it’s at; how about that Louisville game? :wink:

plug and play, and waterproof! really waterproof, as it was designed for large scale rc cars. I would recommend the programmer (it is a little USB connector with a PC software that you download from castle creations website), as it allows you to change the throttle curves, cell cutoffs, braking force, etc.

The programming chip is a nice to have, not a need to have- the lipo cutoff and throttle curve are all set nicely out of the box, so the only initial setup is with your 2.4ghz remote and receiver. So yes, plug and play!

only caveat to that is when you first set up the esc, you need to follow the manual about setting up the max and min range options on your remote as well as neutral, but that takes about 30 seconds, and the manual is easy to follow on the simple process.

parallel to keep it at 6s!

@michaeld33 Going bigger from my original battery config, I’ll probably go 2x 6s parallel wired, and when I’m ready I’ll either upgrade it to a 10s low profile battery with much higher mah. I’m still a little confused about the whole VESC. I know it’s not plug and play, and it has lots of features that high professionals and even consumers would want on their board, to fully customize it. But what circumstances is the VESC really good for? What the ESC doesn’t have compared to the VESC? Researching it just makes me ask more questions, there never seems to be clear cut answers :unamused:. For when I go to college, it might make sense to get the VESC, but for right now in my circumstances what would that VESC have over the regular ESC, that would make a huge difference?