As most of you are fully aware, remote options for the DIYer essentially suck. Fortunately, right here on the forum, some very capable people have refined some projects that make creating your own badass remote possible… but not very accessible.
I designed these remotes for my board based on the firefly and Feather Smart remote project. Hats off to @solidgeek and @StefanMe for their incredible work. I hesitate to say that my evolution of their design is accessible, but it might be to folks that have a different skill-set. Also, I added what I believe to be a few upgrades.
So, you don’t need a 3D printer for this and I found a way around PCB for advanced prototyping thanks to Adafruit. They conviently make a custom protoboard for the Feather M0. It saves a lot of wires and solder-points. I’ll post some pics of the custom proto-shield that I designed later.
The thumbwheel/trigger that I used is designed by a military contractor for use in aviation and with heavy machinery. I stole this idea from @DerelictRobot. It’s pretty serious and expensive. It has a very high impact and water resistance rating and a repeatable-use rating over 3 million. Also, it’s really plush, my thumb loves it. It only comes in 5V, so I had to work a little electrical-engineering magic to get it to work with the Feather M0 which only comes in 3.3v.
I made both a thumb-wheel and trigger model because that’s what people want. The handcrafted bamboo enclosure isn’t just pretty. It’s ergonomic and it has a higher impact resistance rating than concrete which might come in handy for obvious reasons. I poured 1/8 inch of epoxy over the OLED. It’ pretty rugged now. I had tried finishing the bamboo with acrylic but that made it feel like plastic. Instead, I sanded it down with 1500 grit sandpaper and rubbed in some pure tung-oil with citrus solvent. This finish allowed my sweaty meat-hooks to breath a bit more, and it has a nice citrus scent:) Fine gun grips and cutlery handles are finished this way. Why not an esk8 remote? Now you can pistol-whip fools that owe you money with it.
The antenna did not need to be externalized, but I like how its dorky look. And the oversized, orange wrist lanyard isn’t just shameless promotion. It will help to keep you from getting shot by the poh-lice. Also, it comes in handy when trying to fish the remote out of deep pockets and backpacks. But, no, I’ve never put it around my wrist.
Because the Feather M0 comes with a li-po jack I used a 250 mah lipo pack. It was just too convenient not to. I realize this is a controversial matter and want to mention that I think it might be best to ride with an external power-source for the remote all-together. When I’m being battery-negligent, I ride with my remote hooked up to a 5000 mah power-pack in my pocket by way of USB cable.
I added BLE for smartphone connectivity (which was stoopid-easy) and made a custom proto-shield for the receiver as well.
Right now I’m making these for the boards that I sell and for friends. I’m going to do a short run of these this summer for general DIY purposes. If you’d like to trade your first-born for a remote, check them out at 3SK8esk8.com.
I’d love feedback and suggestions for further improvements or dream-features. Happy riding!!