It has always been my dream to build an electric skateboard. And so I did, in September 2017, and it has been really, really great. Until today.
I decided to allow my sister to have a turn on the esk8, and so I rode her bike. She has had a lot of experience with it in the past, and the small decline of the hill did not make me think twice. So there we are, 500 meters from home, and whizzing on a bike lane at a modest 18-20km/h. Life is Great.
I tell her to watch out, as the bike lane splits into a pedestrian lane and a bike lane, and I tell her to merge into the pedestrain lane. The it hits me. The faster I accelerate, the faster she is going; faster than any speed she had dared to gone before. I knew something was wrong. Then speed wobbles, left, right, left, right. And in a split-second, she is on the floor with multiple scrapes, and most of all, a broken collarbone. To put into context, she had never broken a bone before. What happened?
By the time I got home, and she was sent to hospital, I recalled that she told me the remote was not responding to her command to brake. I carefully open up the remote (Enertion NANO-X). Just 5 minutes ago I was telling her how nice the range is on the remote, with no “dark spots” whatsoever, reception wise. And there it is. It had failed me. The tiny LiPo battery was disconnected from the PCB. Furthermore, parts of the plastic had broken off. Now this is by no means criticism of Enertion, but this disconnection had led to all of those problems.
Why didn’t the VESC (Torque Boards 4.12) activate the brakes when the remote disconnected? Because I updated the firmware to Ackmaniac’s 2.54 Extended BLDC, and it removed/reset the setting.
So things to take away are; ALWAYS wear a helmet, and to turn on the setting in the VESC because it could save you from injury or even death. Which brings me to one last thing. Why did the joint disconnect? It was soldered properly, and was intact for months. What if I wasn’t so close to my destination, and the remote broke? Would I be stranded? I think this is an occasion that we should all reflect on, and I guess part of being an esk8ter is accepting these risks, especially in DIY. But she never signed up, and now I feel extremely sorry.
P.S. she is fine