DIY Electric Penny Board First Build

Hi, I’m making my first build on a penny board. The idea is to have an e-board small enough to casually bring on trains and buses. Basically, I’m trying to achieve this but with the new VESC, R-spec motor, nyko wireless controller and if possible a resized SPACE cell (i’ll get to this later)

I’m using: enertion motor kit, enertion rspec motor, enertion trucks and wheels latest vesc, nyko kama wireless controller, 22" penny board, SPACE Cell v2

I bought a SPACE cell v2 without realizing it’s too big to fit on a penny board, and I’m thinking of opening it up and removing some batteries to make it smaller by sacrificing some power. Any advice? I’ll try to get some professional help at makerspaces/prototyping labs, but we all know the most professional help is on here :smile:

I’m a total noob with electronics and stuff, so I have some silly questions to ask.

  1. How do I do a bench test without a controller? I haven’t soldered the nyko wireless wiiceiver to the VESC yet, as I have no experience with that.

  2. I also don’t know how to connect the motor to the VESC. Am I supposed to crimp the wires on the VESC and then somehow glue them to the gold female connectors that came with the motor??

  3. If opening up, removing some cells from the SPACE cell and repackaging it to be smaller is not feasible, I’m considering simply using the zippy 5000mAh 2S1P 20C batteries. Will it be okay to use the fast charger that’s originally for the SPACE cell for the zippy batteries?

  4. Is it a good idea to open up the space cell, remove some cells and make it smaller? Or rather, is it a BAD idea? I’ve already spent so much on it that it’d be a waste to not use it, but of course it’ll be an even bigger waste to ruin it. Could always use it for a longboard build.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! So excited to not have to kick or destroy my shoes to slow my boards down.


I’m gonna love this thread when you have this up and running!

  1. you need to solder brushless motor connectors simply crimping won’t ( in my experience ) be a solid enough connection like brushed motors. Each wire so the the vesc and the motor both need a male and a female gold connected that is soldered on.

  2. the zippy batteries have balance leads and I’m pretty sure the space cell doesn’t play the voltage is way off. Just buy a balance charger I use the prophet sport duo.

  3. the space cell is already pretty much as small as it can get.

So add onto 2 I make my own lipo and 18650 packs so if you need help making you lipos thinner I can give you some tips on how to make them thinner with out changing any specs on them. Or you can permenatly combine your two lipos together

Also be careful with trucks that size your board is gonna bite easy

Wow thanks for replying so quickly!


  1. Bench testing means using a controller to test and get the motor going

  2. Solder the wires to the gold connectors, connect gold connectors

  3. Space cell charger is only for space cell

  4. I mean make it smaller by sacrificing some of the batteries, that should be possible, right? Or will the battery not be able to supply enough juice that way? Probably just need to remove 1000Ah worth of batteries or less to make it fit, although it is too wide as well as too long… I might just give up on fitting the SPACE cell onto my penny board, such a pitty

The board seems to be so high above the wheels that it wont bite, and the trucks are actually so wide that the board fits in between the wheels. Maybe it won’t when turning though haha

1 Like

Nice project, I’ve been thinking of electrifying my Penny as well, but just finished my longboard and waiting for spring so i can ride it properly for the first time, so it’ll be interesting to see what a Penny can look like!

You can use the arrow keys to control the motor in bldc tool. Might have to tick the box marked Kb Ctrl if it is not checked already.

I’d say save the space cell for a board that fit it and use other smaller batteries for the penny.

To take out any cells from the space cell you’ll have to have some battery know how. You’ll have to take one cell from each parallel connection. So all the series connections are even

I’m not sure you can bench test without a receiver and controller in my experience

And yes in an old build I had a basically exact setup and it bite so much lol

I guess the solution to that are raisers and maybe shaving some of the board off lol

Yea maybe raisers and there are those weird wheel cover things. They’re called wheel shields or something I’m not sure. They’ll work BUT not sure if the skateboarding community will approve :smile:

1 Like

Without all the cells, the space cell won’t be able to sustain it’s original amp rating. This probably isn’t a good idea because all the cells are spot welded together, and taking it apart would be a very easy thing to screw up. Nothing against you , but we don’t feel it is a wise decisions for someone who is not very experienced with board electronics yet.

you will have to buy a lipo balance charger to charge those zippy batteries. The charger for the space cell works only with the space cell because it has a built in BMS (battery management system). The BMS on the space cell regulates the cell voltages so the charger doesn’t have to.

With the zippy’s, there isn’t anything to regulate the cells, so you’d need a charger that can do that. Your other option is to add a BMS, but that is significantly more work and a balance charger is the easiest solution.

You could still make a compact commuter, it’d just be a little longer and wider than a penny board.

minimum deck length would probably be around 30" for the space cell to fit. Maybe more, maybe less depending on truck mounting locations.

1 Like

You should be able to return the spacecell to @onloop. Doesn’t enertion have like a 300 or 600 day return policy? Or you could sell it for a loss.

1 Like

true, but because of the really strict battery regulations he would be required to ship it overseas by boat, and it’d be really expensive…

plus it’d take many months to get back to Australia (assuming you are not in Australia @jonathanngkh)

Wow emotional rollercoaster right here. ‘Oh yeah I could send it back’ ‘Oh yeah I paid $100 in import taxes to get it in’

I’ll just save it for a future r-spec build then. And order that balancing charger. Such great info you guys

sell the space cell and buy a small lipo.

1 Like

@jonathanngkh I would keep it for your next project, just read all the posts here it really is an excellent product & design. PM me if you need to sell the space cell. I was looking to buy a space cell for my next MTB project.

Hi, I have a question regarding batteries, not sure if I should start a new thread, just let me know.

I understand that if I have a 5000mAh battery with 20Cs, that’s 100A. And That’s already “too much” considering onloop recommends that 60A is enough, right?

But if I have 2 5000mAh batteries in series, both at 20Cs, 7.4V each, what’s the A rating then? The same?

Also, where does battery life come in to this? It seems like having more mAh would provide a longer battery life, is that correct?

I just busted my zippies by connecting them together, rookie mistake I know, just lucky to be alive and no explosion (no battery swelling too, just the plugs got fried)

So should the new batteries that I’m going to get be like 3000mAh at 20Cs to achieve the power efficient rating of peak 60A? I’m a light guy, only 58kgs, and would like as efficient a build as possible with long battery life.

it’s not too much, it’s just saying that is what it can peak.

Being able to deliver more amps than your system needs won’t hurt anything- if anything it’s just some safe breathing room.

If you were to knock down from 5,000mah to 3,000mah, you’d be hurting your range more than you probably want.

1 Like

@cmatson Explained it perfectly.

Thank you so much, as always for the great info and quick replies too.

Guess I’ll stick with 5000s!

I have a VESC, how does regenerative braking work with batteries that don’t have a BMS (like the zippy flightmax 5000s)?

Sorry for all the silly questions and thanks for your patience and guidance always

1 Like

haha everyone has to start somewhere, so no question is a stupid question!

the regen braking is so minimal it won’t hurt your batteries. They will get more unbalanced from just being discharged than they will from regen braking, so I wouldn’t even worry about it.

I’d just set your lipo cutoff above the minimum 3.2v per cell to ensure the batteries don’t get damaged over a long period of time.

1 Like