First off, hats off to SolidGeek’s DIY remote thread (https://www.electric-skateboard.builders/t/simple-3d-printed-nrf-remote-arduino-controlled/28543 & https://github.com/SolidGeek/nRF24-Esk8-Remote) from which this is based off. I decided to start another thread so as not to dilute his original version of the remote.
If you build your own electric skateboards, you’ll know that the current off the shelf remotes are not exactly ideal. Most do not have telemetry data, others are rather expensive for what they are and of course for some reason a lot of them are thumbwheel driven which I personally don’t like.
In my search for my own personal remote, I’ve bought, hacked and built several variations including the very popular GT2B mod, the mini remote and I finally stumbled upon SolidGeek’s Simple 3D-printed NRF remote. I built that as well but really didn’t like the thumbwheel.
I ended up hacking a mini remote to hold the electronics in SolidGeek’s design but it required extreme creativity in dremeling out the necessary cavity for the new electronics.
I also really hated the fact that there are a million and one wires to individually solder between all the various components. Thus I began my journey to build my own based on SolidGeek’s initial schematic with a goal of sharing it with the esk8 community.
The idea was simple, design an a easy to build, decent sized trigger style ambidextrous remote with telemetry and a deadman’s switch as a safety feature. The last point was made painfully clear to me after my finger got caught in the gears when I accidentally bumped the trigger in my old remote.
The remote I designed has the following features:
- A dead man’s switch which deactivates the throttle when the remote is not held (safety feature because the trigger can accidentally go off otherwise, ask me how I know)
- A mode switch which swaps between displayed data (Speed, distance, battery voltage, Ah drawn, current draw)
- Ergonomic OLED display position so you don’t need to twist your wrist to read it.
- Menu to adjust settings
- Programmable deck selection via menu
- Calibration of throttle via menu
- Ambidextrous design, swap to left hand use by adjusting the script-
- Skate bearing used in trigger mechanism for smoother operation as well just a fun detail considering it’s meant for an esk8
- Hall sensor instead of potentiometer to prevent potential wear of a pot
To do this, I started designing my own custom PCB to hold the electronics (https://easyeda.com/ervinelin/New_Project-35f7bf3537744cda8e1064904f6a78a5), which is a completely new adventure for me. I made some minor mistakes along the way but I am glad it worked out. The latest versions have corrected these mistakes.
I also took weeks to refine the remote design starting from paper sketches, to iteration after iteration of the 3D model, test fitting, re-modelling, re-printing and more testing to get to the final design (which still could do with more refinements).
The trigger mechanism uses hall sensor instead of a potentiometer as well as a skate bearing to ensure a smooth operation (as well as to pay homage to the fact that it’s a skateboard). Again refinements were made to the position of the magnets as well as the size of the magnets.
The receiver itself is also relatively easy to build and is very small.
The eventual remote works as I had intended, telemetry, deadman’s switch, deck selection, mode button and work.
It’s also slim enough to easily fit into pockets or bags.
Overall I’m very happy with the end results, it’s a fair bit of work with many parts to order but I hope this repository helps you build your own!
STLs available at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2800544
Youtube video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQl7mLMAiAs&feature=youtu.be
PCB Files available at https://easyeda.com/ervinelin/New_Project-35f7bf3537744cda8e1064904f6a78a5
Firmware available at https://github.com/ModMiniMan/nRF24-Esk8-Remote
Build guide available at https://github.com/ModMiniMan/nRF24-Esk8-Remote/wiki
You will need to have intermediate soldering skills to complete the build as well as knowledge on how to program an Arduino and adjust simple code. Of course if you print this yourself you will need to know how to 3D print.
Caveats: Remote is experimental and not an off the shelf product that has undergone proper testing. Build and use at your own risk. Please bench test extensively before actual use. Lastly, I highly recommend protective gear when using the remote just in case something doesn’t work (many many things can go wrong)