Now that the pictures are out of the way…
Heyas. This is my first real post, and first build. As I was looking through the e-skates available on the market, I realised nothing quite fit what I wanted. Unfortunately, nobody had DIY’d what I wanted either, so I had nobody to copy. So after much head-scratching, googling and pestering of the guys on our chat, I came up with this. This build has most of the things I want from an e-skate:
- A nice deck in the Bustin Maestro 6. Decks are very personal and I really liked how the Bustin felt beneath my feet. I spent almost 4 hours in the shop standing on every deck I could stand on before I settled on this.
- Low to the ground for easy pushing: the drop through mount and the 83mm wheels help with this.
- DIY geared drive out of necessity. I didn’t want a rear-mounted belt drive, which would have prevented me from using the kick. I didn’t want hub drives either, they apparently don’t feel so good especially if they’re on a relatively small 83mm diameter wheel. Plus I wanted the wheels to be swappable. Since the drive I wanted didn’t quite exist, I had to put one together. I’m not really a qualified engineer or anything, so this was fairly challenging. More details on the drive in a separate post.
- Swappable wheels. Since I was DIY-ing a drive, I wanted the wheels swappable as a feature. These are abec11 compatible.
- Acceptable enclosure clearance (about 40mm). Being on a drop through setup, it had to be thin enough to enable me to have enough clearance to clear regular bumps and stuff. I don’t have access to a vacuum forming machine, so it ended up being 3D printed.
- DIY remote with telemetry that is readable from either hand. I really like trigger remotes, they feel much more natural to me and I have better control over my throttle. Also, my brain occasionally does a brain fart when using the regular nub remotes and mixes up forward and backwards. And finally, no trigger remotes felt nice in my hand when I was wearing wrist guards (I always wear wrist guards). Again, since what I wanted didn’t quite exist, I had to make one myself. The remote is heavily based on @ervinelin’s DIY trigger style remote which is in turn based on @solidgeek’s remote, and I owe a lot to lurking on those threads and stackexchange . Again, more on this remote in a separate post below.
- Brake lights! I’m DIY-ing my remote and receiver, so why not? WS2812s controlled off the arduino on the receiver, powered by the ESCs.
I started thinking about this build back in March or so, and I only recently completed and maidened her ('tis but a hobby, what can you do). I still don’t know how far she can go on a charge, but she did 11km and the voltage telemetry reads 39.7V, so I think I’m OK for the kind of short fun rides that I intend to use her for. She’s also plenty zippy enough for me, topping out at around 35kph in tests. Pushing is awesome, the gear drives have very little rolling resistance so it’s much less tiring than pushing a belt driven setup. She rides really well, too, but that’s probably just me really loving the deck.
The biggest cons so far are:
- She’s not super turny. Avoiding wheelbite even with 83mm wheels on this deck, means the trucks need to be a wee bit firmer than I would like.
- She’s not that comfortable at speed. I’m quite happy puttering about at 20kph but if you gun it a bit more the 83mm wheels really remind you that they exist. Good thing I’m happy puttering about at slower speeds.
- While the enclosure has decent clearance, the gear drive itself has got just barely enough clearance for smooth asphalt, humps, and small debris (about 15mm). I wasn’t expecting much with 83mm wheels, but I think some of the larger twigs on the ground might literally grind my gears or otherwise do me in.
- All the components are crammed inside a tiny space. I am very worried that something will get squished one day and my board will die.
- Not waterproof. I’ve conformal coated all of the electronics and done what I can, but looking at other people’s builds it seems that nothing beats a nice continuous enclosure with a nice watertight seal against the deck. I don’t intend to ride in the wet, so this isn’t as bad as it first appears, but it would have been nice to have the peace of mind.
I am currently running her in and monitoring the gear wear. But I think she’s good enough to start a topic about.
Bearing in mind I’m an amateur (hence the name of the board), I hope y’all get something out of it as I slowly fill the topic in.