This project started innocently enough with a simple attempt to upgrade the battery on my Evolve GTX. But after lots of feedback from the forum, I ended up replacing almost everything except the Supercarve trucks and ABEC 11 wheels. I didn’t want to take a lot of risks with the design, because my main interest is in actually riding the board. So I looked at similar solutions here on the forum and reached out to various people for proven components.
This Halloween I dressed up as Hellboy, and since I was designing this board around the same time, that name seemed to stick. My goal for the board was to capture sleek California style with stripped down simplicity. This board is designed for power carving residential streets with plenty of torque for climbing hills and quick acceleration. The color scheme is banner red and flat black with yellow accents.
The enclosure from Eboosted was wonderful to work with. Super tough but easy to drill and sand when needed. The enclosure was designed to fit the Sector 9 BinTang, but I liked it even better on BinTang’s big brother, the Sector 9 Meridian. The generous 40-inch deck size makes sense for an electric board. I am about 6’ 2” tall, so the larger deck feels right.
Handy Tip: If you rub any of the Sector 9 boards with Acetone everything comes right off, including the decals on the bottom, and the grip tape as well. After some Acetone applied with paper towels the board looked like it was fresh from the mill. I didn’t sand a bit! I suspect this trick will work with many other brands as well.
I installed the enclosure with stainless steel rivet nuts. They mount on the deck and extend through to meet the bolts below. This method provides lots of strength for mounting the enclosure vs. inserts. I was careful to drill straight down into the deck, but since the deck has some camber, the rivet nuts made the top uneven. I countersunk the holes, used a Dremel to grind off one side, and Bondo to fill the other side before applying grip tape.
As you can see, I am charging the 12S4P battery with an external charger. I don’t like all the wires and complication of an on-board BMS. This way, I can manage the battery and see all 12 cell voltages while charging. I plan to build a mountain board someday with a similar setup, so the Chargery C4012B seemed like a good investment. This charger has worked very nicely for the intended purpose. I like the simplicity of the built-in 1500-watt power supply.
The flexible 12S4P battery was built by Roby over at Pelican Bay Innovations. He showed me how to connect the 12S external charger and also helped with many other aspects of the project. There are 48 Samsung 30Q 18650 cells on board, so we have maybe 50 volts and a capacity of 12 Ah. This battery definitely addresses the limitations of my original Evolve GTX.
Handy Tip: The Chargery C4012B supports many different battery types. The first type listed is LiPoAHv. Select this type if you are charging Li-Ion as well. Also, you will need to enter the total capacity of your battery pack into the settings menu. For example, in my case that was 12 Ah. Otherwise you may get an “over capacity” alert while charging.
I 3D printed a magnetic snap-on cover for the external charging cables. This protects them from dust and debris to some extent. There is also a foam rubber baffle glued into the enclosure. The foam presses the cables against the bottom of the deck and provides some water ingress protection. I might do more waterproofing later, but hey, it’s California.
I love the Evolve Trucks, they provide a fluid carve line plus reasonable stability at speed. Mr. Tiller was kind enough to supply the dual 6369 motors, they definitely fit the style of the board. The Unikboard Motor Mounts are just perfect and complete the drive train. The wide 15mm belts look cool and fit the ABEC 107mm and AT wheels from Evolve. I 3D printed the belt covers to protect the pulleys. Let me know if anyone wants that 3D model.
Handy Tip: Upgrading your Supercarve trucks to 63mm motors will require new mounts. Unikboards makes a great one that supports Evolve street and AT wheels. Here are the right 15mm belt sizes for this setup: 15/32T = 280 mm belt, 15/38T = 300 mm belt, and 15/65T = 380 mm belt.
I am starting out with the FOCBOX Unity set up for roll to start and automatic shutoff. This fits the stripped-down style that I am going for, but I might add a power switch and battery meter later on if desired. The Hoyt Puck remote works great with the Unity. The power train and acceleration provide a huge rush of excitement when this board takes off.
Handy Tip: There is an easy way to convert the FOCBOX Unity 3.5mm bullets to the 5.5mm bullets found on many 63mm motors. If you get a 5.5mm and 3.5mm set of bullets, you will find that the wire side of the male 3.5mm bullet can be forced into the wire side of the 5.5mm female bullet. Then just hit them with some solder and you have a converter. Be sure to cover them with heat shrink wrap and electrically isolate them!
For me, the most interesting thing about this project was the people I interacted with here on the forum. I purchased my enclosure from Peru, the motor mounts from France, the motor controller from Australia, the battery from Denver, and the board right next door in Santa Cruz. The ability of individual forum members to build things with 3D printers, CNC machines, and homemade circuit boards has been a real eye opener. We are definitely entering the golden age of electronic skateboards!