Long Range/Budget Build | DIY 18650 Battery | VESC | 280kv | Wood Deck

So, i have decided after watching many videos and reading many posts i am going to build my own Electric Longboard.

I don’t have a lot of money to spare, so my budget is fairly limited at around $500 (excludes chargers and misc wires, connectors,etc as i have all of that), but i think i can make it work. My goal is to get the longest range for the cheapest price.

For the battery i will be going the DIY route and will be making a 6S13P 18650 Battery. The battery itself will weigh around 3.5kg and will be soldered together and wrapped by myself. I will post progress pictures throughout this thread as i get to those stages.

I have ordered all of my parts, and i am only waiting on the motor, belt, controller, some more 10AWG wire and a VESC. (I ordered a cheap HobbyKing ESC as a temporary solution due to the VESC delay.)

This is just a small intro into my build thread. I will keep it updated with pictures and progress posts.

Thanks :slight_smile:

EDIT: I am using recycled laptop batteries for my source of 18650’s. They will go through thorough testing and i will be using any cells from 2000-2400mAh. I get quite a few that are 2400mAh+ but i am using them for a different project of mine.


13p!!! That’s a lot of potential range…

lol wut? where did you buy those cells at that you were able to fit them into a $500 budget?

Shit, i forgot to mention i am using recycled laptop batteries.

They will go through testing and i will be using any cells from 2000-2200mAh.

I am afraid laptop batteries wont work that well because they have very low discharge rating. Although you have 13p each batteries needd to he able to do continuos discharge about 10a to be stable. Not quiet sure if laptop battery spec able to do that.

@seanpain4 that’s the biggest 18650 DIY esk8 battery I’ve heard of! 32,500mAh! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

What is the intended use of a pack like that? Some quick calculations, using average settings, tells me that is about 6.5 hours of ride time, which would easily get you 70 miles or so! How will you use it?

@laurnts The max current draw from this motor will be about 60A. Divide that by 13 and it is only around 4.5, at peak.

Like i stated these batteries will be tested very thoroughly to ensure they can handle the work load.

@treenutter I tend to walk/longboard around my town quite a bit. I often spend the day out and then i might spend the night at a friends place then ride my board to school, then that night i will go home. I intend to be able to go a couple of days without the need to charge the board or carry extra batteries or my charger with me.

I also had access to lots of laptop batteries, so why not utilize that?

Plus, it seemed ridiculous so i thought it would be fun.

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You will have a lot of fun with this build. Once you find out the capacity of each cell you will want to distribute them equally into each paralleled pack. Each pack should add up to same capacity if you distribute them accurately.

Get used cells rather than recycled if you can. You will get a lot of bad cells in “recycled” packs.

A great way to discharge cells in mass is by making a balance harness with rare earth magnets soldered to the ends of the wires. This way you can discharge many cells at once by connecting them in series with the magnetic balance wires… Each time the discharge cycle completes pull the lowest cell and replace with a charged cell taking note of how many mAh have discharged. Next time the cycle completes you add the previous mAh measurement to get the total mAh of the remaining cells. There are a few more details to the process but it becomes clear once you begin implementing the technique.

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@chaka Majority of the packs are just used, not sourced from recycling facilities.

I already have a very similar setup to what you are suggesting for the discharging of the cells. I discharge a large amount with an iMax B6 then i have a couple of 4 slot independent chargers that will charge them back up and tll me their capacity. So far i have processed around 50 cells and found about 44 usable cells.

I have seen them used for electric bikes. So i would assume they would be just fine.

Sounds like you have done your research! @laurnts he will be able to output close to 1500 watts continuous with bursts well over 2000 watts in a 6s13p configuration. Most riders never use this much power.

@seanpain4 Ridiculous is always fun! I love the idea of using upcylcled laptop batteries, I’ve seen folks do it for their bike packs and think that’s it’s both cost efficient and a nice way to use stuff that would otherwise be junk! It would be a great contribution to the forum here if you documented how the build goes, what you have to do, etc.

The main item i am waiting for is my Hot Glue Gun. Once i have that i can begin assembling my batteries.

By the time i get the batteries done, the other components that i am waiting for will arrive, these are, Motor, ESC, Controller/receiver, Pulley belt, 10AWG wire, along with some bullet connectors for the Motor to ESC. These are all due to arrive in the next week, maybe two weeks.

UPDATE: I Started Re-Wrapping the tested cells that i am going to be using.

I think i will be able to start making the batteries tonight or tomorrow.

Before, During and Afters:


This is the board I’m going to use, bought it online from Awol Sports. It was pretty cheap and well made. I don’t particularly like the branding on the grip tape or under the deck so i am planning on repainting it and putting new grip on.

The trucks were originally mounted in a drop through style, but i will need to mount them under the deck as shown in the image. But as a result it leaves that hole there in the deck which i don’t really like. So, as per @treenutter suggestion, i am going to fill the hole with some form of epoxy or resin. Then i can repaint the deck with my own design and then put some new grip on. You can see a close up below.

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Change of plan again. Instead of filling the hole with an epoxy or resin, i am going to get a cap 3D printed with the assistance of @Danpooed. I decided to go this route as i will be able to convert the board back if i ever decide to get a different deck. I will also be able to mount my XT90-s key loop on there as well so i dont have to plug it in underneath.

I measured up the holes and came up with a 3D model using 123D. @Danpooed also assisted a little bit with this as well.




Good idea. If you’re running wires to the caps, you might as well integrate a USB port or LEDs in there for night riding. Hell, you could squeeze a voltmeter into the cap to better monitor your range while riding.

Good ideas!

I’m planning on adding some LED’s underneath and maybe a couple facing forward to light up the path.

I’ve seen this deck online. What are your thoughts on the flex and the feel under your feet ? It’s the grip tape good ? I think the shape might be goof for the oversize wheels we tend to use on our E-Boards.