Hi there! This is the little journey of my first eboard build and how I killed it. Not really though, just broke the deck XD
So I did the usual few months of research and pining after a board and finally took the plunge and bought some parts. Trawled a lot through these forums for that so thanks all who left feedback and opinions on other peoples posts. Though I’m sure you’ll all find some flaws in my setup (anticipating some vitriol for my choice of VESC).
Was planning on building my deck from scratch (buying some sheets of maple ply, gluing and shaping) but I found a deck on amazon for cheaper than I could get the wood ($33!) and I was getting impatient. In retrospect this wasn’t the best idea. Figured I could use it as a prototype and upgrade later but after I striped the deck of ugly decals, cut it to a nicer shape, sanded, stained and varnished, it looked really great so thought I had lucked out. Board used:
Parts on the board are Dual FSESC4.20 Plus with integrated anti spark switch, Flipsky BLDC Belt Motor Battle Hardened 6374 190kv (times 2 ofc) and I went with the Flipsky VX2 remote with the screen. Later I also installed a BT module to program the ESC on the fly. Decided against building my own battery pack for my first board, ended up being more expensive to build one anyway as I don’t have a spot welder. Found a great supplier for the battery pack 12s4p Samsung 18650 30q cells with a beefy Bestech 12S 80A BMS. The battery pack came with an integrated switch which came in handy later as well as a charge percentage indicator display. Got wheels, trucks, pulleys, riser pads, bearings and other misc hardware from Mboards. Fun fact, the Mboards Complete 36T Abec Pulley System doesn’t actually fit on the Mboards 97mm Abec wheels. Eg:
As you can see, the pulley sits in the recess by about 3mm and made the belt rub. In the end I used the retainer washer from the pulley kit as a washer between the wheel and the pulley to push it out a few mm and ordered a couple of extra retainer washers from Ebay to be able to actually attach the pulleys to the wheels. Tried to order extra retainer washers from Mboards to solve the issue but they never responded to my emails on the topic. The retainer washers from Ebay had the wrong sized holes so I had to drill them out to get it all to fit.
Next up I built a box for the battery and electronics, pretty straight forward. Just some thin ply, stained and varnished like the board. Wanted it to be sturdy so the battery wouldn’t bend and it could take some impacts.
Drilled holes through the board, put in some threaded inserts and attached the box, again with thick rubber washers for flex.
I was planning on running some LED headlights from the battery via a buck converter but after waiting a month and a half for the converter to arrive (ones in store aren’t rated to 50v) I got impatient and just built the electronics box. Didn’t have dimensions of the converter and the box was already pretty big so I didn’t leave any room for adding it in future, I’ll just put some lights on my helmet.
Then it was just a matter of throwing on some nicely shaped clear grip tape and getting on the road! Finished product:
So I’m really happy with how it turned out. Get roughly 25km distance from a 90% charge down to 35%. Keeping it between those values for battery longevity. Where I live is pretty hilly and I also end up slowing down and speeding up a lot to avoid/make way for peds and cyclists on the bike trails. It’s got a lot of power, pulls me up hills with ease at pretty high speeds. The remote shows amperage and I haven’t seen it go over 15 amps but I don’t know if that is total draw or per motor. Must be per motor right? Or that would be way too low? Haven’t been game to take it over about 42kmph, but it could easily go faster and it is loads of fun.
Issues that have cropped up though, the Flipsky ESC anti spark switch stopped working after about 60 k’s which I have read is quite common. Luckily as I mentioned before, the battery has an integrated switch. I was doing the one two with the switches before which I quite liked. Turn on the battery to see the charge without powering up the ESC. Can’t do that anymore but doesn’t matter too much. However, now when I charge the board the ESC gets warm (not hot, just warm) wondering if the ESC being powered on by the charge cycle will cause any issues?
Another fun issue (the big one) is after a few rides, the board ply started to delaminate at the front from the vibration and impacts on the front wheels from concrete pavements. I got some anti collapse brackets to put on top of the board to reinforce the holes for drop through config, re-glued up what I could and hoped but it kept getting worse. I ordered a higher quality board without the drop through holes in anticipation of board failure and I’m waiting for that to arrive. However this morning the nose just broke right off!
Hit a bit of a bump at walking speed (Melbourne has bluestone gutters everywhere). The deck strength was too compromised. Wondering if anyone else has had this issue? Was it because of the cheap deck? Or maybe I caused the ply lamination to weaken when I cut it to shape with a jigsaw? Hoping to avoid the issue with the new deck. I think I managed to get about 150kms of ride in before this happened which to me doesn’t seem like much.
Anyway, the whole thing has been a lot of fun and even riding the board to death gave me a funny kind of satisfaction. Looking forward to resurrecting my board and getting back out there! Thanks for reading my wall of text, thoughts, tips and upgrade ideas very welcome!