Oz Commuter | AWOL Arrow (Deck 1) | Single R-Spec 6355 | Enertion MONO Drive Kit | Enertion SPACE Cell Pro4 | VESC-X | Winning 2.4Ghz Remote

Hi folks!

Before I present my build I’d like to apologise for how long it is!! I’ve been writing this in bits and pieces over several weeks and had no idea how much I had written. I hope that by sharing this it might help any other potential esk8 builders along in their journey and maybe provide some light entertainment to the veteran builders here!! :smile:

So I love skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding…basically anything where I can roll or slide sideways!! When I recently discovered how far electric skateboards had come and that the dream was real I knew I needed one in my life! Also, I have a bit of an annoying commute with a lot of walking into and around the city so this would be an awesome way to get my boarding fix in every single day.

Living in Australia I quickly came across Evolve and almost pulled the trigger on a GT Bamboo, but to raise the funds (according to my wife) I’d have to sell some of my other toys which I didn’t really like the idea of! So I tried to find out how hard it would be to build my own and came across @onloop’s video of how to build your own electric skateboard for $450 and was inspired. Following that I came across this glorious forum and have been soaking up information for the last couple of months. I’ve changed my mind a bazillion times on what parts I would use but eventually decided I’d keep cost down by going for a mono drive system but I wanted to ensure that the electric components would future proof me so I could upgrade to dual hub motors once they become more readily available. Also I see this board as an evolution where i can just keep playing with the recipe and always have something that keeps up with the times. Another sneaky thing I’ve found is that buying the board in bits and pieces keeps the cost hidden from my wife!! :smiley:

Build list

AWOL Arrow (Deck 1) http://awolsports.com.au/shop/skateboards/complete-longboard-kit-arrow-series-kit-1/

Single R-Spec 6355 Not presently available for sale: http://www.electric-skateboard.builders/t/electric-skateboard-motor-enertion-r-spec-2-0-190kv-6355/105

Enertion Mono Drive Kit Not presently available for sale: http://www.electric-skateboard.builders/t/new-enertion-2016-drive-kits-hot-prices/1510

Enertion SPACE Cell Pro4 http://www.enertionboards.com/on-sale/space-cell-pro4-electric-skateboard-battery-usa/

VESC-X http://www.enertionboards.com/electric-skateboard-parts/vesc-x-programmable-brushless-motor-controller/

Winning 2.4Ghz Remote Freebie from Jason

The story so far My first purchase was the Enertion Mono Drive system during their online sale which I bought as it seemed like a pretty good foundation plus it was local to me so I would get it pretty quick. I then figured once I got a deck I’d at least have a longboard to get used to whilst I got my head around out the electrical side of things.

I really liked the idea of a longer double kick board (like a longboard version of a trick skateboard) and LOVE the look of the Loaded Tesseract but it was just gonna be way too expensive for my first build. Searching for something with a similar shape I came across a brand called AWOL in Oz and they had a deck for $60 (AUD) and free shipping so I thought I’d take a punt:

http://awolsports.com.au/shop/skateboards/complete-longboard-kit-arrow-series-kit-1/

It turned up and felt like fairly good quality but was clearly a cheap finish, the deck graphic was ugly and poor quality and the routing around the wheel wells was wobbly. It had potential though so I stuck on the hardware and took it for a ride.

Pushing a longboard was much harder than I imagined compared to my skateboard and I ate sh*t at least 3 times in the first hour learning to ride it! Once I got used to it though it felt great at speed and I knew it would work well once electrified. It was still bloody ugly though so I lightly sanded the deck, tidied up the routing and softened the edges around the grip tape. I liked the look of some of the carbon decks I’d seen so ordered some vinyl sticker:

When it turned up I whacked it on and used the heat gun a little around the edges and to get rid of the fold marks from shipping.

Time for some juice! Having scoured HobbyKing for Lipo deals and comparing various builds I realised that I wanted at least 10s3p to give me the power and range I wanted. Working out the cost of this with the BMS, charger, anti-spark, on/off switch, capacity meter, enclosure I realised that it might be more cost effective to go with a pre-made unit and dropped @onloop a PM about the potential of a SPACE CELL PRO3. As it turns out he only lives 30mins up the beach from me! Unfortunately he didn’t have any in stock (believe it or not it’s bloody expensive to get them shipped to Oz) but he did have a SPACE CELL PRO4 sample he was willing to part with for what it cost him to build plus a slab of beer! :wink: So I arranged a meet up to come have a look.

The Enertion Magic Man Cave As you might well imagine Jason’s workshop is AWESOME! And he is a super nice guy to boot. Randomly I had my Grandad over visiting from the UK and it was the only day off I had that we could meet up so I took him with me. My GD used to be an engineer and he was like a kid in a candy shop (even worse than me!) and Jason gave him the full guided tour and I’ve never seen him so happy in my whole life! Him and Jason had a proper geek out and in a very short space of time I watched a 78 year old man become hooked on the concept of electric skateboarding. Whilst I was there I asked Jason if he could help out with any of the other parts I needed and I ended up leaving with a goody bag including a VESC-X, R-Spec 6355, Winning remote (which he advised could be crap but more on that later), a new enclosure, all wires, cables, bolts and even some extra risers. A lot of the parts were used for testing so he did me a really cheap price and I left with everything I needed to build my board - AMAZING. @onloop you’re a bloody legend! After a beer and a round of high 5s, me and my ESK8 addict Grandfather headed home to build this beast!

Motor assembly Not too much to say about this really as all the Enertion stuff goes together pretty easily. I did have a bit of a struggle getting the final screw into the motor and bracket however and it has gone in slightly skewiff which is slightly annoying as I’ve likely cross-threaded it but it’s definitely not coming out in a hurry so all good!

Transplanting the battery As I had a shiny new enclosure with weather seal I decided to transplant the electrics straight away. Before I did I thought it would be sensible to buy a multimeter, a new soldering iron and some other bits and pieces. Whilst I’ve used a soldering iron plenty in the past I’ve never really worked with live batteries as and it would be fair to say I almost blew myself up a couple of times!! These things are not to be messed with without knowing exactly what you’re doing and I soon learnt that I didn’t really know what I was doing! Firstly a multimeter is not a toy. I accidently had the wrong setting selected and made my capacity meter go pop! Even though I blew off the solder contacts and charred the board it actually still worked, but I’ve order a new one to be safe. Then there was the incident of re-attaching the laptop style charger port; when doing this I accidently touched both contacts with my soldering iron - BANG! Another scary moment which I luckily got away with all my fingers and no damage to any cells/electronics - well that I know of anyway!

The VESC Whilst I’m apparently incompetent with electronics the software side of things made complete sense to me and creating the settings in the BLDC tool was pretty straight forward. It probably helped that the VESC had already been used before by Jason so fired up straight away with the correct firmware version. I watched Jacobs video on Facebook which was extremely helpful - how you manage to talk and look after a baby is beyond me (hero worship right there!) and once I had all the specs from @onloop for my parts getting the settings right was quite straightforward.

The only thing that did confuse me for a good hour or so was binding the remote. It turns out I had the binding part correct first time but it accelerated hard every time I turned on the remote and only stopped when I pulled back the throttle. After trying to search for a solution, taking apart the remote to look for a loose connection I realised that it was quite simply just the accelerator calibrator that needed backing off:

And we have power!!!

Oh…btw, I didn’t realise the motor was spinning the wrong way until I got it on the tarmac! Obviously switching the wires around did the trick! :smile:

Also, on these little Winning Nano remotes - I have nothing but good things to say about them (so far!). I know they get a bad wrap, and perhaps I’m lucky and got a good one, but it hasn’t dropped out once and has been nothing but super responsive. Fingers crossed it stays that way!! :astonished:

Seeing a board move all by itself for the first time is just bizzare!! I don’t think I’ll ever get over that - just surreal! :grin:

Maiden Voyage:

Next morning commute to work:

47km/h!!! Boom! Think there may have been a slight tail wind and the tarmac (cycle path) was super smooth but still happy that it can hit that. Not going to be pushing that hard in office clothes though - just got a little curious about what it could do!! :wink:

Cruising the esplanade:

Next steps / things to improve:

So since writing the above build log I’ve been riding the board for about a month and have racked up around 90 - 100km. I’ve now realised a couple of things I like and a couple I don’t, have modified settings, have stripped and broke a belt and generally need to update the board to ensure it lasts!

Enclosure The SPACE CELL is really good however it’s a little bit oversized for what I need and I think I could get away with moving the truck back to make the board a little bit more nimble. I’d love a crack at making a proper carbon fibre one like the incredible ones @whitepony has been making (dude - seriously beautiful craftsmanship) or I may be a cheap ass and just get some fibreglass fabric and do it that way. OR I may get my ‘ghetto’ on aka @ninja and vac seal bag one! :wink:

Extra motor The mono is great and gives me a super high top end and is pretty good at accelerating too. The only problem is it eats wheels and I’ve already killed a belt. I could back off my brake settings and be a more sensitive lover (not riding that sh*t out of it) but hey, I like to ride hard and fast so there’s no chance of that! I do always push start to be fair and don’t over break down hill hammer it up hills etc. Can’t decide whether it’s worth waiting for decent hubs to come on the market or bite the bullet and invest in another motor/VESC.

All Terrain wheels Change out the wheels to MBS All Terrain longboard wheels - I’m super keen to do this to preserve the life of my wheels. I also travel some pretty cobbly paving in places on the way to work so this might help with the bumps. Could I keep the same gearing with these?

Anyways, I’ll keep updating this thread with any upgrades, thanks for reading, apologies for the poor camera work and poor quality vids - I’ll look to start using my GoPro and a decent SLR in future, and thank you to everyone on the forum for your ideas and innovations as I wouldn’t have had a hope in hell of completing this build without you all!

Keep shredding, Dan

7 Likes

Great build, greater build log. Loved the story about your granddad. Awesome. Have fun :grinning:

Thank you @mmaner - great to have good feedback from one of the regulars :slight_smile: Been loving your work too! Yeah it’s funny with my Grandad he’s soooooo keen it’s ridiculous and he’s egging me on to make an e-mtb now!! :wink:

How exactly did you fix up the routing issues i bought the exact same deck for this purpose and was also appalled at the quality of the wheel wells. also did you have any issues with wheel clearance by any chance i found that the kegels im running are too large are. are you using risers?

Hi @Valkyrie, sand paper, a sanding block and elbow grease for the wheel wells I’m afraid, they’re still not perfect but the carbon vinyl evens things out - it’s a real horror story under there! :smile: As for clearance I doubled up on riser pads and had to buy some longer deck bolts as the standard longboard ones didn’t fit. I’m actually going to order so angled ones soon to see if that works any better but I find the ride really comfortable with the double riser set up and there’s zero wheel bite now.

What is the thickness of your risers and rough length of you bolt if you dont mind me asking. love the build by the way/

@Valkyrie - thanks man! The risers are the standard 6mm ones from Enertion, and the bolts were M5 countersunk bolts from Bunnings (Australian DIY store). I’ll double check the length when I get home but I’m pretty sure it’s these ones: https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-m5-x-50mm-316-stainless-steel-countersunk-head-bolt-and-nut-3-pack_p2310721 They only annoying thing is they’re silver but I couldn’t find anything in a skate store longer than 1.5in

hihi, nice read! :grinning:

that carbon vinyl wrap looks really great!

1 Like

Shame Bunnings only sells crap wood, it would be easier for us Aussies to try and make some decent decks without having to resort to alternatives with high import costs. also think you could post a picture of the present enclosure.

Ha…thanks @whitepony - I feel cheap and dirty using it but the value add for such a quick job was defo worth it :wink: The board is actually back on the workbench in pieces now as I’m changing the enclosure and replacing a few parts and have removed the vinyl. I may reapply another sticker, but gonna have a go at stripping the rest of the paint first to see what the deck looks like natural wood. Do you know if it’s possible to wrap a deck in a layer of carbon fabric/resin without vacuum forming? Did you ever try this in any of your early tests? I suppose getting it to stay would be the issue as it won’t adhere like a sticker would. The vinyl is fine, and a nice cheap fix, but does wear out fairly quickly with the amount I’m riding it and carrying it around - especially around the edges.

tha’ts some pretty good looking vinyl. Usually I can tell the difference between real carbon and vinyl straight away but that made me look twice.

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YO!..Nice Detailed Build Thread!

good to see some fellow SA ESK8 Builders… & for anyone else reading this payment in beer is always welcome at Enertion HQ

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First off - great build thread! I really enjoyed the story and especially the Granddad part. Jealous that @Onloop is that close - dangerous to be that accessible, not sure my wallet could take it…

I’ve done it. Works pretty well too. I’ve done both vacuum and “ghetto” with GF and CF. I did my enclosures with CF a while back and simply added some weight and foam to help form them a bit tighter. For a simple deck bottom i think this would be even easier! I hand laid the CF on top of one deck without even the weights - worked out great and well secured and solid. I think the biggest trick is to fully sand and prep the wood, and then trim your CF when it’s gelling so less to trim later when it’s hard. Dremel works great to get it close and sand to finish/flush with the edge. I used hot glue to plug the deck holes and then drilled them out from the other side to prevent epoxy from filling them. Another trick is packing tape the edges, so any excess drips doesn’t curl around the deck and make a mess. Less to sand and clean up and the tape just makes it super easy and clean.

If there’s a way to screw it up - i think i’ve found it a few times now. Here’s an old build i did for my buddy - adding CF top and bottom to reinforce a deck:

Here’s the top hand-lay i did to reinforce my Omen Chief (double thick deck routered out):

And some thumbnails of the layers i did w/ uni for strength and tape to use MDF as the mold to form to. I used perf release film and breather fabric under the weights and foam to help with excess resin. Then some final coats and turned out well! (final isn’t in the pics below - this is pretty step-by-step i used:

Look forward to following this more - keep up the good work!

GL!

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Wow thanks for the detailed info! That’s an awesome thread - I love the way the deck turned out - simply stunning. Your friend must have been stoked! I’ll defo give this a go and keep you posted

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hi, I find myself building my skateboard with the same engine but I want to know which battery you put since the speed of my engine is not very fast.

i want to know this SPACE CELL PRO4 Electric Skateboard Battery USA Is there a need to buy batteries?

Can you explain me how it works

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@Hansg you question was answered in your thread yesterday. you are currently using a single 3s battery and will definitely not get enough power. you need to get at least 1 more battery of the same kind and put it in series with your other battery in order to give more voltage. more voltage = more speed. good luck

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pls educate yourself a bit more. Do some reading here and take a look what other people did and how that turned out. You´re doing things too fast without knowlede and end up wasting money.