The Big Brown Beaver (named by my daughter) Is a novel electric skateboard made for joyriding solo or in tandem with a child. It features dual motor power, 12s4p battery, LED lighting and integrated Bluetooth music.
Rozzi herself modeling the build
She picked the name, the colors and stated the deck should “look like a deck”, so I took her literally and we painted it like the pattern of an backyard deck.
The shape isn’t that bad, I cut the nose off and left the tail as-is, not bad for a free deck from a friend.
-Used and free Skateshred deck with the nose cut off to make a bottle-nose, rear “beaver tail” kick, this was given to me by Loppy, a builder not in these forums. -TB218 trucks for dual motor clearance, of course with Riptide bushings and pivots, front has a Caliber 50 baseplate wedged another 5’, rear has a 44 Caliber baseplate de-wedged 4’, giving me a 55/40 split on a long wheelbase. Tuned with fatcones and barrels. -Zealous bearings wrapped in Abec11 107mm wheels -Hobbyking 15mm wheel and motor pulleys -Dual Ollin 50mm 190kv sensored motors -Custom motor mounts thanks to @korryh right here in these forums -HTD5M 255mm 15mm belt -Dual Maytech VESC (1st time testing these out) -Mini remote from Amazon -Handcrafted MDF battery/ speaker enclosure -Torqueboards 12s4p Panasonic battery with usb charge ports, built in solid state switch and voltage display -Voltage regulator set to 12.2 volts -Dual external toggle switches for turning on and off accessories -HitLights LED Light Strip Music Controller for SMD5050 RGB Multicolor LEDs -Supernight LED strip light 5050 SMD, 300 LEDs waterproof RGB color changing lights -Icstation 2X50W Bluetooth Digital Stereo Audio Amplifier -Dual 4inch full range auto speakers 4inch Speaker grills -Painted top (wood deck pattern) under clear grip tape, bottom painted flat black, enclosure in a steampunk brown (needs brass brackets and corner guards)
The drive is as solid as any I have built before, these mounts seem strong.
Finally gathering the final parts list in a pile
I have been slowly working on this project on the side, I wanted a board that was tacky, loud and included things which I would never put on a skateboard. Realizing I had a giant battery was the 1st revelation instigating the novelty questions, “what could I possibly power with this thing in addition to the motors?” I asked myself.
I had included flashy LED lighting on one of my early builds, a buddy made me a LED controller using an Arduino and I patched in a hefty voltage regulator to make it function. It was a neat and novel addition and aids with safety on night rides. It reminded me of those cyclists building cool party bikes with LED’s and music playing and cup holders for the critical mass gatherings and parties they have. I wanted to make something similar but in skateboard form. So, adding music was the obvious next step.
Shaping the enclosure to match the deck
Cutting out speaker holes and battery switch access
Mocking up, or should I say squeezing in…
Test fitting still, nothing completed here, lol
I 1st purchased a Bluetooth speaker and I was going to simply attach it to an existing eskate, but that didn’t last long, the battery wouldn’t last long and it wasn’t loud enough for what I was going for. As you can see I went all out, integrating the Bluetooth and constructing the whole thing entirely from scratch the key part being those little amplifier boards now on the market. These are small boards with Bluetooth and an amplifier built in, but the power and quality is lacking on most of them. I bought various kinds to find something that works, finally deciding on a 50watt version. If you do this, just get the best one you can afford with the most power. I think I blew two of them while testing and some of the cheap ones were even dead on arrival.
The low cost ollin motors came with some “who knows wtf” jack on the sensor wires, I’m just going to cut and hope to get the pin-out correct, I have jst’s.
As for actually building this thing, it was a lot harder than I thought, but I think I asked for it by trying to fabricate the entire enclosure myself. It’s a MDF at like 5mm, glued and screwed together, I am barely able to squeeze in everything and still fit it on the giant deck. There were numerous problems to overcome along the way I did a lot of building in my head and rearranging parts before ever securing anything. Bart, a another local eskater, provided the last few solutions and “just do it” attitude to get past the cruxes and problems that kept stopping me. The speaker grills were a bitch to figure out, the hardware was difficult to source, the mounting brackets were a puzzle, the sensor wires still need to be adapted to the Maytech vesc’s and I have not bench tested the motors yet, but I hope too tonight.
Bart tag teaming the solder work, we had to assemble this within the box obviously.
I used a basic regulator, to get the high voltage of 12 cells down to a controlled 12v needed for the accessories. It needed ample amps (pun intended) to power the amplifier and LED lights. The music and lights are on separate switches on the side of the case to save battery MAH for range when needed. I should measure the draw from the regulator to see how much of a dent I am putting on my range while running the music and lights.
Close up of the regulator, LED controller and 50watt Bluetooth amp. I was figuring out where to put the VESC’s, lol.
I still haven’t heard the speakers from the sealed box yet, and I’m hoping it doesn’t need ports because there’s little room for a tube to tune the air pressure, I’m hoping a leaky sealed box of MDF and some filler will do the trick, but there isn’t much volume. Also, the speakers are facing the ground, so most of the sound will be reflected unless the whole board is chilling and leaning up against something, then it’s louder than most self-contained Bluetooth speakers you could buy and bolt on.
Here she is on the solder bench getting assembled, just about done with the hard parts.
And this is how she sits as I type this, waiting for me to button it up and configure the VESC’s.
This is the Bluetooth adapter and amp I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075JHJ1ZR/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Stay tuned for more as I button this monster up and take her out on a maiden…I am open to suggestions for to how to best mount the cup holder, and look for Rozzi’s review in the future because we are going to take this out and paint the town RED!!