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3D Printing Electric Skateboard Electronics

Custom lighting system for my electric skateboard

Recently I’ve joined a local electric skateboard group that goes on regular group rides. Unfortunately most of these are at night and I don’t have any sort of lights. It’s dangerous to ride at night as I can’t see what’s ahead of me and others can’t see me.

Instead of forking out a large amount of money for some pretty basic (and boring) lights I decided to make my own. I purchased some 300 LED/m WS2812B strip and a 15W LED light bar off eBay. The light bar requires 12v so I built a 3s3p (12.6v, ~6Ah) battery pack out of 18650 Li-ion batteries. This means I needed a 5v power supply to run the LED strips and ESP8266 micro controller. Products on eBay tend to be overrated so I normally aim for something rated much higher than necessary.

The 5v, 5A power supply used.

I designed and 3D printed a case to fit all of the batteries and electronics inside. It’s a bit bigger than necessary but I wasn’t certain on the size of everything when I made it. I designed it so the light bar attaches onto the front so it’s easier to mount on the board. The cables come out via two waterproof glands for the light bar, and charger (red, black) / led strip (yellow, green, white).

The controller box and light bar mount.

The adhesive that comes on the LED strip isn’t very good. I 3D printed some little plastic holders for the strip instead. Using some tiny screws, these screwed into the board for a really solid mount. Near the back wheels it was easier to use zip ties for mounting the strip.

The underside of the board with the light strips held in place by some 3D printed plastic clips.

The final result is great! It makes a huge difference while riding at night. I can clearly see what’s in front of me, and everyone can see me coming from ages away due to the fancy light show going on underneath the board and huge light bar on the front. 😉

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