Electric mountainboard with wireless control

[Andres Guzman] is chauffuering himself around the University of Illinois campus thanks to his wirelessly controlled mountainboard. He added a brushless motor to drive the rear axel with the help of a chain. Power is provided by a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery which we’ve seen used in other electric vehicles due to its lightweight properties. A wireless PlayStation 2 controller operates the motor but steering remains a lean-to-turn system.

Comments

  1. Nomad says:

    Is it the video/camera or is this thing really that loud?

    Nice build though…except for the noise.

    PS: And don’t even start blaming him for using an Arduino!

  2. Andres Guzman-Ballen says:

    It is that loud because of the gears that I’m using. A brushless motor is quiet compared to the brush motors, but because I needed a huge gear ratio to keep myself from going really really fast, it is that noisy. In fact, the huge gears also act as a break if I have the analog stick at max range and then I let go since it would slow me down to like 7 mph. But it does help when you’re on a busy campus! It’s as if I’m Moses and I’m parting the Red Sea with that noise (but I have to dodge those listening to their iPods haha) since people usually look to see what the hell is heading their way.

  3. Rob says:

    Kind of ironic he built a mountainboard at University of Illinois, the flattest place on earth. (UIUC Alum)

  4. nebulous says:

    @ Rob
    Greetings from Holland.

  5. Icarus says:

    @Nomad The sound comes from the loose chain that drives the wheels, the motor makes more of a whiiiiiiii sound (not that loud)

    pretty simple build if you know what he’s using
    a lot of stuff is already available for brushless motors and other hobby controllers. Kind of big but very neat for a starting project

    Also, why use a playstation controller? do you need that much buttons? I don’t even think he has brakes, what could he possibly use them for?(Autobots transform?)
    Meh maybe it’s because it had wireless connection he could use and not have to build one.

    I always wanted to have a motorized something to go around (plus this one goes in the grass!)

    Nice build

  6. Andres Guzman-Ballen says:

    Thanks guys :)

    Yeah it was my first project ever; I learned a lot through debugging (I wasn’t always smiling when I was working with that board…), motors, what is out there…etc etc.

    When I was going to present it at UIUC’s Engineering Open House, it was wired but the night before the second day of EOH, I went too fast and to avoid hitting a wall, I turned and dropped the controller. Luckily, there was a UIUC grad student named Kieran Levin who saw me and just so happened to be the same person who submitted the Arduino-PS2 interface to the official Arduino website. Thanks to the coincidence, we worked on installing the feature that night and it worked beautifully the next day.

    To move, you hold L1 and just move the left analog to go 1/2 max speed. Then you can hold R1 and use the right analog stick to go faster to go max speed. To do a 180 tailgrab, you press X O L2 right square X O but I always mess up with the right square.

    I didn’t add brakes because the gears keep me at a terminal velocity of like 7 to 10 mph. If I was going 15 and I let go of the controls, it would immediately brake and I’d go back to the terminal velocity. My foot is the only brake I need.

  7. Icarus says:

    Don’t you mean up up down down left right left right square X?

    If not, what does that do? Self destruct in a shower of skittles?

  8. spyder_21 says:

    I like the idea, just needs to be quieter and little more sleek looking and he is set.

    Nice build.

  9. turn.self.off says:

    interesting design, tho i wonder how well the battery and engine would handle a duration of uphill driving.

  10. rallen71366 says:

    MUCH cooler than a Segway. I would love to see some of those fat-*ss mall cops work that gut off on these. Shoplifters wouldn’t be outrunning them anymore, especially if you crank up the speed to “ludicrous”.

  11. Frankstar says:

    Very cool !
    I like things like this :)

  12. datac says:

    Nice work man. I used the same MBS mountain board to build something similar, though less sophisticated… But I kind of went for flash over function and gave it a single large kart tire for the rear wheel… Not good cuz you end up with the turning ratio of of a train :-)

    Seeing you drive your project around really makes me want to dust it off and try to figure out better steering.

    There really is something singularly awesome about making something you can ride on. Everyone should give it a try :-)

  13. Bryan says:

    Can you tell us what motor you used or a link maybe.

  14. Andres Guzman-Ballen says:

    @ Bryan: I used this one http://www.rctoys.com/rc-toys-and-parts/HA-A50-14S/RC-PARTS-BRUSHLESS-MOTORS-HACKER.html. Since I had never done something like this before, I wanted to buy something stronger than needed instead of weaker than needed. The thing is excessive…yes. Doing the calculations, you don’t need that much but the problem was that I wanted something with as low of a gear ratio as possible but many brushless motors spin too fast and they guarantee a certain RPM per volt. After weeks of trying to see what makes sense, I said “what the heck…I’ll just get this one”.

    @ DataC: is this you?

    @turn.self.off: the board has a very difficult time starting from 0 velocity with any sort of incline but if I have momentum like maybe 5 mph, I can actually skate up a parking garage very quickly without a problem. The motor will get very hot of course; luckily the equipment surrounding it is metal so it’s a very good heat sink.

  15. Icarus says:

    Did you think about putting a vent to cool it off? also, how long can you ride it?

  16. Shadyman says:

    @rallen71366: They’ve gone past ludicrous speed. They’ve gone to PLAID!

  17. Andres Guzman-Ballen says:

    @Icarus: So the metal containment already acts like a pretty good heat sink and I added a fan to cool off the equipment. I’ve also gone 2 days at most using it to get around campus, get to my apartment, etc without having to recharge my battery (although at the end of the second day it was basically dead). I guess if I had to put a number…I could ride it for maybe 45 minutes to an hour? I haven’t ever used it for that long. I know I can probably go around perhaps 10 miles more or less with one full charge.

  18. Spike2.0 says:

    Wii nunchuck works nicely with the arduino…

  19. Itwork4me says:

    Starwars Mind Force this sucker.

  20. mjecke says:

    I think the board could be easily made quieter by swapping out that chain drive for a belt drive. Just swap the gears for small pulleys and throw on a V-belt. Parts from a riding lawnmower would do the trick.

  21. McGuiver says:

    Nice job. I would have used a small cogged timing belt instead of the chain. It makes me want to put one together now.

  22. theDIYcheapman says:

    what you need is a very high low-end torque motor if you are going to do any up-hill stuff with it. but, you know, in illinois it might be better to have a CV drive system. you could hook up some servos to the little clamps (i forget what they’re called, its 3:00am lol) and have infinite gears!!! you could even just have on-off and control your speed with the drive belt. it would be very quiet too.

  23. mike says:

    i have seen this guy riding this around the UofI campus. he rode right by me and i didn’t hear a thing. i don’t know why it sounds so loud in the video.

  24. axodus says:

    @Andres, nice work. what motor controller did you use?
    depending on your motor controller
    you might be able to add magnetic breaking function and use the motor for breaking.

  25. Myke says:

    Why would you use an Arduino when an ATTiny could easily satisfy your needs?

  26. Andres Guzman-Ballen says:

    @axodus: Since I was trying to meet a deadline (EOH) and the motor controller that I was using got fried, I went with this one: http://www.castlecreations.com/products/phoenix_hv_series.html
    Way excessive but I didn’t want to risk buying something too weak and then not being able to present at the Engineering Open House

    @Myke: no particular reason. My friend Don Ziems told me about the Arduino and I had to get the project done as soon as possible because I really started building the board 2 weeks before Engineering Open House so I didn’t research the specific microcontrollers that are out there. Since he is familiar with it, I just went with the Arduino.

  27. Murph says:

    :) hopefully i’ll see you on it sometime. Seems i live in siebel all the time these days -_-

  28. ryan lippert says:

    how much would u charge if I wanted my mountain bored to become electric? Or would u sell or just send ur plans to me so I could make my own electric mountain bored,,Email me back soon,thanks

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