ALRIGHT FUCKERS. LISTEN HERE AND THE DUCK IS GONNA LEARN SOMETHING TO YOU.
YOU’VE GOT YOUR DECK.
YOU’VE GOT YOUR MOTORS.
YOU’VE GOT WHATEVER ESC YOU DECIDED IS LEAST LIKELY TO SPOON-FEED YOU SOME PAVEMENT WHEN IT’S FEELING FRISKY.
NOW ALL YOU’RE MISSING FOR YOUR DOPE ASS ZOOM-ZOOM-ZAP-ZAP BOARDTM IS A JUICY, SUCCULENT, FALL-OFF-THE-BONE, WATT-HOUR PACKED SPARKY BOY TO MAKE YOUR ESK8 DREAMS COME TRUE.
Anyway, so you have decided that a custom battery is the battery for you. And not just any custom battery, oh no. One that you built with your own two hands! Well lucky for you, you have your good buddy Duck here who is willing to shoot his own battery building business in the foot by spilling all his secrets to you right here on the FreeSK8 Forum!
This is going to be a series of articles, each one addressing a different aspect of battery building. Ill try to keep the articles short and to the point, but I’m prone to rambling on and taking months to get anything done. Splitting them up into different posts means I can get something out to y’all now, and expand on it later. I promise that reading all of it is worth it. You know, when it’s all done.
Please start here and read through these disclaimers/primers before moving on to the main articles.
You’re an adult (I hope). You make your own decisions. I don’t recommend building your own battery, but since you’re going to anyway you should at least know how to mitigate some of the danger.
I don’t claim to be an all knowing expert on this, just a guy who has done it a bunch of times safely (knock on wood) and wants to pass along the knowledge I have gained.
If you’re the kind of person who is going to read some info on the internet, burn your house down, and then sue the kindly Duck who shared the info with you, then please stop reading now. Anyone who can be cool and take responsibility for their own actions, feel free to proceed.
Neither I, nor Duck Battery Systems LLC, take responsibility for any adverse outcomes of your battery building adventures.
The DIYer's Fallacy $$$
There’s a lot of little stuff that goes into building a battery. Stuff that you have to order in quantities far larger than you will actually use for a single battery build, most likely. Plus tools/equipment that will cost a pretty penny only to sit around in your workshop for months between builds. It’s for this reason (and many others) that your first pack is going to cost you a lot more than it would cost to hire a pro builder. You aren’t going to start seeing the savings until several packs in.
Be prepared to be pot-committed. If you find out that you love battery building, then all of this financial investment is going to be the tentacles that pull you further into this absolute money-pit of a hobby. If you build your first pack and you hate it (the pack, the build process, that damn Duck who helped get you into this, whatever) then all those expensive materials and complex equipment are going to be the white elephant hanging around and reminding you that you should have just hired a builder instead.
Don’t decide to build you own pack to “save money,” and don’t say I didn’t warn you
Intro to Battery Licking
Be warned, this is a pretty challenging and in-depth process. It’s expensive to get started, it’s potentially very dangerous, and it’s likely that your first battery is not going to turn out 100% the way you want it to.
And that’s all fine! You just have to be aware of all that before deciding to take the leap, and follow some best practices to keep you alive. Hopefully this guide will help folks who are on the fence decide to either jump in, or hire a builder to make their pack for them.
There is also a very broad skill set required to build a safe pack, so it’s kind of impossible to make a tutorial walking step by step through the process of building a fully custom battery. I’ll only be detailing the broad strokes and best practices for planning and executing your build.
These tutorials are not going to be explaining what electricity is. I’m not going to get in the weeds about volts and amps. I’m not going to spare more than a few words about what “series” and “parallel” refer to, for two reasons. One, tons of other folks have done a much better job of explaining this stuff than meCitation needed; Two, because if you dont already have a good grasp of basic electrical concepts such as these, then its probably better for you to do a whole lot more learning before taking on something like building your own battery pack.
These tutorials are for advanced DIY’ers who are ready to take the next step towards Valhalla.
With that in mind, I’m going to do my best to refrain from getting lost in every tiny detail of DIY PEV building. Turns out, everything ties together, and trying to make a thorough explanation of any one concept inevitably leads you to other concepts that are outside the scope of this tutorial. I’m going to assume a lot of knowledge from you, the reader, because I’m writing this for advanced builders who know that stuff already. If you have questions or want to ask me to go into more detail about anything, please feel free to ask!
Plenty of folks out there, Myself included, are more than happy to build you a custom pack, or there are lots of options for pre-built batteries as well, which have the advantage of being in stock and ready to ship!
Read all that? Great, I dont believe you for a second. But oh well, onwards and upwards!
Table of contents:
- Part 0 - Intro to Battery Licking
- Part 1 - Planning, Plotting, and Notarizing Your Will
- Part 2 - Equipment and Materials Wiki
- Part 3 - Put It All Together, and Whatever You Get…
- Part 4 - You Want Me to Stick This Battery WHERE?!
- Part 5 - Peer Review?! What is this, Science?
- Part 6 - Gloating