The ESC or motor controller is the brain of your electric skateboard, it determines how your board performs when you squeeze the throttle or apply the brake.
Over the years we have tried and tested countless brands of ESC and mostly been disappointed. Most first time builders of electric skateboards start with the cheapest ESC they can get from the hobby store, however this can result is disaster. The ESC from hobby stores are not designed for carrying a human passenger, they are meant for moving a small RC car which weights a fraction of what a rider & board will weigh.
Using an ESC from the hobby store can be dangerous and can put the rider at risk of injury. Also the hobby ESC can damage your expensive electronics as they don't have built-in safety features to protect against electrical damage caused by over heating and high current.
Now we have found a solution for DIY electric skateboard builders. It's called the VESC Open source motor controller
The VESC is unique because it has to be configured specifically for your motor, but that is why it is so good! It knows the parameters of your motor so it can perform at max efficiencies. The configuration is automated. Basically you connect the motor & press a button, it gives you some numbers which you type into a screen & click update.
Some of the key features are:
1. Its open source, so people will be able to work on it and constantly make it better. like FOC
2. It is actually really compact, so it makes building a slim eboard easy.
3. It doesn't get hot. So don't need big fans or heat sinks
4. The performance is very good. You can start from stationary with non-sensor motors.
5. It is also hall sensor compatible, if you have them installed into your motor it will auto detect them and use them to further improve start up torque performance.
6. The brake functions really nicely. Very progressive & feels well balanced.... it doesn't feel like your going to get sling-shot off the board because you tapped the brake slightly too hard.
7. Last but not least, it has built in safety features. Temperature & Current control. this is the single biggest advantage. It is easy to blow your motors pulley to many amps... It can't happen with the VESC.
Basically it is the best ESC ever made for builders of electric skateboards. Well at least that is what the creator Ben Vedder set out to achieve when he started building it.