"Nothing Fancy", A Tito Duality truck build

Lacroix Nazare Deck/Enclosure
@Titoxd1000’s Duality Trucks
20s4p p42 battery, D100s
170 kv Motors, Apex Jump Drives
175mm Nova Tires.


The goals of this build are simple:

  1. Reliable
  2. Fun on group rides
  3. Low maintenance
But Why Tho?

After 6 months of going to track events non-stop, I kinda miss going on group rides.

Reason 1)
None of my esk8’s are group-rideable.

  • Tynee explorer. I love this one dearly. I commute to work and do most of my errands on this thing. However, after ~2,000 miles of riding, it’s lucky to have 12 miles of range.
  • Kaly, a DIY-ish. With the top mounted 12s6p in addition to the 12s4p(I think?) in the enclosure, it’s got enough range to ride 35+ miles. However, the gear drives feel like they’re on their last legs, and the state of the electronics inside the enclosure leaves a lot to be desired. It incredibly uncomfortable to ride for more then 3~5 miles at a time(Hard to be sure but it’s a bad combination of deck “wings”, arched deck, narrow stance, and loose channel trucks, I think. aka basically everything). Nearly ever group ride I’ve been to on this board (recently) turned into more about managing my feet pain then having fun. (After riding 200 miles in a single weekend at CarvePDX 2023, mostly on the Kaly, I had no sensation in my feet for a week :upside_down_face: I have zero desire for again at SEAcarve 2024).
  • Ankle Wreacher Stooge v5. So much fun to ride, but the terrible efficiency leading to <10 miles of range and low ground clearance prevents group riding it.

Reason 2)
Tito just released his awesome new trucks. I’ve been riding them at track events the past few months, giving opinions on bushing setups. They’re a golden mix of the best parts of channel trucks, RKP, and three links. I badly want a board with them.


In other words, I want a board that I can ride for hundreds of miles without any fuss. Something that just works, all the time, every time.

Knowing myself, I quickly come up with a million custom things that would be cool and unique. Unable to resist the temptation of uniqueness, I’ll implement them.

This increased complexity directly leads more things breaking, and more time spent fixing the board. (Basically the story of Ankle Wreacher).

“Nothing Fancy” is a constant reminder to myself.


The start
I was trying out and giving feedback on @Titoxd1000 's boards with prototype trucks one track night. I got on one setup whose bones really spoke to me - a Lacroix Nazare deck (no enclosure). It was belt drive and had a heat-shrinked battery zip-tied on top. Wish I had a picture to put here.
Multiple times while riding I forgot that I wasn’t on 3-links. It was maneuverable but stable, disappearing underneath my feet. Probably rode it 10 miles around the track that night.

I immediately started sourcing a Lacroix Nazare deck of my own, this was exactly the kind of group ride feeling board that I wanted.

Lucky me, @abusfullofnuns had one deck/enclosure left. Yoink.


March 26th
Arrived without a scratch, very well packaged.

March 27th
I get the first set of Duality trucks hand-delivered at a track night by @Titoxd1000 himself.

March 28th
I get them disassembled, post pictures, and reassemble them into my desired configuration.



The fits on all the parts are some of the most precise I’ve ever seen, especially when talking about skateboard hardware. Bravo.

April 1st
I leave her behind to go to ESK8CON

I take a break from esk8 stuff for a few weeks after esk8con, so she sits (tauntingly) incomplete on my living room floor.


April 12
It’s GO time. Lets commit.

Apex order :heavy_check_mark:
Makerx order :heavy_check_mark:
Mboards order :heavy_check_mark:
LLT order :heavy_check_mark:
18650batterystore order :heavy_check_mark:
BKB order :heavy_check_mark:


April 22
Apex order arrives.

I decided on Jump drives for this build. Half because of their size/weight, Half for my love of helicals, Half to support the level of sophistication.

And I was not disappointed on sophistication. Jump drives are sexy af (sorry BN, you’ve got nothing on this)

I also bought Apex motors, so everything mechanical worked right out of the box.
Simple and tested, no motor shaft grinding needed.

In theory at least. I had to file the key and motor keyway a tad (mostly breaking the edges) before the pinions to slid on. Well, percussively encouraged on.

My snap ring pliers were a tad too large for the sir clips.
I sanded down the business end in order to make them fit

Motors mounted to the board

Stuffed them with red-and-tacky, and buttoned them up. The ability to adjust gear slop without opening the enclosed gears is super super cool.

Love these drives @ApexBoards, great stuff.

I also got mbs rockstar 2 hubs from Apex. Same deal, got something I knew would work with the included gear drive adaptors. I had a set of these before, and I liked them. Lightweight and quality.

Rolling Chassis! :tada:

I couldn’t resist, waiting for my mboards order was too much.
Threw on a used set of BKBs

homer simpson mmmm


April 23
Mboards order arrived the next day. Swapped over the BKBs for 175mm Novas

slightly louder homer simpson mmmm


April 27th T-minus 6 Days to Electrify Expo Phoenix
18650batterystore order arrives! 84x p42 cells, all at good storage voltage.


I’ve got 7 days to build the battery and finish up the build. My goal is to race this at Electrify Expo Phoenix (in mod class), and I plan to drive out Friday night (May 3rd).

Test layout in the enclosure.

Wait a second, that's not an LLT BMS! I thought you said you placed a LLT order! You deceived me.

Very astute of you.

My LLT order hadn’t come in yet at this point. Because I was on a tight deadline, I wanted to make sure I could finish the battery build with enough time to test the board.
Asking around, Ray Belden (sorry! don’t know your tag) had a spare 20s BMS (Speedict Neptune 20) that he gave me a good deal on. Even though my LLT BMS came in a few days later, I ended up using the Speedict because it fit inside the enclosure better (and looked more sophisticated)


Quick aside
I changed my mind on what battery configuration I was going to use as I was buying parts. It’s a story worth sharing, and before the battery build is as good as any.

Here's how it happened (tangent alert)
  1. My original plan was a 12s6p with a DV6s. When placing the order with Makerx, I decided to switch to a D100s. An extra $20 was definitely worth the extra 40 volts of voltage headroom.
  2. The Nazare enclosure can’t fit 12x 21700 cells in the forward-most compartment, it’s too shallow. (The most it can do is 8, maybe 10). At 12s6p, that means I can only fit 1x 6p group up front (without splitting p-groups). This was the plan, and 1x 6p group in the big compartment with the esc.
  3. I found and started using @campbellsoup’s very well-documented build as reference material. I saw how much extra space there was in the rear compartment with the d100s, and felt that I could squeeze in more then just the 1x 6p group. If the ESC goes all the way against the rear, there could be a full row of cells in that rear-most compartment. (as in the picture above)
  4. So, If I switch from 6p to 4p, I can get two extra cells in the front, like @campbellsoup. Then, adding 2 more p-groups to the rear compartment for the full row, gives 20s4p.

The D100s is 21s capable, p42a 4p is enough for current delivery, more battery capacity = more range, and higher voltage = higher top speed! No reason not to go for it! Lock it in! Buy the mboards 4p nickel strips. Buy the extra cells!

This on the fly-redesign definitely won’t come back to bite me.

Took me longer then I should have (two days) to realize that my apex order that I picked for 12s (170kv motors and 4.4 gear ratio) already shipped.
Welp…guess I have a speed build now

image


April 28th T-minus 5 Days
The 20s4p battery build begins

I treated myself to a new tool, a functional hot glue gun. heck of an upgrade from my cheapo crafts store one that I’ve been using for 8 years(which immediately went into the garbage).

This made glueing the cells together painless. I used an mboards cell tray to align them for hot gluing. Wrapped in fish paper and positive fish paper rings applied.

Doing some test welds with my amazon spot welder quickly reveals that it’s not up to the task.

It was Sunday afternoon, and today was the only full day I had to build this battery. I sent up a plea for a kWeld, and @fessyfoo came to my rescue and let me borrow his :pray: Couple hours of driving later, I was back to battery building.


At this point, @HAIRYMANJACK came to join and lend a hand. He welded a couple P-groups. (was fun building with you dude!)

I wrapped @fessyfoo’s kWeld probes in some F4 tape to provide insulation against the heat (F4 tape is awesome)

Thanks @fessyfoo for providing live guidance, like reminding me to put an extra piece of fish paper under the positive side nickel

Before we knew it, all 20 packs were spot welded up. Hitting the exposed tabs with 2000 grit sandpaper proved very fruitful, the solder was like water on water.

I turned my attention to battery layout inside the enclosure. I wanted to avoid having a long battery wire running along the length of the battery, for reasons. This was the layout I settled on.

I bought tinned copper braid to use for my series connections. I did a couple test connections…

…then spent many hours sizing, cutting, heat shrinking, folding, and tinning enough braid to do the rest of the battery.

Then, people much smarter and more experienced then me convinced me that braid was a terrible idea and switch to wires. Shoutout you Lithium Lickers @BenjaminF, @Battery_Mooch, and @Skyart


April 29th T-minus 4 Days

I de-soldered the braid that I had put on, and started cutting and tinning wires.

I’m scared of something shorting via the carbon fiber enclosure, so I put 1mm adhesive foam on all the surfaces. It won’t provide much abrasion resistance, but theoretically the fish paper can handle that fine.


April 30th T-minus 3 Days
Started re-assembling the series connections. Cut some foam blocks to fill in empty space up front

I got tired of soldering, so I switched gears and crimped wires for the BMS connections. I enjoy this a bit too much.

I used some M22759/16-22 wire for this. Bit expensive, but super durable- I’ve got zero concern about my BMS wires. Quality wire is underrated.


May 1st T-minus 2 Days
I bought a bunch of BKB’s battery gaskets that are on clearance right now

Using this thicker adhesive foam, I built up the edges of the compartments so each p-group would be a friction fit. Also provides a little bit of vibration dampening. Took much longer then I was expecting.

Also started adding my BMS wires. One nice side-effect of the battery layout is all P-group connections are accessible from the left side going up the board, so managing BMS wire runs was pretty easy(this is more noticeable in future photos)


May 2nd T-minus 1 Days
My flush cutters that came with my Anet A8 printer in high school(2015?) have remained remarkably sharp despite what I’ve put em though over the years. When the stock handles broke a couple years ago, I printed and sanded new replacements.

Cutting a final piece of battery wire, they finally decided it was time to rest :saluting_face:

More series connection progress tonight, nearly complete. I’ve wrapped both the positive and negative nickel with Kapton tape. In an abundance of caution, I put a third strip of Kapton across both tabs to hold them against the cells, with the idea that this will help avoid any vibration and/or deck bending forces from reaching the spot welds.

Done!

Quick voltage check… uh… checks notes… That’s not right

damnit. Soldered two P-groups backwards. Guess that’s what daily 2am battery building gets you. Must’ve accidentally flipped them when doing the foam.

Little bit of battery surgery later

Phew

BMS powered on with no magic smoke :tada:

Friction fits looking good :sunglasses:

So let me quickly read the BMS manual, make sure the BMS comes pre-configured.
It doesn’t explicitly says it is? Well, guess I need to download the app.
Oh, it’s android only? looks at iphone
looks at old phone drawer that’s indistinguishable from a isle of produce
Wait, I’ve got my old fire tablet!
app requires Android 10+ but Fire OS is based on Android 9
Fuck. Move on, it’s a problem for later. I know people that have android phones

I connect the battery to a charger for a little bit to bring it up to ~3.8v/cell, then plug in my d100s.
Success! We have wheels spinning.

Still lots of work to do, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This might actually be done in time for electrify!

Cable managed the BMS wires with lacing tape. Lacing tape for esk8 is probably overkill, but I enjoy doing it. It’s a methodic process and leaves a really nice result.

On Ankle Wreacher, I primarily used wax-infused lacing tape. For nothing fancy, I upgraded to some BREYDEN 203-3 Polyester Lacing tape-stronger, more durable, and doesn’t shed wax over time.


Bolt holes didn’t quite line up, so had to do some slight… readjustments with a drill

I got this drill bit handed down from my dad. It’s designed for side-cutting, perfect for widening holes like this. I should get a whole set of them.

Over the past few years, I’ve helped to fix a two of other people’s boards that also had a composite enclosures. Both boards had damage around the bolt holes. It seemed that the stress concentration from the bolt head caused the composite to crack, and the crack(s) would propagate over time.

To try and avoid this on my board, I got some flange bolts (Less faf then dealing with washers.)

With the density of components, the enclosure didn’t want to sit flush at first.

After carefully re-arranging the wires inside, I got it to sit flush. I just shoved the XT60 charge port out one of the pre-existing holes, I’ll 3D print a proper panel mount later.

Buttoned up and ready to ride! Didn’t have a hole for the power switch, so I just ran the wire out of the enclosure and taped it to the rear.

First Ride

TLDR

I eyeballed the bushings perfectly. Within 60 seconds the board disappeared from below my feet - it was part of me.

@Titoxd1000 your trucks are crazy confidence inducing. 10 minutes after getting on the board:

Considering it was now the 5th day in a row that I was up past 2am (and getting up at 8am for my day-job), I called it a night, confident that Nothing Fancy was good enough to be raceable in Phoenix.


May 3rd T-minus 0 Days, departure imminent.

I got home from work, and started packing for the weekend of racing.
I plug in all my boards to give them a full charge, including Nothing Fancy.

Given the unknown status of the BMS, I’m checking the voltages every 20 minutes, and I stop charging when the pack voltage hits ~80v (4.0v/cell). The pack was relatively balanced after I charged it to 3.8v the first time, but there was no sense in pushing it closer to 4.2v/cell.

I needed to make a grocery run to make some of my signature race weekend ham sandwiches. I instinctually went to take my Tynee, but then thought “I’m going to be racing Nothing Fancy tomorrow, might as well use this as a chance to get more used to the board!”

A single mile later, cruising in a straight line at a constant 15~20mph, the board locked up. The board stopped in only ~20 feet, and I managed to stay on top of the board.

(I’m glad I had the place of mind to get a picture of the skid marks. Hard to tell, but they continue out of frame)

If you know the pops of a ESC deciding to leave behind the material world, that’s what I was hearing.

Magic smoke immediately started pouring out of the enclosure. I quickly hit the power button (probably futile), and proceeded to stand over the board, helpless to stop what was happening. I didn’t even think to bring any tools with me, thinking my stress testing last night was satisfactory in proving the board.

Fortunately, the fire and smoke didn’t catch the battery on fire, and it abated after 10~15 seconds.

I was a little over a mile from home. The motors could freespin, but I decided not to risk push-riding it. I carried the board all the way back(was not fun).

When I got home, the first order of business was get the enclosure open and unplug the battery.

As soon as I touched the XT90, The positive wire came right out of the D100 and started shorting against the casing!

A shorting a 20s is not quiet, I’ll say that much.

I immediately disassembled the D100s to see if I could glean what went wrong.

D100s Dissasembly





At this point, it was 9pm and I still needed to go to the grocery store and finish packing. Changed my plan to pack, take a nap, then depart at 4am.

After a week of pushing the build to completion, Nothing Fancy got left at home, making this the most apt picture of foreshadowing ever. :smiling_face_with_tear: :smiling_face_with_tear:


Over the next week, I contacted MakerX about the incident.

pm me if this violates the positing PM rules

After a few days of back and forth, they offered to send a replacement if I paid for shipping. I paid immediately. Unfortunately they couldn’t get the replacement shipped for another 9 days due to “the casings being out of stock”.

They recommend to use Firmware 5.03, keep “slow ABS Current Limit” disabled, and add a 80A fuse between the battery and esc.

Hoping to receive the replacement this weekend


Things I did while waiting for a replacement ESC

Handle (thanks @DINA_KATCH!)

Louie provided support. He really helped me get a handle on the situation.


Logo
I designed a logo for the build (First picture at the top of the post), but didn’t know how I was going to add it to the board yet. @HAIRYMANJACK Mentioned that his laser engraver would look really good on the anodized aluminum trucks.

After some concept art,

the irony was too strong for me to resist. After giving him the front truck for a few days…

…he absolutely knocked it out of the park.


More to come, I’ll post updates when I get that replacement D100s.
Really hoping for a bulletproof unit :crossed_fingers:


Edit: Link to next major update

32 Likes

I love everything about this build except the cats! And the explody esc!!

I think this is the first of Tom’s bootleg lacroixs that hasn’t turned into a crime against humanity, well done!

+100 for everything you said about the apex drives. They are one of the only esk8 parts that i’ve actually found pleasurable to work with. Great design and execution

I love how you just went into build frenzy mode :joy: i have been there many times :grin:

Fingers crossed the new esc is good and the board gives you many happy miles :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

9 Likes

I love this build! 20s4p and duality trucks let’s goooo

7 Likes

This has to be my favorite read of all time now was glued from start to finish, well done! And in classic tucker fashion of posting at 4am pulling an all nighter :sweat_smile:

5 Likes

I love it! I can’t wait for my replacement d100s and tito dualities to get here too, you are really good at hyping these trucks up hahaha

4 Likes

Sick build dude! I’ve thought about doing something similar…

I think it’s funny how we literally go out of our way to pick a bunch of parts that are proven to throw onto a build to make it bullet proof then it still blows up🤦🏼‍♂️

8 Likes

QC on these parts we use, especially PCBs, is terrible. No vesc you can buy today is a finished product. They’re all experiments :confused:

Not enough money in this sport to make anything better unfortunately

2 Likes

This was such a fun read. Not sure why I enjoy seeing other people’s DIY adventures so much, but it brings me back to what makes this hobby so fun and frustrating at the same time.

Well done. Can’t wait to see more updates.

10 Likes

I read a novel this morning. It was a good read. It was nothing fancy.

14 Likes

Is this the new Gold Standard for a Street Carver?!?

So wish I could try these trucks!!!

1 Like

If you dont mind me asking, why wire instead of copper braid? I’ve got a pack where i paid extra for braid to be used haha. Wondering what the reasons were. Also, damnit, ive got a nazare and you’ve got me wanting those trucks now :rofl:

4 Likes

Fixed that for ya

Sweet build dude! Excited to put my feet on those trucks someday

@glyphiks is lying, he loves cats

2 Likes

That was a good read, good job Tucker. Looks like an awesome build. I especially like that laser engraving of “Nothing Fancy”… Very unfortunate about the esc. Can’t wait to see this build in person.

1 Like

It all depends on how they are cooked and seasoned.

I’d be shocked if that dude actually put seasoning on things, remember, he’s not allowed to have nice things.

1 Like

Dang I guess I need to post my nazare duality build thread soon

should I call it “something simple”?

lol great read my guy can’t wait to hopefully race mine against yours

9 Likes

Call it Extra Fancy

6 Likes

if you think about it tho…

a 20s naz with special tito trucks and jump drives… is a bit fancy.

so… call it f*ckin’ fancy.

4 Likes

The crew of Lithium Lickers convinced me by sharing a bunch of photos of braid having broken apart (even in places that solder didn’t wick to). It’s definitely lower profile, and looks nicer, but didn’t see the same thing happening with wires

I don’t think I can quite tell you why a wire is better, when both wires and braid are comprised of wire strands twisted around each other.

If I had to pick a truck that would benefit the most by being replaced by Tito’s trucks, it’d be hypertrucks :upside_down_face:
I didn’t realize how nice a Nazare deck isuntil it didn’t have hypertrucks attached :rofl:

4 Likes

I love it.
Similar but distinct :ok_hand:

1 Like