Electric LED Surfboards?

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
Funkfish
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Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Funkfish » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:36 pm

Hi all, just had an amazing 4th Burn this year despite a bit of dust and cold.

I had a question, I keep seeing people riding these custom LED Electric longboards on the playa. They're obviously very custom I'm just curious how they went about making them. Does anyone know the person behind these? Here's a picture

Image

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jclarkcom » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:34 pm

Your post is 2 years old now, so I won't go into detail here - but I know these guys, contact me if you are still around. Looks like the photo is from 2013, the boards get upgraded every year. They are built by a small group of guys (who include myself) as a hobby project specifically for BM. There aren't any public details on how to make the boards - but we put a lot of the source code on github.

Jonathan

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spacetime
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by spacetime » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:08 pm

Those look totally awesome. If you have other photos or a description of these things you've built I'd love to learn more about them.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jclarkcom » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:01 pm

Here are some images from BM2017:

Image
Image
Image

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spacetime
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by spacetime » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:45 am

What transparent and durable material do you cover the LED strips with, and how do you secure it to the surfboards?

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Jackass
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jackass » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:08 am

Do you make those specifically for your PnP clientele?
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:01 am

DISTRIKT had a bunch of them. I saw a young man get nearly shouted off one of the surfboards for zooming too fast down the street, what seemed like a 12 foot tall angry man was screaming at him "GET THE FUCK BACK HERE AND LISTEN TO ME YOU CAN'T GO THAT FAST" etc. Then a much more low-key woman gave an equally devastating "we're all friends here, don't get carried away by music and go too fast honey" speech.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jclarkcom » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:24 am

spacetime wrote:What transparent and durable material do you cover the LED strips with, and how do you secure it to the surfboards?
This year we worked with a surfboard shop in Santa Cruz to cover the boards with semi-transparent fiberglass. Previously this shop had made real surfboards with LEDs in them. We also covered the board surface with crushed glass to provide better grip. One problem that the glass also did a wonderful job of gripping playa dust as well, so we had to frequently and vigorously sweep them so that you could see the LEDs. The fiberglass does a great job of spreading the load so that you don't crush the LEDs when you stand on them.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by spacetime » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:28 am

Jclarkcom wrote:
spacetime wrote:What transparent and durable material do you cover the LED strips with, and how do you secure it to the surfboards?
This year we worked with a surfboard shop in Santa Cruz to cover the boards with semi-transparent fiberglass. Previously this shop had made real surfboards with LEDs in them. We also covered the board surface with crushed glass to provide better grip. One problem that the glass also did a wonderful job of gripping playa dust as well, so we had to frequently and vigorously sweep them so that you could see the LEDs. The fiberglass does a great job of spreading the load so that you don't crush the LEDs when you stand on them.
Hey, thanks for that info.

That's interesting. For real surfboards with LEDs embedded in them, where and how do they package rechargeable (?) batteries, control switches and microcontrollers for the waves?

How much custom work goes into the locomotion portions of this, for example handling the steering, speed settings, braking etc?

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jclarkcom » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:48 am

maladroit wrote:DISTRIKT had a bunch of them. I saw a young man get nearly shouted off one of the surfboards for zooming too fast down the street, what seemed like a 12 foot tall angry man was screaming at him "GET THE FUCK BACK HERE AND LISTEN TO ME YOU CAN'T GO THAT FAST" etc. Then a much more low-key woman gave an equally devastating "we're all friends here, don't get carried away by music and go too fast honey" speech.
Sorry to hear about that. People definitely shouldn't be going fast, especially on crowded street. I'm always careful about this, but will have a word with others.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jclarkcom » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:49 am

spacetime wrote:
Jclarkcom wrote:
spacetime wrote:What transparent and durable material do you cover the LED strips with, and how do you secure it to the surfboards?
This year we worked with a surfboard shop in Santa Cruz to cover the boards with semi-transparent fiberglass. Previously this shop had made real surfboards with LEDs in them. We also covered the board surface with crushed glass to provide better grip. One problem that the glass also did a wonderful job of gripping playa dust as well, so we had to frequently and vigorously sweep them so that you could see the LEDs. The fiberglass does a great job of spreading the load so that you don't crush the LEDs when you stand on them.
Hey, thanks for that info.

That's interesting. For real surfboards with LEDs embedded in them, where and how do they package rechargeable (?) batteries, control switches and microcontrollers for the waves?
Sorry, I don't know the details on the real surfboards, I think they only made 1 and not sure how the waterproofed it. Seems like it would be pretty cool at night.

> How much custom work goes into the locomotion portions of this, for example handling the steering, speed settings, braking etc?

We use a lot of parts from off the shelf electric skateboards from China, but there is a bit of work on speed, braking, battery monitoring, etc. Battery estimation turns out to be a pretty hard problem, we are using some chips designed for laptops to do this that use a machine learning process to try to estimate battery availability. If your battery runs out unexpectedly you can get thrown off fairly violently and we've had some injuries from this.

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spacetime
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by spacetime » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:55 am

Jclarkcom wrote: We use a lot of parts from off the shelf electric skateboards from China, but there is a bit of work on speed, braking, battery monitoring, etc. Battery estimation turns out to be a pretty hard problem, we are using some chips designed for laptops to do this that use a machine learning process to try to estimate battery availability. If your battery runs out unexpectedly you can get thrown off fairly violently and we've had some injuries from this.
Interesting stuff. Sound like some pretty serious custom jobs.

There's some snark here about these being for plug and play type folks. And with good reason there is concern in the BM community about the impact of plug and play camps.

At the same time, you have someone from the Robot Heart camp complaining about not getting the right color of eBike they bought from an "on-playa e-bike vendor" and somehow a contingent of folks suggesting their concern is well founded.

These surfboards can not be cheap to build, but regardless of cost do you have any thoughts or input on the people they are made for? It seems, perhaps, unfair to characterize the riders as plug and play guests.

I mean, someone spent big money to build that awful pyramid this year with a lot of money and I don't think anyone is asking how they camped.

But I think since these are so "out of reach" for "normal" burning many attendees, it might be helpful to get your perspective on how furnishing highly customized, obviously awesome, products like this fits in to 2017 Burning Man culture and the 10 principals.

I think most folks would be totally okay if these were outed as, "we built these for ourselves." or "This is our art and we love learning about this stuff and to fund it we make a few available to our backers" or something like this. But there is a tendency with fancy and exclusive things, I think, to assume the worst.

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Token
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Token » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:28 pm

Oh Spacetime, you should have seen the place during the dotcom boom years with the instant millionaire cadre tossing vast dick-swagger in the dust.

It was ... beautiful!

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:42 pm

I had the joy of a 2 block ride as a passenger till it broke down due to the heat. One of the district guys wanted to thank me for a bottle of tonic water hahahaha
Gin and tonic!!!! It's heaven in a glass!!!!

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Madeline_Boatwright » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:05 pm

:o I saw these boards last year and wanted to convert my paddle board in a similar manner. I need more information on the wheels, motor, and electric bits. Any advice, like a place to get parts or assembly tricks? Ring me please 5026084072.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by BBadger » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:13 am

Nobody is going to "ring" you. Put that nonsense out of your head.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by spacetime » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:01 pm

brogrammers aside I still think these things look awesome and they are probably a lot of fun. I looked at building an electric longboard just for the burn this year but it got too late and even a basic nice one is about a grand.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:21 pm

They’re custom built. If you don’t know how to do it, you’re not gonna do it.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by mdella » Sat May 18, 2019 2:36 pm

I get the whole "custom built" aspect as I actually was spending time this year sitting around looking at the boards as an alternative way around the playa. I personally do a lot of IoT design work both for my job as well as for personal projects so aspects of the build I recognize. I'm just looking to find someone that can give a pointer to aspects of the builds that they either had troubles with and worked around or ideas that might get me jump started on my own. I'm in Santa Cruz so I have lots of surf companies for fiberglass construction, its the "command and control" aspects that I'm more interested in...

BTW, in looking at the boards, I can't tell for sure but it appears that these are "dual motor" axles (with a dual ESC or VESC controller) and um... 200mm wheels? Looks like they are using the off road shock absorbing trucks. Looks like possibly a 12S3P or 12S4P LiIon batteries (just guessing based on the size and probability that no one wanted charge controllers :-)

Antenna on the back looks like a communications channel between the boards (Since they are generally sync'd for the displays) so either an arduino controller or Pi... Its this part that I'm interested in rather than the board/truck/motors themselves (pretty standard electric skateboard parts, etc)

For those that are "guessing" at a cost... Just looking at these (assuming they didn't chinch on any of the controller parts like using ESC rather than VESC, etc) you're looking at $2k in parts alone on these boards if not more. Forget the cost of the DIY assembly, thats not even something I'd estimate...

--MD

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by sparr » Sun May 19, 2019 12:54 pm

mdella wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 2:36 pm
I actually was spending time this year sitting around looking at the boards as an alternative way around the playa.
Bad news, they aren't allowed any more. Too big, too fast, too able-to-keep-going-forever-if-the-rider-falls-off.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Ratty » Sun May 19, 2019 1:51 pm

Hi Sparr. Can you point me towards the source of that info. I missed it.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by sparr » Sun May 19, 2019 2:51 pm

If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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Ratty
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Ratty » Sun May 19, 2019 4:07 pm

Sparr. Don't quote a redit post they leave things out. Like this..."Below is a list of vehicle types that you are permitted to drive in Black Rock City. There may be other vehicles not specifically mentioned below." Go to the Official burning Man page and figure it out for yourself.

They also cut off the last part of the BM protocol page. It includes wind powered vehicles. Redit isn't the most reliable of sources. If you really want to know then contact those in charge.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Jackass » Mon May 20, 2019 7:59 am

It's of no loss, those surfboards were only for PnP douchebags anyways!
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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sparr
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by sparr » Mon May 20, 2019 9:07 am

Ratty wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:07 pm
Sparr. Don't quote a redit post they leave things out. [...] Go to the Official burning Man page and figure it out for yourself.
I linked the reddit post, the official burning man page, and the borg planning slide deck. Read whichever one(s) you want. If you're upset about the forum inlining reddit posts and not inlining burningman.org pages, you need to take that up with the forum admins.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Ratty » Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am

Sparr, Thank you for clarifiying that. I don't care what reddit does or doesn't do. I don't go there. I do care about misinformation. The Reddit page you posted isn't factual. Unless you have contacted BM and have more info than those 2 links, there is nothing there to substantiate banning them. Whoever posted that on Reddit should have done their homework before spreading rumors.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by some seeing eye » Mon May 20, 2019 10:31 am

Actually Sparr, thanks for posting that presentation. On slide 3

"Complaints submitted directly to DMV including a number from Mutant Vehicle owners complaining about PTVs 'buzzing' their MVs while driving."

This has been a problem for years with bikes I've observed as an MV walker. I had to pull out a bicyclist who buzzed our bus MV, skidded, and slipped under the (slowly) moving front fender, right in the way of the wheel.

Burners take risks, many have the funds to drop on new gadgets that evolve faster than the BORG can anticipate them, people like to show off their gadgets and people don't know how fast they are going. I would imagine the BORG would also have private information from medical on PTV-related injuries.

Certainly the BORG has to speak with "one voice," it is hard to reach all burners, and many burners believe the rules don't apply to them.
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by sparr » Mon May 20, 2019 10:49 am

Ratty wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am
I don't care what reddit does or doesn't do. I don't go there. I do care about misinformation.
Perhaps care more about reading comprehension? I didn't say anything about what reddit does or doesn't do. I referred to this forum's feature for inlining content from reddit, which you interpreted as me quoting a post on reddit when I did not.

Ratty wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am
Unless you have contacted BM and have more info than those 2 links, there is nothing there to substantiate banning them.
"Any powered vehicle not on the “Allowed PTVs” list (other than the vehicle you drive to the event) may not be brought to Black Rock City."
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by Ratty » Mon May 20, 2019 12:40 pm

You, (C.R.), are living up to your online name. Read the part that you like and argue that the rest doesn't exist. Netflix has a show called, 'Dead to Me'. Anybody like a sandwich?
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Re: Electric LED Surfboards?

Post by sparr » Mon May 20, 2019 4:55 pm

I'm not arguing the rest doesn't exist. When you consider every part of the rules together, you get a ban on motorized surfboards.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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