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June 07 2016

soltraveler

Soltraveler Teardown: What makes a safe Hoverboard



Hoverboards
Charger
First and foremost, the charger. Recently, there have been reports that Hoverboards being charged overnight have exploded due to malfunctioning of the charger, essentially causing a state of overcharging. SoltravelerHoverboards are all equipped with UL certified 42V chargers. The chargers are manufactured by Shenzhen Fuyuandian Power Co. Ltd, a company that is registered within UL's database. A device that is listed as being UL certified means that it has met certain safety standards. Rest assure here, no overnight explosions caused by faulty chargers on our watch.

Hoverboards
The Board
As you can see (below), we've kept the internal components of the SoltravelerHoverboards neat and tidy with no corners cut. The battery and the main balance circuit are on opposite sides and all the wires and connectors are safely insulated. Furthermore, we've included plastic sleeves for the wires that pass through the central rotating frame to protect them from wear and tear (due to rubbing).

SolTraveler Hoverboards



The Balance Circuit of the Board
Each wheel is home to each its own gyro board (i.e the balance circuit of the board). This gyro board is equipped with Invensense MPU6050 6-axis gyroscope + accelerometer, a GigaDevice GD32F130 ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit microcontroller and sensor switches.
So what does all this mean in simple English? Well each foot pad is home to two infrared sensors - one at the heel and one at the toe. When an individual steps down on the foot pad, a peg is pushed between the emitter and receiver (the sensor switches located on the bottom of the gyro board). Only when all four sensors are activated (i.e. when both feet are on the board) are you than ready to rock and roll. From a safety perspective, its reassuring knowing that the board won't activate until both feet are safely on-board!
Now the infrared switches are read by the ARM chips located on the gyro board (mentioned above). In addition, the ARM chips are responsible for controlling those sweet under glow lights, while also collecting and sending data from the MPU6050 to the main circuit board.


The Battery
What everyone is talking about and what all the fuss is about. Lets dig into this further and see if we can deconstruct this piece by piece.

First and foremost, all SoltravelerHoverboards come equipped with reputable Samsung lithium ion batteries operating at 36 V with 4.4Ah, but we can't just rely on that, so let's open up Samsung and take a look inside.



Inside we see a neat set of 20 Samsung batteries along with a protection board. The battery protection board prevents the battery cells from discharging their full capacity. Lithium ion batteries must never be fully discharged, as this could potentially ruin the battery. Furthermore, the components responsible for charging and discharging are called MOSFETs and can be seen below (4 large black squares).


The Main Circuit
Equipped with another type of ARM processor, six half-H drivers, a ton of big heavy duty transistors (i.e MOSFETs) and resistors, the main circuit board is the heart and brain of the SoltravelerHoverboard. The brains of the board is responsible for taking all that battery power and telling it when and where to go.



The six half-H drivers, ARM processors and MOSFETs enables you to switch currents and is essentially what drives the two brushless DC motors, which happen to be located inside the wheels! Yes the motors are in the wheels! The resistors on the main circuit have very low resistance and are used to sense current. So when a motor stalls out and tries to burn up, resistors are able to shut things down in a hurry.
The Motors
A total of eight wires, three large power leads (stemming from the main circuit board) responsible for powering the motor (effectively the copper coils you see below) and five leads for the Hall effect sensor (the green plastic ribbon below) which track the rotor's position. The Hall effect sensor is used for proximity switching, positioning and speed detection. They essentially prevent your SoltravelerHoverboard from over rotating or tilting.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl