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ACTON Announces BLINK QU4TRO

Featuring four-wheel drive and space-age materials, the only electronic longboard of its kind on the market.

ACTON, the leading designer and manufacturer of advanced, smart, light-weight, and innovative electric skateboards, electric skates and electric scooters, today announces its newest innovation, BLINK QU4TRO. As one of the fastest, most powerful eBoards on the market, it’s the only board that includes four-wheel drive and electric hub motors for ultimate climbing power. QU4TRO is also made of light-weight materials for easy transport, and features unprecedented engineering and design, allowing for 22 miles of cruising per charge.

In addition to launching the BLINK QU4TRO, ACTON has also added the BLINK S and BLINK S2 to its line. All three of the new eBoards utilize hub motors, which are powerful, torquey, smooth and require less maintenance. These advanced motors also allow for advanced regenerative braking, making them superior to standard belt motors. Additional specs include powerful Samsung/Panasonic battery cells, smart features via the ACTON app and integrated lights, which double as a design and safety feature. Controlled by a remote, the hands-free, lightweight boards give riders the ability to set the speed of the board.

“Our goal is to transform the way people commute and cruise around town, so we wanted to create boards that are integrated machines, far superior to what eBoards once were,” said ACTON’s Co-Founder and CEO, Janelle Wang. “These aren’t just a collection of off-the-shelf parts assembled with a few electronics; we carefully designed these next generation BLINK boards with aluminum and carbon fiber materials so they are rugged but still light-weight and easy to carry. They’re ideal for any commuter from students to the business professional.”

Each BLINK board has different features to meet the unique needs of any consumer:

  •  BLINK QU4TRO – Four-wheel drive, most powerful, amazing range and conqueror of all hills.

Specs: deck 865mm/34in, 4 hub motors, 22 miles per charge.

  • BLINK S2 – Two-wheel drive, commute and cruise, great range and effortless uphill power. Designed for commuters and students.

Specs: deck 800mm/31.5in, 2 hub motors, 10 miles per charge.

  • BLINK S – One-wheel drive, commute and cruise, most portable vehicle.

Specks: deck 704mm/27.7in, 1 hub motor, 7 miles per charge.

 

 

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Hub Motors Are Changing The Electric Skateboard Industry

The biggest thing in electric skateboards for 2016 is in-hub motors. Will Hub Motors Redefine The Electric Skateboard Industry Or Is It Just Another Fad?

First we need to break down the two different kinds of motors used for electric skateboards.

Belt Driven electric skateboard motorsbanner979x979belt-motor2

 

Pretty much every board currently on the market with the exception of a few cheap Chinese boards that are filtering in through Alibaba and eBay are all Belt-driven motors. Right now the defacto standard that all other boards are judged against is the Boosted 2000 Dual+ monster. This board has cracked the code and made something that is really fun to ride and still pretty safe. The board is relatively heavy and expensive but from everything I’ve read online, Boosted really stands behind their product. That might change in the future, but for now, they are the yardstick by which other electric skateboard companies are judged.

Advantages of Belt Driven Motors

  • You can get the gearing ratio perfect for your application : Every electric motor has a power range that the motor works best at, the trick is matching that optimum speed with the right sized skateboard wheel for that application (generally under 100mm for street use). Using a belt allows you to do just that.
  • The motor is slightly more sheltered from road debris as it can be moved up and away from the ground.

Disadvantages of Belt Driving Motors

  • You gotta replace the belts : Not that often but if you’re commuting with your eSkateboard every day for extended distances the belts will wear out. If your belt breaks on the road and it’s not a dual drive system then you’re going to be kicking it home.
  • You can’t push it : If the battery dies your board is not going to roll without a whole lot of friction. More than likely you’re going to bend over pick up your board and carry it the rest of the way.
  • On high power boards the motor is still open to the elements : On some of the lower power 24v boards the motor is completely sealed. Every ‘high power’ motors I’ve seen for electric skateboards are almost always open to the elements on one side. This creates the potential for water, debris and metal objects to find their way inside the motor which is going to suck.

 

Direct Drive electric skateboard motors

hub-longboard-motor-pet

The more common electric motors that can be found on most of the more inexpensive electric skateboards in China are Direct Drive (DD) hubs. These motors are out runners (the wheel is what turns) and they have a 1:1 motor ratio. Every time the motor does one revolution, so does the wheel. The new Blink Board by Acton it’s the best example of transition from belt drive to DD Hub

Advantages of DD Hubs

  • Simplicity: The DD design is the simplest you’re going to find. Other than melting the windings or the insulation on the phase wires or overheating there is little you can do to destroy them. Since it is a outrunner there are no brushes to wear down meaning it should run well pretty much forever.
  • Nothing to wear out: No clutches, no gears, no pulleys. The only thing that can fail really is the bearings on the motor. The Manta drive shown above has some pretty beefy bearings on both sides of the wheel so that is pretty unlikely.
  • You can kick it : That’s right the DD design is the ONLY design that allows you to use your skateboard like a normal skateboard when your battery dies. A well designed DD motor will have very minimal cogging effect so it will have little resistance to being pushed.

Disadvantages of DD Hubs

  • Less power than a comparable Geared hub or a Belt drive: Since the geared hubs and the belt driven motors both get to spin a lot faster than the DD motor then you will need MORE watts to make the DD motor feel as powerful as a Geared or belt drive system.
  • Heat dissipation: Since the windings are inside the motor, it is hard for heat to work its way to the outside of the hub unless it has ventilation holes. Such a small motor doing so much work is going to get very hot. There is a chance that this will be an excellent application for ferrofluid cooling, but as far as I know, no one is doing that on a large-scale yet. If you have ventilation holes then you have to worry about water and debris getting inside your motor. Only the least powerful skateboards (less than 400W from China like this one) are sealed, everything else has massive air holes in it for cooling.
  • The Urethane wheel keeps the heat inside the motor.

It seems to me that the biggest problems that skateboard motors face is cooling. While having DD Hub motors might move the industry forward, they still haven’t solved this fundamental problem. What will the future hold for electric skateboards? All I know is that it is an exciting time and that even if the current batch of hub motors fail to live up to users expectations, they are still moving the industry forward in a good way.

Check our selection of Electric Skateboards and Longboards

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Acton “Blink-Board” electric skateboard controlled with your phone.

Acton is now entering the growing electric skateboard market and hoping to cruise to success on the strength of an iPhone-based remote control system.

The company’s new Blink-Board, which it unveiled here at CES 2016, is far smaller than many of the electric skateboards on the market today. While they’re modeled on so-called long boards, Acton’s Blink-Board, which is just 26.5 inches long, is designed to be more like tiny “Penny Boards.”

“It’s quite small so you can take it anywhere you want to go,” Peter Treadway, Acton’s CTO, told Mashable, adding that the board weighs 10 pounds, which might be just light enough to sling over your shoulder. It comes with a carrying strap for when you’re not riding it.

He said that most of the long boards are designed for longer commutes. “We wanted to get more people to ride the short distance who wouldn’t normally be doing it,” said Treadway.

The all electric Blink-Board comes with a remote control, but if you leave the remote behind, your iPhone, with the Acton app, of course, can double as a remote.

To ride it, you hop on the maple wood deck and hit go on the app or use the throttle toggle on the remote. “There’s no soft push start,” explained Treadway. The board charges in a couple of hours and can ride, claims Treadway, six miles on a charge. The app will keep track of the board’s charge and let you connect with the Blink-Board riding community.

With a max speed of 12 mph and a max load of 250 pounds, the Blink-Board’s wheels — or “trucks” as they’re called in skateboard lingo — are very close to the front and back edges of the board for better stability. The board is also equipped with some LED accent lights.

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Via: Mashable

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