Introduction

The device that makes walking look pedestrian: the much-blogged-about “hoverboard.” You may have seen those super cool kids, effortlessly gliding around the supermarket while you’re stuck walking the produce section—like a chump. You may have thought to yourself, “Should I get one of those highly advanced, futuristic wheeled-transport platforms? And if I do, will it spontaneously combust, as I’ve seen so many times on YouTube?” Only teardown will tell if this self-balancing scooter will be up to snuff on safety, and repairability.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Swagway, use our service manual.

Just how much "swag" does this Swagway pack? The specs are a good place to start looking: Hard ABS outer body casing
  • Just how much "swag" does this Swagway pack? The specs are a good place to start looking:

    • Hard ABS outer body casing

    • Aluminum wheels with rubber tires

    • 10 MPH top speed

    • 23" x 7.3" x 7.3"

    • "Top Quality Brand" lithium battery

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We found some super reassuring warning labels. "Risk of Death or Serious Injury"? Yep, nothing to worry about here.
  • We found some super reassuring warning labels.

    • "Risk of Death or Serious Injury"? Yep, nothing to worry about here.

  • Looks like someone flunked out of a certification. There’s a suspicious hole in that line of approvals…

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Phillips #2 screws secure the two bottom covers, so it's not long before we're well within the belly of the beast. Things look… not bad! Given these boards' reputation, we weren't expecting clean insides. Each foot pad has two infrared sensors. Stepping down on the pad pushes a peg between emitter and receiver; when all four sensors are blocked, you are ready to roll.
  • Phillips #2 screws secure the two bottom covers, so it's not long before we're well within the belly of the beast.

  • Things look… not bad! Given these boards' reputation, we weren't expecting clean insides.

  • Each foot pad has two infrared sensors. Stepping down on the pad pushes a peg between emitter and receiver; when all four sensors are blocked, you are ready to roll.

  • Those sensor switches live on the backs of the two gyro boards—one for each wheel. Each board is home to:

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The real star of the show here is the firestarter lithium ion battery pack. Looks like we’ve got a “Shilly-car” lithium battery operating at 36 V with 4.4 Ah (that works out to 158 Wh—just over four times the capacity of an iPad Pro). We’re pretty sure shilly car is a Chinese term for scooter.
  • The real star of the show here is the firestarter lithium ion battery pack.

  • Looks like we’ve got a “Shilly-car” lithium battery operating at 36 V with 4.4 Ah (that works out to 158 Wh—just over four times the capacity of an iPad Pro).

    • We’re pretty sure shilly car is a Chinese term for scooter.

  • Inside, we find a tidy block of 20 LG ICR18650B4 batteries with their own protection board. We’re glad to see a reputable brand in here!

  • Their nominal voltage is much higher than the 158 Wh listed on the shrinkwrap. Li-ion batteries shouldn't be fully discharged, so the battery protection board probably limits the pack to the label's specs.

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Speaking of the protection board: this is a Shenzen Dalishen Technology DDJ10A9. The board in their product photo got a much better soldering job than ours.
  • Speaking of the protection board: this is a Shenzen Dalishen Technology DDJ10A9.

    • The board in their product photo got a much better soldering job than ours.

  • The four large components are MOSFETs responsible for charging and discharging, and have pretty skimpy solder joints.

    • So far this is the only sketchiness we’ve seen, although it is a bit concerning. These particular solder joints are going to see a lot of power as the battery is charging and discharging.

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The motor power lines have some interesting (read: completely mismatched) color coordination going on—fixers take note. They could also do with some more support and insulation (hot glue) on the solder joints.
  • The motor power lines have some interesting (read: completely mismatched) color coordination going on—fixers take note.

    • They could also do with some more support and insulation (hot glue) on the solder joints.

  • Here's what we found on a quick tour of the main board:

    • GD32F103 GigaDevices ARM Cortex-M3

    • Six half-H bridge motor drivers, made up of two large MOSFETs each

    • Two pairs of 0.007 ohm resistors by the power inlet (R007).

      • Resistors like these, with very low resistance, are used to sense current—helping to shut things down if a motor stalls out.

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Saving the best for last(ish), we cracked open one of the mysteriously heavy wheels to get a look at the brushless DC motor. Inside we find oodles of coiled copper wire, three large power leads (one for each of the three phases) and five leads for Hall effect sensors (for position tracking).
  • Saving the best for last(ish), we cracked open one of the mysteriously heavy wheels to get a look at the brushless DC motor.

  • Inside we find oodles of coiled copper wire, three large power leads (one for each of the three phases) and five leads for Hall effect sensors (for position tracking).

  • The motor control board will let the motor know when to switch across those wires, making for a nice smooth ride.

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Real quick though, let's take a peek at the UL-certified charger. After all, house fires from charging hoverboards have been reported... To be honest, it looks pretty messy, but we don't like to judge a charger by its... random epoxy? So we consulted charger guru Ken Shiriff of Righto.com, who said: "Looks like a straightforward flyback switching power supply. I don’t see any cause for complaints...The charger looks solid. I don’t see any corners cut. The design is ‘unchallenging’—they didn’t try to make it as small as possible; Apple probably would have made it half the size."
  • Real quick though, let's take a peek at the UL-certified charger. After all, house fires from charging hoverboards have been reported...

  • To be honest, it looks pretty messy, but we don't like to judge a charger by its... random epoxy? So we consulted charger guru Ken Shiriff of Righto.com, who said:

  • "Looks like a straightforward flyback switching power supply. I don’t see any cause for complaints...The charger looks solid. I don’t see any corners cut. The design is ‘unchallenging’—they didn’t try to make it as small as possible; Apple probably would have made it half the size."

  • So hey, as long as you have a real Swagway, with a real UL-certified charger, you should be fine? Probably.

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Final Thoughts
  • Modular design with good use of connectors means many components can be easily replaced.
  • Only Phillips #2 screws are used—nothing proprietary.
  • The battery is easy to replace.
  • Inconsistent wire colors makes reassembly tricky.
  • We couldn't get the tire off—replacing a worn-out tire will probably mean a new wheel and hub motor.
Repairability Score
8
Repairability 8 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

6 Comments

These Motors are AC brushless induction motors, not standard DC Motors.

allanxp4 - Reply

I fixed my broken hover board but I'm looking for one of the 4pin hole for the charging cord that goes inside.

Joseph - Reply

Anyone know where the serial number is? Trying to ID the manufacturer of my board--having trouble. Wanna make sure it's not under recall. Thanks! I should add that I'm 99 percent sure it's a SwagWay board.

Lance G. - Reply

Thank you for learn

My problem is I fix my swag way and I changed the sensor then it's start putting own Weel drive forword and ether own drove back side

I hope slovenly this problem with you

Thank you again

Saleh alwaghzah - Reply

Does anyone have a scheme or a photo for the assembly of the whole device? I've got the electronics disassembled and am not sure if the parts are complete.

Sacha Hofer - Reply

Sorry, I was too lazy to google on my self.. Found a set of videos here: http://hoverboards.repair/author/fix-hov...

Sacha Hofer -

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