The other looks like the same basic concept as the one I had, only a different implementation. At least yours was black and silver and not bright orange.
Last edited by Tan Djarka; Aug 17, 2011 at 9:02 AM.
So, my wife is currently doing a custom Jedi and was wondering how easy it would be to tear one of these apart and install the guts into a PVC-built hilt?
Cheap enough that I wouldn't worry too much about messing it up.
Nice, I might look into tearing it apart into a custom hilt too, thanks for the review!!
Has anyone made any progess modding these? I picked up both in Portland at TRU for under $25 each, and was wondering if it might be possible to convert them to removable blades (Hasbro has recently said they probably won't do this line as removeable, even though they'd like, as the price point would jump unnacceptably) like I've read the MR versions could be.
Hey guys, if you want to disassemble your lightsaber and actually be able to reassemble it when you're done, I'm making a step-by-step guide for both the Anakin and Darth Vader sabers. Stay tuned . . .
Okay, I finished it.
Here is my guide for disassembling the Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader Ultimate FX Lightsabers:
Step 1: Take off the battery cover and remove the batteries.
Step 2: Pry the red button off of the dial behind the "fork". This is difficult, and you may just have to leave it on. This will probably damage the dial if you do this (but that's fixable with body putty and silver spray paint). Taking it off enables you to access the screw on the front end, but if you leave it on you can simply pull the saber apart, ripping the screw free. It'll still hold the dial on the saber body if you do this, so it's up to you.
Step 3: Unscrew all of the screws.
Step 4: Pull the dial out and pull the emitter off.
Step 5: Slide the emitter shroud off the body.
Step 6: Pull the halves apart. There are a couple of pins that they glued in the activator box, but those come apart easily.
When you reassemble this saber, you have to be extra careful with the wires. They're not very strong and if you get them caught between any of the alignment pegs in the body it will cut them in half. This is especially true of the wires going to the speaker. When this happened to me, I desoldered the remainder of the wires and soldered in some ribbon cable. It keeps the wires together, and it's got enough memory to stay in place when I close up the body.
Darth Vader's Lightsaber:
Step 1: Take off the battery cover and remove the batteries.
Step 2: Take out the screw on the emitter shroud and slide it off the blade.
Step 3: Remove all the screws.
Step 4: Pull the halves apart.
This one has no glue on it, so it comes apart very easily, and the wiring layout is superior to the Anakin saber, so you should be able to get this one back together much more easily.
Last edited by Millenniumf; Oct 10, 2011 at 7:03 PM.
i ordered the luke version off amazon yesterday
(really glad the activation buttons are back where they're supposed to be!)
But can someone explain how those work? If you were to transplant the guts, how does it's switch work, or..well how could you transfer it to another?
< not electronically inclined
I wish thanks so much for your fantastic tutorial! I purchased one Anakin ‘s lightsaber from a seller on EBAy USA – I live on Brazil and these sabers are very expensive her so even with the shipping cost they are still worthwhile – and when the toy arrived here some time ago the first thinking on my head was open the saber to see the electronics. No, I’m not a crazy guy, just an electronic engineer that is about the same… After unscrew all the screws and tried to open the hilt I noticed the presence of a hidden and according to the point where the parts were still joined it was inside the dial. The red button was evidently glued inside the dial and I gently tried (unsuccessfully of course) to pull it outside. Since I was feared to damage the saber I quit of the idea of take apart the saber. But after read your tutorial I’m encouraging myself although I have a B plan! I want comment that on a separate post.
Wouldn't it be interesting if we were able to put in some kind of buzzer or vibrator into the handle, like it was in the very first ones Hasbro did, the ones with the longer blades?
Every time you hit something and the clash sound is activated you would also feel it in the handle ...
I know of a toothbrush brand that has this very, very small vibrators in the grip. Could be useful.
If someone finds out with which wires these tiny motors need to be hooked up to, this could really be some exciting upgrade to an already cool toy/prop ...
The key used to activate and deactivate the blade/sounds is a called push button and is a kind of key like the ones use on the keys of a computer keyboard. When you press the key the contacts close and stay closed until you release the key so the contacts open. I’m sure the push button can be substituted by the other key similar to the one located on the hilt used to turn off/on the saber or place in the demonstration mode. This key has 3 positions and the new key will have only 2 positions. Observe how the blade is activated/deactivated: if you press the key to activate and stay pressing it the saber also stay activated. To deactivate you need release the key and press it again and if you stay pressing the key the saber stay deactivated and to activate once again you need release and press again. The fact of the key stay closed in both cases does not affect the saber condition after be pressed. So a key that lets 2 contacts permanently closed on each position can be used without problem. The key to be used is called “single pole two positions” but the most common to found is the “two pole two positions” that can be also used. The modification on the saber is also very easy and if you wish I can make a sketch of the wiring. But please note that you will need place the new key in a different place of the saber than the original key!
I think is possible put a motor inside the hilt to feel better the clash. The LEDs on the blade turns off each time the hit sensor located inside the hilt senses a hilt and we have two possibilities to activate the motor. The first is turn on the motor using an extra transistor with the base connected to the LEDs activation output. The second is gets the signal to activate the motor directly from the clash sensor and again a transistor must be used. The first possibility is the better in my opinion. Anyway one problem happens when the LEDs are turned off. I counted 1 or 3 times the LEDs are turned off to each of 3 clashes sounds – if I counted wrongly please correct me – and the time where they stay turned off is very short and probably this short time is not sufficient to let the motor tuned on to sense the vibration. Fortunately this problem can be overcome! The time where the LEDs are turned off can be thought as “negative pulses” having a time of duration and this time can be lengthened adding an extra capacitor connected on the base of transistor. Your idea is very interesting and I want experiment that.
By last, the motor can be salvaged from old cell phone. The vibration is caused by a mass attached off-center on the motor axis. Another possibility is salvage the motor used on a game control although the motor used are somewhat big.
I was able to remove the red button inside the dial of the Anakin’s lightsaber without any damage to it and I want to describe the procedure used here.
By first, I did not use the “plan B” cited on a previous quote! I want tell about it in another post.
[FONT="]Well, the MIlleniumF was not kidding when he said the red button is difficult to pry out the knob and you will need patience to remove it using the procedure described below.
[FONT="][/FONT]At first sight the red button seems to be very firmly glued inside the knob and a kind of hard glue was used to fixing. In fact it is not true and if you use a thin plastic piece that can be inserted on the groove between the button and the knob wall and press the button against the opposite side you will notice the button moves a bit. I used at first a guitar pick and stay pressing around the button until it could be easily moved against the inner sides of the knob.
The best movement to make with the plastic object is a like a lever movement where you press against the opposite side and at same time force the button outside. Do not apply excessive force to avoid break the saber or ever hurt your fingers if the plastic tool escapes from the slit!
Even when the button moves easily inside the knob you will not be able to turn it! Now is time to the next step: choose an adhesive tape having a strong glue.
I used adhesive tape with glue on both sides of 3M VHB because the glue of this tape is very strong and the tape is flexible and also resistant. Cut a piece of the adhesive tape sufficient long to be fixed over the red button, fix the tape firmly and start to pull outside and turn to both sides. If the red button was sufficiently loosed using the plastic tool you will be able to remove the piece using this procedure.
When you finally can pull the button from the hole you will notice the glue used to fix is soft and can be removed using the fingers.
Nice to hear that you picked up the idea!
If you have any success in figuring out the electronic part, please let me know. As I said before, Hasbro already did this some years ago. Perhaps someone could take a look at one of the old sabers, to see how this was achieved ...
By the way, using the motor from the toothbrush is in my opinion the cheapest way. They retail for about three dollars and are fired up by a 1,5 volt battery. The brand is Oral-B and they are called "Pulsar" ...
Last edited by Fair Play; Apr 27, 2012 at 2:54 AM.
Hi Fair Play,
Although the motor was used on the old light saber your idea of add one to these new ones from Hasbro is very interesting and can give a unique feature. I performed a series of measuring on the lightsaber like current consumed by the LEDs and with an oscilloscope the waveforms on points of interest. Doing the measurement I discarded the option of turning on the motor from the signal of the clash sensor. The clash sensor is a kind of single key activated by impacts. It is located on the base of blade and each time the blade hits something the key snap the contacts generating short negative pulses to the main IC. These pulses could be used but an expense of a circuit more complex than the signal in other points of the circuit. One set of these points I commented on a last post and can be any of the 5 outputs of the IC those are responsible to turn on/off the LEDs. The other set of points are the anodes of LEDs. The first set if preferable because the signal there is more clean although is necessary scrap some of the ink over the copper track to solder a wire.
This can be easily accomplished gently rubbing the printed circuit board with the point of a sharp knife.
To the motor I want use one available on my junk box and it came from damaged cell phone. This motor is adequate because the operating voltage is 3.7V and the saber is powered by 4.5V. The cell motor can handle the extra 0.8V without be damaged. Since the motor from toothbrush operates with 1.5 V it will be overloaded!
Are you sure you cannot find a discarded cell phone to take apart and getting the motor for free?
Before post my conclusions after perform the measurements on the Anakin lightsaber circuit I want tell what is the plan B cited in my reply to MilleniumF. Since I was unsuccessful to open the lightsaber just after receive the toy I asked to the seller if he tried to take apart one of these sabers and in that case if he could send pictures of the toy opened. On his answer he told hat had returned an Obi-Wan model where the blade was broken and gently opened the hilt sending the pictures. I became very interested to give the pieces and he opened a private auction on EBay selling the hilt and PCB with LEDs by a symbolic value of US$ 0.99. So until found the tutorial describing how to disassemble the Anakin lightsaber I was anxiously expecting to receive the hilt to analyze the circuit. I’m still waiting the hilt arrives here but after be able to disassemble my lightsaber I’m not too anxiously as later.
Well, now is time to tell my conclusions after performing the measurements on the lightsaber and the simplest circuit possible to drive the motor. To make the LEDs blinks at each hit of the blade an impact sensor is assembled on the PCB of the LEDs and is wired to the IC responsible to control the saber located on main PCB. This sensor is just a kind of key where the contacts close shortly on the impacts and the IC generates 2 or 3 pulses according to the 3 hit sounds.
The last pulse is tailored by a burst of short pulses whit lengths shortening progressively to create a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal. The PWM serve to turns on the LEDs increasing quickly but smoothly the bright instead of turning them on immediately when the hit sound stops.
The waveforms are named Anakin Hit 1, Anakin Hit 2, Anakin Hit 3 and Anakin Hit 1_PWM. When the voltage is near 0 volts (actually 200mV) the LEDs are turned on and when the voltage rises to about 4.3V the LEDs are turned off.
Please go to Pictures by jrgabbardo - Photobucket to see the pictures of the waveforms and sircuits.
The Anakin hit 1 picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket turns off the LEDs 2 times before the PWM burst with pulses lengths (off-on-off) of 49.6ms, 49.6ms, 65.8ms and PWM burst 206ms.
The Anakin hit 2 picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket turns off the LEDs 3 times before the PWM burst with pulse lengths (off-on-off-on-off) of 49.6ms, 34.2ms, 33.2ms, 40.8ms, 57.2ms and PWM burst 206ms.
The Anakin hit 3 picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket turns off the LEDs 3 times before the PWM burst with pulse lengths (off-on-off-on-off) of 66.8ms, 107ms, 66.8ms, 65.6ms, 66ms and PWM burst 113ms.
The PWM burst can be best looked on the Anakin hit 1_PWM picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket waveform.
I was not sure at first if the pulses duration would be sufficient long to turn on properly the motor and was a good surprise discovers the vibrating motor scrapped from an old cell phone worked very well turning on/off and following nicely the LED blinks.
Unfortunately is not possible drive the motor by means a Very simpy circuit picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket composed by a transistor (Q1) with a base current (R1) limiting resistor and a free-wheel (D1) diode on the collector.
The reason is why the saber works. When the toy is turned on by the main (off/try me/on) switch it enters on stand-by prior to press the blade be igniting /extinguishing button. Five PNP transistors drive the LEDs and when the saber is on stand-by a positive voltage from the controlling IC is applied on their bases to let them (and LEDs) turned off. When the push button is pressed to ignite the blade the IC pulls the base to ground turning them (and LEDs) on. When the push button is pressed a second time to extinguish the blade the saber enters again on stand-by.
So the Very simpy circuit picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket using a PNP transistor will let the motor ever turned on stand-by and using a NPN transistor will let the motor ever turned on when the blade stay ignited!
Choosing NPN transistor to turns on the motor during the off pulses and adding an extra resistor (R2), capacitor (C1) and diode (D1) to the Very simpy circuit picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket the problems described above are avoided. On the New circuit picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket the resistor R2 with the capacitor C1 forms a differentiating circuit to decouple the transistor base from the IC activating voltage and the diode D1 serves to quick discharge the capacitor to turns off the motor when the pulses from the IC voltage falls to near 0V.
Using a long time constant T = R x C = 10 000Ω x 100 x 10^-6F = 1s the pulse voltages falls about 1V along the pulse duration. The waveforms were taken on the point 3 of new circuit and are named as Anakin hit 1_diff picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket, Anakin hit 2_diff picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket and Anakin hit 3_diff picture by jrgabbardo - Photobucket.
Any questions, comments and suggestion can be posted on the topic or even sent to me on private messages.
Last edited by jrgabbardo; May 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM. Reason: Hiperlinks was not showed on the message
I didn't expect this vast amount of knowledge to be applied to an idea that sounded so simple in the beginning ...
Yeah, I think you hit the jackpot, although I have to confess that my knowledge of even the simplest electronic circuits is in no way a match of yours
As hard as tried to follow your schematics ... you have lost me halfway
For someone as humble as me the only way to even remotely understand your brilliant ideas is to have a step by step "How to" with photos.
Nevertheless, congratulations on "cracking" the saber electronics!
Well, this thread certainly took off, lol.
awesome info...i was wondering if you might have or be able to supply a wiring diagram for using the sound card assembly out of the 'ultimate' saber
for a custom saber shop LED saber just where to wire the battery pack speakers , led and switch. if u do that would be awesome or if you could point me in the right direction. im trying to finish my saber before i go to celebration this year.
You are welcome!
My first intention was furnish a good amount of information and perhaps I was too much technical to the beginners something that is unforgivable to a teacher like I am!
Well, the circuit has few components and I can ensure that it is not difficult to assemble it in a small piece of veroboard or a prototype board. To do so you will need purchase a soldering iron and a 30W one will do the job nicely. Also you need solder and 63/47% or 60/40% tin-lead can be used to assemble the circuit.
I want follow your suggestion and make the “how to” step by step with photos.