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  1. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 5:52 PM - Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #1

    I am all for looking things up before asking questions. Nothing annoys me more than posts that take more time to type up than they do to google for an answer. But in this case, there is so much information, and so many variables, that as a newb to electronics, trying to discern a clear way to put together an FX saber is utterly escaping.

    So here is what I want to do:

    Take one of my flash-gun based custom lightsabers and add electronics to it. I'd like sound (ignition, clash, hum) and vibration, a single color LED, a detachable blade, a light-up power button, and a recharge port.

    Step One-- I'd love a part list. I know we're not supposed to like Sabeforge, but they do have a plot of plug and play options that might make this easier.

    Step Two-- I'd need a wiring diagram that might make clearer sense beyond a legit schematic. I took a couple years of electronics back in high school-- and that was a long time ago.

    Step Three-- I don't want a crystal reveal, do I still need a chassis? Can all these innards be wrapped in insulation foam and crammed inside the saber, or do they need a sled? If they do, obviously I'm looking at commissioning a custom one based on the I.D. of whatever my custom saber would be.

    Any help, or any questions of things I should have decided upon and didn't answer, are greatly appreciated!
  2. RPF Premium Member Edraven99's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 6:10 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #2

    I'll be following along with this thread with great interest... im in the same boat as I eventually want to light up my Canon X build...
  3. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 6:19 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #3

    I'm pretty sure I'll be using one of my Canon based builds too.
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    Jan 13, 2018, 6:42 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #4

    SethS said: View Post
    So here is what I want to do:
    Hey @SethS ! So here is what you need to do:

    Step 1. Measure the inside cavity of the flash-gun you want to use. Depth, Diameter, Change in Diameter at different Depths,etc. Also measure the diameter and depth of the hole that leads out to the area of your "emitter". The area that your LED Star and Lense sits has to be at least 20mm in Diameter! You should also have enough depth behind it to house a proper heat sink for your LED Star. Call it an inch and you'll O.K.

    Step 2. Get everything from you can from TCSS. AND GET IF FAST IF THEY HAVE IT IN STOCK!

    Step 3. Do you have an ESD-Safe Soldering Iron? If no, get this one, IT'S AWESOME!... https://www.tequipment.net/HakkoFX88...ml?search=true
    Get one of these too while you're at it... https://www.tequipment.net/HakkoT18-BL.html

    Step 4. If you go with a Crystal Focus v8.0 I'll make you a wiring diagram. But you'll have to do the Ohm's Law math yourself if you pick LEDs and resistors that I haven't used on my lightsaber.

    You don't have to have a chassis, nor a sled, but it does help prevent damage to expensive little soundcards and all the gibblygook you spent hours soldering to said soundcard! And it makes it look pretty even if noone will see it but you before you put it inside your hilt.

    If I hadn't gotten outbid by $150 dollars on a Canon Model X yesterday I could help you with those measurements you'll need.
    Last edited by Ridire Firean; Jan 13, 2018 at 6:48 PM. Reason: typo
  5. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 6:55 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #5

    This is a great start-- thank you!

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    Step 1. Measure the inside cavity of the flash-gun you want to use. Depth, Diameter, Change in Diameter at different Depths,etc. Also measure the diameter and depth of the hole that leads out to the area of your "emitter". The area that your LED Star and Lense sits has to be at least 20mm in Diameter! You should also have enough depth behind it to house a proper heat sink for your LED Star. Call it an inch and you'll O.K.
    I'm still deciding what parts to use, but it'll probably by a saberforge blade holder/emitter that I really like, with a canon Y or X body, and either a TCSS or canon lower body. Removing any guts the canon has should give me as much space as any custom saber.

    If possible I'd love to mount the button and recharge port into existing Canon ports.

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    Step 2. Get everything from you can from TCSS. AND GET IF FAST IF THEY HAVE IT IN STOCK!
    Here's where I get confused-- I don't know which components to get as not all of them are compatible with each other. They also have some plug and play parts, which is probably my best bet. I DO really like this saberforge blade holder-- and while their threading is proprietary, aren't blade sizes universal?

    But either way, I am unclear as to which components I need.

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    Step 3. Do you have a ESD-Safe Soldering Iron? If no, get this one, IT'S AWESOME!... https://www.tequipment.net/HakkoFX88...ml?search=true
    Get one of these too while you're at it... https://www.tequipment.net/HakkoT18-BL.html
    I don't have an iron as of yet, but I assumed I'd be acquiring one.

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    Step 4. If you go with a Crystal Focus v8.0 I'll make you a wiring diagram. But you'll have to do the Ohm's Law math yourself if you pick LEDs and resistors that I haven't used on my lightsaber.
    Again-- not sure what parts to get-- but if you have a set-up that does what I want I will happily follow in some footsteps to save myself any headaches!

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    You don't have to have a chassis, nor a sled, but it does help prevent damage to expensive little soundcards and all the gibblygook you spent hours soldering to said soundcard! And it makes it look pretty even if noone will see it but you before you put it inside your hilt.
    It seems like most chassis makers selling on shapeways do custom ones pretty cheap. Maybe once I know my internal dimensions and component set up I can hit one of them up.


    Thank you!
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:14 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #6

    SethS said: View Post
    Here's where I get confused--
    Just breathe. Get the measurements. They'll determine what parts we can help you pick. We'll go from there once you have the measurements.

    As far as Saberforge goes, I haven't looked at them much, but a 1" blade is a 1" blade, a 7/8" blade is a 7/8" blade... as far as the O.D. goes anyway. There are thin and thick walled versions of each diameter to choose from and each has a benefit and a drawback. Thick blades are more robust for dueling, but aren't as bright as thin-walled blades. Thin blades are brighter, but won't hold up well under heavy dueling. Tap-tap-tap with thin-walled blades will be just fine, just no 'CONAN SMASH' swings like you could with a thick-walled blade.

    Buttons and Ports in Portholes... totally doable! Measure where they're at.

    Now, get the measurements. Think 'DRAW A BLUEPRINT'. Even if your drawing skills are atrocious, a detailed diagram of measurements is essential!!!
  7. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:18 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #7

    I went to art school. My drawing skillz are excellent. I'm waiting on a few parts I've already order to arrive, then I'm on it!

    Oh, and I won't be dueling or cosplaying, just wall porn for my office.
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:36 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #8

    Thin-walled blade it is then! See that was easy, one part of one part mostly done!

    Pick Round or Bullet for your tip. Pick your length if you want it precut, or get the full 40" and cut it yourself. Pick clear or trans-white for your blade...well, maybe. What color of light do you want your blade to have when it's lit? Some of the colored blades (the actual tube part) have some really neat effects when lit, but look a tad gauche when not lit and stuck up on a wall.
  9. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:45 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #9

    I saw a plug and play all in one unit on Saberforge that let's you pick any color on start up-- but it was also over $300 and that's a lot of money for something Ill turn on once ever couple weeks.

    The use of thick pointed blades in TFA and TLJ, and the bullet tips of the PT are all things I dislike. I'd love a tapered point like the OT, but rounded would be fine for me. Color I'll have to think about... but probably orange, purple, or red.
  10. RPF Premium Member tomleech's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:54 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #10

    Happy to throw in my experience here too Really wouldnt use anything saberforge and definitely not their electronics, the machining isn't great and the threaded sections tend to be too short. A nano biscotte v4 sound board sounds like it'd be ideal for your requirements and the manual is pretty good with some great wiring diagrams, TCSS also sell a cutting mat with NB4 diagrams printed right onto it I can give you an exact list of what you'd need electronics-wise if you need.

    Thin walled blade is the way to go, they can still stand up to a lot of punishment and you really only need a thick walled if you want to break some bones

    A picture of the flash you're working with would help us work out what you'll need mechanically and if you've got calipers for measurements I can design and print you a chassis
  11. RPF Premium Member halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 7:56 PM - Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #11

    Prizm 5.1
    18650 battery
    NE-crew led
    2 tactile switches
    28mm 2w speaker
    Military spec wire
    Soldier and wire strippers and call it good!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:10 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #12

    tomleech said: View Post
    Happy to throw in my experience here too
    I'm sure he'll appreciate it. I expect quite a few members will lend a hand here!

    halliwax said: View Post
    NE-crew led
    What's this @halliwax ?

    halliwax said: View Post
    Military spec wire
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/28-AWG-Silv...-/381788922411

    for when you get to that part @SethS ! He has several solid colors too!
  13. Sandtracker's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:13 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #13

    These videos are made for all experience levels from beginner to advanced. They are made by a well-respected sabersmith (Rob Petkau of Genesis Custom sabers) in the hobby:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...XoZZhd30_0LXNS
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ljTNVLGq4F3FKT
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J4cbYzS-6QQ_Uq
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...v2cHP5NVfTXVnz
  14. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:15 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #14

    Thanks guys! I'm on the body and will get some calipers tomorrow!

    Oh, and if it isn't a pain in the ass, I'd love for the activation button to be lit too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sandtracker said: View Post
    These videos are made for all experience levels from beginner to advanced. They are made by a well-respected sabersmith (Rob Petkau of Genesis Custom sabers) in the hobby:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...XoZZhd30_0LXNS
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ljTNVLGq4F3FKT
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J4cbYzS-6QQ_Uq
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...v2cHP5NVfTXVnz
    Awesome-- this will totally help, thanks!
  15. Sandtracker's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:18 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #15

    SethS said: View Post
    Thanks guys! I'm on the body and will get some calipers tomorrow!

    Oh, and if it isn't a pain in the ass, I'd love for the activation button to be lit too.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Awesome-- this will totally help, thanks!
    You're welcome! Don't hesitate to ask questions. I've been building FX sabers since 2013 and I'm studying electrical engineering in college.
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:19 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #16

    Don't forget to check out @erv aka Irv 'Master of the Buttered Toast' Plecter's videos too...

    https://www.youtube.com/user/irvinplecter/videos

    He's the guy that invented all the soundboards mentioned thus far!
  17. RPF Premium Member halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:25 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #17

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    I'm sure he'll appreciate it. I expect quite a few members will lend a hand here!


    What's this @halliwax ?


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/28-AWG-Silv...-/381788922411

    for when you get to that part @SethS ! He has several solid colors too!
    Scarecrow hooked me up with this site
    https://powerwerx.com/ptfe-high-temp...-stranded-wire

    Iím currently building a 2.0 for a friend of mine, metal goth chassis, prizm 5.1

    We will see how this goes, fingers crossed... eyes crossed too
  18. SethS's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:29 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #18

    Sandtracker said: View Post
    You're welcome! Don't hesitate to ask questions. I've been building FX sabers since 2013 and I'm studying electrical engineering in college.
    The lightsaber in your sig is actually very close to one of the two designs I'm considering
  19. RPF Premium Member tomleech's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:34 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #19

    halliwax said: View Post
    Prizm 5.1
    18650 battery
    NE-crew led
    2 tactile switches
    28mm 2w speaker
    Military spec wire
    Soldier and wire strippers and call it good!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'd say Prizm's probably overkill, more complex and expensive than a nano
    18650 battery is ideal
    NECree is just Naigon's name for his RGB Tri Cree XPE2, if he wants single colour or purple I think he'd be better off doubling up a colour and having the third die available if he wants to add FoC later
    TCSS sells led momentary tact switches in a variety of colours
    Yup, 28mm speaker
    Make sure you get wire that can handle 2A for the LED wires
    Make sure you get an ESD safe soldering iron.
  20. RPF Premium Member tomleech's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 8:37 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #20

    Sandtracker said: View Post
    These videos are made for all experience levels from beginner to advanced. They are made by a well-respected sabersmith (Rob Petkau of Genesis Custom sabers) in the hobby:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...XoZZhd30_0LXNS
    Yeah Rob's got some good videos, I'd watch these too, great step by step stuff:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K67vATHScPE
  21. RPF Premium Member halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 9:33 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #21

    tomleech said: View Post
    I'd say Prizm's probably overkill, more complex and expensive than a nano
    18650 battery is ideal
    NECree is just Naigon's name for his RGB Tri Cree XPE2, if he wants single colour or purple I think he'd be better off doubling up a colour and having the third die available if he wants to add FoC later
    TCSS sells led momentary tact switches in a variety of colours
    Yup, 28mm speaker
    Make sure you get wire that can handle 2A for the LED wires
    Make sure you get an ESD safe soldering iron.
    I like the necree because you donít have to worry about resistor calculations, Iím lazy


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  22. RPF Premium Member tomleech's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 9:50 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #22

    halliwax said: View Post
    I like the necree because you don’t have to worry about resistor calculations, I’m lazy
    There's an included one on the red but you should really measure them anyway
  23. RPF Premium Member halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 9:53 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #23

    tomleech said: View Post
    There's an included one on the red but you should really measure them anyway
    Very very true
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    Jan 13, 2018, 9:57 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #24

    I can help you as well. I just finished my mb sabers chassis install. Since this is your first I would go with a nano v4 and tcss nano chassis. It holds everything needed in a compact space saving design. My cram fu for my build was very challenging due to adding neopixels for the crystal chamber and plasma gate as well as the new connecter for the neopixel blade. The nano also supports neopixel btw
  25. RPF Premium Member halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2018, 10:02 PM - Re: Who wants to hold my hand making an FX saber? #25

    @tomleech, hey tom i am in need of a new soldering iron. i see a lot of guys using this model

    https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-...soldering+iron

    do you know is this is EDS? there is also a bunch of fake hakko's out there, anywhere we can purchase real ones with confidence?

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