Lightsabers & Blasters Jedi-Loreen's EL Lightsaber Blade Tutorial

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Jedi-Loreen, May 6, 2004.

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  1. twiggyman123 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2006
    I have absolutely no clue on what kind of mono adapters to use, male and female. links would be helpful if possible please. I sorta stink when it comes to electronics.:)
  2. Strydur Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 2
    Well..if you want a saber that small..If you use a single strand with no slop in the tube I wouldnt use any diffuser. The diffuser is so you dont "see" the wire but if you only have 1 strand it should look good without a diffuser tube.
  3. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Heh, you're right, Tim, if it's only one strand of EL wire, it doesn't matter as much whether it shows. A little diffusion might give it a nicer glow, though.


    twiggyman123, they are just standard 1/4" mono audio connectors. The male ones are all pretty much alike, just the housing size varies. Make sure you get one with a metal housing, not plastic.
    [image=http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2326382w345.jpg]
    You don't need a gold-plated one, this just had a bigger pic:
    [image=http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2266715w345.jpg]

    There are a few different styles of female ones to chose from depending on how you want to contruct your saber, which is where that one will go. [face_dancing]

    Styrdur uses this one for his hilts and kits:
    [image=http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2265898w345.jpg]
    There's also this kind:
    [image=http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2265987w345.jpg]
    I recently repaired a friend's saber that had one of these kind of female connetors in it:
    [image=http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2265946w345.jpg]


    I suggest you go to Strydur's site if you are going to buy blade or hilt supplies, he's got the best prices you're going to find. Plus he has everything you need one place. To get an idea of what they look like, and what size they are, maybe go to RadioShack (I personally, don't like that place [face_sick], but they do have some nice pictures on their website :p ). I wouldn't buy from them, but you may need to get an idea of what you want, if you don't just get everythiing from Strydur.

    Just click on the link in his signature to go to his site.
    ;)

  4. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    I know someone's going to burn off my hand with a lightsaber for asking this question, but I honestly haven't found any info about it in any thread. If it is, well point me there please, and I promise not to take the kick in the pants personally... o_O

    But... if someone had to speak about the factual materials (not just say "I like X better than Y"):

    What are the pros and cons about EL sabers relative to other ones (i.e. LED, plasma or whatever your point-of-reference)?

    --weight?
    --brightness?
    --durability?
    --effects possible?
    --sound possible?
    --cost?

    PLEASE don't think I'm asking to compare apples to oranges. That is, I know that a thicker blade tube is heavier than a thinner one of similar material. I'm simply saying, comparing materials in each as close as can be expected... what are some of the facts?

    This is also not out to "bash" any type of saber style. It's clear that they all have interesting features--I just wish I knew exactly wht for each one. :) Cheers!
  5. GeluKhanGharr Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 1
    Greytale, here is a good discussion on the pros and cons of EL vs. 1 Luxeon LED setups:
    http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/sabers/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=65

    Check out the rest of that board too, there is more info in the subject. I preffer LED by far and I have made both types of sabers - plenty of them and with and without sound. But the best way to make up your mind is to do the same - build different types. I'd stay away from plasma only because they're so fragile, but everything else, just build them and see what you like.
  6. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    GeluKhan

    Thanks... I'll do that. I've been meaning to add to Strydur's forum but just never did the free sign up thing. What you give is sound advice, and believe me, I'm not a TOTAL noob, I've read through 100% of the LED thread twice over, and 100% of the EL thread.

    I suppose NOW it's time to read all of EL vs. LuxLed. (eyes suddenly fall out--*plunk* *squish*)... oh joy. heheheh JK it's fun. :)
  7. Luke_SkyMarcher Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005

    Ok, this question may look stupid to some of you electronic geniuses out there, but I have to ask it anyway. I have a friend who is having me make him an el hilt with a hasbro sound module in it. He had one that he gave me to use, so I tried hooking it up with resistors. (I don't have enough room in this hilt for the extra batteries a relay would take) This diagram was posted a while back, somwhere in the 30's, I think. I am sure I hooked it up just like this -

    [image=http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-5/1016453/HILTWIRINGrevised.jpg]

    - but I somehow managed to fry it anyway. I don't know if it was me, or if it was the setup. Fortunately, I have an extra one one hand i can use, but before I go fry that one too, I need some advice from somone who knows electronics. I "edited" the diagram like this -

    [image=http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-5/1016453/CopyofHILTWIRINGrevised.jpg]

    - to show how hooking it up appears most logical to me, but, of course, I really don't know too much about electronics, so it might look horrible to someone who knows their electronics. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

    -Luke
  8. GeluKhanGharr Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 1
    Luke,

    I am by no means an electronics expert, but I have fried about 5 boards by now and I believe I have learned something from it. Your diagram is good, except for the resistor from the battery to the board. I asume you are using a 9 V battery and inserted that resistor there to lower the input from the battery. It is best to replace that with a Zener diode as they use no power, only regulate voltage if installed the right way. The rest looks good to me.
    Good luck!
  9. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
    Is there any kind of rotating connector? I'm trying to figure out how to make a blade screw on without twisting up the wires.
  10. Luke_SkyMarcher Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Thank you! Now I have another question.:)
    What kind of zener diode?:confused:
    I really don't know much about electronics... maybie strydur should have "Electronic for dummies" for sale on his site...
    I went to Radio Shack today (I know most of you don't like that store, but I have no alternative)
    They had two kinds, and since I didn't know which to get, I got them both.:D
    One says 5.1V, 49mA, and maximum power dissapation of 1.0W

    The other says 12.V, 21mA, and maximum power dissapation of 1.0W

    Will either work? Or do I have to order one from somwhere:eek: I hate shipping charges...

    Anyway while I was there I found this speaker, I don't know if any of you have tried it yet to see if it sounded good. It looked like it could fit in a 1.25" tube product number 273-092

    Thanks,

    -Luke
  11. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    Thank you very much.

    I do have to say though, that the blades themselves are quite suited to heavy dueling. My friends and I have been building, and fighting with, blades similar to those in the tutorial. The trick is in how you attatch the blade to the hilt. Originally, we just bolted the sucker in place. Now, we use male and female pvc couplers. Along with audio jacks, the wires don't get twisted up as the connection itself will rotate.(Got the idea from BigYellowBox, wonderful place.)

    We are currently working on making a safeguard so that the inverter can't be turned on when there is no blade present. Any ideas would be welcome.

    Also, (this is getting lengthy, so I'll stop soon.) for some incredible, high-adrenaline, jedi vs. sith fun, take your lightsabers to a woods, paintball arena, anyplace really as long as it's dark, and duel. Sieze the Fort is even better with lightsabers than it is with paintball guns!
  12. robt666 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2005
    star 2
    only more fun with lightsabers if you suck at paintball. better than wood/rec ball yes i will give ya that. better then tourney ball [face_shame_on_you] not a chance. getting shot at 20bps is a heck of a rush but so it trying to not get the crud wacked out of you with a 1/8" thick poly C
  13. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    Never done tourney. So, I can't compare. But lightsabers are just plain crazy. We've got about 26 of us out in the middle of the woods, in the middle of the night, with music blaring loud enough to wake the dead. That and the rules are basically anything goes. Granted, Head, Neck, and Torso hits basically count as fatal hits. But if you get whacked in the arm, you just don't use it. (Same goes for legs, it might look funny, but things get a whole lot more desperate.)

    So, I'd recommend that you try it sometime.
  14. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    You allow head shots? [face_shame_on_you]

    My local group doesn't play that way. It's a good way to get hurt. [face_not_talking]

    "You'll put your eye out, kid!"
    [face_worried] [face_hypnotized] :p
  15. Phayze Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2004
    star 3
    nothing wrong with headshots as long you've got some PPE.

    My stage combat group sometimes goes full contact with lightly padded weapons wearing fencing masks to protect the face and head. Granted, PVC with pipe insulation duct-taped onto is a bit softer than the stuff saber blades are usually made of, but I think a decent hockey helmet would do the trick. Probably wouldn't hurt to have something to cover that neck, too - especially if you've got anybody in the group smart enough to use the point. Thrusts to the neck SUCK! [face_beatup]
  16. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    [face_whistling] Well, we don't wear any sort of protection at all. However, it's an unspoken rule that if you must aim for the head then you have to pull your attack. But, head shots are quite rare, and most people are quick enogh to block 'em.

    But yes, it is a good way to get hurt.

    However, thrusting at the person is not allowed. To either side, yes, but not at the person themselves.
    (Hence why we all still have both our eyes.)

    Anywho,
    If you were given the choice between dual singles or a staff that broke into dual singles, which would you choose? I'm thinking of building the latter, but I'm not quite sure just yet.
  17. Spencer_P Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2005
    star 1
    Someday, I want to make a blue, double-bladed saber that splits into two singles. Only I would probably make it LED.

    Heres a link to a page with some safety advice offered earlier in this thread: http://boards.theforce.net/Message.aspx?topic=15796050&brd=10019&start=20496962


  18. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    :eek: Thanks for the tip!

    Yeah, I've just been looking at the LED stuff, and I think that that's what I'll do for the blades. Granted, the driver board from Corbin is $40.00, but the school's paying for it.[face_dancing]

  19. Spencer_P Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2005
    star 1
    Your school is paying for it?!?:eek: What-- are you one of those homeschoolers? Like me? Is it part of an electronics or shop class or something?
  20. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    Basically no to all of those.
    I'm building it for my Senior Capstone project. I've been taking Engineering at my county's career center for the past two years now. I'll be leaving for college next year.

    So, the school is inadvertantly paying for my hobby![face_peace]
  21. Phayze Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2004
    star 3
    I would advise getting helmets, or at the very least something akin to the neck protectors worn in paintball. Neck-shots are no fun, and I know from experience that it's all too easy to get one in by accident.

    from a tactical standpoint, there's no point in a double-saber splitting into two. You're much better off with two sabers, because fighting that way gives you a much wider area of influence than having them stuck together, not to mention the fact that it's a lot easier to fend of multiple opponents with two weapons rather than with a staff.

    The saber-staff is a stylistic choice, but in combat terms it's pretty restricting since you can't slide your hands around it like with a regular quaterstaff, effectively altering your reach on the fly (which really irritates most opponents ;)).
  22. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    Thank you all for the safety tips.

    Now, my friend and I are trying to get a core effect for the EL blades. We're thinking of maybe running a white wire up the middle. I dunno, maybe it'll just make everything lighter. Anyone got any ideas?

    (I hope that that question wasn't posted earlier, 55 pages is a lot to read thru.)
  23. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    I don't know if anyone has actually tried it, but I sincerely doubt you will be able to achieve the effect you desire, with EL wire.
  24. Jedi_Ranger_007 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 4
    I tried do to a core effect last summer. It didn't turn out at all. Just looked like strands of different-coloured wire. Sorry, no pics.
  25. Luke_SkyMarcher Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005
    [face_laugh] [face_devil] :D Everyone think building lightsabers is fun? just try ripping them apart! I had my own experience with that the other day. Actually, I am not really destroying it - it was the first hilt I built (which was for myself) and it looked so bad it made you want to barf[face_sick] . so I am saving all the salvedgeable parts and am making it about as nice some of my more recent ones;)

    XGundam - sounds like fun. Do you have any pictures of all those sabers on at the same time?

    And now I go off to surf the net looking for more electronics info....
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