Lightsabers & Blasters LED Blade Q and A's

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by UltraSWG, Aug 8, 2005.

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  1. Raph1613 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Hi there everyone.

    I've been building hilts for a few years now, and recently finished my first working saber.

    It's a Luxeon III powerred by a 9-volt battery through a 1000mA "BuckPuck". So far, I'm not impressed with it's brightness, compared with what I've seen in vids that people have posted. Either I don't have enough power, or I wired it wrong. Advice would be appreciated.

    MY MAIN QUESTION IS THIS:
    Will it compromise the durability of the blade if drill a countersink hole into a 1/8" walled Corbin style battle blade? I've been having a problem with the blade slipping out of the holder while twirling it. And I've wrenched the thumbscrew down as tight as I can every time.

  2. Evil-Henchman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    No. That's how I secure my polycarbonate blades. That's how dad did it. That's how America does it... and it's worked out pretty well so far. ;)
  3. acerocket Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2006
    star 1
    First off, never believe what you see in a video or picture. It has been said hundreds of times in this thread that what you see on film is never a true and accurate representation of what you see in person. Camera settings are easy to cheat to make your saber look better than it really is.

    Second, on your 9V battery, they only have a mAh rating of around 625mAh (for a Energizer branded 9V - as found on the Energizer website). Since a buck convertor is designed to reduce the current to a constant level, you are not even giving it the full current level so your blade will be dimmer. You need a boostpuck if you want to give your LED 1000mA. Unfortunately, they don't make boostpucks in 1000mA yet. You only choice is to switch to a different style battey or to add a second 9V battery in parallel to get a 1250mA battery pack.
  4. Corbin-Das Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2005
    star 2
    Hi Raph1613

    Ace nailed it on the head. 9V batteries don't have enough "oomph" to power something at 1A. Maybe for a few moments, but that's about it. If you can fit it in there, I'd suggest 4 AAs, or even AAAs. I personally like Li-Ion cells, which are 3.6V each instead of the 1.2V that NiMH batteries are.
    Obviously, the larger the batteries are, the more run time you should have. My suggestion is to use the largest batteries you can fit into your saber that gets you the voltage you want. Using a Buckpuck, I'd suggest at least 1 volt more than what you need. They can handle up to 32V, if I recall.
    No problem drilling into one of my blades for the blade retention screw to sink into. I'd suggest that it not be too close to the lower edge of the blade though, or it might crack. I sometimes will make a divit in the blade for increased retention, though I prefer not to drill all the way through. Either way is fine though.

    Corbin

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v345/corbin_das/DRIVER2.jpg]
  5. acerocket Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2006
    star 1
    Raph1613, I got to thinking this morning after I replied to your post. I did a search and found these: [link=http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1618]9V battery[/link] They are a primary (non-rechargeable) 9V lithium battery that has 1200 mAh rating. You could use one of these and get the buck puck to work correctly and provide higher brightness without having to modify your saber too much.

  6. Raph1613 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Wow!

    Thank you everyone!

  7. JoeBwonKenoB Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Hey guys I havent posted in a while but im back in the game and im looking to build a new saber.

    First , does anyone know where i could have an antique looking custom sith hilt made?

    Secondly, lol, as far as led driver and sound fx ,I have an older corbin board which is still rad and i read of a new board with an sd slot ! Man you guys have been busy!

  8. Corbin-Das Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2005
    star 2
    Welcome back JoeBwonKenoB
    I'm partial to antiqued sabers myself. If it's a completely custom machined design, there's a few folks out there that could help you. Obviously, if they're currently back logged, they might not want to take on any more work right now, so you'd have to see.
    I have nothing but praise for Acerocket's work. He built the Killer Penny saber for me. Then there's Do-Clo. I've seen his work and was impressed. Great guy too. Madcow and Nocturne Armory are good too. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of folks, but these might be a good place to start.

    I'm glad you like your old Corbin board. I have a new one now that does everything the first one did, but it's smaller and has a static shimmer. The one with the SD card is from Plecter Labs though, not from me. It's a top of the line setup.


    Corbin
  9. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Welcome back, JoeBwon... the Plecter board can be found on Erv's site at plecterlabs.com. I've actually just created a sound "personality" CD for that board (which allows different sound "fonts" to be selected right there in your saber, real-time). More information on that, and videos of Crystal Focus (Plecter board) in action are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXqVDgz3woQ

    I hope posting the links isn't considered "bad form"... I just believe it to be relevant to JoeBwon returning to see... well... MANY changes/upgrades in the saber industry!

    Also, JoeBwon... Corbin's new board supports a fairly high voltage--so... if you end up selecting some "insane" LED to light up your saber (such as a 10w LED / one that takes 9+ volts to run), it will be able to handle the juice so-to-speak. :)
  10. Raph1613 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Hi again.

    Thank you Evil-Henchman for the reassurance about drilling my blade.

    Corbin-Das, I followed your advice about not drilling all the way through. It does make more sense to only divot it. I even ran the retaining screw through a sander to match the profile of the divot. So far so good. Still have to put it through a duel, but I'm confident that it'll work out fine.

    acerocket, your idea of a custom battery is brilliant, though I probably won't be going with the one you recommended. There's a place close by where I live that builds custom batteries. I want to see if they know anything about rechargeable capacitors. I've heard that they'll hold a charge for up to two hours, and can be recharged in two minutes.
  11. TheDisturbance Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2000
    [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxTLosiu_7s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxTLosiu_7s[/link]
    [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sw-4rPp2Qk&feature=related]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sw-4rPp2Qk&feature=related[/link]
    [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtqJMW2TKAI&feature=related]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtqJMW2TKAI&feature=related[/link]
    [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agKBd2emstU&feature=related]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agKBd2emstU&feature=related[/link]
  12. TheMuffin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    So I have to wonder. Anyone heard anything about any more Ultrasound boards being made?

    I've been contracted to make a few sabers for a friend of a friends kids and I wanted to create a couple that had basic sounds and functions. Seems like that would be the cheapest alternative to getting a couple of Erv's units.
  13. Evil-Henchman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    I read on their forums ahile back that they are working on a new sound board. However the cheapest alternative to one of Erv's boards would be to use the sound board from a toy Hasbro lightsaber. You can even connect one of Corbin's driver boards for the lighting effects as well as the Hasbro clash sensor. Wiring diagrams for that can be found [link=http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?t=4091]here[/link].
  14. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    I would look into the "Joe Jedi" sabers available here and there online and in stores. They are basically RGB style MRFX boards containing both sound sets from the "normal" FX series, and the boards seem to be somewhat smaller.

    In all other aspects they are pretty identical.

    I still don't know how the whole "Hasbro taking over license" thing will end up. Maybe it will mean the end of the "FX-sabers" in the way that we have seen them... in other words, maybe EVERYTHING will become new (new sounds, new board, new way to detect swings/clashes, whatever). But... maybe not. Maybe Hasbro will just (essentially) stamp their name on the FX board concept and the hilts are all up in the air.

    At any rate--for cheap sound... it's FX all the way. For REALLY cheap sound... you can get the $10-$20 plastic hasbros... but I've heard that they are ARSE.
  15. TheMuffin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Well, sound is needed but is the least of the concerns. The eldest kid is only 8 years old, so he's not going to be critical of it. I'm probably gonna go with Corbin's board and a hasbro saber sound board. I need to keep these builds around $85 max so it's gonna be close.
  16. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    If sound is the least of your worries, just use the Hasbro period. Or the Corbin period for light only.
  17. n00bian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Pardon this poor n00b's question, but how are you going to do that? I ask because TCSS shows a Lux driver board is 50.00 and a blade runs 30-33ish so thats almost 85 right there w/o a hilt and guts. I dont doubt you could do it (Im sure you have connections and/or spares to get one done around that price)...I guess my question stems more from my POV that Id love to put together a saber for that price but have no idea how to do it. Is there a "used parts" market out there for stuff like driver boards and such?
  18. TheMuffin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Simple answer? I have a crap load of extra parts and pieces. I could easily make an extra hilt or two from all the aluminum I have laying around and blades are building up in my basement as I've been testing them out.
  19. Corbin-Das Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2005
    star 2
    Hi guys
    A saber CAN be made that cheap, though it's tough. Hey Muffin, if you're looking to get several drivers, give me an email. I can get you a deal. I have the original style and the newer models, both in latching and momentary.

    Corbin

    Corbin@CorbinDas.com
  20. Raph1613 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Hi again.
    I think this Post is mostly for Corbin-Das:

    A few Posts back, there was a link to wiring diagrams for attatching sound to CorbinDrivers. I had a look, but couldn't really tell if they're still valid for the his new boards. I am waiting for the delivery of one of those boards, and also just acquired a Hasbro "Force Unleashed" sabre with sound. Do I need to go by a different diagram? Also, will a 9-volt battery be able to power the whole setup?

    On a related note, it turns out that my sabre isn't too terribly under-powerred. Unfortunately, because I had the "bright" idea of going with a purple sabre, the filters take a lot away from brightness. Go figure.

    Also, anyone have any idea of how I can take the Hasbro sabre apart without having to damage it? I pulled every screw, but the part right above the retractable spikes just won't budge. Normally I wouldn't care about damaging something that I'm going to be gutting anyway, but I'm starting to suspect that someone else may have done just that, and then returned it to the store with sub-standard innards. If that's the case, I may have to return it. I hope that I'm wrong.
  21. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    In terms of building some very basic sabers--for a very low-cost...

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=wiqR417_D0I

    Enjoy.

  22. TheMuffin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Sent you an email a few days back. Hope it didn't get blocked for some reason.
  23. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Some fun staged combat with LED sabers:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=2B1C8n4gkFo

    I whipped up this short example of choreography with Dani the evening before we did the demonstration. I hadn't really met up with her and the family since BOP II either, so... I wasn't expecting her to remember things super well. But... as usual, she was all aces, replete with WAAAAY more talent than most any 12 or 13 year-old *I'VE* ever seen. We had a lot of fun getting goofy and creative with the short battle the night prior, and I think the Boy Scout Troupe enjoyed things too. :) Hope you do as well.
  24. TheMuffin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I have the same question about the first. The Force Unleashed saber is not identical to the Force FX sabers. The shock sensor is wired to the bottom of the LED housing instead of onto the sound board like the FFX version. So this is a problem.

    For your second problem, you'll have to break the saber. The top part that holds the blade is super glued on. The bottom halves are screwed together and then the top is glued on over them. Just break the plastic and get your pieces.
  25. aoifrost Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2005
    star 1
    Hey buddies! It's been a LONG time since I've posted here, but I've definitely been reading up on all the exciting developments that have been going on.

    I was browsing Radioshack's website and saw that the new FX Construct your own Lightsaber set is on sale (for $35) and I was thinking of buying it to gut out the sound board and speakers from it.

    Has anybody had any experience with this board? Is it just like the other FX Boards? Also, would anybody happen to know the best way to wire it up to a Luxeon K2 (preferably with four rechargeable AAAs).

    Thanks in advance to anybody that can help me out here! Hope things are going well in the Saber Community!
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