Lightsabers & Blasters LED Blade Q and A's

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Commander-DWH
  1. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Sorry for the double post, but...

    for those who do not have a throng of expertise with wiring, LEDs, batteries, etc. ... or even for those who do, but aren't getting much access to many sound drivers or light driver cards:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sn9qlwvtIGk

    Hopefully this will at least give you some good places to start with things.
  2. Evil-Henchman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    I made 2 more hilts and lit 'em up using Luxeon III LEDs.

    I did not make the hilt that has the blue blade in it but I did modify it to take the blade and electronics.

    [image=http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/Evil-Henchman/ARKM%20Saber%20Hilts/RGB-01.jpg]
    [image=http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/Evil-Henchman/ARKM%20Saber%20Hilts/RGB-02.jpg]
    [image=http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/Evil-Henchman/ARKM%20Saber%20Hilts/Saber14-06.jpg]

    The green saber was (in part) inspired by some left over parts that my predecessor, Rob Martinelli, made. The on/off switch on the green-bladed saber is hidden. You actually have to push in on the green gem on the bottom of the hilt to turn it off/on.
  3. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Nice work, Evil! Those hilts all look pretty sleek and stellar... :)

    As a matter of note, for those interested in wiring up Crystal Focus LED sabers... whether you are planning to get a board, already have one that is waiting to be wired up, or whatever... here are some links to a Crystal Focus Detailed Video Wiring Guide.

    * Four parts, each about ten minutes each
    * All solders and actions shown
    * Recharge port covered
    * Kill pin shown
    * Li-Ion "extra": wiring up a PCB for Li-Ions
    * Motor "extra": short clip showing a vibration motor


    For those who need a "newbie" wiring guide--it's there!

    PART I: http://youtube.com/watch?v=KR9r_lGYGoQ
    PART II: http://youtube.com/watch?v=6uRWrjMpxD8
    PART III: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2h3buByUBV8
    PART IV: http://youtube.com/watch?v=DNcc2oZWmO8

    Special thanks to Gundamaniac on TCSS for making the video a success by doing the wiring with his CF board while I did the camera work!

    If you don't have a Crystal Focus board... never fear... keep your eyes open here in August and September! :)
  4. TheMuffin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Lord knows I needed something like that. I've finally come to the conclusion that TCSS modular hilt system just doesn't work for what I need to do with my saber. That and I've also realized that I need to wire up a recharge port. Having a removable battery really hampers how I wire this stuff up.

    On another note, anyone figured out or have a tutorial on disassembling the MR DIY lightsaber?
  5. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Well, I hope it helps you out Muffin... :)

    As to the 616 MR (Joe Jedi/DIY):
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vV_9bTS0zlk

    Grayven, aka Robodragn on Y-tube has posted a VERY in-depth tutorial, complete with almost every possible thing you could imagine! Grayven is AWESOME with this, and although sure it's like nine videos... it covers EVERYTHING. His soldering and planning are both extremely extremely well-done, and you couldn't ask for much more regarding how he comments through everything.

    Good luck...
  6. Raph1613 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Hi everybody!
    My saber exploits have been as successful as my luck will allow. The hilt/s look awesome, though still a little underpowerred.

    Anyway, I have an electronics question:
    Does anyone have (or know where to find) schematics for a momentary on/off circuit? Nothing fancy. Just press once to activate, press again to deactivate. I have a ton of momentary switches, but no way of locking them on that costs less than $50 a pop.

    You guys have been one of the best resources ever, so thank you in advance.
  7. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Hi Ralph... you're probably better off just "caving in" and buying a bunch of latching switches. It won't cost you maybe $1 to $5 to buy 4 or so if you go through some online electronics store. Radio Shack has a very high mark up, but... again--only a few bucks.

    Otherwise, the momentaries are mainly going to be helpful for driver boards that "look" for that sort of electronic circuit.

    As you might know, latching switches quite literally cut the line altogether, so they are very useful. Further, they can ACTUALLY be used on driver boards that "require" momentary setups... by using a "double-click" type of action, or sometimes just a super light "touch" to a pushbutton latching. But... it's not ideal.

    The only other solution would be to find some kind of "lock down" mechanism that allows you to lock the switch firmly into place and then release it later to shut it off. Also not ideal. :(
  8. Raph1613 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Everything you said is true, but unfortunately, locking swithes have a nasty habit of being bulkier than I want to deal with. The momentary switches that I have are the "micro" type that can go into almost anything. And I've coutersunk the one that I tied in with a "Corbin" driver and it is literally the best thing that I've ever dealt with. Tragicly, it's the only thing that's worked out perfectly on that damned saber.
    And I'm looking to build more sabers.

    I did find one style of slider that "could" work, but it has two flaws:
    1. It can't be countersunk properly so if I do anything with the saber, there's a good chance that I'll accidentally turn it off again.
    2. Vibration from using the saber can cause the slider switch to "bump" into the off position.

    I've been digging through my old electronics manuals to find a transistorized circuit that I can build, but I'm so far out of practice, that could take months to find. I don't remember all the terminology.
    Now, just off of my memory, I could build a very OLD-school circuit that does what I want, but it requires a relay, which will suck up the power really fast. And is prone to vibration.
    (I wasn't kidding when I said that I'm out of practice)
  9. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    I've never encountered a single latching switch that shut off due to vibration. Usually... the user just accidentally flips it. Additionally, I don't know of any relays that are not able to handle the shock/vibration of saber combat.

    You might want to look at my videos and many of the sabers I've made. The "Balance of Power" productions required recessed switches that were not easy to accidentally trip... yet available at a moment's notice if the user NEEDED to power on/off. Almost all of my sabers use latching switches.
  10. Corbin-Das Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2005
    star 2
    Hey Raph,
    Try these......

    [image=http://www.apem.com/images/tacts_mhps.jpg]

    link

    They're what I've been using for years. In fact, the Killer Penny saber has two in it. They're available in latching or momentary and are DPDT, meaning you can control two separate circuits with them. They even make ones that can control FOUR separate circuits.

    I hope this helped

    Corbin Das

    P.S. I'm glad you liked the driver.
  11. Evil-Henchman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    Hi Corbin. Hey, I forgot to mention that I used the Red and Blue Luxeon LEDs that you sent me last year in the sabers that are in the pics in my previous post in this thread (which is just a few posts up).

    In case you're wondering who I am, I'm the guy who bought RLSA Sabers from Rob. Thanks again for the LEDs.
  12. Corbin-Das Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2005
    star 2
    Hi E.H.

    Small World, huh? [face_peace] I really like the green saber. The emitter/nech area especially. It's cool that you're continuing on where Rob left off. Keep up the great work.

    Corbin
  13. Raph1613 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    The ramp-up effect is AWESOME!!! Absolutely love it.
    Say, how many repeated uses before it wears out?

    Those switches that you recommended will work out if I can't figure out a simple "activate" circuit.
    I haven't had the time to dig through any of my books.
    I haven't had the time to be here.....

    Thanks
  14. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    Alright So I plan on buying components to make my saber. And I'm a huge stickler for the color and brightness of my saber.

    I was planning on buying a white LED with colored discs.

    How does that compare to buying a colored luxeon blade in terms of color intensity and brightness?
  15. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    It's been said many ways, Cemero, but...

    Colored LED >>>> White LED filtered for (blue, green, red, cyan, etc. etc.)

    However--if you cannot get the color you want from an LED directly (i.e. yellow, purple, pink, certain "sky" blues)... filtering is your only option really. In that case, a good standard that won't require an enormous battery solution is the Seoul P4 white LED. There is the P7 as well, but it's a beast, requiring 2.8A of current at the bare minimum!!

    Also, "bin codes" will help you to determine the color shade differences from one LED color. For example, there are "many" cyans in the Luxeon III series--some look more greenish-blue while others more sky blue. In general, you cannot control this factor much as... in order to specify the EXACT bin number from an LED you want... you'd have to buy 100s if not 1000s of LEDs from a manufacturer.

    Finally, in terms of brightness--that all depends on many factors, namely:

    * Are you driving the LED "correctly" and using it to its maximum potential (current)?
    * Is the LED being cooled properly (via heatsink)?
    * How long is your blade? What diameter? What wall thickness? What diffusion method?
    * Are you using 5 degree or 10 degree optics? (nothing > should be used)

    There are a few others, but... you get the idea. Brightness is not one factor alone, it is the symbiotic combination of several factors that will lead to an extremely "illuminating" experience... :)
  16. TheMuffin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Ouch bad pun alert!

    On an unrelated note, I've been working on that Joe Jedi I purchased. Honestly, it's coming along pretty nicely. I hope I can get Tim to powder coat it before it's delivery date so I'm working furiously on getting the new shroud done on it. I'll be sure to throw a few pictures in here when it's finished.
  17. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    For those interested, I would LOVE to see a ton of video responses to my "LED Saber Challenge" videos, basically trying to create a video repository of sabers for folks out there to see:

    DIRECT DRIVE SABERS: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ylkrqNYBkvE
    FX-DRIVEN *CONVERSIONS*: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qdw3Sg0_5ck
    ULTRA-SOUND DRIVEN: http://youtube.com/watch?v=sqySDfYx5xg
    PLECTER (CF) DRIVEN: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Zim1fByXzGQ
    RGB-ONLY SABERS: http://youtube.com/watch?v=RcYzh0gdQrA

    I've covered a few different LED saber types, and I'm certain people would ask for more at some point (hasbro ones, "stock" FX ones)... but I think what I've put here is good enough for the masses (for the moment). Come to think of it, I didn't even put in a video on "Corbin-driver only" sabers, so... I guess that goes under direct drive, but... I don't know. When I get more time, I can make a few more of these vids, heheh

    Hopefully people who are looking to build sabers will find it useful in the future... to be able to look at hundreds of sabers from all walks of life, all sorts of designs and ways to do the electronics... and it might be more useful than photos alone.
  18. erv Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2005
    star 1
    that system of youtube video response is just great, it will make easy the tracking of luxeon type sabers.
    Great for sharing, great for showing, great for newcomers.

    Hi everyone,
    This is something I started just before I moved, and now I'm packing for FACTS2008 in Gent, Belgium, and important EU convention and I wanted all my recent gear to be finished to display things at the rebel legion booth.

    Some of you might know I've finally sold my ANH graflex + crystal chamber (with no real "regrets" but a little pinch to my heart). Even before that I've stocked a spare graflex hilt and some parts thinking that one days I'll build something even more ultimate.
    The following work as also been inspired by a graflex suitcase with a combo set of parts to make either an ANH or a ESB. I think it's been an ebay auction one of my customer pointed out, and I won't be surprised it was Master Yoda's work (I don't know if there was a sound board in it).
    My lathe being down for now, until the mechanical workshop is done in the basement, that was the perfect moment to ask for a graflex chassis from someone who masters this and I've been lucky to get one of Meridian's piece of art.

    The chassis came in a mostly assembled form, like I requested, since I wanted to modify it a bit. The possibility to disassemble it was really great to install my own crystal chamber. The chassis is made of plastic disk professionnally cut and very accurate.
    The blade mount is black anodized aluminium, hence very durable color. Details of the blade mount even go to the point the kit has the brass foil part that is secured in the emitter thru the graflex pins in the recharge ports.

    The blade mount came with the 2 teeny tiny momentary switch glued in place under the main red button aperture, and under the glass eye / second red button.
    [image=http://www.plecterlabs.com/images/gallery/GraflexExtreme001.jpg]

    I installed the crystal focus myself, I got additionnal wires running into the wire path (where the 2 AA coupler wires run too) to go back to the crystal chamber. I took the luxeon output to power a 5mm HB white LED thru a chromed bezel.
    I also wired a rumbling motor (aka the "gyroscope stabilizer" in my previous work) the same way I wired the crystal chamber LED. I glued the motor between the chassis and the trimming potentiometer that fine tunes the speed of the motor.
    [image=http://www.plecterlabs.com/images/gallery/GraflexExtreme006.jpg]

    The crystal chamber : I wanted to customize it. Getting a piece of work from someone else doesn't mean you have to be lazy, and I wanted to recreate of bit of the spirit of my previous graflex (sigh...)
    I removed the stock blinking crystal from the chassis and glued instead one my acrylic blue crystals. The kit I got could host either a CF board or a Ultrasound, I got a spare disc with a framed blue swarosky crystal I glued with ultra clear epoxy on to of the acrylic crystal.
    With that, I get something close to the SW visual dictionnary, accordingly a "Primary Crystal" and a "Focusing Crystal" (smaller).
    Stock Graflex pins hold the brass cage I've soldered to make the assembly more robust and it gives it also a vintage look
    [image=http://www.plecterlabs.com/images/gallery/GraflexExtreme009.jpg]

    I love aluminium cases. Great to transport my gear, good looking, sturdy... ok this one I got from my chinese dremel clone that went with a ton of tools and the flexible neck for $20. I wish I had a more professionnal looking case, like the ones used to AV equipement, but most of the time they are quite thick and I loved the slim look of this one.
    Like I often quote, "Small is beautiful and comes in nice packages". Note the stainless steel rebel laser cut logo I got prototyped a while ago (aluminium expoxy glued).
    But... what's in there ????
    [image=http://www.plecterlabs.com/images/gallery/UltimateGraflex005.jpg]

    Here we go. Please DON'T adress any comments about the foam cutting job. I wished we could source easier PE foam but most of the time we get polyurethane foam, and I hate it cause you can
  19. TheMuffin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    *expletive deleted* Erv, that thing is phenomenal looking! And this reminded me that I still need to ship my CF board back to you. Maybe in a few months. sigh.
  20. Zennoa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 1
    say does anyone know if Hyperdyne blares and drivers can still be bought? That many LEDs is the kind of bright I want.
  21. Zennoa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 1
    For the latch circuit. There are a few different ways to do it but the simplest is probably a J/K latch (a logic IC). Use one output as your power up and debounce a micro switch and put that to the clock pin. Push once for one output and again for the other output. I don't know the power draw of the chip but I wouldn't expect it to be high. You could hide a slide switch or just take out the batteries for extended power off.
  22. TheDisturbance Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2000
    It does make a difference if you like brightness. Consider yourself one of the few to recognize this. A lone Jedi. A true rebel.

    [image=http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8076/dsc1061ln3.jpg]

    http://img340.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc1061ln3.jpg
  23. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Hello all,

    In celebration of the fun, enjoyment and cool skills that come out of saber-making, I present to you a fairly "goofy" video:

    "Prince LED" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnOemNIHyJI

    Additionally, I hope that any newcomers to LED sabers find the resources that I've put together on my Y-tube video account to be helpful regarding constructing their own sabers, while also utilizing parts and driver boards of all kinds. It has everything from basic & complex wiring guides to simple demonstrations of sabers in both performances and volunteer demos alike!

    Alex Buckner (UltraSWG) originally created this thread many years ago when the DIY kind of LED saber was just gaining ground, and... certainly the saber community has grown TENFOLD in this short amount of time!! I mean, really... it's only been since 8/8/05 (just over 3 years) since Alex branched out with this topic after realizing that EL was one technology, and LEDs... well that was another! It's very hard for me to believe! But also, in this time... video is becoming a VERY large resource to the community on DIY projects... especially sabers. I'm looking forward to seeing the day when there are TONS of DIY vids on... costumes... props... maybe even setpieces someday... you never know!

    I do not know what is fully in store for the "saber world" when 2009 rolls around, but... it's been a great pleasure joining up in 2004/2005, and I look forward to helping people more and more wherever I can!

    What I would like to encourage OTHERS to do... is to make their OWN tutorial videos--and post!! Demonstrating "direct drive" saber wiring... wiring up sabers with a Hasbro board, with an FX board... all that kind of stuff. I believe it will really make this prop thread even MORE useful (now that we've collected three years worth of posting!!!)

    Take care all... :)
  24. Raph1613 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Perhaps you're the person I need to ask about this:
    I'm looking for a schematic for a momentary switch circuit. Push once and it's on, push again to turn it off.
    The simpler the better. Prefferrably without any actual Integrated Circuit chips. Something with transistors would be best.
    Please PM me if that works better for you.
  25. GreytaleNovastar1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    star 4
    Hi all... and happy holidays.

    Since this thread hasn't seen much posting lately, I figured I'd share these videos that I put together... and encourage people to donate whatever they can food-wise... clothing-wise... etc. ... even if it's a single can, coat, loaf of bread or otherwise.

    Saber Claus -- an N-Star and G-Maniac Xmas (PART 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXWoF7G526o

    Saber Claus -- an N-Star and G-Maniac Xmas (PART 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s81jat1kQI

    The videos don't *really* have to do a TON with LED sabers, but... you certainly will see them there. :) These videos have more to do with giving, and... although maybe some people will be seeing this stuff "late"... I hope even 10 people get inspired to donate something after watching!

    Happy holidays all! Part 3 comin' soon...

Moderators: Commander-DWH
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.