View Full Version : Part Check (Getting ready for purchase)

07-29-2011, 06:35 PM
Hey everyone! I've posted a thread (http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?13272-Ask-a-Jedi-is-doing-an-Article-on-TCSS-need-YOUR-help) about writing an article for Ask a Jedi documenting my experience build a saber and I think I'm at the point now where I can make a purchase. I think I'm missing things like capacitors but I can't figure out exactly what I need. Anyways, here's the list.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/kidjoe87/lightsaber4.png (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/kidjoe87/lightsaber4.png)

Part List

Hilt style 4 with guarded style switch hole (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Hilt-style-4-with-guarded-style-switch-hole-P447.aspx) (Update: Custom 9" length with custom activation box 9 holes)
MPS Pommel Style 6 (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/MPS-Pommel-style-6-P295.aspx)
Activation box style 9 (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Activation-box-style-9-P626.aspx)
LED "TCSS style" Battle blade 1" OD (36 inches) (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/LED-TCSS-style-Battle-blade-1-OD--P155.aspx)
Screw on LED blade holder style 13 "new style" (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Screw-on-LED-blade-holder-style-13-new-style-P387.aspx)
MHS Sleeve material (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/MHS-Sleeve-material-P468.aspx) (Update: Custom cut)
Trim Ring 1 (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Trim-Ring-1-P531.aspx) (Gold. Update: For pommel>body in custom groove for the ring. Pommel ring to be ground down to fit under sleeve.)
MPS Insert style 4 (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/MPS-Insert-style-4-P232.aspx) (Update: Engraved "Ask a Jedi" logo)

MHS "new style" Heat Sink (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/MHS-new-style-Heat-Sink-P622.aspx)
DPDT Momentary green illuminated switch (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/DPDT-Momentary-green-illuminated-switch-P409.aspx) (Update: Switched to Momentary, P411 OoS)
PCB for 3.7V Li-ion Battery (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/PCB-for-37V-Li-ion-Battery-P481.aspx)
Li-Ion 14500 Rechargeable AA size 3.7V 900mAh (2x) (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Li-Ion-14500-Rechargeable-AA-size-37V-900mAh-P480.aspx) (Update: Back up to 2)
2AA Battery Holder
Luxeon Collimator Lens 8.7 deg viewing angle (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Luxeon-Collimator-Lens-87-deg-viewing-angle-P537.aspx) (Update: Went from 5 to 8.7)
Dual 18 gauge wire (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Dual-18-gauge-wire-P31.aspx)
Luxeon Rebel Lens Holder (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Luxeon-Rebel-Lens-Holder-P536.aspx)
Luxeon Rebel Star (Green) (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Luxeon-Rebel-Star-P523.aspx)
2.1mm Power Jack (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/21mm-Power-Jack-P37.aspx)
BuckPuck 700mA 6-wire (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/BuckPuck-700mA-6-wire-P9.aspx) (Update: Going this over resistors)

6-32 socket Head Cap Screw (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/6-32-socket-Head-Cap-Screw--P169.aspx)
2.1mm Power plug (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/21mm-Power-plug-P253.aspx) (I'm assuming this is just the plug and not the outlet chord?)
Kill plug style 2 (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Kill-plug-style-2-P570.aspx)
8-32 x 1/2" thumb screw (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/8-32-x-12-thumb-screw--P111.aspx) (Main body sleeve mounting screw)
8-32 x 1/4" button head screw (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/8-32-x-14-button-head-screw--P179.aspx) (Extension body sleeve mounting screw)
MPS Clip (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/MPS-Clip--P72.aspx) (Update: Added per amwolf's recommendation)

Box 9 Mounting holes service (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Box-9-Mounting-holes-service-P627.aspx) (location: small end beginning at milling on hilt style 4)
Drill & Tap Hole (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Drill-Tap-Hole-P193.aspx) (updated location: Set the hole in the BH 180 degrees from the switch and close to the reveal.)

Other parts:
2010 Obi Wan Soundboard
5v Resistor
PNP Transistor

Custom-made pieces

Body: 9"
-Milling to BH Thread: 3.5"
-Pommel thread to Milling: 2"
-Milled handle: 3.5"
Rear Shroud: 2.25"
Front Shroud: 5"
Pommel: .5"
Blade Holder: 2"
Body/Pommel/BH total: 11.5"

btw I just heard the TCSS shop theme song and it's awesome, lol.

07-29-2011, 08:11 PM
I've read through your other post, trying to follow your build intent. Looking at your list, I've got some questions/problems/issues (in no particular order):
1.) The Hasbro Obi-wan uses a momentary switch. I know you would have found that out before you ordered through reading, and just haven't edited your post...
2.) Your battery solution w/ the (2) 14500's and pcb w/ recharge jack implies you're making a pack, but I don't think you need the 2AA holder with that. Just encase the batteries and pcb in heat shrink...
3.) Use the 8.7 degree lens with the rebel star...
4.) I think you want the 2.1mm plug adapter for the smart charger. Don't forget to order the charger...
5.) The trim rings extend out beyond the OD of the main body and lock between thread sections unless you modify them, but your shroud at the pommel end laps over the ring. Were you going to modify the ring (i..e. cut part of it off) to allow that to happen?
6.) You need a speaker, and some way to hold it. Don't reuse the hasbro speaker, unless... no, just don't. If you use the V2 holder and were going to place it at the pommel end of the saber, that trim ring will open a gap you'd need to fill to help hold the holder in place.
7.) MPS clip to hold the pommel insert in place, unless you've got some other idea...
8.) You might want to be more specific with the blade holder hole location - the clearer your intent, the easier things go. With the shroud you intend, try "Set the hole in the BH 180 degrees from the switch and close to the reveal" The tricky part is that with the 2" DF extension out of stock it's difficult to have him drill it, because he needs all the parts at the same time to make sure the hole goes where you want it if you want things to line up - you want YOUR particular parts mated together. All the extensions are created equal, but not necessarily interchangeable if you want things to line up. Also, when you get your parts, test connect them and make sure you mark which end on both the DF and male adapter keeps the alignment correct. Trust me, turning a part around and the hole is off...
9.) There are threads about swapping out the swing and clash sensors on the Hasbro board with ones sold in the store. Recommended.

I'm not going to go near your resistor calculations. With 7.4 volts you need a 5v voltage regulator (outsource) because the Hasbro boards can't take that much voltage, but I won't offer any advice there. Check the wiring schematics thread and wait for someone with more experience than me to assist you there.

Lastly, right now the powder coating service is not available - which you show but obviously don't list. This happens occasionally, when the Master is creating new and wonderful parts for us all to enjoy; the service is really backed up; he's hurt himself; just had enough with it all and needs a break; has to sneak up to Canada to find the old style 100-watt bulbs that go in the giant wall of Easy Bake ovens that make up the powder coating department (it's just a theory). You can either wait for the service to come back to place the order, send them back to him later to have the service done, or paint/powder coat them yourself (there's a painting tutorial thread).

I'm sure someone else will have some comments, but Welcome! You can never build just one...

07-29-2011, 08:55 PM
1. Thanks that was an oversight.
2. I like that idea for the heat shrink, should make wire management a lot easier. However doing a search for "shrink" yielded nothing but wire shrinks. Also, I don't see a +/- attachment on the board for the battery, which appears to only be used with one battery which I'm still unsure about the number I need.
3. Thanks, I read elsewhere that the 5 is best with 36" blades but it might have been dated and before the Rebel star.
4. I read that the smart charger does the same thing the PCB would so I figured save the money. If I do a smart charger, can I just drop the PCB?
5. The image might be misleading. The gold to the right will most likely painted on or skipped entirely. I might do some sort of decorative chords to taper it off but I'll decide on that once I see how it looks with just the shroud. I'm going to grind the trim ring on the pommel down for the shroud to fit over i
6. Thanks for that advice, I would have just used the speaker in the Hasbro. If the trim ring weren't there, how does the V2 fit into an MHS pommel, does it just screw in?
7. Didn't know I need that, thanks.
8. All great advice, I'll change the location description to what you suggested. I was wondering if he does custom shroud cuts, I didn't see it in the services though. I'd hate to waste half my shroud material through trial and error 'cause I have a deadline and having to get stuff re-shipped can be a hassle. Speaking which of the deadline, I might have to make some changes if the 2" DF doesn't come back up so I might need some advice there =/
9. I saw them but wasn't sure how required it was, but I'll take the recommendation.

If I can get away with 3.7 volts, I'll do 3.7 volts. I'm worried about not having enough power for the LED and soundboard but worse would be blowing stuff up with too much power. As for painting, I DID find the painting tutorial thread (http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?12093-Part-Painting-and-Baking-Tutorial) and plan on using this technique for the black and gold.

Thank you for all the great advice, I'll be making updates to my list later based on all of it. This has been a hell of a process trying to figure out every single thing I need but I can tell it's going to be more than rewarding. I think this saber might get used by Ask a Jedi for some promotional thing (yet I'm paying for it, lol) so I'll have to come back eventually to do one for myself.

07-30-2011, 05:27 AM
The store sells heat shrink under the wiring section, but to go around the batteries I've had to outsource from a local hardware store. Can't be more specific than that; look for 3/4" and 1" sizes.
The 8.7 degree lens page says: "The ideal lens to use with Luxeon rebels."
The pommels are designed with a shorter thread male thread area to hold the speaker holder into place. It can be a snug fit as it drops into place, and I've had to sand down the outside of the holder slightly to make it easier to extract.
I've run the Obi board with a rebel off a 3.6v AAA nimh pack and with a Lux III off a 3.7v 18650; the board uses a little bit of juice (check w/ your multimeter) but didn't seem to affect the rebel's brightness. Others will know more.
As for the shrouds, send Tim an email to see if he'd do it. You'd have to provide a drawing on paper of what you want (take some graph paper, draw out the profile, scan it, email). Once again, be as specific as possible. you can write descriptions but the process would take longer. His prices and work are always awesome, in my experience. On the other hand, the sleeve material cuts nicely with a dremel (take your time and use a face shield and safety goggles!) and as for trial and error, cut back from your line then sand and file up to it. You can always take material away...
Add a quick connector for the main Led.

Another option re: the 2" DF is to lose it and the DM adapter and have Tim customize a 9" DF extension with the appropriate groove pattern and hole locations. As a plus, you'd only have one body part to deal with and might be cheaper. You'd lose 1/4" in length though. Negatively, if a chassis design depended on those intermediate lock point locations you'd have to redesign it or find another way to anchor it. Or do what I did on my first saber - use so much wire because you were terrified of messing up and subsequently filled the guts of the thing and the board couldn't move. Not really what cram-fu means though.

Oh - don't forget to recalculate the resistors for BOTH the rebel AND the led in the switch. And remember to install them... or joint this noob in the deep fat fried switch club.

07-30-2011, 10:15 AM
9" main body is a great idea! I think the only issue that I'd have would be the trim ring that sat between the M2M and the main body which was meant to but maybe I can think of something else. ElbE121's Meraxes Saber (http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?13268-Meraxes-Saber) design gave me a great idea to smooth out the sleeve material so where it stops on the handle it can kind of slope down the main body and give it a very seemless look. The other thought I had, now that I know Tim does a lot of custom work, is for the end of the 9" body where the pommel fits on, maybe have him lathe a slot after the threading for the trim ring to go? This would alleviate the problem of the speaker in the pommel.

I know where to calculate resistors, the issue is that I don't know exactly how much juice it's going to have. Reference image below.
Based on this, I need a transistor which I can't seem to find in the store. tbh, I have no idea where a transistor would go inside the saber or even what it does, lol. Does it change the voltage at all? It does look pretty important, though... I've tried looking it up but it seems like it's one of those things that isn't talked about a lot because it's probably basic knowledge to a lot of people but I'm at a lost when it comes to this.

Anyways, thanks again amwolf!

07-30-2011, 10:34 AM
The transistor is like an electronic switch. The power output to the original LEDs isn't enough to power one of the 3-5 watt LEDs we use.
To fix this, we use those power wires as a "signal" to the transistor, telling it to turn on, and allowing power for the LED to come directly from the battery pack.

07-30-2011, 10:51 AM
That makes sense, I just have to think of a way to fit it in there. Can I just shrink wrap it and just shove it in there once I it's all wired up?

Okay, now I'm having a huge problem with trying to figure out the resistors I need. I know I'll need 2, one for each LED, but I can't find a calculator that actually works (or I'm just inputting the information wrong). The Rebel Star reads "Green 166lm @ 700mA 3.4v" and the switch reads as "The LED has a forward voltage of 3.3V and runs at 20mA". Does these mean a 3.7v Li-ion isn't enough power or that I need a resistor? I don't know if I'm supposed to add the voltage of both LED's and try to get it to match the voltage of the batteries, using a resistor if there's extra voltage, or if the voltage of each runs independently meaning I need a resistor for each to balance the 3.7v battery down to 3.3v and 3.4v respectively. I'm a complete noob when it comes to electronics.

07-30-2011, 11:01 AM
If you are getting an illuminated switch you will also need a resistor for it as well as a separate resistor for the main LED. The 1ohm 5w resistor in your list is ok for the Rebel star with a 3.7v battery pack. The green illuminated switch needs its own resistor, its forward voltage is 3.3v and runs at 20mA. So you need a 22ohm 1/8w (or higher watt) resistor so you dont fry the led in the switch.

You may also be interested in in getting a Buck Puck instead of the resistor for your main LED. Its more expensive, but it will give you a more constant brightness as the batteries die. With only a resistor the brightness will dim as the batteries die.

Good luck :)

EDIT: Here is the resistor calculator i use: http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz

07-30-2011, 11:02 AM
Your question is a valid one for someone with little to no electronics experience, but it's also relatively easy to answer.
There are two different ways to wire multiple components to a power source; series (serial), and parallel.

In series (each component is linked together + - + - + -)the voltage behaves additively/subtractively, with the total voltage being divided by the total components.
In parallel (components tied side-by-side instead of back to back ++ -- ++ --) the voltage is the same to each component, and more current (mA) is drawn from the batteries.
You'll be wiring your led's in parallel, in order to maximize your voltage constraint. That means you're going to need resistors to drop the parallel power levels down to what each component needs.

While it isn't completely necessary for a successful build, it would also be worth your time to study Ohms law, to learn how voltage (V, v+, v-) and current (I, mA, A) relate to each other in batteries, and work loads.

07-30-2011, 01:46 PM
Thank you Kuro and Crobe for the advice, I'll be adding the switch capacitor to my list. As for the Buck Puck, it says it has a minimum input of 5v so only having a 3.7v battery wouldn't work, right? I could easily upgrade to two 3.7v batteries if that buck puck takes all the confusion out of getting a capacitor. What confuses me about the buck puck is that it has 4-6 wires and I can only think of a use for 2, maybe 4 if the other two are used for a separate LED. If all I need is a 4-wire buck puck for my two LED's, I'd much rather go that route than mess around with capacitors which means two batteries (longer time without having to charge =D).

The more I try to figure this stuff out, the more I realize it will most likely be one of those things that I'll understand after I do it the first time.

Edit: Made updates to the dimensions so people have a better idea of what I'm doing with the overall design of the hilt. Thanks to amwolf for the recommendation on the 9" body.

07-30-2011, 08:46 PM
oh yeah my bad haha. The Buck Puck will need at least 5v so will need 2 of those 3.7V batteries giving you a total of 7.4V. It will be taking the place of the resistor you would use for the main LED. With the 4 wire Buck Puck you have a voltage in, a voltage out and a + and a - to the main LED. In the case of the 6 wire Buck Puck the extra two wires can either not be used, or used with some other electronics to adjust brightness. Basically what the Buck Puck is doing is providing a constant regulated current to the LED, where as with a resistor the current being supplied the LED diminishes as the batteries die.

Of course bringing the voltage up to 7.4v you will need the 5v regulator so that you dont fry the econo sound board. So if you're just looking to keep it simple you can go with just the 3.7V battery and one resistor for the main LED and one for the switch LED. Or you can go with the 7.4V setup, use a Buck Puck to give a more constant current to the main LED, and still have the one resistor for the switch LED (This resistors value will change because of the higher voltage to it), and use a 5v regulator to keep the econo sound board safe. And yes the 7.4v setup will give you longer run time between charges, and with the combination of the Buck Puck the blade will stay bright.

There are two different mA rated Buck Pucks in the store, a 700mA and a 1000mA (1Amp). The Rebel LED is rated to run at 700mA. You could overdrive it by using the 1000mA Buck Puck, this would increase brightness, but if ive read correctly it will lower the LED's lifespan for sure and/or possible fry it. Not too sure on the second part, alot of people successfully overdrive their LED's.

Im still pretty new at this myself, aside from some college electical engineering classes and alot of reading haha, but im pretty sure thats all right. If anyone sees anything i messed up please correct me haha. The choice is yours now, i hope that helps clear some things up.
PS. i didnt suggest the 9" body X)

07-30-2011, 10:08 PM
Ah, thanks for pointing that out, meant to write amwolf. I'll probably end up doing the 7.4v and a the buck puck which means I'll need to get a 5v regulator along with the PNP Transistor. I probably won't need to 1Amp buck puck 'cause I'd rather not risk losing the LED.

I think I'm satisfied with my list now! If there's ANYTHING else you guys might see that is missing or that I might not need, let me know. Thanks!

Onli-Won Kanomi
08-01-2011, 07:17 PM
Wow you've come a long way very quickly...congratulations.

I quite like the new design with the custom 9" and shrouds. Strydur's custom work is top-notch, I had some done recently and was AMAZED, and I'm sure you will be happy with the choice to go custom on this build.

Everyone has given you great advice and the only thing I can think to add is that I noticed you don't have any Covertec wheel or D-ring for hanging it on a Jedi belt...imo the bottom of the rear shroud would be a great place to put a Covertec wheel [and I see the screen-accurate Covertec belt clip is back in stock in the store too] if you wanted one.

Yes its possible to overdrive LEDs and the shortening of their life is not really a concern i.e cutting a rated operating life of 70 years in normal use to 30 years by overdriving probably won't be a problem eh? ;-) but I can understand wanting to play it safe with a first build and on a deadline and the good news is the Rebels rated brightness is at 700mA anyway and it performs pretty well at that mild current...166 lumens green is pretty bright even @ 700mA. So a 700 mA puck is a good choice.

Its great to see how nicely this is coming together for you. Don't be surprised if you find yourself coming back more than once either...this hobby is surprisingly addictive. lol

Wong Yoon Wei
08-01-2011, 07:31 PM
I might be a little late in but I would like to point out that you don't really need an MPS clip to secure your pommel insert. An O-ring or a drop of glue or double sided tape works so much better (and easier to remove should you need to)

I did my first build with the clip and it's basically impossible to install it without the right tools (which TCSS doesn't carry and I don't remember the name for it). Trying to force it in using improvised tools only marred the inside of the pommel. In the end, I gave up and made an improvised clip using an old film container.

08-01-2011, 08:15 PM
Sadly I won't be able to create this saber for quite some time. I corresponded with Tim and we both decided that due to his current work load it would be best to wait for a slower season, such as November. I will, however, still be frequenting the forums to watch for new changes and developments and to see all of the creations you guys make.

Even with my article on hold, I still really want to do a saber. Sadly I don't have the funds at this immediate moment in time (maybe in a few weeks, we'll see). If I get the funds then, I can start my article and just hold off on posting it until November. I'm honestly excited to share my creation with everyone who has given me their advice and help! Also, anyone know if Tim does engraving? Don't see it on the shop.

Silver Serpent
08-02-2011, 06:50 AM
He can indeed do some engraving. It'll fall under custom work. See the bottom of this thread for an example of Aurebesh(sp?) engraving. http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?9737-Custom-work