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Resta01
10-08-2012, 05:10 PM
Ok this is probably a stupid question but I am a complete noob. I have been planning my first build and it appears to me that with a combination of the MHS and MWS parts I won't have to solder anything. However if I want a recharge port I will have to?

Edit- Ok looks like if I want swing and clash sensors I will need to get a soldering iron so I guess that's what I'm going to do. I completely admit to being very intimidated by the soldering part.

Machinimax
10-08-2012, 06:17 PM
Well the swing and clash sensors are replacement parts for an older version of the soundcard sold here, the Petit Crouton. If you want sound, the Petit Crouton is one of the many options you can go with. If you are afraid of soldering, the board is also sold pre-wired using the MWS JST connectors but they also take up extra space in your hilt so be cautious of that.

Resta01
10-08-2012, 06:51 PM
Well I definitely decided I want a recharge port so I think I'll have to solder no matter what. I am curious what kind of combo of MWS parts I can use while still installing a recharge port?

Edit- Also it seems the MWS speaker/battery packs are not very conducive to a recharge port.

Kyaryo Ysoyav
10-08-2012, 07:28 PM
Edit- Also it seems the MWS speaker/battery packs are not very conducive to a recharge port.

What makes you say this? I've heard that packs made of cells that each have their own PCB can cause problems in the long run, but the blue packs that share a PCB should work fine...

like this one:
http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/74v-Li-ion-800mAh-14500-Battery-Pack-P698.aspx

You just have to buy a smart charger and the 2.1mm plug adaptor:
http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/21mm-plug-adapter-for-smart-charger-P36.aspx

Resta01
10-08-2012, 07:42 PM
Fair point. I suppose I could buy individual rechargeable cells and place those in the speaker pack. I would still have to solder the speaker pack to the recharge port though, correct?

captain_mills
10-08-2012, 07:48 PM
Resta,

There are TONS of videos on YouTube about soldering and tips that are helpful. Make your way o'er that way and study up a bit before your first few rounds. Also, practice on something harmless before ruining an expensive board.

Resta01
10-08-2012, 07:58 PM
I have pretty much resigned to the fact that I will have to solder, I just hope to do the least amount possible. I'll do that though, thank you.

Kyaryo Ysoyav
10-08-2012, 08:11 PM
Fair point. I suppose I could buy individual rechargeable cells and place those in the speaker pack. I would still have to solder the speaker pack to the recharge port though, correct?

This is a really good thread that another forum member pointed me to when I was trying to figure out which battery pack to go for.

http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?12829-Li-Ion-Battery-Packs&highlight=making+battery+pack

The first part discusses how to make your own packs and the dangers to it. The second post has more about wiring individual protected cells together and more goods stuff. Enjoy!

Resta01
10-08-2012, 08:51 PM
Ohh very nice. I haven't found a good tutorial on recharge ports, do you know of one?

Kyaryo Ysoyav
10-08-2012, 09:23 PM
Ohh very nice. I haven't found a good tutorial on recharge ports, do you know of one?

I've seen a few good diagrams and can probably dig them back up, but how are you planning on using the port? (AV switch, sound card, etc) If you give a better idea of your set up, I can see if I can find a specific diagram for you.

Oh, and if you want to use an AV switch, do you want it lit up when the kill key is pulled, or when the saber is turned on? Wiring up a recharge port isn't too hard, just depends on what you want to do. Mostly just goes between the battery and everything else...but I don't remember what goes to the kill switch negative port...think it's the battery negative (so when the kill key is in, the circuit is closed.)

BlessedWrath
10-08-2012, 09:28 PM
There is a picture (I believe it's Slothfurnace's diagram) explaining the wiring of a recharge port. Please understand that placement of the port is important, if you're going to avoid issues with wiring. I'm still trying to figure out a decent arrangement for my pommel-mounted recharge port that won't end up stressing my wiring to the point of breakage. A lot of what goes into any hilt is planning, which I'm ashamed to say I wasn't able to do much of. There is only so much information that can be gained through reading other people's concepts.

With that said, I am not at all embarrassed to say that I am a complete novice in soldering and electronics. All that I know, I have read over the past year or two, and all of it has been to prepare myself for saberbuilding. Before I completed my first saber (sans recharge port), I knew nothing of either electronics as a whole, or the art of soldering. As was mentioned, there are a number of soldering tutorials available which can make the process easier.

The most important part of soldering is safety. Wear eye protection and use an ESD-safe station if possible. Work in an open, clean space, where nothing is likely to be damaged, and BE AWARE OF YOUR CORD. Soldering irons operate under temperatures high enough to melt away the insulation on a standard power cord; if you contact the iron's power cord, it can cause problems. Second most important is to use the proper equipment. After I had some difficulty with rosin-core solder, I took the advice of another forum member and tried silver-bearing solder (Radio Shack) and Flux Paste (Radio Shack). The combination of thin solder wire and flux, which aids in keeping the join clean during soldering, produced superior results with minimal effort.

Above all else, arm yourself with knowledge. This is not a hobby that can be "taken up" on a whim. I learned that very quickly. I knew it was going to test my limits when I started, but there is no way to prepare yourself other than to learn. Several forum members have links to valuable tutorial pages in their signatures; I would read them.

Believe me, I know it looks intimidating. It's not easy stuff. But, if you take your time and make good choices, you can do it. I've got my first saber on the bench, right now, and the only thing I have left to do is complete the resonance chamber and recharge port. I've had to wire mini-tactiles in a Box 7, had to create my own custom chassis to hold the soundboard, and had to wire a LED Engin 10W RGBW to a color-mixing addon board and AUX flash. It all looked very scary to me, but I did it.

If you can't find the information you're looking for, PM me. I might be able to do some digging for you.

TrypWyr
10-08-2012, 10:27 PM
There is a picture (I believe it's Slothfurnace's diagram) explaining the wiring of a recharge port.

The pic of which you speak: http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?14572-JediMasterTim-s-Wiring-Diagram&p=213165#post213165

;) Seriously, I have that thing bookmarked right next to my TCSS and FX-Sabers Forums links, it's that handy.

Zahc Zi Phan
10-09-2012, 06:40 AM
OP: Like you, prior to building my first saber, I was a complete noob as well. I had little to no soldering experience, and barely understood what was going on with electronics. From a prior noob to a noob, here are a couple of pieces of advice that will help:

1. Practice makes perfect. BEFORE soldering anything, go to your local radio-shack or other electronic supply store and pick up a couple blank printed circuit boards (PCB's), these provide an excellent platform to practice soldering on. Go through the motions, soldering wires to them in different ways, surface, through the hole, even connecting wires together. Try to macguyver and mimic closely the type of soldering you will be actually doing. After doing this for several hours, you will have a good understanding of how the solder and components react, different tactics, etc. Doing this will teach you more than simple words can, not to mention practice starts to get FUN after a little while. This is how I started, and I am confident enough now to wire up an entire petit crouton with no worries.

2. Take your time! Do not rush yourself, and do not doubt yourself. It looks complicated, but if you wire everything (especially the recharge port) EXACTLY how it is shown in the diagrams you get here, everything will work like a charm. It looks complicated, but really isn't. Oh and DON'T cut the connector off of the battery pack to wire into the recharge port, use a JST connector. As you are wiring and assembling everything, you will want to be able to test your setup. Using a JST allows you to cut power to the whole board on demand by unplugging. You will also have the ability to change the battery in the future should it start deteriorating. JST connectors may take up a little space, but I found it to be quite null.

3. Definitely get an ESD safe station. A station has a box that plugs into the wall, your iron plugs into the box. I bought two friggin irons that didn't work for what I needed before I ponied up the cash for a station. It was like $70 (I got a nice one) on amazon. Make sure it says ESD safe. GROUNDED is NOT good enough. The station cost is bearable if you realize that these are very sensitive parts. Would you rather buy a new soundboard or a cheaper station? Mine is an x-tronics, came with a bunch of extras and a magnifying glass/lamp thingy. Sweet deal. PLUS, if you are going to be building more, you will already have the equipment.

Anyways, I wish you the best of luck. Don't be intimidated, take your time, practice, and listen to the Jedi on here you must! Above all, enjoy your build! Putting it together was just as fun as using it to me!!
MTFBWY

EDIT: Two quick things, better to get a TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED ESD station. REALLY comes in handy to be able to turn the temp up and down. Also, practice with soldering time. With this I mean try to spend the least amount of time actually touching the tip of the iron to the component. Make sure the tip is hot enough so that you don't have to spend more than a few seconds making the solder. Once you get the hang of it, soldering goes QUICK.

Starwinder
10-09-2012, 07:08 AM
Just wanted to add my voice to the others. Learning to solder can definitely be intimidating. But you CAN definitely do it! As BlessedWrath and others have said, arm yourself with knowledge. Research the basics of soldering. Read up on some of the helpful tutorials found here and watch some "how to" videos on youtube. I think you'll find that a lot of the mystery (and intimidation) of soldering goes away as you learn more about it. I was the same as you - i had never soldered before or dealt with wiring electronics, but when i was building my first saber, i was actually amazed at how easy (or at least 'uncomplicated') soldering was with the right preparation beforehand.

Study the basics, be safe, take your time, and plan, plan, plan.

Having said that, I also stumbled on a product called conductive wire glue, which is supposed to work the same way, but obviously without anything solder-related. Haven't tried it yet, but i do find it an intriguing alternative. The obvious downside of course is the length of time (hours) that it would take for the glue to set, whereas solder is done in mere seconds. Not sure how strong the joints would be either. Anyway, this isn't an endorsement for that, but just throwing that out there. I still think soldering is the way to go - it may be intimidating, but it's more than doable.

Silver Serpent
10-09-2012, 07:11 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOdnGUMi7lQ is erv's video tutorial on soldering. That's what I used when I first learned how to solder.

Zahc Zi Phan
10-09-2012, 09:15 AM
Oh brainfart, thank you SS! I forgot to mention ERV's tutorial. Very helpful. I too watched that video when learning. Get the equipment and printed circuit boards like I said, and watch ERV's video a few times. If you do the above, you will be in good shape in no time.
Can't stress research on here enough either. Lots of info can be found in the search bar, it you still haven't found the info you seek, don't be afraid to ask questions. You are also welcome to PM me and I'll do my best to help. ;)

As for the solder-glue-stuff, might be a good alternative to soldering, but I don't know how it would hold up in a saber that's going to be smacked around and whatnot. You will also be cramming everything in the handle, likely pulling on wires and packing crap into small spaces, so you want the strongest connection possible. I would steer clear if possible. Learning to solder properly is the best plan of action IMHO.

Resta01
10-09-2012, 10:37 AM
Thank you everyone! I do feel a bit better about soldering now, haha. Also thanks for finding the recharge port diagram!


I've seen a few good diagrams and can probably dig them back up, but how are you planning on using the port? (AV switch, sound card, etc) If you give a better idea of your set up, I can see if I can find a specific diagram for you.

Oh, and if you want to use an AV switch, do you want it lit up when the kill key is pulled, or when the saber is turned on? Wiring up a recharge port isn't too hard, just depends on what you want to do. Mostly just goes between the battery and everything else...but I don't remember what goes to the kill switch negative port...think it's the battery negative (so when the kill key is in, the circuit is closed.)

Wow, I didn't know there were different types of recharge ports, I'm a bit lost now.

BlessedWrath
10-10-2012, 07:04 AM
Just be sure you've had enough practice before soldering Li-Ion packs. I never did mine; I bought one from TCSS. The prospect of overheating a battery just doesn't sit right with me.

Kyaryo Ysoyav
10-10-2012, 07:24 AM
Thank you everyone! I do feel a bit better about soldering now, haha. Also thanks for finding the recharge port diagram!



Wow, I didn't know there were different types of recharge ports, I'm a bit lost now.

It's not that are multiple recharge ports, it's just that you can wire them several different ways. The kill key just makes it so that if you plug something into the port, the circuit is closed. That way if you leave you saber on the shelf for a while you still have a full battery when you pick it up later. Normally you'd wire everything the same way, but if you have an illuminated AV switch you can set it up so when you take the kill key out it turns on (can be nice for belt display), or you can just wire it to your sound card and have it turn on when the saber is turned on.

Sorry to confuse! :p

Zahc Zi Phan
10-10-2012, 03:17 PM
Just an add on to the above post, with petit crouton (I have 2.0), if you simply use the accent led pads on the board to wire up the leds (either regular led OR illuminated anti-vandal) ONE of the leds will blink when the kill key is pulled, they will both blink and sequence when the saber is powered on. If you don't want the led to blink, but simply come on static on removal of the kill key, you'll have to wire the positive lead of the led into the positive prong of the recharge port. Don't forget the resistor though!!