View Full Version : Questions from a Beginner

04-29-2014, 11:46 AM
I'm a new member and haven't built anything yet. I've been looking around the forum and the shop for a few days before posting anything. Saw some good advice in different sections and hope this is the correct place to post this.

I know I am looking to build a MHS saber with a yellow blade. The goal is to have the final version be a completed saber with a single color LED for the blade with sound, some accent LEDs, and maybe an accent LED for a crystal chamber. However, I am going to be taking my time and building in stages (I promised my wife I'd only buy a few pieces at a time).

I have gone though the MHS Builder and figured out which pieces I want for the hilt, but don't have experience with drilling or tapping metal. I know I should order the main body, choke, and blade holder all at once so that I can get the holes for the blade retention screw aligned properly with the button on the hilt if I want them positioned a certain way. But I have to ask if are these holes fairly easy to drill (and tap where needed)? I know I would need the right tools to do this type of work. Would a dremel work well for these purposes? Could it also be used to cut slots into the choke to allow viewing of an accent LED illuminated crystal chamber?

I've looked at the electronics portions and think I've figured out what I want as far as the internal components. I don't have a lot of experience with electronics and soldering. At the advice of my brother-in-law who is an electrical engineer, I was going to start with a standard battery back and resistors (I did the calculations for the proper resistors). I intend to start with resistors and standard batteries, but plan to change over to a sound module and rechargeable battery once I have a better understanding (I understand I will need different resistors when changing to a higher voltage battery).

My main question is where I should start, hilt exterior or internal electronics? Should I start with the hilt and have it ready to for when I buy the electronics? Should I buy the electronics first and get some experience with those? I feel like I should wait to order the pieces to the hilt since I don't know what holes I'm going to need in the hilt right away (accent LEDs, solo switches vs switch plates, recharge port, and RICE port) or if I will want to include a crystal chamber. But if I can do those on my own it might be a better place to start.

Forgetful Jedi Knight
04-29-2014, 11:59 AM
First off, Welcome to the Forums.

What I would STRONGLY recommend you do is figure out what you ideally want the end result to be (electronics included), and work backwards from there. Ideally drilling and tapping should be done with a drill press (Dremels are not good for this). These are services Tim offers, as well as custom work on MHS pieces (slots in chokes).

Once you have a hilt design in mind, if you post it, we can let you know how realistic it is, and what changes you may need to make to make it happen.

04-29-2014, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the tip. I've been thinking about where I would want to end up as well as where to start. To start, I am thinking of working with some basic electronics and make a PVC hilt until I can figure out exactly what I want the hilt to look like in the end. I would be starting with the following electronics...
Rebel Star LED & MHS Heatsink Module (Amber), unless Yellow is better achieved through the multi-color LED
2.2ohm 5w resistor (for the Blade LED) This was calculated using the wiring builder on the website. I am not sure this is correct as it indicates a different voltage and mA than was is shown on the page for the part. Should it be 4.7ohms 2.3w resistor?
16mm Anti Vandal Latching Yellow Ring Switch
220ohm 1/4w resistor (for the ring switch)
4AAA Battery Holder for 6V of power
1/8" Adhesive lined heatshrink tubing
Dual 24 gauge wire

For where I would want to end up, I put together a list of the parts I am looking at currently...
Rebel Star LED & MHS Heatsink Module (Amber), unless Yellow is better achieved through the multi-color LED
16mm Anti Vandal Latching Yellow Ring Switch
16mm Anti Vandal Momentary Yellow Dot Switch (for alternate sound effects)
Green LED indicator
Yellow LED indicator
Yellow LED for the Crystal Chamber (maybe using an individual bulb)
5 Resistors for the accent lights and switches (to be calculated based on each LED)
Rechargeable Battery (voltage to be determined, but most likely 7.4 unless I exceed the voltage requirement)
Recharge Port
Petit Crouton Sound Module V3
1/8" Adhesive lined heatshrink tubing
Dual 24 gauge wire
1" Hilt safety plug (Trans White)
1 Speaker (not sure which yet, but I have some time)

As far as hilt pieces that I am thinking of at the moment (image below)...
Activation box style 14
Hilt style 4 with space for the Activation box above
Screw on LED blade holder style 18 with at least one hole for blade retention screws near the base (lined up with the activation box)
MHS choke style 1 short (3 or 4 slots cut into the 1 inch section for the crystal chamber) Not 100% certain I want to do this or if the piece will allow for slots to be cut.
MPS Pommel style 10
Power coating in an Ivy Green (hopefully it will match my Jedi Robes)
Trim ring 4 (for between the Choke and the main body)
MPS insert style 12 (the one with the ring attached)
8-32 x .3" Gold thumb screw (x2 for Blade Retention, though they may not be long enough, 8-32 x 1/2" thumb screw would be the alternate)
LED "Corbin style" Battle blade 1" OD

Let me know if you can think of something I've forgotten. Or even if there are other questions I should be thinking about.

Forgetful Jedi Knight
04-29-2014, 05:24 PM
OK. This is a good start and a good example of where you want to end up.

From what you said you want to end up with, and the hilt you want to work with, I can tell you that it won't ALL fit in there. Without the chamber, it's a tight fit, but it's possible.

Instead of a full chamber, you could "fake it" by using a simple LED to simulate a crystal chamber in the choke.
You also have to figure out where you are putting these extra LEDs, how you're going to install and secure them, etc, etc.
Also you can use a 7.4V battery pack with a PCv3. ;)

Starting out with PVC is fine. Many have made decent looking PVC sabers here that were stunts (stunt means lights, but no sound).

04-30-2014, 07:13 AM
I had intended the crystal chamber to be a fake, so that's not a major issue. The plan in my head was to place the speaker at the top of the main body, just below it to allow the choke/crystal chamber to be a resonance chamber for the sound effects. Then, to make the chamber glow, I was thinking of adding an LED at the top of the chamber.

The space issue was one of the reasons I decided to look at the PVC option to begin with. The placement of the additional accent LEDs and the activation box were the others. I'm going to return to the drawing board where the hilt is concerned for the time being. PVC will be easier and cheaper to work with until I get the design I like.