View Full Version : Crystal Focus 3.0 problem - help!

12-11-2007, 12:15 AM
Hi folks.

Well, I'd installed my crystal focus in a saber with a lux III, all well and good and splendid, but I've now run into a problem.

I tried to wire in the recharge port last night and I think I've done everything right - it's doing everything it should, except now the luxeon, i.e. the actual LED, is constantly on if there is power going to the board, whether the saber is switched on or not.

When I say doing everything it should, I mean that I get startup and shutdown sound effects and can navigate the menu fine - from a buttons and sound point of view, everything is working as it should, but the luxeon is on whether or not the saber is and so I'm stuck. It's also constant, without any of the visual effects.

I took the recharge port out of the equation, but this made no difference. I've also hunted on the board for any tiny bits of solder that may have inadvertently landed and made a connection where there shouldn't be one, but I can't find anything, even though I guessed this to be the most likely cause.

Any pointers for troubleshooting this myself before bothering Erv about it would be appreciated. Thanks. :(

12-11-2007, 12:44 AM
Hi Seth... can you post a photo of your wiring? That would help a lot.

Another you can try (if this is not the case) is to use the default sound/config packages to determine if there is some bizarre problem with this.

Also--did you at least try another on/off switch to help rule that out of the equation?

12-11-2007, 01:58 AM
Actually, sethski, I'll appreciate you first email me before posting on the forums, since I'm not so often there, otherwise I "discover" that a customer had a problem for several week. No problem for posting here too, since some users here can be of some help as well.
You're not bothering me, customer support is part of the job. I'm not kicking @sses so often, only when I'm proposed to eat spaghetti for breakfast :wink:


12-11-2007, 03:37 PM
lol oh don't get me started on that spaghetti wiring!!! lol

12-11-2007, 05:42 PM
yes the spaghetti was disgusting, dont go back there lol

12-11-2007, 08:42 PM
OK, thanks for chipping in there, Erv, I just wanted to check for general advice coz if it is a mess up on my part I wanted to try and resolve it before contacting you. :oops: Email heading your way shortly, I'll remember that if I have any issues in future.

I think I saw the spagetti wiring pic - was that the one with all the black electrical tape as well? Whatever's up with mine, I promise it doesn't look like that

Novastar, thanks for the advice - I went back and put the original contents on my (reformatted) SD card, but no joy. I also checked with replacement buttons as I'd bought a few of them for this and other projects.

I'll contact Erv as he advised and take it from there. I'm sure it'll get sorted out one way or another...

12-11-2007, 08:42 PM

12-11-2007, 09:44 PM
I will definitely be curious to know what the verdict is on this one... it sounds pretty involved thus far though...

12-11-2007, 11:37 PM
I'll let you know what happens. I have a horrible feeling it may be down to my soldering and chunky old soldering iron. We'll see...

12-12-2007, 12:10 AM
Don't be too sure... I can't think of any "normal" reason that the blade would ALWAYS be on... whether switch on, off, or otherwise.

I'd ask more questions, but... as Erv said--we'll wait until you and he deliberate.

Needless to say--I've not encountered such a weird problem... and believe me, I've had many issues (95% due to my own things/soldering/missing files/whatever).

12-12-2007, 01:41 AM
investigation in progress... Current guess is bad wiring of the recharge port. I'll post more here if you find out what happened, in order to increase the shared knowledge about how using CF :D

Barmic Rin
12-12-2007, 03:40 AM
I'll slap him round the back of the head for ya on saturday if you want Erv!

12-12-2007, 05:38 AM
:oops: ...

...well, my little CF 3.0 will shortly be on it's way back to 'the creator' for checking and possible surgery...

...what can I say - boys and girls (there are girls who like lightsabers as well aren't there? I do hope so...) - exercise caution and extreme common sense when wiring in your recharge port. Erv has been a star with quick replies and I now understand how to avoid what probably happened ever repeating itself.

I will just have to fall back on a plain old MR board-powered saber to defend myself from the punitive head-slappings of Barmic Rin on Saturday :twisted:

12-12-2007, 08:09 AM
There's at least one girl here to likes lightsabers, and posts regularly. :wink:

12-12-2007, 08:20 AM
Yay! Well that makes the world a slightly improved place in spite of my CF mess up :D

12-13-2007, 12:10 AM
Glad Erv was able to help you, Seth. I sent you a wiring diagram that might help you too... as simple as it may be, it will give you the idea.

Another good thing about making a big mistake is... you are usually thereafter the LEAST likely to repeat it... and will be extremely helpful to warn others about similar pitfalls.

In the meantime... don't feel so bad. Things could be worse, and you could have done... THIS with *TWO* CF boards:


Warning... the above video contains serious abuse of buttered electronics. Watch at your own risk. Not responsible for drinks shooting out of nostrils, nor pulled hair from follicles in frenzied frustration.

12-13-2007, 02:46 AM
Ouch! That makes me feel a bit better, though, but kind of sad for the poor little CFs...

I've indeed learnt from it. I'll post "what I did" and "what I should have done" diagrams with the wiring over the next couple of days. :idea:

12-13-2007, 10:09 AM
Sounds like it was a matter of allowing voltage through the CF circuit board via the switches rather than "truly" cutting things off with the kill switch. I mean, maybe it was something else... but... good to keep all electronics out of the loop during charging or "kills" (except the batteries, duh).

It just goes as a reminder that people should have a look at this thread if they are planning recharge/kill ports:

Read from page ONE too... that is, whomever is out there reading this now. :)

A good step is to first create a "basic" resistor-only (or truly direct drive) saber... but use rechargeables. Make a charge port. Then try making it a KILL + charge port. THEN go to using it with a more expensive driver.

Killing a resistor = no big deal
Killing a Lux LED = no big deal (oh gee, $6-$8... not horrible)
Killing a CF = uh oh! :shock:


Vazan Maceu
12-13-2007, 03:07 PM
A good step is to first create a "basic" resistor-only (or truly direct drive) saber... but use rechargeables. Make a charge port. Then try making it a KILL + charge port. THEN go to using it with a more expensive driver.

Yes, it makes sense, and it is the path Ive taken. Begin with the simple things, for they are the building blocks of the complex ones! :lol:

12-14-2007, 10:34 PM
Right Vazan, exactly. :)

In fact, this is how staged combat works (and pretty much everything else in life)... without solid basics... no "fancy" stuff can be learned... or performed!

Lord Maul
12-14-2007, 10:49 PM
Killing a resistor = no big deal
Killing a Lux LED = no big deal (oh gee, $6-$8... not horrible)
Killing a CF = uh oh! :shock:


I think you mean:

Killing a CF = AWW SNITZ!

12-15-2007, 12:43 AM
Aw well - much as I appreciate the sensible approach, I can't help chucking myself in the deep end unprepared at times, even if it has the potential to be disastrous and embarrassing...

...I think it's part of my character, and not always a flaw, either...

...in fact, it often makes life a bit more interesting :twisted: ...

...it just happens that here you have an example of the former lol...

...but you can rest assured, I won't be hurting anymore CFs in future...

...promise! :lol:

12-15-2007, 03:46 AM
Dude... *you* made a small mistake... THAT guy... made a giant DISASTER!!!

There is a gi-normous difference!!

Also--the mistake you made... that one I could see being relatively easy to do. But that spaghetti wiring (and I hate to beat a dead horse)... I mean... that's pretty tough to make. I can't imagine how many extra hours of work it would take me to create an exact replica of that. With all the tape, quick-disconnects, and, you know... just overall craziness, well... it wouldn't even fit in any of MY hilts (there's about 19 working sabers over here)...

Anyhow. No comparison. Darwin award has been bequeathed, and YOU did *NOT* win it. You didn't even come close. ;)


04-02-2008, 12:06 PM
Just out of curiosity, what was the verdict on your board, Sethski? What was the issue? And was it resolved?

04-02-2008, 03:53 PM
Myself also. I have a feeling that he might have blown the LED driving circuitry, and it defaulted to the failsafe backup.

04-02-2008, 08:35 PM
Sorry, I never did update on the outcome of this...

...I had indeed set up some of the stuff on the wring side of the recharge port, but I was lucky not to totally kill the CF, but rather just to damage a component on the board which needed replacing - Erv did this in quick time for a minimal charge (very reasonable considering how it came about) and the CF has for some time had a very happy home in the Parks Qui-Gon that I converted.

(I made a thread on it here http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/showthread.php?t=4135)

Novastar - I think it was the LED part that was knackered. If you remember, it just lit the blade with no variation or effects when there was power to the board.

I count myself lucky that I didn't kill it completely - and I do feel I've learnt a bit since then :cool:

...although I'm still paddling in the shallows - currently sketching on napkins stage of a custom saber design, which will be the next big step for me - theme is something that has the look of a futuristic industrial cutting tool :twisted:

04-03-2008, 12:21 AM
No worries Seth... and btw that is a SICK saber there! Such a nice replica. :) I said hello in your post...

As to the lighting... well--it's a good thing to mention to folks--Erv has created a "failsafe" that basically handles the driving of the LED if the board either crashes (rare), or if the LED driver hardware is somehow damaged or otherwise rendered inoperable. If you think about it... he really DID think this through because without the failsafe--the LED and many other components on the board could get ZAPPED! :)

And don't feel alone! I had two "intermediary" versions of CF... both v2.61. This was neither 2.6 nor 2.5 nor 2.63 nor 3.0. BUT... unfortunately--the 2.61 had some problems. Long term ones. Over time--Erv found that the code would (in a manner of speaking) "overwrite itself"!!!! :confused: D'oh! What would happen is... I'd get random "freezes/crashes" every now and then... and as the days went by... they'd crash more and more often! Impossible to predict too. Sometimes it would happen 2 minutes in... sometimes never that day!

Sucks, huh? No worries--as we all know Erv to be the stand-up jedi master he is, naturally he offers to upgrade the boards for me, and so... we do it. Pretty cool.

But... to relate to your point... my boards would consistently "freeze" into EXACTLY the state that you mention--only minus the sound. LED would be frozen in some solid light state... and nothing would work except for using the kill switch... yikes.

Since then, the problem has been eliminated.

04-03-2008, 10:48 AM
Novastar - it was doing what yours did then, symptom-wise - it was also without sound.