View Full Version : prototype: mid-grade MR-Daughter Luxeon CONTROLLER.

02-24-2008, 08:30 PM
I've been unlucky ennough to never be able to get my hand on crystal focus, so my current main saber passed from a led-only to a hasbro to a MR sound board, waiting to get its full-fledge sound board installed...

Since it still haven't hapenned, I started to believe there's one grade missing in saberbuilding.

We have the pure basic (resistor) and some early control (direct connect on hasbro or MR sound board)
We also have led-only driver (corbin's) but its not the best integration with sound (at least in my experience)
Then we have the full-fledge drivers (ultra, plecter)
We can also pass to other blade type: hyperblade, EL blades, plasma blades...

but the fact remain, there's no mid-grade luxeon controller with sound.

So I decided that what was best in the "middle" was the possibility to upgrade from MR-direct connect to something bigger without being the full fledge luxeon+sound driver.

And I made this "daughter board" prototype that is intended to run piggy-back on a master replicas soundboard, help with the control, and drive luxeons. (see video links below)

The current post is to demonstrate this prototype.

Hear me, its not a full fledge luxeon driver - its a led controller intended to be more then the simple resistor you put on your master replicas. It controls the brightness of the LUX by pulsating it (PWM) like other drivers do, but doesn't feed a specific current. It could be a future addition, but I don't think its required for a mid-grade solution.
As it is right now, you would still need the resistor (or other current controller) to ensure the LED isn't blown.

What it does?
it controls the brightness of the Luxeon, being synced with the MR board. Taking the "led segment output" from the MR's blade, making 6 step ramping extension/retraction, in real-time sync with the MR sound. Then, it shimmers similarly to high-grade drivers.
The clash sensor connects to the daughterboard, that flashes on impact and sends the signal to the MR for us to hear the sound. If you replace the clash sensor by a switch (or put both in parallel) then you have the option to keep clash on, making some low-grade lock simulation (the MR won't play a lock sound, but will repeat the clash ones.)

in addition to all that, there's accent leds in-sync with the whole set.

want to see that in action? I have 2 videos to show you

1st: Explanation video. At that point its still on the workbench to demonstrate how it works.

2nd: demonstration video without accent leds. (well, I haven't place for accent leds on my current saber... I need a clamp to add those, I guess I'll get one from ebay some day)

So... I'm all ears. is it a good idea?

Lord Maul
02-24-2008, 08:32 PM
Great idea Mars, and you executed it well.

One question: When do these go into production? 8-)

02-24-2008, 08:49 PM
Honestly, with the response that I saw so far, I tend to say : "as soon as possible"... which is still unknown as I am not setup with any type of online stores and suppliers...

When I started to work on that, I didn't know what type of answer I could expect from other sabermakers. I had the feeling I wasn't the only one who would use this type of mid-grade saber controller, but wasn't sure it would be welcomed.

I just finished the first prototype, I need to do further testing, and design a final PCB. I don't currently have a PCB supplier, so I can't say "when" with any type of precision. I'll keep everyone posted as I have details, and I hope to have tons of new details during march. I have some discussions going on about distributing. Nothing set in stones yet.

02-24-2008, 09:08 PM
I think it's beatimus. I for one would be interested in a couple, depending on the price -- being a midgrade solution, afterall.

02-24-2008, 09:12 PM
So the board is controlling the LED current? I'm having a hard time distinguishing if this is more like a relay or it does some LED driving itself.

Also, what will distinguishing it from Erv's dimmer? I know he hasn't done a lot of them but it does have programable ignition, flicker, clash, etc...

02-24-2008, 09:51 PM

Any Idea on the price of that unit, a ballpark?

02-24-2008, 10:06 PM
Thats awsome keep it up mars, this would be great for people who want similar effects to a high end board, but can't afford one.

02-24-2008, 10:53 PM
The main difference with Erv's dimmer is that his dimmer is intended as a standalone unit that you can manage to run with a MR board, as mine is intended to run with a MR board and help its control. The control isn't from the main switch, but between the 2 boards.

That unit is not a current controller: letting you full flexibility on current control if you have specific need
The unit is more of a PWM driver for LED brightness - whatever current you supply it will go to the LED, but being hashed down for brightness control. Also, this board makes you gain additionnal accent leds, is fully synced with the MR blade sound and lets you control the clash.

Plus, its aimed to be about half as expansive as Erv's dimmer. I hope for people to be able to buy a MR board plus this board and still pay less then a full fledge board (full solution for less then ultraboards?). altough I don't have a final PCB yet so final price isn't calculated... but it lets you know where I aim to be placed as a mid-grade board; and my component selection has been made with that in mind.

I will also be looking at making a hasbro version of a similar board if some people are into that. (similar board, different programming)

Dandura: for those who can't afford a high-end board, or just simply can't manage to get their hands on one, like me. :D

02-25-2008, 07:05 AM
Thanks Mars, That's the ballpark I was looking for. If you can get it made for even close to the the projected price, it will sell very quickly.

02-25-2008, 10:59 AM
I am intrigued. I have several MR boards that could use something like this and even if/when I can get a hold of some higher end driver boards I would still like to use the MR sound cards on later projects.

02-25-2008, 02:25 PM

one of the major advantages of the CF and US boards is that they can power any of the current LEDs to their best specified MA, would your board have similar capability?

02-26-2008, 04:08 PM
I will also be looking at making a hasbro version of a similar board if some people are into that. (similar board, different programming)

i myself would love a hasbro version cuz i wanna use the hasbro card out of my DIY hasbro kit i love the sound it makes... now i just have to figure out how to keep the green crystal in the saber

to keep that sound and also make it so the saber can open to acept the force crystals

srry off track yes hasbro version for me :D

02-26-2008, 04:52 PM
Well this is great. You seem to know what your doing, unlike me.:lol:

I would definately buy these for sabers that I will sell, dont worry erv I still want your board too.;)

Angelus Lupus
02-26-2008, 05:10 PM
Oh everyone will still want CF, but this offers an interesting opportunity for all those who've pulled MR boards out of sabers to upgrade them and have spare boards. Now they can be used for something better than they were originally, but they won't break the bank. I see a market for this, good luck.

02-26-2008, 05:21 PM
Yes, it makes sense to me, especially if the board's cost is relatively low.

02-26-2008, 09:09 PM
Oh everyone will still want CF, but this offers an interesting opportunity for all those who've pulled MR boards out of sabers to upgrade them and have spare boards. Now they can be used for something better than they were originally, but they won't break the bank. I see a market for this, good luck.

Yeah, I want a CF too :D
this isn't intended to compete with the CF, but to offer another range of product.

In my sense, every boards have a different target. Ultra's board isn't the same as Erv's board, and this would definately not be the same game. But as I see it, its a nice upgrade.

I'm looking into making this compatible for Lux V so you'd have simple connection with MR. Still some design issues before it can go into production.

02-29-2008, 07:40 PM
Somewhen this week I realized that I wasn't powering the LED at full blast, but only about 200 miliamp. Its my first time with Cree Q5 so I was simply thinking they aren't "as bright" as people were saying.

Anyway, once I realised, I changed my circuitery and fixed some problems... and WOW, the yellow-filtered Q5 can be so bright!

Shimering, extension/retraction and brightness are just better now.

Here's a new video:

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/projects/saber/th_100_2937.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/projects/saber/?action=view&current=100_2937.flv)

I also started to work on adding a voltage regulator, if all works as planned, we'll be able to power lux V with these, and have a regulated power output to protect the MR board. :)

more to come, but not this week - I'm out of town most of next week.

03-01-2008, 02:37 PM
Hot damn! That things coming along really well there :D

Keep it up, I think we're all starting to drool a bit over this fantastic invention 8)

03-02-2008, 02:30 AM
Awesome, I like where this is going, especially how you can control the MR sounds like a CF. Lux V from MR with one battery pack? Even cooler.

03-02-2008, 07:16 AM

I think in understand how t his will work. If this board will have regulated power out for the MR board, it could very will be used for any other sound board.... like the hasbro board, for those who were asking earlier. Let me know it that is correct. I think the hasbro board fans would love a really good lightshow for their sound boards.

03-02-2008, 04:53 PM
I want that board!:p Great work man, I love it.

03-07-2008, 08:37 PM
Hello Guys.

I'm back from the country, where I spent a relax week, and also ground tested my prototype. (its so much fun, what do you want? ;) )

all to say that I like the long-term usage it currently gives. I have some tweaks I want to make, but on the long run its behaviour is good.

I am starting to look at PCB design. I'm wondering exactly how to aproach it to be the best possible... I'd like to be compatible with most people's needs. Should I make it narrow and long, or almost square?
What is the sizing problems you generally have when including electronics boards in your hilts??

my current PCB design would be around 1.5inch x 1inch. (I keep on changing it... lol)

03-07-2008, 09:06 PM
A hair under 1" would be great, then it would fit in 1" ID stunt sabers, PVC and other generic tubing. The bonus to a CF or US is that it's one board for everything, but that's why they are so expensive. Corbin's + Hasbro is currently the cheapest solution out there for decent performance.

03-11-2008, 10:24 PM
the current PCB design is about 25mm x 40mm - somewhere between 3/4 and 1" wide by a tad over 1.5"

The design is made to be flexible so I can reuse it on other projects such as an hasbro version or change internal programing without having to remake the whole PCB.

I *think* this is the "final" PCB design that I'll ship to PCB makers for quotations on a small run.

03-11-2008, 10:55 PM
I would be more than happy to support this small run by purchasing at LEAST one board.

Normally, I'd say sure, 2 or 3, but I don't even know what the heck MRs I have left.

I *DO* know that you are helping me out GREATLY with one board, Mars, as I am looking to completely revamp the Flange I (original saber from BOP I), and get it to run 7.2v *without* a voltage regulator... and it seems your board would be a great resource to do it in style. :)

03-12-2008, 05:01 AM
Count me in for at least two of these. i've got parts for 3 projects en route from Tim as i type this and i would have loved to get my hands on CF...but we all know how that ended. I've got 4 SW-616's laying around so i can gut those, and i have an MR Mace that I'm going to use for my own...this would be a big help.

03-13-2008, 02:28 PM
Nova, I am currently undecided about changing one of the core component from my prototypes.

To run a luxV with the current design I have, we're running out of the "normal" specs of the PWM train IC. I tried up to 9V and up to 2A with one of my Cree, the IC didn't get damaged. The cree didn't neither, but we could "hear" the PWM switching on/off in the LED when overpowered. Was kinda fun.
The IC has an external fault protection that can protect it against overheating when enabled, but still, it was getting warm under abnormally high conditions. I'd like to try with a luxV to proove it would work. I suspect it would but without trying, we never know.

The component I currently use has some advantages: the fault protection against overheat, and a current limit can be set to protect the LED.

However, another IC I have in mind might run cooler on bigger wattage LEDs - ment to run up to 40V and up to 1.5A, our needs would be "easy" on it.

This being said, I am still uncertain: I think for most sabermaker, the one I currently have would be better: ability to set a protection value for the current can't be bad... Maybe for luxV we'd require a separate board?

I am looking at getting some of that IC, I'd run some tests next week. Other then that, all other components have been selected, and I can manage to have the board within 7/8 x 1.5 inch.

I think I might go with my current IC for the big runs, and see about 5-watters later.

03-17-2008, 09:11 PM
For those who knew I had in mind of maybe changing the PWM train chip on my circuitery, well I did order a bunch of the new chip candidate (50) and I am not all that happy with the results. It works great on good power, but battery operation proves to be less then desirable. It might be something to consider if I end up making a board exclusively for lux V - if the current venue fails.

Therefore, I think I'm pretty much on the final design for the first run of boards. I don't want to wait for further testing with luxeon V before having the first run go, as it works wonderfully with "normal battery operation" and with "normal LEDs".
I believe the board will have ennough versatility for most people.

Here's some results from my experimentations...
I tested sucessfully up to 6W higest peeks on my cree - powered at 9V with 6AAs and supplying around 3.2V, 1.9A. The shimering was more pronounced, but the circuitery held up good. I strongly suggest not to try: its overdriving both the chips and LED, anything could have fried!
I also tried with 4 almost dead AAs. Its not a constant current driver, the LED becomes dimmer, and at some point you will loose shimering, but the circuit will get you a better result then the old "resistor" way.

4AA seems to be great with a cree.

The design I have at the moment has a feature that makes it possible to limit the current sent to the LED. It will come hardwired to a preset, but those with various needs will be able to change it. I will supply documentation for that.

03-17-2008, 09:29 PM
Your electronics experience is mostly WAAY over my head (because I'm just a "basic" guy, not expert like you or uber-expert Erv!)...

...but I certainly understand what you are saying OVERALL. I agree that what you're doing is a very good idea to make it best for *MOST* people doing a saber. You don't really need to make it get every single possible "extreme" setup correct.

For people trying wildly extreme battery situations + Lux V (or latest "super-top lumens" LED, lol)... they should understand what it means to push the limits of any and all components they are using.

BUT... for the "average homme joe-jedi" (pardon the MRFX pun)... something handling Lux IIIs and currents of 700-1500ma on batteries of say 3.7v to 9v will usually suffice. Safe to go to 11v or 12v, but... I can count on one hand how many people I know using 11v or more for Luxeon-style.

As I said--I will not reverse what I said... I'm happy to support it for at least a board, and with any luck, maybe I buy one for Brian (Gundamaniac) because he has been so helpful with BOP III... uh... well, prior to the rest of the team abandoning the project, hahahah! :) :)

MERCI, MARS!! C'est tres bien idee', est je "appreciate" ton travaille...

03-17-2008, 10:25 PM
I love the the way you think, I'll be in for a board!!

03-18-2008, 09:42 AM
As I mentioned before I am very intrigued by this, I now have four MR boards (and a few hasbro's) working their way towards sabers (man I need to place an MHS order soon!) and right now the LEDs are all slated to be on/off unless I want to underdrive them off the board, which is less than ideal.

Dark Navel
03-18-2008, 09:46 AM
Count me in for a board as well..they look promising.

03-18-2008, 01:22 PM
my current plan of actions is as follow:

1- finalize PCB
2- ship to manufacturer
3- receive PCB
4- assemble a small run (I have all in-hand for close to 10 boards - except PCB - but I'll keep a few for my own sabermaking)

if the small run is a success, we'll have opinions from other people, and possible upgrade.
from there, I will look into either alter the design if it is required, or simply order ennough components for a fairly larger run. at that point I'll be looking at runs of about 50, maybe more?

I have no idea at this point how I'll proceed about distribution.

03-20-2008, 04:38 PM
I'm curious as to whether this could be used on top of MR Luxeon conversions :)

03-21-2008, 06:02 PM
Chen, that's the main idea. Convert the MR to Luxeon, but instead of simply using a resistor, using this would enhance the possibilities... without having the costs of more complete drivers. Think of it as an intelligent power extender that handles some of the controls and gives effects to the LED...

now... I have bad news and I have good news.

Starting by the bad news: the company I was trying to use for PCB making "makepcb" is giving me problems... the type of "don't answer emails anymore" Luckily I haven't sent payment yet, but it causes delay as I need to select another company...

The good news is... NEW FEATURES.
well, more configurability. I started to work on the MR "ledstrip" style VS hasbro "flashligh" style, and I am convinced we'll be able to have both options configurable on the same driver, same firmware. (in other words, you buy a board, and configure its hardware depending on what you want).
Therefore, I added possibility to hard-setup 2 things.
1- having the heartbeat on at all time OR only when the blade is in use
2- selection between MR and Hasbro style hardware.
It would be a matter of jumping signals to ground before powering the board.

now I'm glad I made the PCB with future upgrades in mind :)

03-22-2008, 02:29 AM
Mars... shop around first... and insist on NDAs if you feel like you want even a *wee* bit of protection.

03-22-2008, 04:59 AM
very good initiative ! especially since my luxeon driver (MR compatible) does not have any accent LED. Would be a good intermediate driver !
didn't know you had electronic skill by the way, congrats for that too !

03-23-2008, 12:58 PM
gee. Thanks Erv. I appreciate the support :)
you should have gotten a hint of my electronician side when I used some basic ICs and a stock MR blade to make some party favour... lol

In fact, the diplomas on my wall states I graduated in computer sciences and in electrical engineering. However, I am way more of a programmer then an electronician; with a day job in videogame programming.

Nova: as far as PCB copying is concerned, the secret is in the firmware... anyone can copy a PCB once they get their hands on one (given appropriate time). But without the proper chips and firmware, its pretty much useless... reverse engineering is something that can happen and I am somewhat concerned about people copying my design, I think everyone who makes something have these concerns... but it comes to the same realm as the recasters in the prop world. I am not certain the effort to reverse engineer and produce a copy of any drivers out there would be worth the time and energy.

03-23-2008, 03:01 PM
true ! I forgot this vu meter blade hack !

as for the copying etc, marsupial is right. When you get your pcb manufactured (just the pcb), there's no risk. In here just like in my case, the hardware is not so exceptionnal. Good design, maybe, small, ok, but... the point is in the code / firmware. And of course this is protected and kept secret.

basically, people who would try to recast might be people not having a clue about electrical engineering but wanting to make money. Copy the pcb, clone the firmware and get it made in china.
Good for toys or picco-Z mini helicopters but in my case, first the market is really specific and second it's impossible to get the firmware. Even with a mass manufacturing process like I've been close to sign for, the board are received with a blank chip, programming is done at home (I'll make a programming and test craddle for V4 to simplify my life and save time).

Now, about time and money. If you can reverse engineer something and copy it, well, you might sell it, true. But if the original product is really good, people will still buy it. My stuff is expensive. There is no way to make it *really* cheap except by going back to a "simple" sound board and driver... and cut down 60% of the features.

My conclusion is : if you make something and market it, try to keep a few secrets, if it's possible, but make it REALLY good without too much bargain on price etc, if it's for a specific market. This does not mean you have to put a stiff price just because it's specific, but maintain high quality... and you'll always have customers.


03-25-2008, 11:28 PM
Just finalised the initial order with batchpcb - I won't be using them when I make bigger run, but for the initial (very small) run they will be OK.

Your order has been successfully processed! Your PCBs will now be panelized and produced. You will receive a shipping confirmation in 10-18 days. A tracking number will be provided if available.

For those looking up to this project, I need to mention that the initial run will be "directed" to specific people. I hope nobody will be offended, but I feel the first people to try these out should be experienced sabersmith as their feedback will influence how the project will continue and their experience will be helpful for subsequent sabermakers. If there's anything to change, better find it sooner then later. I've started to communicate with various people for that, so far I can name Yoda of FX-Saber and Novastar. They are acquiring units from the initial run and will post (hopefully positive) results.

The whole idea is to not rush the project. I can't wait till I can offer a solution to everyone, but in the meanwhile I want to make sure what I'll offer is good ennough.

03-25-2008, 11:54 PM
Well, I for one can't WAIT to chop apart Flange v1, get at all the electronics and start all over again with it.

I mean... the hilt is a friggin' MESS now, pretty much wrecked... the K2 was an early prototype, so it never DID go on a star base (it's sitting directly on Tim's heatsink with some paste, crushed in via pressure), some WACKED optics that I screwed up... and it's horribly under-driven due to the FX board w/voltage regulator & 7.2v Li-Ion...

The speaker is ganked too. I think it's like the 3rd one I put in there, lol. And zero resonance, mainly because of the design.

It's one of those projects that is simply SCREAMING: "Please. PLEASE. Just... just put me out of my misery, will ya? I need HELP. I need REPAIR. Stop neglecting me, and just... just start all over, will ya?!?!"

Mars, I think your daughterboard will be the PERFECT "pick-me-up" for Flange I to be "restored". So... many thanks!

03-26-2008, 02:36 PM
I want one! It could be put to good use for a few repairs for my friend and his trashed sabers.

03-26-2008, 07:30 PM
Another modification!

I added another pre-power config, for the deepness of the shimering. Depending on LEDs and power source, the shimering effect doesn't always look the same. For example, what looks good on a lux III cyan might be different to what looks good on a cree white. So, now we have 2 intensities of shimering available on the board to be preselected before applying battery power. I'm thinking this might come in handy when we run higher wattage LEDs.

Here's the video
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/projects/saber/th_100_3010.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/projects/saber/?action=view&current=100_3010.flv)

Lord Maul
03-26-2008, 07:45 PM
I love it Mars! Different levels of shimmer was one of the primary suggestions for Ultrasound V2 as well. Bravo

04-01-2008, 12:50 AM
flash update.

the PCB company started processing my proto-PCBs. this means half the wait for them is over. :)

04-01-2008, 05:04 PM
Congrats to you!!!! I'm so dying to get my hands on one of these, this will also be great for some of my garrison mates that have Maul conversions this will offer a great way to boost their sabers, and also for my Nihilus saber woot woot!!!!!

04-23-2008, 02:05 PM
I received an email today...

2008/4/23, <batchpcb.com>

Hi Yan,

good news, your design is here and will be shipped to you tomorrow.


04-23-2008, 02:16 PM
Tres cool, mon ami!!

I'll be happy to do what I can to test one out, and... as I said--my plan is to breathe life back into Flange v1. I have NO idea what I'm going to do with the hilt (as that is the main reason the saber sucks donkey nachos), but the electronics are going to be some attempt at doing the:

* Lux V Green (only one I have and have NEVER used in a saber)
* Some kind of Li-Ion solution
* The "Mars Bar", heheheh (just kidding, I don't know what Mars will name it!)
* Force FX Anakin or Mace or whatever it is... it's a "3-clashes" board, lol
* Maybe some indicator LEDs

I can't promise some extensive electronics uber-tests... but I will do what I must. Ugh... I just quoted a bad Obi-Wan line. Well... I tried. Oops, I WILL try. Arg. Arg x 5 even... lol

//begin silly tirade

"Only a sith deals in absolutes."

THAT *IS* an ABSOLUTE, YA MORON!!! You know, "Only"?! That's almost as bad as Biff: "make like a tree & get outta here"... "IT'S LEAVE, YA IDIOT." Who was the WRITER on this EP III thing?!?!?! Oh, Lucas? Oh. Well, I guess he gets a free pass b/c he's rich, right? ;)

//end silly tirade


04-23-2008, 05:27 PM
:lol::lol::lol::lol: Thats all i'm sayin. Oh wait :lol:

04-23-2008, 10:39 PM
The "Mars Bar", heheheh (just kidding, I don't know what Mars will name it!)


I haven't gotten a name yet. the prototypes will be written "prop electronics led control"... I'm trying to figure out a name that's versatil as I will be using the same design with different firmware on other projects in the future (namely blasters and ghost traps)

so... I guess the naming is still open. Maybe "mars light bar" :)

I can't wait to get the PCBs... I feel like I ordered those ages ago.

04-24-2008, 12:14 AM
well I would pick up at least 5 or 6 of these, I like to use the 616 board alot and have a good supplier of MR sound boards, but to be able to make all my stunt sabers into sound without having to take a loan out. I've missed the CF 3 times now so I know how you feel, but I couldn't ever afford or really want to put a CF in every saber. I am just starting to run a bunch of P4s and am in the process of trying to run a p7 on star with custom optics 740 lumens, with purple polycarb filter, should be great. just a quick side note I have found that you can find some really good super transparent filters from sunglass companies and for the sizes we are looking for they are cheap. I went to my local oakley shop and got six different colored lens that are all under 20% the red amber and the purple are 35% but that's awesome.

Dark Navel
04-24-2008, 06:31 PM

This board looks very promising. I know both I and others are looking to convert the Obi TPM EL to Luxeon. I know that xwing did it and challenged people to make one with sound. Now, if I could use the SW-616 soundboard, your board and it could regulate a 9 volt battery so it doesn't fry the LUX's or boards then this may really work!

Hence a solution to the room constraints inside the Obi TPM saber!

I was trying to figure a way to do it and it came down to the battery solution. I was thinking along the lines of the 616 card, 2 700 buckpucks and two 3V lithium ions but room is the issue. The 616 board is just over 2 inches in length but I don't know if I could stack your board on top of the 616board. If not then end to end, meaning 2" for the 616, 1.5" for your board and about an inch or so for the 9 volt. 4-5 inces total...Viola!!! This reallly may be doable! Not to mention all the extras that go along with your board...shimmering, FOC etc.

Now, i'm a bit slow, but your price point will be somewhere around the Ultra board or a bit less then the CF or is it closer in price to a Corbin driver/Erv's board?

04-24-2008, 08:14 PM
I am not quite sure about a 9V battery. We'd have to check if it can hold the kick a luxeon do and still power electronics. I'll do some testing once I receive the PCBs (hopefully next week)

You need to understand that a 9V battery is essentially 6 AAAA batteries (you read it good, AAAA - 4 A - as in smaller then triple A batteries) The current those battery can hold isn't very high, and Luxeons are verry current-eager.

As for sizing - unless I'm forced to change design between the test run and the big run, its is very small. think the size of a quarter and a nickel. For case like yours it could even be filed a smaller size.

Dark Navel
04-24-2008, 08:35 PM
In this case the smaller the better..Any thoughts on what the height of the board will be or will that be based on when you get your 1st baords delivered to you..

04-25-2008, 09:12 AM
we're talking about 15mm high. Most likely squeezable to a little less.
the highest parts are capacitors and voltage regulator (unless you put connectors, which is not required)

the caps and regulators I'll solder so they lays on their side in the middle of the board. A large part of the PCB design was spent in trying to place "high" components to reduce in-hilt problems - mainly related to small ID and tube curvature. Being that its trough-hole components, there are still options on how we want them to be placed.

if you really need something very small, you should be able to place it perpendicular to the hilt by filing the corners, depending on the ID of the hilt, maybe where the speaker lays. (I'll confirm that when I have the protos on-hand)

I'd be interested to know what's the inside room of those TMP obi sabers. I looked at them several times in my years of sabermaking...

04-25-2008, 07:53 PM
When will you be selling these bad boys?

04-26-2008, 03:34 PM
When will you be selling these bad boys?

As soon as I can?

the current plan is a follow.

1- Receive prototype PCBs for testing.
2- Assemble said PCBs. Test.
3- Sell some of the assembled PCBs to specific sabersmith for review

This should be done within the next 2 weeks, then I'll be waiting for feedback from sabersmith.
If all is good, then I'll order bigger sets of everything. I'll also sort out the distribution problem. I'm seeing how Erv's batch causes problems with "normal" eStore applications, and I'm thinking I might have to proceed otherwise.

05-01-2008, 05:14 PM
I've got mail.

guess what I'll be doing over the week-end?.



Here's about the size

Size comparison with a corbin driver

05-01-2008, 06:01 PM
Looks like there about the same size as the MR boards, I can't wait till you release these, I'll take 3. :D

05-01-2008, 06:08 PM
More options the better.

Erv's dimmer, your daughter board, and corbin's (watch out people, it'll be back)

05-01-2008, 06:16 PM
much welcomed & very appreciated..LOL

You have successfully filled a missing niche in the current market

I know I'll need a few as well..

going to go back and see if I can find the feature/options outline of this thread and re-read it..

05-01-2008, 09:52 PM
Looks like there about the same size as the MR boards, I can't wait till you release these, I'll take 3. :D

I don't know what kind of MR board you are reffering to, but the ones I've saw were all about twice as big as this...

More options the better.

Erv's dimmer, your daughter board, and corbin's (watch out people, it'll be back)

Yep, and the best is, everyone is going trough a totally different design with different needs behind their heads.
Its almost like we're talking to each other...
Oh, wait. We do :P

going to go back and see if I can find the feature/options outline of this thread and re-read it..

haven't looked at the specs in a while (stupid PCB making company delays) but here's the main features

-Configurable for MR-style or Hasbro-Style (Hasbro hasn't been debuged yet. in theory it could be joe-jedi-compatible as well, which I'll test as soon as I can get one into Canada. Stupid radioshack exclusivity not selling to Canada...)
-2 shimering intensity selection
-Accent Leds: blade extension/retraction animation over 3 LEDs
-Accent Leds: 2-led Heartbeat (always running -or- only when blade is lighted (configurable))
-Accent Leds: clash LED
-controls the MR clash sensor
-is controlled by MR blade output
-Regulates input voltage and supplys MR at a safe 5V
-configurable current limit to LUX LED
-small in size.

It is ment to be used between 2.7 and 5.5V at .350 to 1.2A.
Absolute maximum continuous rating considered at 6V and 1.5A (keep in mind we're flickering). Anything above that is like overclocking... possible but abnormal. I ran one at up to 2A sucessfully. I also ran up to 9V sucessfully. However, if you destroy the board or your LED doing so, you've been warned. (just mentionning so nobody sues me :p )

BTW if you have name suggestion for the board, I haven't set anything yet.

05-01-2008, 09:58 PM
Say hello to prototype units #1, #2 and #3.

unit#1 has been installed in my King-Sol hilt for longevity testing, being powered at all time and being ran every now and then to insure everything is in order. previous proto (non-PCB) has passed this test 2 months ago... I feel like I've lost 2 months now.

Dark Navel
05-01-2008, 10:11 PM
Looks good Mars...You stated that it may be compatible with the Joe-Jedi...Your'e referring to the 616 construction kit MR board correct??

Quick question: Would this board act like Corbin's board did and limit the amount of current going to the main LED? Here's my thoughts A 616-MR kit sound board, your board to a LUX III running either on 4.8V AAA batteries or 2cr123 Lithium ions at 3.0V each (not the 3.6V type) I am tring to do away with the double buckpuck solution like Arm on Fire had with his Fury saber. Room is essential to us all in these hilts. I am dumb, I admit it, BUT I want to get a firm grasp on what your board would do amongst the flickering, LED accents etc. (also can't remember but does your board have the FOC capability) What about the main switch?, are we talking a DPDT and then a simple momentary if your board handles FOC?

I know you said it would have to be resistored in order not to blow the LUX III but can we do the resistor without the buckpucks with your board..Everyone hated resistors, icluding me but I'm trying to get away with the 2 700 buckpucks if I can.

Ugg..getting tired need sleep...I am getting dumber by the minute.

Just thought of a name for the board as well. I think the definition can give you insight of why I chose this name:

The Mars Matrix, Mars' Matrix something to that effect:

"Matrix: A situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained"
Your board is the surrounding substance, where, we as saber makers/sabersmiths what have you, develop sabers around your electronic wizardry and will therefore create sabers that originate from your design of the board itself.

(If that makes sense)

05-01-2008, 11:31 PM
Awesome, Mars! And perfect timing, as I just got the old Flange I apart. God was that a pain in my arse! The whole hilt is just... butt, lol. There may be ONE salvageable part... I'm gonna talk to Tim...

Anyhow... let's see... first if I understand correctly:

* I power your board, not the MR... but wire your board TO the MR...
* Identical to the MR, accepting up to 6v max... yikes... that might not work for what I was hoping! D'oh! Oh well, I might try the 7.2v Li-Ion
* Accent LEDs of differing kinds
* Two blade shimmer features
* Blade extension/retraction
* Current control

Any way to:

* Accept up to 9v safely?
* Figure a way to make SOME kind of "mock" lockup if a button triggers the clash on a momentary? (hold it down, maybe plays the 1st 0.15 seconds of sound then starts again... simulating a continuous "zzzzzzzzzzzttttzzzzzzttztztztztzzzz" :)
* Flash on Clash (asked by D. Navel too)

I don't mean to be the devil's advocate, but... one of the MAJOR reasons I wanted to use your board was... so that I could (essentially) feed 7.2v or 9v or 11.1v or whatever to an MR. But... it appears that even 7.2v might be a bad move... did I miss something and this option changed?

Otherwise, the 616 MR can get the:

* Blade extend/retract
* RGB (if wanted)
* Accent LEDs if you wire them in with a certain way... granted, would be always on when blade is on
* 6v max (rated)
* Current control (to a degree without modification)... although... why would anyone want to limit the 900ma current.


* no blade shimmer features

As Erv would say, "I am not throwing tomatoes", but trying to be clear with some things and also be certain that I don't fry anything over here with my insane attachment to Li-Ions, lo!!!

:) But... MERCI FOR DOING THIS... a very bold adventure!!

05-02-2008, 07:02 AM
Nova, you didn't miss anything... here's some clarification.

I am writing down the ratings as I have them on the specs of the chips I use.
Something that I failed to mention in my previous mail is that those are the "maximum continuous rating" - knowing that the PWM shimering doesn't send full blast to the LED at all time, we can exceed these limitations.
Also, from what I get from the helpdesk of the companies that makes the chips, and from my general understanding, the "maximum rating" is always a measure of protection against being sued... While it *can* work above, it is not *recommended*
We already stated that running above lux III is not the most common case, and in such it requires uncommon procedures, exactly like when we overpower a LUX.

POWERING LUX V at 7V (or 9 or 11V).
I haven't tested a LUX V yet as I don't have any. I tested extreme conditions on a Cree Q5 that was nice ennough to not fry on me regardless how bad I was powering it... :)
(for the records, I literally heard it scream!!)

Here's my take: The electronics are protected against over-voltage: the CPU and MR boards cannot be fried because of higher voltage - they would run at a nice 5V regardless. The voltage regulator would accept up to about 18V and our electronics would still be OK. The only chip that will run at "full voltage" is the IC that actually powers the LUX. This puppy is ment to take up to 9W of power. I did test it under extreme conditions. What happens when you get to the extremes is that it overheat, but there's a "thermal cut-off" - it will shut itself a little if getting too warm. This lasts miliseconds.
How it looked like when using my cree was that the shimering was far more extreme, but all functions were still there.

Knowing all this, it is assumable that we can power a LUX V without blowing anything. Heck, during testing I acidentally powered my Cree with around 8W of power. (not recommended)

be reassured, if this board doesn't hold against the stress of a lux V, I have other ICs that aren't suitable for "lower LEDs" that awaits being used on a luxV-or-higher design ;)
(as time pass, luxV or more becomes more and more standard, so I can think of something for that)

FLASH-ON-CLASH... I'm not certain what's it we're talking about here. if we're talking about powering a 2nd LUX, then no. I'd have to add a 2nd LED IC on it, and it would increase size, which isn't what I'm trying to do. One could use a power extender like Erv makes and hook to the Clash accent LED. if there's a demand, I can think of making a board for that.
As it is, on clash, the shimerring goes into a "higher level" similar to the Corbin board

As to lockup... if you replace the clash sensor or wire it in parallel with a momentary switch, my board will take care to send repetitive clash info to the MR for simulated sound FX, while shimering to the "higher level" for clash effect. This is already done and has been tested. I tought I mentionned it already.

05-04-2008, 08:14 PM
Status update!

I haven't started mass soldering yet.

I want to take a little time to test and debug the Hasbro motherboard configuration with prototype units #2 and #3, it haven't been fully tested yet due to my lack of prototypes to perform the multitudes of tests I want to make.

All to say that I'll be doing software revisions before soldering the mass of PCBs I have right now.

I'll let everyone know when the "initial run" is being sent to the sabersmith.

this little update is just to let everyone know that that hasn't been done yet. I still plan on having them out as soon as I feel comfortable with the firmware. Hopefully next week. (which reminds me that I'll have to contact the said sabersmiths soon)

05-04-2008, 09:53 PM
I'm reading lately how things are going for the addon board, that's really great, you thought about important keypoints !
The proto looks very nice, not too much smd so it shouldn't be a hassle to solder :D
good luck with "mass soldering". Someone adviced me onces to go to kamino to get cloned for that purpose ;)

05-04-2008, 10:18 PM
Thanks Erv. Your comments are well appreciated. :)

Clone talk - I started the work on cloning myself with 2 padawans of my own... its the training that takes too much time :P

05-04-2008, 11:01 PM
LOL on cloning! Same here... if I could do that, my work on the sounds would get less boring and repetitive... and I could also actually *DO* BOP III without worry of not enough reliable actors/crew, heheh

Mars, THANK you for those clarification! It makes MUCH more sense to me now, and I think I get what you mean now with the whole 5v "max", but that is really 5v going to LED...

So, only problem with the Lux V would be it's insane forward voltage of 6.85v(!)... yes, c'est vrai! But... who cares, maybe we could just use other LEDs. I think 6.85v is way too enormous anyhow. lol

05-05-2008, 01:31 AM
just wondering if anybody has tried this yet have you sent any out yet? i need something for my P4 MR's

05-05-2008, 04:22 AM
just wondering if anybody has tried this yet have you sent any out yet? i need something for my P4 MR's

Did you even read? He's soldering the boards now.

05-05-2008, 06:50 AM
just wondering if anybody has tried this yet have you sent any out yet? i need something for my P4 MR's

Like Xwing said, I received the prototype PCB only less then a week ago... I am hapilly satisfied by the results of that milestone, but final product isn't out just yet.

05-13-2008, 08:32 AM
just wanted to let you know that I have made no progress since last week.

my day job is currently sucking up most of my free time, its a temporary situation that I need to pass trough.

as soon as I can I'll finish the hasbro mode and keep going with the project.

in the meanwhile, I didn't want people to wonder what's happening.

05-13-2008, 12:03 PM
sorry guys my fingers weren't listening to my brain. Got to stop getting up and looking at the foums lol.

07-08-2008, 06:48 AM
Sorry for not logging here for a while, I've been doing abnormally crazy hours at work and haven't got a chance to catch up with other things yet... driver included. Or normal life for that matter...

I currently have 2 units soldered, one in my main saber for testing, the other is supposed to be used to test the hasbro compatibility. Once all is good, I'll be wanting to get back to the schedule I had a few weeks ago: having the pro builders to test it, and ordering what it takes for a bigger batch.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to get back at that.

07-08-2008, 01:24 PM
I have one remaining FX board (from the original Flange I) that is "marked for Mars", heheh... :)

07-18-2008, 07:51 PM
I just hope we can still get our hands on a number of mr fx boards so we can use Mars board. It looks great and I cant wait to buy one, or more, what am i saying, for sure more.:mrgreen:

07-27-2008, 07:19 PM
Good news everyone!*

Today I finally had a few hours to spend on the bench test for the hasbro conection. It worked without any alterations. Which makes me kinda mad, as I waited several weeks to test them with an Hasbro board by lack of time at home, only to realise it was A-OK already.
I am using a very old kenner board that is instable in itself, and all seems to work accordingly.

I still recommend using a MR board for a better sound quality, but the system should be compatible with most Hasbro ones as well.

in the upcoming week, I'll solder a few boards in order to be able to send them to interested party - I'll also contact said sabersmith regarding these. I should be able to make about 5 of those with the parts I currently have in stock.
I'll also demonstrate the configuration trough youtube videos.

From there, we'll see the feedback, maybe change the approach if required, maybe the layout, and then be able to pass to a bigger circuit board order, and get ready for a bigger production.

If anyone is curious what was that big fuss that kept me away from the forums and my soldering station, I'm not at ease to discuss it in public due to a series of NDAs. That's what PMs are for.

*Good news everyone is a registered catchphrase. There is no guarantee of any actual good news

07-27-2008, 08:29 PM
Well, if you signed an NDA, you shouldn't be talking about it at all ;)

Good to hear about the boards. I'll take it as good news. There's certainly a void that needs to be filled, and unfortunately, no amount of cowbell can fill this one. I'm glad to see people taking charge and doing something about it.

Thank you, Marsupial, for all your work... secret or not ;)

07-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Nahn, the NDAs aren't about this, its within my day job. Being that its released now, I can mention it, but I still am not eased to post about it on public forums.

Thanks for the kind words! :)

07-28-2008, 05:41 AM
Well, if you signed an NDA, you shouldn't be talking about it at all ;)

not always... it depends on the NDA.. and the conditions inside. ;)

07-28-2008, 09:01 AM
Of course. But "it's released now", I think he's just playing it safe ;)

btw, for anyone not in-the-know... NDA = Non-Disclosure Agreement

07-28-2008, 10:05 AM
yeah and they can be very strange at times.. I deal with them alot in my line of work..

You'd be surprised how PETTY some companies can be and they use these to pull strings..

some are even just to protect themselves to the fact, that they hired me to do the work THEY were suppoed to do for their client...LOL

08-02-2008, 10:05 AM
How much would you sell those first 5 boards for? I ask because I would think they would be somewhat cheaper than when you actually start to mass produce them so to speak.

08-02-2008, 01:51 PM
Normally Dacota, it would be the opposite. Mass-produce = less expensive per item... hand-made = more expensive per item.

Granted, it's a chunk of cash to make 500+ boards even if they cost $40 to make. Duh. You do the math.

This is essentially what I ran into when I wanted to make the Ns5 board. Laying down $10,000 to $20,000 to manufacture toy saber driver boards = not without at least one or two "partners". :confused: :mad: :confused:

I think what Mars is doing is awesome, and quite a lot of work!

08-03-2008, 01:53 PM
Nova is right. when you deal with electronics, quantity is the key to lower prices. Its generally better off per unit to get 2000 of it, might it be the PCB, the microcontroller or simple resistors.

Problem, I cannot afford to front over 2000$ for parts in order to have all in-hand to make 100 boards.

in the meanwhile, I started the initial review run: the chips are now all programmed.


It might seem like not much, but from there I'll be able to solder them all to their respective PCBs.

I don't know for you guys, but this con season my plate is pretty much filled. I guess it has to do with my not spending time anywhere because of work for a few months.

08-03-2008, 02:22 PM
Looks great Mars! :)

And for the record... I think 5 to 10 boards *IS* alot when it comes to DIY stuff. So... thanks for that.

Ultimately, we all need to be patient with Mars or ANYone else making boards on their own. Again... this is one of the reasons I didn't do the Ns5 board... too costly... too much time... and too hard to manage so much just for one person who DID NOT know how to wire up my own from the ground up!

Thankfully, people like Mars and Erv... DO know how to wire things from scratch!

08-03-2008, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence Nova. Its really appreciated.
This is my first time making custom PCB and a module in small runs on my own. I sure hope people will enjoy it.

09-16-2008, 03:17 PM
Any more luck on this Mars? :)

I actually couldn't stall any longer and had to build the saber that I was intending to do the MR + "piggyback" daughterboard... but... I don't think I could have fit more electronics in there anyhow!!

10-21-2008, 07:17 PM
Man I haven't been looking on the forums forever... Darth Real Life strikes again. I won't go into details. Let's just say that 2 months of long working hours have longer-lasting negative effects then what I'd have expected. I've been pretty busy with work, life, family and other projects.

Sorry if anyone tought I forgot about this, I didn't. It just stalled a little bit. My soldering station had been unavailable for a while (Yes, I have a small work area at home, and yes, often its one tool OR the other...)

With Halloween almost here, my workload should come back to normal. I recently got my soldering station back in action, and have a few things to solder before Halloween, so I'll look about finally mounting & testing the boards as soon as I can, but I think this will happen early November.

So, sorry for this non-update, but that's all I can give for now.

10-21-2008, 08:26 PM
Hey that's fine. Just coming back to say "hey im not dead and neither is the project" is great, not many people do that.

I used to read this thread back when I was first running around on the forums. And I'm glad to see that the project will at least produce a prototype.

Welcome back.

Maverick 8)

10-22-2008, 06:58 AM
Oh, I've got a prototype running already. Tested one in a 4 hour public appearance about 2 months ago. Works like a charm.

10-22-2008, 01:43 PM
Oh really? Nice!

I'm rebuilding a saber that used to be EL. It had a little green accent led that turned on when you turned the saber on. Reading the thread here it got me curious as to what your controller could do for me :wink:

Maverick 8)

10-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Hey Mars, was reading this thread and I have to say nice job on getting exactly what people want. I was reading what you said about the IC shutting down from thermal overheat. What would happen if you put a heatsink on it with some thermal transfer material? Would it allow it to drive a Lux V?

Also, I know this is meant to be a daughter board between the MR sound board and the LED, but if you are using a regulated PW circuit in there to supply enough voltage for a Lux III, then if you combine the output from both the MR and this board you could probably drive a Lux V.

I think our backgrounds are similar, I also have a computer electronics degree and more involved on the computer side than the electronics. But electronics has been my hobby for a long time and I used to fix tvs, vcrs, etc at sears.

I would love to get one of those boards to play with.

If and when you get into production I could probably use a few of these boards in my sabers.

10-24-2008, 12:31 PM
I'm rebuilding a saber that used to be EL. It had a little green accent led that turned on when you turned the saber on. Reading the thread here it got me curious as to what your controller could do for me :wink:

The device adds accent leds you could simply hook to, as well as adding some nice shimmering to your LUX (or cree, or whatnot) ;)

Also, I know this is meant to be a daughter board between the MR sound board and the LED, but if you are using a regulated PW circuit in there to supply enough voltage for a Lux III, then if you combine the output from both the MR and this board you could probably drive a Lux V.

The problem isn't the MR board, as it doesn't use much power. The problem from the LUX V is the chip in-between the LUX and the CPU - it won't accept that much current. Regulating the power from the batteries to the MR board won't affect how much current pass trough the LED, thus trough that chip. Well, I really should get a Lux V and see how it goes... I overpowered a Cree up to about 6W and it did run pretty good; might be OK for a Lux 5 even if the specs says otherwise.

Cooling it down might work, but I think I'll make an alternate design with Lux V in-mind. I have identified some suitable chips for that, problem is they don't work all that great with lower LEDs, and I think there are still lots of people with Lux I and Lux III.

I am currently thinking of flushing the hasbro compatibility and run only with the MR style motherboards.

Oh, and I am using the same design on another prop with a completely different application at this moment, you guys might want to look this up.

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/Ghostbusters/ProtonPackWIP/th_100_4386.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/Ghostbusters/ProtonPackWIP/?action=view&current=100_4386.flv)

its my old Luxeon I Star/o amber led I am recycling... Again, camera doesn't show the brightness correctly. :(


10-24-2008, 12:41 PM
I think you misunderstood...

The MR sound board can supply up to 1 A with 6V power source.

For the additional current, you use your board and wire it in Parallel. Also increase the amount of batteries in parallel to increase the current life.

Pretty much the same technique that Madhatter used in his 10W Saber.

10-25-2008, 12:33 AM
Welcome back Mars! I know some people have been asking me (privately) about this, and I simply said... dunno... but I'm going to bet that Mars is reliable and just BUSY! :)

Anyhow... well... I still have maybe one last shot at being able to try your daughterboard project in a saber which I will get back from Eandori... but after that, all my MR projects/sabers are in the hands of Monsieur Grayven, hehehe!

Good to hear from you again, hope the family is well, and... well, tu sais!!!! amicalement et a tout a l'heures, Novastar. :D

10-25-2008, 01:52 AM
Well, yeah. Busy you say?
never been busy like that. I didn't plan a long crunch time at work like I had to do, and never figured the effects would be so long lasting. I'm still working (hobbywise) on stuff I should have completed in march.

Other then that, things are kind of OK.

if you're interested, give a look at that:
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/Ghostbusters/ProtonPackWIP/th_100_4387.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/darthKodius/Ghostbusters/ProtonPackWIP/?action=view&current=100_4387.flv)

its me testing the versatility of the board for those projects. Different code, a daughterboard, and hop - proton pack electronics!
Those who remember when I was planing the boards I mentioned several time I wanted them to be versatile - this is one of the ideas I had in mind for them. I'll also be looking at blasters soon.

Working on this made me wonder about the MR / Hasbro dual compatibility of the board. You got me right, I am thinking about removing the hasbro compatibility. Does anyone actually needs this to hook with a hasbro toy soundboard?

Ari-Jaq Xulden
10-25-2008, 09:14 AM
i don't know about a need, but based on other thread id say there is a huge want for a inexpensive way to drive our lux sabers, with sound.the pack looks great, enjoy the con, and don't slimed

Kant Lavar
10-25-2008, 09:21 AM
Yeah... if I ever get good at prop building (or someone creates The Custom Proton Pack Shop :rolleyes: ) a proton pack of my own is definitely on The List. I'd probably get lazy and go with the Hyperdyne Labs electronics, though.

Master Dru-Er
10-25-2008, 05:46 PM
I too ultimately would just ChEeSe out on my own proton pack.

Sweet board btw.

10-25-2008, 05:55 PM
Yeah... if I ever get good at prop building (or someone creates The Custom Proton Pack Shop :rolleyes: ...HAHHAHAH, that is genius--I mean... we should HELLA open a joke thread for what other goofy "spin-offs" should come from Tim's business. Like "The Custom Vader Helm Shop" and junk like that, lol.

lol... the custom proton pack shop... hahahaha... daayum. :rolleyes:

10-25-2008, 09:15 PM
I too find it funny... with all the custom proton packs I saw online (cheaper then making a screen accurate one), I'd say its very doable!

I'm just wondering... if we are ready to spend on a daughterboard, do we really want cheaper hasbro toy sound? Anyway... the proton pack experiment proves the PCB design and its versatility, I'm very happy about that. I wanted to be 100% certain before spending on a PCB run - I never did that before, and wouldn't want to be caught with unused or useless boards.

Today's festival was a blast, and the Proton Pack was a blast. People are amazed at the strength of the neutrona wand's beam. :D Hasbro is apparently looking at making proton packs, maybe I'll do some proton pack daughterboards. LOL.

This week is Halloween's - as a father I have family obligations in this regards, but am looking forward to shipping a few boards very soon!

Kant Lavar
10-26-2008, 12:44 AM
Personally, I'd probably stick this in with an MR board (I've got a Vader and a Mace sitting around back home), as opposed to a Hasbro board... and with this thing being as versatile as you're saying... I might one day look into getting a Hasbro E-11, resin conversion kit - saw one on a Brit site yesterday that looked good - and a red/o Lux III with this.

...Actually, I'll definitely do that when I get the chance. I just searched Amazon and, yep, there's the Hasbro E-11s. So at least one part of a Stormtrooper costume is eminiently doable. (Now if only I knew where in hell I could get my hands on the armor besides ePayOutTheNose.)

10-26-2008, 01:37 AM
Woot! Awesomeness Mr. Mars (wish I remebered how to spell Mr. in french) :D

Maybe if I can get a little more skilled in wiring and space saving in a lightsaber I'll take a look at your board, though it would seem a waste to use it on just one accent led.

Maverick 8)

10-26-2008, 10:52 AM
and with this thing being as versatile as you're saying... I might one day look into getting a Hasbro E-11, resin conversion kit - saw one on a Brit site yesterday that looked good - and a red/o Lux III with this.

That's one thing I want to do in the future.. Of course, for using the same board with a different purpose (might it be E11, Proton pack, chainsaw or flashlight) we'd need it being programmed differently, but its the same board none the less, meaning any of those would be possible without new PCB designs, etc. Making a bigger market for a single product.

Also, PCB making is pricey unless you buy it in the 100s. More applications means I am less shy of spending to get the parts and PCBs. You must understand that I'll have to front the money for the initial run. This being a hobby and all... well, you get my point ;)

11-10-2008, 08:30 PM
I have some good news!


4 boards are ready - that will consist of the original run.

This week I'll wrap-up a "owner's manual" so anyone getting a board like that knows how to use it beforehand - then I'll email it to the top of my list of people interested in acquiring / reviewing an original board.

From there, we'll see.

11-10-2008, 09:11 PM
Looks very interesting. Lots of places to add stuff. If at all possible, I would like a copy of the owners manual to see what capabilities the board has. Are you going to sell them in small batches?

11-11-2008, 06:45 AM
Looks very interesting. Lots of places to add stuff. If at all possible, I would like a copy of the owners manual to see what capabilities the board has. Are you going to sell them in small batches?

I'll post all the info online, but I want to make sure its clear with the "future owners" how they work.
The point is, this is meant to be small, very small, so no pre-installed connector, requiring soldering directly to it. Its not an "easy mod" and if someone is to acquire this and botch their soldering job, I can't be held responsible.

For an idea of the size

As far as selling them in batches, I'll wait to see how well receive the original batch goes. If people like how I did it, I'll consider a larger run; otherwise I'll look about a redesign.
To be honest, I don't own an eStore and am still uncertain how this will work. I'll have to discuss with Tim about that - afterall, TCSS is an eStore and I don't want to be the competitor coming in the storefront to sell stuff.

Donnovan Sunrider
11-11-2008, 07:11 AM
You may well be able to sell through TCSS and make it an easy process for yourself. Talk to Tim, he may be able to do something.

11-11-2008, 07:47 AM
I'll have to discuss with Tim about that - afterall, TCSS is an eStore and I don't want to be the competitor coming in the storefront to sell stuff.


As I said, we'll start by seeing how well received are the original 4.

11-11-2008, 08:24 AM
is thre a target price? and a list of the 'options/effects' available with that board?

a quick run down?

11-11-2008, 09:52 AM
is thre a target price? and a list of the 'options/effects' available with that board?

a quick run down?
its been covered in the thread, but here's a bullet point condensed version I think I'll publish a FAQ website for those 2 questions. lol.

* Pair with the MR board for sync sound / light. Actually takes inputs from the MR blade output, converts it to blade brightness (extension - retraction simulation)
* Adds acent LEDs - also sync with the blade ext/retraction.
* Adds shimering (with 2 shimering intensity selectable) of lighted blade. (more realism then simple LED/Battery system)
* controls Clash (flash on impact) to MR (to trigger sound FX from your impact sensor or switch)
* Continuous clash (if you use a switch) for a bladelock simulation (triggers MR's SFX over and over)
* Power control - can power the MR at a fixed 5V even if powering the LED with more.
* compatibility with MR-type motherboard (FFX) or Hasbro-type motherboard (Toy soundboard - altough I'm thinking of removing this feature)

final price will be set when distribution method is choosen.
I'm talking with Tim about having him distribute the boards.

11-12-2008, 02:33 AM
As I said, Mars... I am happy to help support this. I would buy at least one or two just for the EXPERIMENT plus the EXPERIENCE... :)

Also, maybe I can use this in some upcoming saber for BOP III (Grayven is designing/working these)... as they are all essentially the "Joe Jedi" 616 boards... :)

Doesn't matter the result to me... it's part of helping those who are trying new things. :) If I have more $$$ to give... I will... it's just quel dommage that I am not a rich man!!! Pas de beaucoup de l'argent!!! :)

11-12-2008, 02:47 AM
id like to get one.
Please dont remove hasbro support on the first run
Id like to see how much better it would run one

oh yeah whats the size?

11-12-2008, 03:16 AM
What about running it with just a driver, such as corbins? Having it be the clash sensor and triggering the lighting effects. That would be insteresting.

Maverick 8)

11-12-2008, 10:11 AM
What about running it with just a driver, such as corbins? Having it be the clash sensor and triggering the lighting effects. That would be insteresting.

Maverick 8)

That would already be doable - setting it "hasbro style" and putting a switch instead of a blade.

I should try and take some videos :)

Dark Navel
11-12-2008, 12:12 PM
oh yeah whats the size?

I hate to be a stick in the mud but did you happen to see the pic of it on page 11?? It's right next to a quarter...

11-12-2008, 04:33 PM
I hate to be a stick in the mud but did you happen to see the pic of it on page 11?? It's right next to a quarter...

nope didnt see that. did now. scale noted.

11-12-2008, 05:28 PM
oh yeah whats the size?

its barely bigger then an SD card.


(BTW I got used to answering the same questions over and over again, people don't quite read "old threads"...)

11-19-2008, 10:04 PM
I had a brain fart this week, and made a Makoto style blade for some experimentation & demonstration of the daughterboard's flexibility.

See link bellow for a video.

First, I'm running the daughterboard without a motherboard - Battery pack, switch, blade.
Second, I'm running it with a makoto blade instead of the normal luxeon blade.
Third, I experienced a bit in order to prove myself I can make the subsequent runs with one less option - the first video is running the daughterboard in "hasbro toy" mode, with the switch as a single input. The second video is running the daughterboard in "Classic MR" mode, with the switch simulating the 6 MR blade output.

NOTE: there's no sounds in the videos. I'm running SANS SOUNDBOARD.

test # 1: single input mode:

test # 2: multi input mode:

test # 3: view displayed on the wall to see how it looks from farther

What these series of tests demonstrates is
A- flexibility over blade options
B- flexibility over input (motherboard VS standalone)
C- any subsequent run can be made without the hasbro / MR selection option as a soldering job can replace it
D- a new perspective on the shimmering - see the close up during video #2

11-25-2008, 07:24 AM
I tought I'd give some update.

I have good news, and I have bad news.

here goes, in no specific order.

* I have a MR616 coming my way for testing (Thanks Greyven!! those are just not available north of the borders)

* I expect to have some programming to be done before daughterboard/616 are 100% compatible. Its OK, as I plan on replace the "hasbro mode" to "616 mode" being that I prove to be able to use the normal mode with hasbro.

* I am still waiting for some of the original tester/buyer to come back to me before I do my next move.

* My computer's operating system decided to stop working. Right now I don't access the web from home - its temporary. No data is lost, but I have to resetup everything before I can program anything.

* There's snow outside today.

Ari-Jaq Xulden
11-25-2008, 01:32 PM
well I for one appreciate the update mars. especially since it seems you had to trudge through snow to send it. cant wait to hear all the results and when a new run may start.good luck.

01-09-2009, 09:36 AM
I've received a MR616 "joe jedi" board from Greyven and started compatibility test - several people will want to use the sound capabilities of the Joe Jedi with the gain of a daughterboard.

However, the Joe Jedi boards are different from the older MR boards The signal is "backward" and strangely made. Instead of being high / low, they are "undefined" / high.
The inverted signal would only require some new coding. That's OK. however, the fact that they don't ground their low signal makes a bigger problem, the microcontroller not being able to differenciate between high and low.

I have plans on how I would resolve this (it would include added electronic hardware) but I don't have any formal results yet.

Sadly, my spare time has been lacking during the Hollidays, and since. I currently have a total of 4 hr of driving to do everyday in addition to my workday, and I like to spend some time with my toddlers and babies. I realize I've been working for about a year on that project, and also that its not as advanced as I'd like it to be, but once all is flawlesly made and planned, its going to be a charm for those using it... so all I can tell you is be patient, its coming.

Angelus Lupus
01-09-2009, 10:34 AM
Fingers crossed that you can get it to work for the Joe jedi board, I'd certainly be interested in a couple!

01-09-2009, 11:11 AM
If I can't make that one, I might have to take it the other way - having a separate board expressly for that. I am certain I'll find a way to hack into it, but it will require more hardware and programming.

I might end up with 2 different daughterboards to fit more options.

01-09-2009, 04:26 PM
Yup, Gravy and I (and Don too!) are starting to notice that the 616 definitely has its weird idiosyncrasies.

That being said--I don't think it will affect Gravy and I trying to get the whole clash w/ flash and quasi-"lockup" on it.

Additionally, it DOES appear that the "regular" MR boards ARE indeed better for simple modding than the 616s... it's just... you wouldn't get the current ramping and you'd also be stuck with whatever sound you had (god help us all if your MR board is a Vader/Maul... ARGGGGH!!)

Still, looks like there are advantages to having either. So that's a good thing...

Good luck out there Mars!! We're not expecting miracles!

01-09-2009, 08:10 PM
it DOES appear that the "regular" MR boards ARE indeed better for simple modding than the 616s... it's just... you wouldn't get the current ramping

Well, with a standard MR and my daughterboard, you do have some ramping, and you even have shimmering!

As far as miracles goes... I will do what I must.

(trying to sound kinda obiwanesq)

01-09-2009, 09:41 PM
Yes Mars this is all good. Hold on to the board as long as you need to get the bugger working. Take as long as you need and don't let it run your life. we'll still be here when it's ready.

Onli-Won Kanomi
01-12-2009, 11:25 AM
Yep patience is a virtue we all have to learn in this hobby :-)...when its done we'll still be here.

08-16-2009, 07:19 PM
Hello All.

This is just to say that I am putting a hold on the project of making a large run.

I've had the baddest of luck concerning this project: every single builder I sent one of the prototype emailed me praises about it then disappeared from the face of the earth so I have no online documentation on how it works for people.

To add to that, both the better half and I changed jobs in the last 6 months, leading to schedule issues making that I wouldn't be able to respond in a timely manner to requests. To be honest, I fail to see how people like Erv or Tim make it to manage their time with job, projects and family while dealing with people's orders and I do not think I would do a good job at that, at least at this moment.

I still have a quantity of PCBs and chips available for fabrication, and will surely build them as time permit, but I fail to see how I would be able to handle a larger run at the moment.

Sorry if that breaks the plans of anyone. However, real life - and in my case family life - have to come before the hobby.

Keep on building sabers, I'll be back full throttle when schedule issues are worked out.

08-16-2009, 08:24 PM
RL > hobby = good hubby.. your a good guy with a great idea, we can wait and im sure most of us will have a fresh new saber just waiting when your ready

08-16-2009, 11:55 PM
I sware I don't do drugs and STILL take care of my family. But it's true that we're not a 50-50% couple for housework and that sort of thing. We had to switch to a more caricatural life. And even with this, it's *still* hard to combine everything, it's really like having 2 jobs, plus the post office, plus preparing packages.... then also find the time for new designs etc.
Not willing to speak for him, but strydur / tim, from what I understand, runs TCSS full time.

keep up the good work, and wish you the best to manage your schedule(s)


08-17-2009, 03:21 AM
Sorry if that breaks the plans of anyone. However, real life - and in my case family life - have to come before the hobby.

Keep on building sabers, I'll be back full throttle when schedule issues are worked out.We understand Mars. :) Life calls!

For the record... if I had received any kind of board (wasn't expected anyhow!), I would have PROMPTLY made SOME kind of video + walkthrough/review of things.

Also... I think it's safe to say that with my Y-tube account... a good amount of "saber freaks" do know where to look to see a lot of stuff regarding sabers.

Still... good luck on the schedule. I hear that!!!! All too well...

09-09-2009, 06:18 PM
Hey Guys!

Here is the first video I ever received of a saber using my blade controller!!

ari-jaq_xulden is making a complex setup with multiple LEDs, but did praise the flickering of my blades :)

here it is on his photobucket profile (http://s366.photobucket.com/albums/oo105/ari-jaq_xulden/?action=view&current=VID00002.flv)

Again, the flicker isn't very well captured on camera, but still gives a good idea. Thanks to ari-jaq_xulden for sending me the link to his video! I'm happy to see people happy using my boards :D