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Thread: Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber Conversion Tutorial

  1. #1

    Default Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber Conversion Tutorial

    Hello TCSS community,

    I've been a long time member but this is the first time I've posted to the forum. So I figured I might as well make a big splash.

    I've been converting MR/Hasbro sabers for the last year, for my own collection and for many other individuals in the saber community. So when I purchased the new 2015 Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber by Hasbro during Force Friday, I knew I was going to rip it apart and convert it to a removable blade and in hilt LED module. As far as I am aware, I am the first person on the planet to convert the Kylo Red lightsaber, which I think is pretty neat.

    This tutorial assumes that you have basic knowledge of soldering and wiring. It also assumes that this is not your first MR/Hasbro conversion, so parts lists for LEDs, etc are not included. Please see some of the other MR/Hasbro conversion tutorials pinned in this forum section for more information on basic MR/Hasbro conversion practices.

    So here we go

    Stock Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber.


    Unscrew the pommel.


    Remove the battery/speaker pack.


    Use a 5/64" allen wrench tool to unscrew these two screws, then remove the golden yellow piece.



    Removing the golden yellow piece reveals a small pin. Use a punch tool to push this pin all the way out.



    On the back side of the lightsaber, 180 degrees opposite of the pin you just pushed out, you will find a thin plastic strip. You will need to remove this. Look inside the hilt to verify which strip you're going to remove (you'll see a black casing inside which you can pry loose), then gently pry up the thin plastic strip.




    Removing that plastic strip reveals a second pin, use the punch tool to push this pin all the way out.



    The bottom outer casing of the hilt is now able to slide a bit. Gently pull down so that you unhook the tip of the red wire from the hilt.




    Once the red wire is free, remove the lower hilt section.


    Gently pry up the red wire at each silver point, which has a little nub that is glued into a hole in the hilt. I was unable to remove the nub from the hilt holes for most of the silver pieces along my red wire, so I ended up simply cutting the wire free from the hilt.


    On either side of the hilt below the cross guard emitters is a small screw. Use a small flat head screwdriver to remove both screws.





    We are now going to remove the cross guard emitters and blades. On the top of each emitter you will find a long pin. Use a punch tool to push each pin out through the bottom of the emitter.



    This allows the cross guard emitters/blades to be gently removed from the main hilt (don't pull too hard, you might rip the wires).


    Slide the metal emitter over the blade to remove it.


    Gently slide the plastic blade tube off each crossguard.


    You can now fully disassemble the side LED casings and blade diffusion materials to reveal the single LED star on each side.




    On the front of the saber, the cut away internal components are all one plastic piece. Use pliers to grab the protruding plastic piece on the right and remove the entire cutaway section.




    There is a long pin right in the center of this revealed section. Use a punch tool to push it through the hilt and also push off the back casing.




    Now that the end of the red wire is revealed on the front side, you can then remove the red wire entirely.


    On the back side underneath the casing that was pushed off, you will find another pin with a larger end lip. Use pliers to grab this pin by the lip and pull it out.



    You can now remove the middle outer hilt section.



    Cut the wires connecting the two side LEDs.


    Lift the black switch connecter up a bit:



    This allows the upper outer casing to slide up over the blade and be removed.



    There are two screws holding the black casing together. Use a phillips screwdriver to remove these two screws.



    Near the blade is a long pin in the black casing. Use a punch tool to push it through, allowing the black casing to split into two halves.



    Remove the electronics and put aside one half of the black casing that doesn't have the switch.


    There is a very small pin in the blade. Use a pair of pliers to pull it out.


    You can now disassemble the blade casing.


    Cut the thick white strip of LED strings right at the soundboard.


    Congratulations, you have successfully disassembled the Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber. Now the conversion can begin!


    I suggest resoldering and heat shrinking the switch leads, since mine were extremely brittle and loose.


    Near the tip of the long soundboard you will find 6 pads: 1-5 and VDD.


    Bridge pads 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Be careful not to accidentally bridge the VDD pad.



    Now we come to the part where we start assembling the emitter area. There are two ways to do this. One is to reuse the black, plastic LED holders that originally housed the two side LEDs. However, it is strongly recommended that you take the next few steps and reinforce your side emitters by replacing the plastic LED housing with the 1" heatsink housing TCSS provides (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/He...bes-P1027.aspx). I used the one without a center hole, since the side emitters will most often use a single LED so the heatsink with a center hole is not necessary. This process serves as a "conversion kit" for not only the main emitter, but also the crossguards as well, making all three emitters much more durable.


    You will need to sand down either the inside of the side emitters or the LED module itself. I recommend sanding the inside of the side emitters, this will ensure that any 1" diameter blade or blade plug will more easily fit in the crossguard emitters without requiring additional sanding.


    Once the emitters have been sanded and the 1" LED casing can fit inside (snugly, not too loose), you can wire up and assemble each side LED.


    You are now ready to install all three LEDs into your Kylo Ren saber. We begin with the two side emitters.


    Insert the 1" LED housings into the side emitters, then gather the wires from each one and move them to the side (it is suggested that you tape the wires on the outside after they've come through the bottom to keep them out of the way of the main emitter conversion kit which you're going to push up through the bottom).


    Slide the aluminum conversion kit up into the emitter area. It is designed to only go in one way. It may be tight, and depending on the resistor you're using for each side LED it may be necessary to move the side LED resistors further down their respective wires so that the main conversion kit can slide up and not get caught on a large resistor.


    Drill and tap an 8-32 hole anywhere at the emitter area, through the aluminum blade holder. This will serve as your blade retention screw.


    Because the conversion kit emitter itself is relatively thin, I strongly recommend that one other mechanism is installed to serve as retention for the blade holder itself. There are four little circular slots, it is suggested that you drill and tap at least one of them, if not two (I did two at 8-32, through the threads of the conversion kit). Once the set screws are inserted, This will help hold the aluminum conversion kit in place. You can also do this step before the conversion kit is inserted into the emitter so that your retention screw does not screw into the aluminum blade holder, but merely tightens until it pushes up against the blade holder itself. Or you can do one of both for maximum retention. It is up to you.



    Next, cut away the little nub(s) on the hilt section which goes on the back so that the nub(s) do not interfere with the screws you've inserted to keep the conversion kit blade holder in place.


    Now prepare to install the side emitters over and around the exposed LED modules on the crossguards. Widen and tap the two existing holes on the top and bottom of each emitter for 8-32, and if you haven't already, drill and tap a blade retention screw in each emitter (it is suggested to drill this on the bottom so that the top remains as clean as possible). Once the emitters are installed and aligned properly with the main hilt, use two set screws to pass through the main hilt and push up against the LEDs.




    We will now connect all the wires to the soundboard. But first, cut away a portion of the top of the black soundboard housing, so that this is what remains.


    For the main LED, connect the LED positive to the VDD pad, and the LED negative to the bridged 1-5 pads. For the side LEDs, you may choose to simply solder the LED wires to whatever is left of the original wiring which you cut, and then heatshrink those connections, or you may wish to solder directly onto the soundboard (as shown), in which case the side LED positives go to A+ and B+, respectively, and the LED negatives go to A6 and B6 (it doesn't matter which side LED goes to the A or B set of pads).


    In order to allow space for the LED module, you'll need to reinstall the long soundboard into the black chassis like so, basically move it one large hole backwards. It may also be necessary to slightly cut down the two screw holes near the very back of the casing, so that the soundboard can rest flat. An alternate method can also be used of flipping the soundboard completely around, I believe pictures are posted on page 6 of this thread.


    Now insert your black soundboard module into the emitter section of the hilt.


    Assemble the hilt again in reverse order. The longest pin will go through the black soundboard casing and hold it in place.


    Congratulations! You have converted the Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber!

    Last edited by DarthMario95; 02-06-2017 at 11:31 PM. Reason: updated with new conversion kit installation instructions

  2. #2

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    Very nice tutorial. Thank you very much for doing this and in such a quick time frame no less.

    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y23...0Saber%20Hilts

    From Wikipedia: "Internet Explorer slows down GIFs if the framerate is 20 frames per second or higher and Microsoft reports that Google Chrome and Safari also slow down some GIF animations."

  3. #3

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    What led holder are you using for the main LED? Great Work!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew25rs View Post
    What led holder are you using for the main LED? Great Work!
    It appears to be one made by one of the "he who shall not be named (here)" sabersmiths. I know as I have two of those. However this one from TCSS will work just as good... http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/He...bes-P1027.aspx

    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y23...0Saber%20Hilts

    From Wikipedia: "Internet Explorer slows down GIFs if the framerate is 20 frames per second or higher and Microsoft reports that Google Chrome and Safari also slow down some GIF animations."

  5. #5
    Owner of the Custom Saber shop Strydur's Avatar
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    If somebody wants to send one in we will look at making a conversion kit for it. I was late trying to get one on Friday and they had all been purchased and relisted on ebay..
    Tim
    The Custom Saber Shop

  6. #6

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    Nice tutorial. Thanks for taking the time and pictures to show this hilt off. Personally I don't think I'll go out and get my hands on one. But this does show some insight into how to do another conversion, possibly may give some one inspiration on a modification or two for another hilt. Even this one
    Again nice work.

  7. #7

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    Nice. This is the cleanest, clearest tutorial. I don't have one yet or I'd send mine in but I'd need my saber back right away :P You guys plan on doing the new Luke as well?
    "Your move!" -Obi-wan kenobi-

  8. #8

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    I registered to try and send ya a PM but I don't have the PM option just now. Just wanted to say wicked job on the saber and congratulations to being the first one to complish this. I was curious if you plan on doing removable blade conversions and led upgrades for the Luke vader and yoda coming out as well? And are you about to post your email so I can contact you?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strydur View Post
    If somebody wants to send one in we will look at making a conversion kit for it. I was late trying to get one on Friday and they had all been purchased and relisted on ebay..
    I'd be happy to send mine in to you. I'm not in a big rush to get it back right away. I'll just disassemble it before I send it so I don't have to ship it with the main blade. I can leave it apart or put it back together for you after that. Pm me then I'll give you my email if you still interested

  10. #10

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    wow great conversion, any chance you could list what LED you used for the main blade? Or even a list of what all you used on upgrades? I'm fairly new, but would love to do this conversion!

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