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Thread: Recharge port hookup

  1. #1

    Default Recharge port hookup

    Recharge ports (or power jacks) serve a very useful purpose: They allow you to charge up your saber's batteries without having to take your saber apart. That helps keep the parts from getting lost or damaged and just looks better.

    After several questions from people wanting to know how to hook up the power jacks we sell here, we decided to make a tutorial.

    It's fairly straight forward...


    .................Power plug...............................................Power jack.................................................4.8V rechargeable battery pack

    If you're using one of our rechargeable battery packs, they come with the quick connect already installed. The wire with the white stripes on it is the negative one and the solid wire is the positive one.

    What you need to do first is look at the bottom of the recharge port and determine which contacts are which. There will be one going to a central section that lays over a brownish/orange insulator. This one is going to be your positive contact. The one immediately to its right (or clockwise from it) will be the negative contact. The other one COULD work as a negative also, but it's grounded to the body, which I wouldn't recommend since you've got the other one that's isolated already. Sometimes grounding out against the body can cause issues, especially with red, red/orange and amber LEDs. See the diagram below:



    Once you determine which contacts you'll use, take the female section of the quick connect clip and solder the wire with the white stripes on it to the negative contact of the power jack and then solder the solid black wire to the positive contact.

    After you do this, get two pieces wire and solder each one to the same contacts on the jack that you connected the quick connect's wires to. I prefer to use red and black wires to indicate positive (red) and negative (black), but that's just me.

    These two new wires will end up going to your saber's electronics. That could be the switch that will run to your EL inverter in the case of an EL saber, the resistor in the case of an LED direct drive saber, or the driver in the case of a driven Luxeon saber.


    A bit of advice on soldering...

    You'll find things work easier if you "tin" your contacts and wires before soldering. Tinning just means that you get the piece hot with your soldering gun, then put a little solder on it first. Once the wires and contacts are tinned, they tend to join together much easier.

    Another thing...

    It's better to use a hotter soldering gun for a shorter amount of time than one that's not hot enough to melt the solder right away and leave it on the wires or contacts longer. Doing that would tend to melt the insulation or (in the case of electrical components) fry the circuitry. Think of a hot soldering gun as sharp knife: the sharp knife will get the job done much faster and with more precision.

  2. #2

    Default Kill switch

    Hello again
    In response to several requests, we have added an optional method of wiring up the recharge port that will allow for a "kill switch". This option basically cuts power going to the saber's components and routes all power directly to the batteries.
    This would allow for a dummy (non metallic) plug to be inserted into the port to act as a "saftey key" or "kill switch". Not everyone prefers this option though. If they want to have the saber running from the AC powered charger, this setup wouldn't work. Granted, a Li-Ion charger may not work in this capacity anyway, but one for NiMHs normally will.
    If a kill switch type setup sounds like something you would like to do, here is the diagram on how to set it up. Thanks to Erv' for the use of the picture:


  3. #3
    Council Member My location Novastar's Avatar
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    Hi Corbin...

    That 5-pin stereo jack connector you found when we were working on BOP I works just dandy as far as I can tell.

    I cut both the + & the - leads with it... so far I've had no problems utilizing the kill switch... although I will have to do more tests I imagine.
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  4. #4

    Default Stereo jacks

    Hi Novastar
    Yeah, those audio jacks work well too. The only issue I've seen with them is the way the plug is designed, sometimes it sparks when inserting it and depending on how touchy the particular protection circuit is on the Li-Ion battery you're using (if using a Li-Ion pack at all), it MAY trip the short circuit sensor on the PCB and shut off your batteries for a bit. I've only had that happen a few times, but still.

    Corbin

  5. #5
    Council Member My location Novastar's Avatar
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    Excellent point... and I would agree--doesn't happen very much...

    I've noticed it seems to be a good thing to cut BOTH + and - leads to a board when wiring a kill switch, as it gives you a bit less chance of "sparking" I'd think... hard to explain, but I have tested these a lot lately and I like the "cutting both + & -" better...
    ~~ GREYTALE NOVASTAR (Writer, Director, Choreographer, Sound Designer, Actor, Saber Designer, Vocal Artist)
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP I: "Into The Lion's Den"
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP II: "Ashes of The Phoenix"
    ~~ The Crystal Focus Sound CD Compendiums... are HERE! ~~
    ~~ Nova & Caine's Staged Combat System... comin' SOON!
    ~~ Crystal Focus Wiring Guide

  6. #6
    Sith Acolyte DACOTA's Avatar
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    So what do you hook the power plug to,the charger tim sells?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DACOTA
    So what do you hook the power plug to,the charger tim sells?
    Yes, you just need to correspond the positive and negative on the jack with how the port is wired. i.e. the center should both be positive or however you wire it.
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  8. #8
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    xwing, are there any tricks to soldering that sucker on?
    i tried for 2 hours and couldn't get the dang thing to stay on
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  9. #9
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    Both the port and jack have holes in the tabs. Wrap the wire around that.

    If your iron is hot enough and you use enough solder it should flow around and through the hole to make as solid as a connection as you can get.
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  10. #10
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    that doesn't work. i tried it.

    there is a black plastic screw on protection sleeve for it, and that makes wire wrapping impossible. there is NO clearance on it
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