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Thread: Graflex Neopixel Build Resources / Tutorials

  1. #1

    Default Graflex Neopixel Build Resources / Tutorials

    Hey everyone!

    I was hoping that you could help me find resources, or a build video, for building a graflex with a neopixel blade.

    I have watched the "Let's build a graflex" series a ton, even using it as a guide for my first non-graflex build. The thing I am worried about is the wire size needed for neopixel. In the video series he keeps talking about how little room there is and that we need to use a really small wire size, but I believe the neopixel builds require a larger wire size. This is leaving me scratching my head as to how people are building these with much larger wires than what was shown as being able to fit in the channel of the battery holder.

    I have been checking build posts but most don't show/describe how they are getting around this...or at least not the ones I have found so far.

    Are there any video guides for building a neopixel graflex? If not, are there any resources out there I can check out on what the best procedure is?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Your blade will have the potential of drawing something like 6-12 amps depending on the color, brightness, and length. This has been heavily discussed here, you want at at a minimum 24awg. Ideally you should use 22 or heavier. There is no way around it that will require less space. The blade will draw several amps and the risk of using thinner wire is melted sleeving which can lead to all sorts of bad things. The shorter the wires are the less of an issue it will be.

    You also must use a battery capable of delivering at least 10A continuous.

  3. #3

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    So are people modifying the chassis to make the thicker wires work? The let's build a graflex series makes it sound like larger wires don't work in the channel where the battery is.

  4. #4

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    Hopefully someone else who has worked on this will comment with specific. I mostly build custom sabers and I 3D print most of my chassis parts as custom one offs. What you can get to fit depends on how much time and work you want to put into it, and how pretty you want the final result to be more than it depends on the saber. I am currently building an 8" saber with 11 accent LEDs, a pixel blade, and a crystal. There are design challenges, tradeoffs, and some blood involved, but it will be done soon.

  5. #5

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    Thanks jbkuma. You're new project sounds like a labor of love man. That's fantastic. I can't wait to start my graflex, but before I do I plan on knowing (or at least very very comfortable) with what the procedure should be for me to be successful. Those let's build a graflex episodes are great.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndroiDad75 View Post
    So are people modifying the chassis to make the thicker wires work? The let's build a graflex series makes it sound like larger wires don't work in the channel where the battery is.
    I have used the Goth3D Knight Chassis. 22 ga wires for power and return worked fine. I did use PTFE Wire though, which 22 Ga PTFE is as thin as 28 ga normal, because the jacket is thinner. Now, just remember that you are using the larger wire (22 ga) for power and return to neopixels only. The data line, switch wires can all be 30 ga. So, you should only have 2 22 ga wires coming into that wire channel. There is plenty of room for 2 22 ga. wires, and 4 30 gauge wires in that channel. Particularly if you put the data line resistor on the blade, so you can keep it out of the equation as well. In the "lets build a graflex series", remember that he was building in-hilt LEDs there, and had room to cram in his resistors in that same wire channel on the Knight chassis.

    On my Proffie Graflex, I was able to cram: 2 22 ga. wires (neopixel power) 4 30 ga. wires (switch wires 2 from switch, one common ground, neopixel data), 2 additional 22 ga. wires for my kill switch in the clamp. THey all fit into the Knight channel.

    Good luck on your build. I can't say enough about PTFE Wire, it makes life easy, even when using larger 22 ga wire.

    "Let the past die."

  7. #7

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    I agree on PTFE wire, it's the only thing I use. Another nice feature is that the jacket won't melt back when you are tinning your wires. Sometimes I use salvaged network wire which is nice and thin, but the jacket melts if you look at it too hard.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Tilmon View Post
    Good luck on your build. I can't say enough about PTFE Wire, it makes life easy, even when using larger 22 ga wire.
    Tom, thanks for the information. I will definitely look for PTFE wire; expecially if it helps with keeping size down.

    I will go looking for your graflex build if you have it posted here somewhere. I'm interested in your kill switch in the clamp.

  9. #9

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    In my entry to the most recent contest I used 20 ga for the mains to and from the neopixel strips, and 26 ga wire everywhere else. It's tricky using 20 ga, especially connecting the PCB connector to the strips - 1" length 20 ga wire between PCB and strip becomes very stiff when soldered and the version 1 PCBs were not robust enough (pads from 2 PCBs were torn off by sparring 8 year-olds).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Tilmon View Post
    I have used the Goth3D Knight Chassis. 22 ga wires for power and return worked fine. I did use PTFE Wire though, which 22 Ga PTFE is as thin as 28 ga normal, because the jacket is thinner. Now, just remember that you are using the larger wire (22 ga) for power and return to neopixels only. The data line, switch wires can all be 30 ga. So, you should only have 2 22 ga wires coming into that wire channel. There is plenty of room for 2 22 ga. wires, and 4 30 gauge wires in that channel. Particularly if you put the data line resistor on the blade, so you can keep it out of the equation as well. In the "lets build a graflex series", remember that he was building in-hilt LEDs there, and had room to cram in his resistors in that same wire channel on the Knight chassis.

    On my Proffie Graflex, I was able to cram: 2 22 ga. wires (neopixel power) 4 30 ga. wires (switch wires 2 from switch, one common ground, neopixel data), 2 additional 22 ga. wires for my kill switch in the clamp. THey all fit into the Knight channel.

    Good luck on your build. I can't say enough about PTFE Wire, it makes life easy, even when using larger 22 ga wire.
    @tom Tilmon,

    I wondered if you could tell me a little more about this from your graflex build:

    Skinny strips used for accents, blade plug guts, and chamber illumination

    I can't find anything else about skinny strips when I do a search. I need to use a neopixel for my crystal led and wondered where/what these were.

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