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Thread: My Roman Prop - SCW - Nano Biscotte NB v4 - NeoPixel Build

  1. #41
    Board Lurker Jukesie's Avatar
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    Sep 2019
    United Kingdom


    So, after a long time of checking, rechecking and checking again, I've finally come to the wiring that I will need.

    With huge thanks to a couple of guys at the Thin-Neck Saber Fans Facebook group who thrashed this out with me on New Years Day.

    As you can see I've ditched the PeX, simply because it wouldn't be needed on the NB v4. I have ditched the RGB Driver in this diagram, but I think I'm going to put that back in because it fits better in Dimitri Shtok's chassis and allows the LED to reach closer to the Crystal Chamber.

    The 22 AWG wire is to allow me to pass the wire (capable of enough current) through Rudy Pando's Crystal Chamber. 24 AWG and up would need more wires which just won't physically fit through the copper tubing.

    Also, I was made aware that it is common practice to wire the blade connectors positives to the recharge port, which means only a single wire is soldered to the board. i.e. Less wires to the board = easier soldering

    So (insert drum roll) I'm finally ready to start the build-proper

  2. #42


    I’m really looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I recently picked up a Roman Props MK1 hilt too and while it’s very pretty without any functionality, I can’t help but think about wiring it up!

  3. #43
    Board Lurker Jukesie's Avatar
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    Sep 2019
    United Kingdom


    Hi all, sorry I've not been updating this post, but you know how it goes. Work-Work-Work lol

    I have managed to do quite a lot to my saber, in fact, it was finished, but then I made a rookie mistake. I'm here to detail what I've done, explain my mistake, and give you the final schematic that I've also proven to work.

    So, as a refresher and to save folks from scrolling through these posts to piece things together, this is what my saber consists of.

    Romans Weathered MK1
    Rudy Pandos Crystal Chamber
    Dimitri Shtok's NB-MK1 Chassis
    Dimitri Shtok's NXPL Connectors
    2 x Neopixel blade (124 pixels - 34 inch blade)
    Nano Biscotte V4

    Here is the schematic (Opens to ImgBB);

    As I mentioned, this works.

    NB. The 22 AWG wire should be PTFE or Teflon coated wires. Using 22 AWG conducts 7 Amps which is necessary to run the 2-strip Neopixel blade I'm running, if you're running a different blade i.e. more/less strips, you'll probably have to change something.

    The reason for 22 AWG and PTFE coated is the diameter necessary to pass through the Rudy Pando crystal chamber.

    You can see the two small tubes you have to run your wires here, the openings also marry up perfectly to the Dimitri Shtok speaker part of the chassis (shown below).

    You'll also notice that I've drilled a 5 mm hole into this Speaker part which is for the 5 mm LED Accent. If you've not see one before, you can see it below. You need to make sure the LED fits fully into the hole (further than my photo shows) If you don't, you'll find your speaker struggles to fit and makes things a little tight and runs the risk of damaging your wiring.

    NB. Although the wire on the LED shows 24 AWG, I've changed that to 30 AWG since taking the photo.

    So, another point you should watch is the wiring coming from the NXPL board and one point I've not yet clarified, but I'm happy to leave as is.

    You'll see I have five wires connected to the board because I'm already using 22 AWG wiring, I can probably just connect the two 22 AWG's to the board, with data, making a total of 3. This would make it far easier, however, if you don't then it's important to remember the retracting Crystal Chamber. You must make sure the joint between the 5 wires to the 3 wires resides inside the neck of the saber.

    If you don't, you'll find that when retracting the Crystal Chamber into the Grenade section, the wires will bunch up and stop you closing the section.

    That is pretty much it, apart from my stupid mistake. This is my first build, so I'm not annoyed with myself, and in truth, this is quite fun on the whole, even if it has cost me time in getting this finished.

    So, I built my saber, installed it all in the saber and finished all the soldering, it was done! It came time to switch it on, but unfortunately, nothing happened! I ran through the normal checks and found a wire that had come loose, so I rewired it and tested again, still nothing. I made sure the battery was charged, tested again, nothing. At this point, I wasn't sure what was happening, but I felt the only thing I could do was dissemble and test without the hindrance of the saber/chassis; so I did.

    I resoldered, tested, still nothing. Using a multimeter I tested all the wiring and everything was fine. I got current throughout and all wires were intact. So, I hit up the forums and, most productively, the Facebook groups. Thin-Neck Saber Fans is a great resource with very intelligent and helpful members. I soon realized that the setting "ledstrip" had to be set before the NXPL would work. Once set I was stunned to find it actually worked. I was happy... at least for a split-second - I had no LEDs.

    Again, I tested the wires but this didn't show any problems; I was lost. Then, out of nowhere, I had the stupid brainstorm to remove the 470 ohm resistor. Somehow, I convinced myself that the NXPL and the LED Accent boards had resistors on them that would suffice and I'd be fine. So I desoldered it and reconnected the wires... fired it up... BOOM! All working, lights on, swing, actions, FoC all working like a dream. To say I was happy is an understatement.

    I proceeded to turn it on and off multiple times to test it, and it continued to work without stutter or fault. It was awesome!

    This is when my stupidity decided to kick it up a notch... BAM! (Thanks Elzar) I pressed the NXPL connector to the blade in order to see it in all it's finery... switched it on...... ......... needless to say, the blade didn't light, no... the only light I saw was the little red burny one on the NB board followed by a puff of smoke...

    The chip on my board blew, this was the side that looks to be connected to the L1 pad, which would make sense. It wasn't employed until I made the connection with the blade, once I did, it went into meltdown... literally.

    I was obviously gutted, but accepted it quite well, even more so when I test it again without the blade and it all still worked. I was confused.

    I replaced the resistor, believing it was really needed in the end and stopped second-guessing myself. Tested it... nothing. I left it for the night, except, later than night I suddenly had an amazing thought, rushed over to my station and realized my original mistake.

    When you're looking at resistors the stamp for 470R and 470K can look very familiar, a smudge here, a worn-out patch there can make all the difference. Yep... I'd used a 470K resistor in place of the 470 I needed... I swapped it in, fired it up, and once again I had a fully functioning circuit as designed... I was truly happy. Only, I had burnt the chip on the board.

    Thinking that I needed a new NB and seeing that EW, JQS, and TCSS were all sold out, I returned to the Thin-Neck Saber Fans group to report my mistake, instead, I found a wonderful member who pointed me in the direction of these beauties IRLML6244TRPBF Transistors. This is the exact piece I needed to replace on the board. I found some on eBay (because I'm in the UK) and they are on their way.

    The next point was to remove the old one, which is tiny, but (if you ever need to) going slowly, and using liquid flux, it's not as hard as you may think. Use a fine pointed solder tip, and you can do it.

    So, hopefully, you've not been bored too much, and this has given some of you some better ideas on things. I'll try to contribute some more of this soon, once the replacement chips arrive and I've had a go at fixing the board. HMU for any questions, I'm a novice, but I'm happy to help if I can.

  4. #44
    Board Lurker Jukesie's Avatar
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    Sep 2019
    United Kingdom


    Hi All,

    I know i've been vacant for quite some time, but with the lockdown and just general life catching up on me, I've not been able to dedicate as much time to my saber and give it my 100%.

    The good news is, that I've finally wired it up. The bad news, no light.

    It powers on, switches fonts, and makes all the necessary flowing sounds, but no illumination, so now I'm a bit stuck.

    Hopefully, I'll be back with you shortly with how it turned out.

    In the meantime, apart from the few lines that I needed to add to the override.txt file of the NB is there anything else I should be aware of for a NeoPixel build?

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