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Thread: Upgrading my old MHSv1 no sound to a CFX

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    Default Upgrading my old MHSv1 no sound to a CFX

    So some background, I built a light only MHSv1 saber about 9 years ago. I had always intended to add sound at some point, just took me a lot longer to get around to it than I thought. This build changed a lot as it went on, and I learned a lot. Here are pics of the old configuration:

    The powder coating was done by CSS back when they'd still do custom coating. This was just a single red luxeon LED driven by two 700mA buck pucks, a simple AAA battery holder, and an illuminated latching switch. The wiring wasn't all that great and some wires were lose.

    I started off by doing some research with what I wanted back in June, I decided on a NBv4 using the MHSv1 chassis parts. I'd add an internal charge port so I wouldn't need to drill additional holes in the main saber body. As for LEDs I cosplay a sith sometimes so I wanted red and purple options. After much reading I decided on going with a tri-cree with two royal blue LEDs and one red LED (this appeared to be the best option for a nice deep purple). I ordered the parts and a few days after they arrived the CFX pre-order came out. Given that the CFX was only about $20 more than the NB I decided to switch my build up to the CFX and returned some of the parts.

    This of course caused a fair amount of rework to my design. For starters I wanted to power it at 7.4v, so i'd need to extend my saber body to account for the additional length of this battery pack. The voltage difference also necessitated different resistors for the LEDs. The CFX also requires two switches, momentary preferred so I added those. Given the CFX also supports RICE I went ahead and added that, which meant I'd then need to figure out mounting for them. I decided to go with one of the mounting boxes from CSS, so I ended up needing to send my saber body bad to get the additional holes drilled in it. As I received parts I also discovered that there had been changes to the body parts over the years, my old blade holder and hilt had smaller inner diameters than the current parts so they would not work for the speaker and LED holders. So new parts had to be ordered below is a picture of the old parts on the right, new parts on the left:

    I then created my awesome MS paint wiring diagram:

    Also while examining the parts the resistors that were closest for the LEDs I needed turned out to be pretty large, so i sourced some from an electronics specialist to get some that were smaller and closer to the exact specification that I needed. I also ordered some 0603 resistors so I could power the switch lights off the accent LED pads on the CFX. Here is a picture of the old white resistors vs the new ones I got (new ones are wired up):

    As you can see the other resistors saved me a good deal of space. As I began soldering I realized my 20 year old radio shack soldering iron wasn't up to the task (it wouldn't hold temperature very well), so I ordered a soldering station with some extra soldering tips. It made a huge difference in the ease and quality of my soldering. I also ordered helping hands, some 28 gauge wire, some fine solder, and a hobby light with magnifying glass. In addition I ordered a big pack of JST connectors in case I decided to use them instead of directly soldering everything. Next I wired up the LED (pictured above with the resistors and all the switches and mounted them into the box:

    From here I started test fitting them into the main body, I thought I had left a lot of extra wire, but after performing more fitment and measuring with the 7.4v battery I realized the wires were too short to solder directly to the board so I'd need to use the JST connectors after all, but I'd do those after the rest of the wiring was soldered onto the board. Before I could start wiring up the board I'd First I need to modify the NB chassis disks though to fit the CFX board (ccs at the time of writing this has not yet released chassis disks for the CFX and the older CF disk openings are too large). I used a rotary tool and some hobby files for this. I proceeded slowly and kept trying fitment after each change to the disks. Here is a picture of the stock NB disks, you can see there barely not wide enough, in addition the components like the USB connector require more space.


    It's not particularly pretty, but it works.
    I then proceeded to wire the board after figuring out which side I wanted to mount each wire for routing (this is on the wiring diagram above). This took quite a bit of patience as I'd never wired 0603 resistors onto pads before, I ended up also ordering some fine point tweezers to hold the resistors. I initially mounted the resistors on the back of the board as there was more space and it made the job easier, this didn't work out (more on this later). Also just in general soldering on the tiny CFX board took some trial and error, but I got everything on. Mounting it in the chassis discs was interesting as I had to wrap some of the wires around the board and out through the bottom of the front disk.

    Next I needed to add JST conenctors to all the wires. I started to try and do this manually but quickly got frustrated so ended up ordering yet another tool, a crimping tool this time. This tool was definitely worth it as it not only saved time, but also made secure reliable connections. Also throughout the build I had been testing my connections where I could using a digital multimeter I already had.

    After wiring these up I mounted the battery pack.

    Initially i had ordered two .75" extensions for my saber to account for the extra length that the battery pack was going to take up, turns out I needed one more to keep it from interfering with the switch wiring. I decided to embellish the hilt a little here and used some accent rings. The only bad thing about this was that the extensions once put together aren't completely smooth on the inside as near the threads there are areas that are left open for things like speaker mounting and such, so sliding the chassis disk over these is a bit of a pain. I actually forced it in once and damaged a wire's insulation which I then needed to completely replace. I secured a couple of the extensions together with thread locker as i wanted them to act like one piece. The rest of the body threads I cleaned and used the grease you can get from the ccs store. On first power up everything worked except the lights on the switches. I was actually somewhat amazed that almost everything worked first try. The issue with the switch lights was related to where I mounted the resistors, if i had read the manual more closely I would have seen the top pads are the positive side and the bottom pads the negative. Since I was using the ground on the board already for the switches I'd need to switch the resistors to the top of the board. Luckily I had ordered an extra 0603 resistor so i only needed to de-solder and reuse one, the other i left on the bottom and used a different pad (there are 8 pads total and I only needed 2). After that fix everything was working, so i put everything back together. I will say with all the JST connectors it's a fairly tight fit. This saber is also pretty long now, coming in at about 15 inches. I'm still working on tweaking the purple, but here are some pics!

    Last edited by Breetai; 10-28-2019 at 06:40 PM.


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