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Thread: Old string single color blade

  1. #1

    Default Old string single color blade

    Hello, tcss forums members

    My name is Doru and I'm living in Europe (Romania).
    I was about 7 or 8 years old when I first watch "A New Hope".
    And now, at almost 47 years, I finally start the process of building a dream of my childhood: my first lightsaber (at least I just bought some parts for now).
    Some MHS1 hilt parts, 1" pc tubes (one transparent, one transwhite), blade tips, tcss diffuser tube.
    And 2 cheap (about 18 USD/strip) WS2812B neopixel strips. Just in case.

    I'd like to keep it simple, as close as screen is possible. I mean the light and sound effects, not screen-accuracy hilt.
    So I'm not interested in effects like sauron, rainbow, flame and such.

    I will not use the saber for duelling. Just cossplay.

    I would like to have the ignition/retraction scroll effect.
    Flash on clash, yes, that would be nice, too.
    Lock-up, blast, drag, melt...not really interested, anyway they are implemented in most soundcards now, as I understand.


    Here comes the dilemma:
    I really like to build a simple, segmented string blade. Simple means single color, classic 5 mm.LEDs, not neopixel LEDs. So no second, white LEDs string (yeah, no white FoC in that case).
    Or I could build a neopixel strip blade.
    I've read a lot and change over and over my decision between neo 144 strips - in hilt tricree - classic string.
    Now 'm sure I don't want in-hilt LED.
    Anyway, there's something about the classic LED string blade that makes me to think "I really like to build one of that instead of a neo 144 string blade".

    Problem is the soundboard and nowadays standards.
    The single soundcard found to support classic segmented strings is Proffie.
    I've read about Proffie, I watched some videos, still I'm not sure if Proffie + classic segmented strings can scroll up and down the blade.
    Some years ago there was the serriallel class connection and 7.2 v.for that kind of things.
    Now Proffie uses just a single, 3.7 battery and six segmented strings.
    I dont know almost anything about programming, nor about electronics.
    I mean I would not be able to put together a Teensy V1, for example, but I have no problem using a soldering gun with good enough results..

    Other options is the Golden Harvest soundboard.

    Price and my needs, I'm sure that 2 options (Proffie or Golden Harvest) are more than enough for me.

    Problem is, Proffie support string segmented blade, but does not seems that user friendly. I've read a bit about on wiki, I watched some videos.
    It seems doable for a basic install and (default) configuration, but I'm not sure I will be able to manage even the easy tweeks if I would want to.
    On the other side, Golden Harvest seems to me easier and ready to go even out-of-the-box. But no scroll effect for a string blade, just like an in-hilt LED set-up.

    I can't afford too expensive (read Adafruit) neopixel strips.
    Cheaper strips could have some problems.
    LED's seems to me more reliable in that respect. And seems least prone to shadowing, easier to diffuse, more battery-friendly compared to strips. Of course, there are cons, too about classic strings. Also, doesn't seems a big deal to me that a blade can't change the color (classing strings versus neopixel strips). Also I suppose string-blade option could easily become much expensive than neopixel blade if I decide I want more than one color blade.

    So, decisions and decisions.

    What to do?

    Question is: does Proffie scroll up and down when segmented string blade is used?

    All above it's more or less thinking out loud, because I guess nobody else but me can take the final decision.

    But I hope you will clarify me if my assumptions are wrong.

    Thank you for your patience and help.
    Last edited by Doru; 02-14-2022 at 01:03 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    You might be able to score a Crystal Focus LS 6.5 still. I know I still have mine, but have already soldered to it. I would ask around and see if anyone has one unused that they would be willing to part with. That board does support the component blade that you describe.

    My question to you is why you specifically want to avoid RGB strip blades. If it's just a personal preference or design choice, I understand and respect that. If price is an issue, there are many sellers on Amazon and eBay who offer cheaper strips in the $15 range. That would be $30 for a two-strip blade. I have purchased from Chinly on eBay and found their strips to be functional and adequate for my needs.

    When I bought my cheaper strips, I did burn two of them. That may have been because I wanted to use translucent heat shrink as a first-stage diffuser material. I'm thinking the heat gun was set too high and loosened some of the solder joints in the strips. I have since stopped doing that. The method I used was to lay out some clear packing tape, adhesive-side up, tightly roll some white packing foam sheet around the strips in 12" sections (the roll was perforated), trim and roll onto the packing tape to seal. I have seen no seams or shadows, and the thickness of the roll can be controlled for a snug, but comfortable fit.

    For your first saber, I really would not recommend going full-bore on it. Proffie seems to me a board for DIY folks, who don't mind a lot of work to get it up and running (I don't own one...this is based off of what I've read, and people I've talked to). I have had many successes with Plecter Labs products in the past, and recommend those boards as a result. If you decide you really want the "classic" component blade as you described above, the CF LS is what I would suggest. I got it working with a few short segments, but never completed the install. Too much soldering, and too high a risk of damage to the string blade in my opinion, so I shelved it.

    I think that's everything. Probably not.
    Last edited by Weaver; 02-14-2022 at 04:28 PM.
    For Wisdom, look backward. For Hope, look forward. For Victory, look inward.

  3. #3

    Default

    Well, here are my thoughts:

    CF LS’s are incredibly hard to come by these days. You’d be better off with a CFX.

    Neopixels are way more durable than old style string blades. FoC usually looks better with a second color. I would also avoid getting cheap pixel strips that you get online. Better to save your money and spend it once, than spend it multiple times.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
    My email: fjk_tcss@yahoo.com

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you for your advices.

    I was thinking about the old classic string blade mainly for the pleasure of building.
    The other reason is battery friendly.
    I have never seen a lightsaber in real life.
    So my assumption about brightness, uniformity, less shadowing vs.neopixel are based only on what I've read.
    I am still somewhat scarred of Li-Ion batteries, even protected ones and yes, I know how stupid is this, but that's me.
    Anyway, at first I was thinking that an in-hilt tricree, a photon blade and 3 Eneloop Pro (3.6v.and 2.5 A) is good enough for my needs.
    Than I read about classic string and finally the neopixel strips and I forget about Ni batteries.
    Still don't know if Proffie still support segmented string blade scroll effect.
    Anyway, it seems that I will (try to) build a neopixel saber.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Doru; 02-15-2022 at 03:06 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    You’re going to need li-ions, ESPECIALLY if you do a Neopixel build. You’re not really going to get around that. The ones in the store are safe, as long as you’re not completely stupid in handling them.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
    My email: fjk_tcss@yahoo.com

  6. #6

    Default

    I know for neopixel blades there's no other way than Li-Ions.
    I like to think about myself that I'm quite decent and carrefully, generally speaking.
    Thanks.

    When I start building, I will post pictures if that's ok.
    And I'm sure that I will need help, no matter how many tutorials about lightasaber building I read or watch.
    Last edited by Doru; 02-15-2022 at 03:17 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    That’s fine. There is no need to be scared of Li-ion batteries. I’ve been using them for the nearly 15 years I’ve been in the hobby.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
    My email: fjk_tcss@yahoo.com

  8. #8

    Default

    Hello again!

    Today I bought the last items needed for saber: a charger and a Keeppower 18650 battery. Unfortunately I did not found (in my country) 15A discharge rate battery, so I bought a 10A battery.
    It's the first time when I see an 18650 battery (mean in real life, not pictures on the net).
    That's why I'm asking you for help, 'cause it not seems ok to me.
    I'm not sure I know how to explain, so I took pictures.
    Anyway, it seems to me that the battery has a small deformation on top, like the metallic strip connector (the one that you can "see" and feel under the wrap) from top to bottom is too long.
    I'm not sure at all that it's ok and of course I don't want to risk anything.
    I put it in the charger, started from 3.6v., now it shows 3.93v. Still charging, no overheating.
    What do you think? It is safe to use or should I return to sender?

    Thank you very much.20220330_215109.jpg20220330_215126.jpg

  9. #9

    Default

    That is fine. It’s the battery’s PCB.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
    My email: fjk_tcss@yahoo.com

  10. #10

    Default

    Thank you.
    Well, then that's good news.
    I hope tomorrow I'll have some free time to start building the saber.
    Last edited by Doru; 04-01-2022 at 12:23 PM.

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