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Thread: FAQ

  1. #1
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    Default Faq

    All posters are welcome to contribute. If there's a weak spot you notice point it out, and veteran posters tell what you see popping up constantly.

    Where can I get part X cheaper? OR How can I build part X?
    This is the forum of a store. It is somewhat disrespectful to ask that. Please, buy from the shop. The majority of parts you will need are there. If not you can make a suggestion of parts to carry here:
    Store wish list

    When is part X coming in? What happened to part X, I can't find it in the store anymore? Tim, when is part X going to be made? etc...
    Read the threads here:
    Official store news
    And this thread
    Flame On !!! / Store stock question

    How do I post pictures?
    How to post pictures

    Which is better, EL or LED?
    It's up to your opinion. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Read this for more detail: http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com...ead.php?t=2087
    and this
    http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com...=blade+options

    What does color so and so look like?
    LED Colors / Blades
    EL Colors / Blades

    How do I get that up/down blade action?
    This is not possible with EL. It is possible with an LED if you use the 3W driver offered in the store.

    What tools will I need to make my hilt?
    There are many tools. This topic is applicable to EL and LED for any hilt:
    Tools of the Trade

    How do I solder the electronics?
    A messy but working way is to buy solder tape. You wrap it around the wires to be soldered and heat it until it melts with a heat gun or lighter. If you plan on doing many sabers investing in a proper soldering iron/gun is best.

    With a soldering iron wait for it to heat up. Once it's hot enough melt some solder on the tip to "tin" it. This helps solder melt easier on the tip for later. The ideal method for soldering is to bring the iron up to the wires and melt the solder there. This however may be too difficult if you are new to it. An alternate is to melt some solder on the tip of the iron and bring it to the wire. If you are soldering to a board you can drop the solder on the board and remelt it to push the wire in.

    For soldering the EL wire please read this:
    EL blade tutorial

    How do I tap a hole for my thumbscrew?

    Basics of thread tapping

    How do I glue the tip on?
    Tim uses Weld-on #3 and if you can find that available use it. Always follow the directions for proper bonds. Any glue that chemically bonds the two should work well. Non-bonding glues like epoxy and superglue are not the best option as they can break and will produce a visible glue seam.

    LED blade options-

    For good overall pictures of options view this:
    Blade Comparison Pictures

    Also use the search feature and browse the LED blade forum. Each blade has it's own unique features. We often refer to a blade by the "first" person to use this type.

    • Tim's blade diffuser- A milky white diffuser that is similar to the MR
    • Gelu's film (polypropylene)
    • Vadeblade's film (mylar)
    • Ultra's film (Acetate)- extremely similar to the above two
    • Corbin's film (polycarbonate substrate)- Gives a distinct coring affect and is used mostly in conjunction with his driver board available in the store.
    • Erv's- A combo of Corbin's and another blade film like listed above.
    • Dual Tube- labor intensive, but gives a look similar to Corbin's and seperates filtered colors very well.

    What's all the heatsink talk, and do I need one?
    A heatsink is a piece (usually a type of metal) that dissipates the heat of the LED. It prevents burnouts and lowering of brightness.

    You will not need one if you use the blade holder sold here at TCSS. If for some reason you aren't using the blade holder then read this topic:
    heat sinking

    What is the difference between a 5 and 10 degree lens?

    Not much. You must decide for yourself.
    Understanding lens degrees

    If I convert my MR to a Luxeon LED will it retain that up/down blade action?
    Unfortunatly it won't. It will fade in and out, but won't be a pure ladder effect. Some will prefer it and others not. All other MR functions remain intact though.

    Will the blade be removable?
    Yes, both EL and LED feature removable blades for display or costuming.

    How is it removable and secure at the same time?

    You need to drill and tap a hole in the blade holder for a screw. See above.

    I'd like to convert a saber other that those in the tutorials, how do I do it?
    It is possible to convert all of the MRs (even the EL ones) to a Luxeon LED, but at the the moment there are various obstacles to offering a kit for those others. Usually it's space for a quality aluminum blade holder. Tim will be looking into offering a solution for these sabers later. If you must go ahead check the Thread Index for threads on disassemblimg the other sabers.

    What are all the parts I'll need to do this?
    Just about everything you'd need to know has been discussed, check the Thread Index. Read the tutorials first. These tutorials will have all the basic parts in their directions. It would do you good to read them until you understand them, and by then it should be apparent what you'll need.

    How do I install decorative or accent LEDs to my saber?
    http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com...ht=accent+LEDs

    It is very similar to wiring the luxeon LED with a different resistor.

    How do I get that white core/how come my saber doesn't look like the ones in the gallery?


    Well... it's a camera trick. The camera is getting over exposed and to compensate it makes the core white to keep the rest of the picture from being washed out. In person it's just a very bright color.

    Neither technology offers a way to make it like the movies. There is a way to make a small white core with LEDs involving two tubes, filters and a white LED. If you are interested read the "improved dual tube" entry in Corbin's Saber Manual

    What does the 3W driver do? What is this Corbin board I hear of?

    The 3W driver sold in the store is what we commonly in the forum's refer to as Corbin's driver for it's maker Corbin_Das (now a co-owner of TCSS).

    It is meant for driving the LED only (no sound) and offers some unique features. Some of the saber specific features are: an extension/retraction (best with his blade film) and a shimmer effect on clash. More practically it offers some benifits over a resistored setup.

    His board uses PWM (Peaked Wavelength Modulation) to alternate between overdriving and underdriving the LED faster than the eye can see. We only see the brightest yet electronically it runs as the median which conserves batteries.

    While his board does not do sound it can easily interface with a soundboard. For diagrams on how to use this board view the Wiring forum and Sound forum

    How do I get ______ soundboard to work in my saber?
    To be added...

    What is a buck/micropuck?

    The puck series is a driver. This goes in place of the resistor in an LED saber. It gets more out of your LED like all drivers, which saves batteries and gives a constant brightness over the use of the batteries. They are easier to work with because you don't need to worry about changing it with a new voltage.

    Do I need a resistor with a driver?


    NO! A driver always takes place of a resistor. This applies to pucks, Corbin's driver, Plecterlabs, Ultrasound, etc...

    Do I NEED a driver?

    Nope, a resistor is the most basic way of limiting the current to your Luxeon. There however benefits to drivers, such as: lighting effects, saves batteries and constant brightness.

    Can I use a 9V?

    If you are using it in an EL saber that is the standard. For Luxeon sabers though it's not recommended because especially with a resistor you are wasting a lot and runtimes will suck compared to other options.

    Reflectors vs. Collimator Lens

    There isn't a HUGE difference with them. IMO they are a BIT better, but not enough to go out of the way to use them when they aren't made for it. They don't fit in the MHS system so it's a lot of work to modify them.

    The Modular Light System that Ultrasabers is meant for their sabers. They don't machine a lip in their emitters so when you use an MHS emitter meant for a collimnator the blade sits like 3/4" above the reflector. Any benefits are getting destroyed by that.
    Last edited by Lord Maul; 03-01-2009 at 07:51 PM. Reason: .

  2. #2
    Owner of the Custom Saber shop Strydur's Avatar
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    Lets do a index thread also when you get time.

    Tim
    The Custom Saber Shop

  3. #3

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    LOVE the sub-title[]

  4. #4
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    Yup, I'll get on that soon. I have a final presentation (quite the big deal) on Thursday. I'll be free after then to do it.[] SPRING BREAK!

    <center>
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  5. #5

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    Questions I see asked alot-
    -Conversion kits.
    -Blade holders.
    -Not knowing this is the forum to a STORE.
    -ETA's.
    -Tapping a hole.
    -Blade color reference pics.

    I'm sure there are many more. I will leave the posting of links to you X-wing, so they are all in one post and not scattered about.

    Cain


    ***A man is known by the enemies he carries, so make the best ones you can.***

    ***Give me a decent foothold and I will move the world.***

    ***It is now that we battle.When you die, await my arrival in the afterlife where we will battle again.Perhaps there you may have the ability to defeat me,but not here,not now,not this day.So let us part with words and embrace the blade.***

  6. #6
    Sith Lord Do-Clo's Avatar
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    Xwing how about some general descriptions of parts and dimensions. These type of questions seem to come up a lot.

    Do-Clo
    Don't make me destroy you...

  7. #7
    Owner of the Custom Saber shop Strydur's Avatar
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    good job so far guys

    Tim
    The Custom Saber Shop

  8. #8

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    What about basic tutorial on soldering? I know we pretty much have got the basics before we even come to this site but I am sure there are a few folks that come in and are interested in trying their own saber. I come from an electronics/construction background so the insides of these things are no big deal and I could build a display stand or room but the precision and artistry of a dremel is my weak point. Just random thoughts as I sit here and watch SG-1 and Atlantis.



    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

  9. #9
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    I'll be adding some today. Just got home.[]

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  10. #10

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    Mind if I share some of the "ask the seller a question" messages I've gotten from my ebay auctions?

    http://www.ultrasabers.com
    Corbin|Strydur|Ultra
    The Holy Luxeon Trinity

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