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Thread: Sunfire - My First Complete Saber

  1. #1

    Default Sunfire - My First Complete Saber

    So the Wife and I asked our 9 year old son what he wanted for Christmas, and he responded "when are you going to build my lightsaber?"
    Lightsaber it was then.
    I've spent about a year fiddling around with what I want for my own personal saber (more ambitious then this was), so I already had a pretty good understanding of what I was getting into with his. (mine is still a WIP)

    I must say, the advice of "Start Simple" is VERY SOUND advice. I've learned quite a bit from this build, that I can take into my own (or the next for the Wife's).

    Thanks very much to Forgetful Jedi Knight, Silver Serpent, and Strydur, for the guidance through the parts and electronics questions over the year, Madcow for the tutorial videos, especially the Part Alignment tips and the hot Glue for wire stress relief, to Obi1 for general general inspiration, and Yoshi-Taka for general inspiration (with his Brony-Saber series), and the AWESOME Post and video in regards to my Orange Saber Blade question (It really does look like "Sunkist" in person).

    I present to you:

    I asked my son what color he wanted. He said orange. I asked Blade or Hilt. He said Blade. I asked why. He said "because no one else has orange."
    (ok, not Technically true in the Legends Universe, but for a 9 year old looking at the toys and sabers in stores, Orange is unseen)

    The majority of the parts were ordered on 11-17-14, with powder coating, and milling services requested. The shipment arrived 12-19-14, leaving precious few available hours to complete before Christmas morn. All the work: fitting, modifications, wiring, soldering, assembly, and tuning were all done over 17 "bench hours" of work, mostly between the hours of 7pm & 4am over a few nights.

    All MHS Parts with Milling Services & Powder Coating done by Tim (I wanted as few things for ME to do with the limited time frame!)
    Custom ordered Red-Amber-White LED from Luxeon, with Red & Amber in parallel as the Main LED, and White as FOC (Thanks Yoshi-Taka!)
    Black Short Momentary Orange Ring AV Switch & Recharge Port in Activation Box Style 9
    Nano Biscotte v2.0 (with Stock Light Meat & Dark Meat fonts)
    TCSS Li-Ion 18650 3.7V 2600mAh PCB Protected Rechargeable Battery Module (the 3400mah ones were out of stock when I ordered)
    TCSS 2W 28mm Bass Speaker (WOW, that and the NB 2.0 is LOUD!!)
    The Chassis was built from a modified "V5 Speaker Mount" and the "Acrylic Chassis Discs for 1.15 ID parts"
    A PLI from TCSS in the Fluted Section opposite the Switch Box
    A 5mm Orange Accent LED in the Pommel (between the speaker and insert).

    The Glams:
    (The two blade Pics are with MY 40" blade [My son is using a 32" Trans White, Bullet Tipped Blade], and are at different exposures. The "REAL" color is somewhere in-between, a good "Sunkist [brand soda]" color, not too red, not too yellow)

    Select Build Pics:
    First Time Building a Chassis & Wiring up a Sound Card. I learned A LOT, particularly, there is a thing as TOO MANY JST Connectors!.
    Also, I cannot access the SD Card on the NB 2.0 without completely disassembling the saber (and disconnecting ALL the JSTs!). Lesson learned from that!

    Thanks again!

    Updated the Pics (Ditched "PhotoBucket" and went with "imgur") on 1/17/18
    Last edited by bigkevin61; 01-17-2018 at 12:40 AM. Reason: UPDATED PIC LINKS!!

  2. #2


    Good job. I'm glad everything worked out for you.
    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:

  3. #3


    Heck of a saber for a 9 year old. How did he react?

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Ty_Bomber View Post
    Heck of a saber for a 9 year old. How did he react?

    I'm sure he'll be wearing it everywhere once I can find my Covertec clip.
    Last edited by bigkevin61; 12-26-2014 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #5


    The look on both their faces are priceless.

  6. #6


    Love the name, love the colours, love the blade, love the shoutout to me, love the thumb screw placement, absolutely love this saber. Definitely glad my advice helped.

    I must ask about the last two pictures, with the full blade. Is that the idle blade and the FoC blade? If it is, the FoC colour looks a lot better than I could have expected. It definitely matches the saber's name.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi-Taka View Post
    I must ask about the last two pictures, with the full blade. Is that the idle blade and the FoC blade? If it is, the FoC colour looks a lot better than I could have expected. It definitely matches the saber's name.
    No, the last two pics are the normal running color, but at two different camera exposure settings (I was trying to got a pic of the "true" color, and I didn't have a sheet of white paper around ).
    The FOC is using a white LED, This one at ~1A, and it does quite a good job washing out most of the Orange, creating a very pale orange. When the FOC goes off, I can't help but think "Creamsicle/Dreamcicle".
    That is one of the other reasons I want to do a video, it is incredably difficult to time a camera click with a FOC activation!

  8. #8


    Added select Build Pics.
    I learned SO much with this.

    1) Even though I planned to have (what I thought was) plenty of room in the hilt, there really very little when you try and cram all the wires in. I built everything to be disconnected, (the SD card isn't the easiest to get to in this configuration)
    2) 26 gauge wire is pretty darn skinny, but JST connectors are HUGE. Next Build, I' sourcing other options, as the length of the JSTs are TOO long. The trick to "wire cram-fu" is using JUST enough wire, and PLANNING on how to store it all (how to get it to "fold in" the hilt without damage, and wasted space). I failed at the Planning part this time...
    3) the calculated resistor for the red led was 2.2ohm 2watt. The Store carries a 2.2ohm, 5watt. I now know why they call it the "Big Honking Resistor". I built my LED module to house all the resistors in-line (so I COULD swap out for a properly wired module of a different color, if needed). If it wasn't for the choke, I would have had to re-evaluate the wiring layout (less JST connectors), and "permanently wire some connectors, which I did NOT want to do.
    4) I'm still "n00b-ish" at soldering, and I need to do that (especially when on the sound board) NOT at 3am. I eventually ended up with all good solder joints, but it was a pain at the time (because of the time). This is NOT something I will try and do under such a short time frame again!
    5) RICE capabilities are a god-send. I've wired up and played with a CF7, and RICE is AWESOME. I had to play with the sound and sensitivity settings on the NB v2 in this build, and it wasn't fun to go back and forth. I'm still not happy with the swing sound performance when a blade is in the hilt. (not quite often enough for my son's swings. FOC is fine though) If it ever HAS to get opened up, I will try and tweak some more, but accessing the card requires 6 wire disconnects, and too much hassle getting the wires out and back in again.

  9. #9


    Congratulations, and a nice saber you've - well, he's - got there! The trenched area for the PLI is a nifty idea, and a very nice detail.

  10. #10


    Beautiful build! I really like the back end accent light. I don't know if I never noticed it before, but this is the first time I've seen it. I kinda want to rebuild the internals of my first one now to copy that (and for other reasons, namely that I moved to the most boring place on Earth)


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