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The Senate lightsaber build

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Published on May 18, 2011

Specs :
"The Senate" : a lightsaber hilt by JQsabers
- US 2.5 sound pcb
- Luxeon III royal blue
- 2 accent led's 5mm clear blue
- custom removable battery pack/speaker combo : 4x1,5 AAA = 6V

Build log :

Included in the kit :
The switches (1 momentary and 1 latching),  switch mount ring, 5mm led switch caps (1 green and 1 red), recharge socket, 28mm O-ring,  kill plug,  emitter plug, speaker, custom main LED heatsink.

Not included :
Blade, main LED, battery pack,/holder and main LED.

When i first looked at my bag of parts, i realized that there's still a lot to be decided by the saberbuilder himself, which i liked. The essential parts were included : the custom main LED heatsink, switch mount ring, recharge socket and emitter plug.

My build plan started with the idea of a removable battery pack. No recharging solution since i wanted to change batteries on the fly, making it ideal for trooping. Secondly, the only decent sound pcb i had available at the time was US 2.5 so the latching switch was not necessary and was replaced by a 5mm accent led.

Starting on the battery pack proved to be a bit of a challenge since the inner diameter of the hilt measures 28mm (4mm smaller then MHS parts). The only setup that could fit and was cheap, was a common AAA battery setup. However, when researching which battery packs were available, a 4 x AAA battery pack to get 6V did not exist with the dimensions i needed. The only pack i could find was a 2 x AAA batt. setup that could fit. I decided to make my own and combine the 2 packs as you see in the vid.

The speaker holder was made from a toy blade. These are always conical and the right diameter of tube for most hilts is usually there. The speaker itself is a 28mm 8 Ohm/1 Watt speaker. I used a 2 component modelling clay/glue which hardened within minutes. Turned out to be a good way of attaching the speaker to the battery pack. It's still holding up fine.

The kill-switch was measured out to decide which contact could be cut off. The batteries are directly underneath the kill switch so i needed every mm of space i could get. I also had to bend the contacts towards the pcb housing to save space.

The switch was custom made by combining the momentary switch that came with the kit and a clear blue 5mm led. This way the accent led is directly driven instead of using the built-in led inside the switch to light up a 5mm led from underneath. With the use of a US 2.5 they can be directly wired to the L1 and L2 solder pads. This way both led's emit the same amount of light.

Connecting the main led (Luxeon III royal blue) was a walk in the park in comparison to the rest of the build. I always use thermal tape or thermal paste, so the main led can stay as cool as possible and give off heat to it's heatsink and ultimately the rest of the hilt. The lens holder/lens combo (6°) sits loosely on top of the led, but is held together by turning the blade holder in place.

Problems during the build :
The original US 2.5 pcb as you see in the vid had a bug. It had a non-stop swinging sound no matter the setting and so on. I had to replace it with another US 2.5 pcb which i still had in my inventory. This proved to be another challenge because it meant taking the entire saber apart, starting over from scratch and glue wass already hardened. During the process of taking it apart again, the switch that came with the kit was damaged beyond repair. Since i had no reserve, i made a new 5mm led switch combo out of a tactile 6mm x 6mm x 9,5mm momentary switch in a similar way the original switch was made. The original 5mm led was scratched also and had to be replaced by a new one. With the new install i also changed my wiring setup on the pcb itself. This time, the accent led's and switch were wired on the opposite side of the pcb. Turned out to be a better solution for the cram-fu that's involved when pushing the ring in place. I also hot glued the new switch and accent led in the ring cutouts instead of using regular glue.

Soundtrack composed by Tomas Zemler
http://www.tomaszemler.com/

Taken from the album "Shadows Of The Past" a Star Wars Fanfilm by Martin Klekner
Track that was cut and looped : Fraternal meeting
Track at the end : The Army Of The Fallen

Check out Shadows of The Past :
http://mkvisualproduction.blogspot.be/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2C45X...

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