I was going to do a long post for this, but my heart just isn’t in it. I’m amazed I even put this thing together yesterday, considering that I wasn’t really in the mood. However, I’m not one to waste resources, and I finally got all of the parts for this, so here it is:
Just a quick rundown on what I did: As I said in the video, the saber was a grab bag Dark Sentinel from Ultra Sabers. The soundboard is a Pico Crumble (Light Side version) from Plecter Labs. I’ve wanted to build a saber with one of those since they released it. The wiring on it was even trickier than I thought, mostly because I haven’t actually soldered to a printed circuit board since the mid 1990s and this thing is TINY. But, I got it all soldered and I’m actually amazed that it works. The switch is, unfortunately, bad, so I’m going to need to replace that. But, that happens with electronics. I used the same kind of connectors on my Consular, so I just tried the switches in opposite hilts. The Consular switch worked great in the Sentinel, while the Sentinel switch had the same kind of issues in the Consular. So, bad switch. The LEDs are quad Crees that are in red, green, blue, white. I ordered five of them on Ebay from Hong Kong at a lower price than TCSS charges for a single tri Cree. Plus, these have all of the LEDs in the center, allowing me to use the single LED optic, so no issues like I had with the Consular.
Anywho, that’s what I have. This will probably be my last saber for a while. I have a bunch of empty hilts, but they can wait until I’m more in the mood. Plus, this stuff is expensive. In pieces, not so much, but add those pieces together and it’s a lot. Look for the return of CGI in the near future. 😎
Fun fact: According to WordPress, I registered my account 8 years ago today.
Anyway, moving along. I did a little something to my Consular:
And, I brutalized my switch:
But, I have a new switch on the way from the same Ebay seller, so it’s all good.
Qui-Gon Jinn. Arguably ties for coolest character created for the Star Wars prequels, needlessly cut down by a plot device to force a young and inexperienced Obi-Wan Kenobi to do a poor job training Anakin Skywalker. However, his lightsaber would then be used to make his killer (and the guy he’s tied with for the coolest character award mentioned previously) half the man he used to be. Personally, I think both the man and the saber are really cool. I bought a cheap plastic Qui-Gon hilt way back in 1999, but I’ve been wanting a real one for ages. 18 years later, it’s happened.
So, I got my Federal tax return last week, which is always that great annual lump sum payout for paying too much in taxes the rest of the year that gives you some nice spending cash, cash for bills, whatever. Well, I don’t have a lot of bills, so I took advantage of the extra spending cash. So, I bought another expensive toy.
For those who are curious, that is a Steam Machine. Basically, it’s a tiny i7 powered PC that runs SteamOS natively and hooks up to your TV for couch gaming. SteamOS is based on Debian Linux, making this first computer I’ve ever bought with Linux preinstalled. So far, all I’ve had time to do is hook it up and update, which borked controller (it’s a common issue.) I’ll fix it when I get home from work tonight. At the price I got the thing, I’m not complaining. Since retailers are trying to get rid of them, I got this majorly reduced. The i7 is the top of the line, $800 MSRP. However, I got mine for a little over $450. That’s close to half off. You can’t buy or build an i7 powered tower with 8GB RAM, a 1TB HD and an Nvidia GTX960 for less, so I’m happy. I’m going switch my PC games over to this and use my desktop for other stuff.
Just a quick follow up to yesterday’s video. This one details some configuration changes I made to the board, including changing sound fonts and changing my blade flicker settings. I also increased the swing sensitivity. I love how simple this board is to configure.
Meanwhile, adding blog posts with my phone is a pain in the ass. But, I didn’t have time to post this before leaving the house. ::)
Some of you may remember my Aeon LE V4 stunt saber I got many months ago from Ultra Sabers:
Now, some people complain about the look of Ultra Sabers, saying they’re too plain looking. Well, to each their own is all I can say to that. To me, this is a wonderful looking hilt that I lucked out in getting, as I ordered it as a grab bag, which is their random hilt buying option. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to upgrade this wonderful looking saber for sound, so today I did exactly that.
After having fun with my Dark Sentinel yesterday, switching it to green and going with the opposing silver switch with the black bezel, I decided I wanted to do another. So, I grabbed the switch that came with that saber and the other grab bag saber I got in that order, my Aeon V3. Sentinel Yellow is one of my favorite colors, ever since I first played Knights of the Old Republic. I pad $10 extra per saber for this color on my Aeon V2s, so I was for sure going to use this LED, even though I switched one of the V2s over to orange. So, I decided to put it in the V3. I really like how this looks.
Not a huge customization here. I got this Dark Sentinel from Ultra Sabers some months back, during the second Summer Raffle, I think. I couldn’t afford to enter the raffle, so I bought a couple grab bags, I got this hilt and an Aeon V3. The Dark Sentinel came in Fire Orange, which is a nice enough color, but not necessarily my favorite. I have a friend who really likes orange blades, so I plan to give him an orange saber, just not this hilt. A while back, I transferred the orange LED to one of my Aeon V2 hilts, which I plan to give to him eventually. At that point, I left the hilt disassembled, because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about doing some sanding, but I still haven’t decided if I want to turn this into a two tone hilt. And, if I do, I can always do it later. I have a big upgrade planned for my Aeon LE V4, in fact I want to add sound and Flash on Clash to it. To get FoC, I’ll need a Tri Cree LED anyway, so that means the green LED in that hilt is up for grabs, as is the silver latching unlit AV switch. So, I decided to switch all of that over to the Dark Sentinel, as I have two black hilts with blue, but I don’t have any with green. I also decided to give the hilt a hint of silver by transferring the AV switch, but only the switch. I used the black bezel, to make it look more like the switch is built in and not just tacked on. I really like how it came out.
This is my eighth order from Ultra Sabers, constituting Ultra Sabers #10 and 11, with an entry in the Winter Raffle, which earned me Ultra Saber #12. Here’s a group shot of my order and winning sabers, then we’ll break down everything into a review:
Left to right: Dominix LE V4 in Guardian Blue, Dominix LE V2 in Adegan Silver, Lost Gray in Consular Green
Well, I built my first lightsaber today. I decided to do my first one using a Dominix V3 hilt from Ultra Sabers. This hilt wasn’t very expensive, less so than ordering parts and putting one together. Since I had a lot of other stuff to buy that I won’t have to buy next time, (soldering iron, solder, etc.) I figured to keep costs down on the saber itself. Now, just to be clear, this isn’t a money saving way to go, as opposed to buying the saber itself from Ultra Sabers. Complete with blade, this saber is $69.99 USD. I paid probably a bit more than that for all my parts and didn’t get a blade. Plus, I ordered electronics from another site, so I had to pay for shipping there as well. This is more of a challenge thing than a money saver. Truth be told, you can’t build a saber of this quality for less than Ultra Sabers charges for them.
Anyway, this is what I started out with:
I have my hilt, LED, thermal tape, optic holder, optic, switch, heatsink, resistor and battery holder.
And, of course, I also had wire, heat shrink tubing, soldering iron, solder, heat gun, safety glasses, wire snips, tweezers, helping hands (soldering tool) and electrical tape. I wasn’t going to use the tape, but I accidentally ordered the wrong size of heat shrink tubing and I can’t find small enough locally. I didn’t want to pay for more shipping, so I just went with electrical tape.