Lightsaber Upgrade Pt. 2

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. ::)

Lightsaber Upgrade

Some of you may remember my Aeon LE V4 stunt saber I got many months ago from Ultra Sabers:

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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.

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Another Switcheroo

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.

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Going Green

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.

Before:

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A Tale of Three Sabers

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:

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Left to right: Dominix LE V4 in Guardian Blue, Dominix LE V2 in Adegan Silver, Lost Gray in Consular Green

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Lightsaber Build

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:

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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.

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Lightsabers

I mentioned the lightsabers I own in my previous post.  Since I mentioned them, I figure it’s only fair to show them.  These are my seven Ultra Sabers stunt sabers:

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Left to right: Initiate LE V4, Sentinel V4, Aeon V2, Aeon V2, Aeon LE V4, Aeon V3, Dark Sentinel V4

All of them are stunt sabers, meaning they have no sound.  But, I can pretty easily upgrade all of them, except the two Aeon V2s.  Those are thinner, so putting sound in one of them would be problematic. While these are “plain” hilts, the upgrade possibilities are nearly endless. Also, if one were to try learning lightsaber combat and/or spinning, any of these hilts would be ideal.

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New Belt

I couldn’t take the cheap belt that came with my costume, so I ordered a better one. Not only was the one that came with the costume cheaper, but it also didn’t fit me so well. This one does. It came with the belt, which is a thicker, higher quality pleather than the one that came with the costume, three plastic pouches made to look like the ones from the films and eight of the little food capsules. All of that for $60. That’s not bad, considering that the belt and pouches are almost $40 individually and the food capsules are $20. One of the food capsules has a crack in it (the one not attached to the belt) but such is life. I’ll probably just leave it off, as I like that asymmetrical look anyway. One interesting thing is that the tops unscrew from the food capsules. Also, the pouches are held closed by magnets and a couple of the magnets in the medium sized pouch came out of their slots, but some super glue should take care of that. Also, this belt got to me from Singapore quite quickly. Seven days before Halloween, and two days before the low end of the estimate. Overall, I’m very happy.

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The Covertec clip didn’t come with it, that’s one I got from Ultra Sabers.

Looking forward

Halloween is going to rock this year.  UPS delivered my costume last night.  It only took a few days to get here from Shanghai, China, which isn’t bad at all.  That extra money I paid for shipping was worth it.  The boots came from a more local place.  Anywho, I won’t wear the cloak at work, and the belt is kinda crappy, but the rest ain’t bad.  I’m on the fence about wearing these pants or some khakis, but I’ll decide that as the date gets closer and I see the weather forecast.

The outer tunic, tabards (long strips over the shoulders) and obi (long strip around waist) are all 100% linen and really nice.  The inner tunic is shirt weight cotton, good for not over heating.  The cloak and pants are polyester.  All told, not bad for $90. (Amazon)

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Sorry for the bathroom pics, I needed a full length mirror.  😉

The saber is from UltraSabers and the fact that it makes the belt sag that much speaks to the quality (and heaviness) of the saber, and the crappy quality of the belt.  I’ll order a new belt after Halloween.  Meanwhile, I’ll probably just pick up a brown leather belt at work that will work for the day.  I can use it afterward to keep may pants up.  😉

May the Fourth Be With You

Well, I hope everyone is having a happy Star Wars day. I certainly am, mainly because of what I got yesterday. No, this isn’t a 3D model.

That is my new lightsaber, ordered from Ultra Sabers.  I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, so I finally got one.  The hilt is all aluminum and has some nice weight to it.  The blade is thick walled polycarbonate, because I got a heavy blade, one you can duel with.

Now, I didn’t pick the hilt design or the blade color, because I ordered what they call their Grab Bag.  That’s where they send you a random hilt, something they have already made.  The hilt is an Initiate V4 LE hilt, and it has a silver AV switch.  Together with the blade, this setup would be $104.99, but I paid only $70 for it because I got it in the Grab Bag.  Plus, the Grab Bag has another fun element to it in that you don’t know what you’re getting, so it’s like buying yourself a surprise.  Oh, and the blade is blazing red, it just looks yellow-orange on my camera.  My phone made it look pink, so I went with my Nikon Coolpix for taking the pictures.  I could have picked the blade color, but I just let them decide.  Red wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I don’t hate it.  It’s too hard to hate something this badass.  Besides, I knew red was a possibility when I ordered the saber.  They have 8 different LED colors and you can get any of them in the Grab Bag.  Or, you can choose another color for $5 or $10 more.

I would like a longer hilt, so I may have to get another one soon and choose the hilt this time.  Plus, they’re having a sale right now.  Though, I’m also planning to buy a longer pommel for this one.  The pommel unscrews easily to access the batteries, and to change it if you want to.

Anyway, I’m really pleased with my first Ultra Sabers purchase.  I’ll definitely be a repeat customer.  I also like their forum, it’s full of other saber nuts, many of whom are friendly and helpful towards people looking for that first saber purchase.  US is much cheaper than most custom lightsaber shops.  Plus, their turnaround is quick.  Since I decided to not wait until payday, which is tomorrow, I ordered my Grab Bag last Thursday.  It was shipped Friday and I got it yesterday.  I paid for 2 day shipping because it was only a few dollars more and because I wanted it faster.  😀

So, May the Force Be With You all.  It’s certainly with me.