Saturday Morning Star Trek

Ah, the seventies. Who could forget it? Well, to be honest, I could because I was born in 1979. 😉

These days, most people know of the existence of a TV series in the ’70s that was a revival of Star Trek. However, this wonderful series was nearly lost to time, until it was put on VHS back in the late 1990s. Then, in 2006, after CBS acquired Paramount, they wanted to do a DVD release, so to gauge fan interest they did a fan poll to decide if the series should be considered part of Star Trek canon. Fan interest was there, and the series got a release on DVD, and that was fantastic. Fast forward to 2017, and you can get the box set for $12.99 in the U.S. on Amazon:

I love this series. For those who don’t know, here’s a brief history. In 1969, NBC messed up big time and canceled Star Trek, due to its old faulty rating system, which made it look like the show was a failure. When they re-ran the numbers in the early ’70s using better demographics, they quickly realized that the show in fact was winning their target demographic, males age 18-45. So, they immediately syndicated Star Trek. Hungry for more, they decided to do another Star Trek series, this time an animated series done by Filmation. What followed was essentially Star Trek season 4, a series of 22 half hour episodes aired on Saturday mornings. Was this the best move? Well, the series won an Emmy in 1975 for Best Children’s Series, so you be the judge. This was the first Star Trek Emmy win.

To me, it’s just a great series with some good writing. There was a writers’ strike going on, but only for live action shows. This meant a lot of writers were left with nothing better to do. So, many of the same people who wrote for TOS came back. All of the actors came back except Walter Koenig, though he did write an episode. Aside from their iconic roles, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan provided a number of the voices for other characters, George Takei also voiced a few aliens. They replaced Chekov with a three armed and three legged navigator named Arex, who would have been impossible to create in the 1960s on TV. In fact, the series had many more aliens that looked nonhuman due to the much less limited animation format. Anyway, add it all up and you have a really good series, though it did suffer from a few technical issues, most notably coloring issues. (most animated show suffer from coloring issues)

Anyway, I was on Amazon the other day because I needed to order a couple things, and that box set was right there on my main page under my recommendations. I saw it, saw the price and had it in my cart before I even had time to think about it. So, now it’s all mine. The box is pretty cool, much nicer than a lot of Star Trek box sets. The white case is plastic, and the discs are inside in a thing that pulls out. I guess, with four discs, they figured they could go a bit more elaborate with the box. All said, it’s a steal at $12.99. 😀

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Battle Used Sentinel

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. 😎

Consular Lightsaber

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.

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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:

Order03_05

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:

Order04_03

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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:

parts

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:

ultra_sabers01

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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