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TOPIC: Beginner Questions

Beginner Questions 3 months 2 weeks ago #80656

  • marsthrax
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I'm interested in an ASP build with DIY electronics, and this is my first build. I have a few competing desires, so I'm not quite sure which direction I should go between the Sabercore 3.0 and the Spark 2. Sorry if these have been asked before, I've been googling and searching through the forums and never found the secret sauce to quite answer my questions

1) I don't want any ports to be exposed, at least when on display. This seems to be a bigger issue with the Sabercore, since I don't see a kill-key equivalent for covering the USB. Kill key is sufficient for the Spark 2.
2) I don't want to take apart the hilt to charge it. If it can be done easily by just removing the pommel, I'm not as concerned, but I don't want to slide out the electronics.
3) I want a light-up power switch, preferably one that matches the color of my blade (so something supporting RGBA/RGBW if I go with the Spark 2)

I like the idea of being able to configure the color with the Spark 2. My main issue there is actually with charging and still supporting the AUX button. I've seen in a few places comments that you don't actually need it, but I like the idea of being able to configure the color while pressing the AUX button (I can see just twisting being triggered pretty easily), and support for other sounds (documentation implies you need to use the AUX for that). So, if I have an AUX button, I would need some way to make charging easily accessible through the pommel.

I would be willing to skip on color configuration and go with the Sabercore, since that seems to simplify everything except covering the USB port.

So, it seems like on the Spark 2 side, I'm looking for a way to easily expose the charge port, while still having access to 2 buttons (or, if somebody can confirm that all functionality is easily available with just one button, that is fine too). On the Sabercore side, I'd be content with a mechanism to ensure the USB port can be covered/easily hidden.

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Beginner Questions 3 months 1 week ago #80670

  • TOPACES
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Hey,

I just joined the forum, but was having similar thoughts on the ASP build.
I was also going for the Sabercore 3.0, mostly because I'd prefer to get a full 12W brightness than the color changing option.

But for the USB Port, I was thinking of creating a custom Kill Key / decorative cover.
I was thinking of either using a cut micro USB plug or a USB port protection cover and glue that to a knob if I still get one from SF - as the diameter should match.
The first option might require a little more handiwork to get right / neat, but if the connection to the knob is strong enough, might make for a secure fit that could even be left plugged in when dueling (?).
The second option is likely easier to make as these protective "dust" plugs are offered on amazon or eBay in small packages made from silicone or rubber for little money. So if they fit well, it might make for an easý alternative.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 1 week ago #80676

  • Kouri
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The single-button option is only available on Spark 2. Saber Forge only carries Spark Color 2, which supports the RGBA/RGBW you're interested in, and requires two switches.

I've seen RGB 16mm switches that might work, but you'll need 12mm switches for a Saber Forge switch section, so color-matching switches are probably not happening on this build.

As for covering the USB port on a Champion setup, there are a number of MicroUSB dust covers online - perhaps one might suit your tastes.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 1 week ago #80681

  • marsthrax
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Interesting, I hadn't thought about trying to modify a dust plug. I've read about people gluing on faux buttons, but I hadn't actually seen the faux buttons anywhere (although I admittedly haven't looked hard yet). That is definitely a possibility.

Sorry, I meant Spark Color 2 (not Spark 2, my bad). I did find a very small stock of 12mm Antivandal RGB Colorpixel buttons (not perfect, but still a possibility):

https://www.tindie.com/products/Fusion/12mm-and-16mm-antivandal-rgb-colorpixel-buttons/

That said, I'm fine with getting a single color switch. Color matching is just a "nice to have".

Thanks for the ideas. I had only priced out the DIY with Spark Color 2. I know there is a light up momentary switch already sold by SF that is compatible with the champion level. Is there anything special about the champion build, or should I be able to use that button to integrate with my DIY? Also, does anyone know where I can find documentation on the Sabercore board (pinouts, manual like what Spark Color 2 has)?
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Beginner Questions 3 months 1 week ago #80682

  • scifidude79
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You can also order the SaberCore 3.0 with an on board USB connector, as opposed to a USB connector that goes into a switch hole. Then you won't have an exposed USB port. If you're worried about the second hole, you can e-mail them and see if they'll send you some dummy switches (the kind that you get with Initiate and Warrior tier hilts) or put a second switch in that does nothing, or you can even have a light up one in the second hole.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 1 week ago #80686

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Good ideas. I'm leaning more and more towards having the recharge built on the inside and just removing the pommel to access it (or using a removable battery). My main issue with that idea before was that there didn't seem to be a secure chassis I could use, but I have since found Darth Ryo's Shapeways store that provides a few options. I'm going to do a little more research on that to see if I can come up with a configuration that makes sense.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 6 days ago #80970

  • marsthrax
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Update:

I heard from Darth Ryo that they are working on a new all-in-one module that would support the I2/Spark 2, but that will take a bit of time.

In the mean time, I became interested in trying to put together an Arduino based build. Right now, I'm looking at the following:

Bluefruit Feather NRF52: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3406
Sound/SD: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3436
Gyro/Accel: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3463
Neopixel Jewel for LED: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2226
Surface Transducer for speaker: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1785
18650 Battery: http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Panasonic-Li-Ion-18650-37V-3400mAh-PCB-Protected-Rechargeable-Battery-P853.aspx

I'm not sure how well the NeoPixel Jewel will work as an emitter mounted LED, but I was intrigued and it was cheap enough that I don't mind trying it out. I'm also not sure how well a surface transducer will work as a speaker, but it seemed like an interesting idea to play with as well. Worst case I'll pick up the 28mm from the Saberforge store.

Hopefully it works out. I haven't done much with hardware, but I thought writing the software (and an Android app to configure it) would be a fun project to go with this. If anyone who knows more about the electronics side has any thoughts, I'd certainly welcome any thoughts/comments. Otherwise I'll let you all know what comes out of it.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 6 days ago #80982

  • Kouri
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The Jewel won't be nearly bright enough as an in-hilt LED, but if you're programming for a neopixel blade anyway, you can probably use it to light up a matching blade plug.
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Beginner Questions 3 months 6 days ago #80987

  • scifidude79
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That's an interesting setup with the different boards. A little more bold that I personally would have wanted to tackle as a beginner, but that's me. ;) I'd love to see your saber guts once you get that all wired up and installed. B)
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Beginner Questions 1 month 4 weeks ago #82473

  • marsthrax
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I've been making some good progress, but have run into a few hiccups:

1) As Kouri expected, the NeoPixel doesn't appear to be anywhere near bright enough.
2) The sound board I'm using basically works, but always ends up halting the program somehow. It always crashes when I try to have it stop playing some track and play another (such as when transitioning between lockup/swing and a hum).
3) There is a noticeable "click" when I change between tracks.
4) What do people normally do for chassis? Do MHSv1 or MHSv2 parts from TCSS fit, or do people do other things?

For the first issue, I just placed an order for a 12w+ RGBW from the Saberforge store. After placing the order, I began to wonder what I'd have to worry about wiring wise (yea, I'm a noob). My understanding is that I'll need to have an N-channel MOSFET for each color. I have a few on hand, but they are pretty large...are there smaller ones I can/should use? And I'm assuming I am using them because I need them all connected directly to the battery, but I need to control them with 3.3V GPIO pins? Or would a resistor be fine because there are only 4 LEDs (possibly 3 if I don't bother with the white)?

For the second issue, I placed an order for a DFPlayer Mini (which others seem to have had success with). So, we'll see how that goes.

I'm not sure how to work around the third issue. It might just be an artifact of the sound board that would go away when I swap it with the DFPlayer, but if anyone knows of a simple solution, I'd be happy to try it.

I'm still waiting on my hilt (it hit the 6 week mark today), but hopefully that will be on it's way soon!
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Beginner Questions 1 month 4 weeks ago #82505

  • scifidude79
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For a chassis, try Shapeways. Just go on there and search for SaberForge. MHS parts won't fit, they're too big.
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