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TOPIC: Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice

Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 1 week ago #86731

  • Eddlyss64
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So I've had my Ultrasabers Apprentice for a couple years now, and frankly it's become kind of dull. It really isn't anything more than a glorified Maglite at this point, and with my interest in this hobby starting to become restored, I decided that I want to gut the saber of all its internals, redo everything with new light and sound and perhaps make some external changes, as well.

To begin with, I have very little electronics knowledge, at least when it comes to wiring. I've plugged together a few PCs before, but frankly that's about the easiest thing since 16 piece jigsaw puzzles. I've never done any soldering (though I'm sure I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it), I've never created a working circuit and I have no idea how volts and amps work. But that's the point of this project. I want to have a basic understanding of this stuff to widen job opportunities as well as wire my own electronics.

Initially, I was thinking of yanking the soundboard out of a Bladebuilders toy and rewiring everything I would need to that, but the motion sensors in those things are awful as far as I've observed. Instead of that, I would opt for a $60 Pico Crumble soundboard. Is that a toss-up, or should I go with one or the other considering my circumstances?

Next, blade color. I want to ditch the green that this saber came with and instead go with a solid medium blue, like the blue in SWTOR. I want the brightest possible LED to fill out the blade.

So here is a basic list of things I'll need. Please comment things that I'm missing, specifics that I need to add about parts and any advice you have would be much appreciated.

- Medium Blue LED
- Pico Crumble v2 Darkmeat
- Wires of various colors
- Resistors for LED
- Speaker
- Chassis
- Momentary Switch
- Heatshrink tubing
- Soldering Kit


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Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by Eddlyss64.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 6 days ago #86809

  • scifidude79
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Definitely go with the Pico. Hasbro soundboards are utter crap, even the Force FX ones are nothing special. The new Picos have a lot more going for them, and the first version is really nice. I've wired a couple Pico V1s and it's not bad at all, though be sure to download and read the manual before you do any soldering to the board. Though, your wiring will be more simple than it would be if you were doing a multi color LED. Also, you may want to do some practice soldering before you get to that board. You also may want to watch some tutorial videos on YouTube. Madcow did some good ones for TCSS, and Shameem has some full build tutorials on his channel. Those are two I can think of off the top of my head.

Aside from your list of stuff, you'll also need a momentary switch for that board, your saber came with a latching switch. You'll also need different colors of wires, as you're going to have more going on than just positive and negative. And, you'll want some heat shrink tubing to cover the solder joins.
Last Edit: 2 months 6 days ago by scifidude79.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 6 days ago #86812

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Goodluck. Dont forget to take lots of photos for us to see.
just make sure everything is well insulated so the wires dont touch the metal inside of the hilt.
even one wrong loose wire shorting out can cause all kinds of board issues.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 6 days ago #86819

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@scifidude79 , that's what I was thinking. Say that you can't find a v1 online. Do you have any experience with the v2?

@DarthTango , if there is anything I've learned from PC building, it's that things need to be protected.


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86861

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The Pico v2 is AMAZING for the price. It gives you 15 color presets (up from 6), has the same dual digital motion sensors now as the Crystal Focus (as does the rest of the Plecter line at this point; Pico was the last holdout), and has 4 swing/clash (up from 2) now. The sound fonts were also remixed during the update and sound great.

While you CAN use any LED combo you want with the Pico and just pick a preset that mixes both your main dies at full (or make a RICE edge connector so you can edit them), the fact that it does full RGB at that price is too good to pass up imo. The 15 colors that you get with the presets are: Red, Orange, Amber, Yellow, Lime Green, ROTJ Green, Green, Cyan, Light Blue, Arctic Blue, Royal Blue, Indigo, Mace Purple, Magenta, Crimson.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86862

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KelbornX wrote:
The Pico v2 is AMAZING for the price. It gives you 15 color presets (up from 6), has the same dual digital motion sensors now as the Crystal Focus (as does the rest of the Plecter line at this point; Pico was the last holdout), and has 4 swing/clash (up from 2) now. The sound fonts were also remixed during the update and sound great.

While you CAN use any LED combo you want with the Pico and just pick a preset that mixes both your main dies at full (or make a RICE edge connector so you can edit them), the fact that it does full RGB at that price is too good to pass up imo. The 15 colors that you get with the presets are: Red, Orange, Amber, Yellow, Lime Green, ROTJ Green, Green, Cyan, Light Blue, Arctic Blue, Royal Blue, Indigo, Mace Purple, Magenta, Crimson.

Oof, that does sound like quite the deal. I've given the manual on the product view a bit of a look, and it doesn't actually look very difficult to wire.

So say a man wanted to have a Light or Arctic Blue with, say, White FoC...? Would that be possible?


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86864

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Eddlyss64 wrote:

So say a man wanted to have a Light or Arctic Blue with, say, White FoC...? Would that be possible?

Yes. Those are each a preset on the Pico with RGrB. The board will balance the mix for "White" during FoC based on the preset being used. Just make sure you're using Royal Blue and not standard Blue, or the board will add too much Red (since it assumes you have rB) and you'll have a whiteish-pink FoC.

You could use like an rBGW LED and just run the preset and puts the rBG at full for Arctic... but I don't think the Flash on Clash would "pop" that much, since adding white to any blue just makes silver.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86866

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You could get a custom blue, green, white LED and wire one to each negative terminal. Then cycle through colors until you get that blue/green mix you want for Arctic blue and leave it there. Then it will mix in the white for FOC.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86879

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Thanks to you both for this help, much appreciated!

@KelbornX , frankly, the White FoC is preferred to a crazier color. I've never really been a fan of the wilder FOC colors from the OT. A white FOC would suit me just fine.

@scifidude79 , How does the onboard color mixing work? I didn't get that part of the manual.


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86880

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The LED is wired with a common positive. Each negative wire goes to a different pad on the board. With it wired like this, you can hold the switch to cycle through colors while the board is in sleep mode. The mixes are pre-programmed into the board. You just have to cycle through until you find a color you like. It’s actually really easy.
Last Edit: 2 months 5 days ago by scifidude79.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86881

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scifidude79 wrote:
The LED is wired with a common positive. Each negative wire goes to a different pad on the board. With it wired like this, you can hold the switch to cycle through colors while the board is in sleep mode. The mixes are pre-programmed into the board. You just have to cycle through until you find a color you like. It’s actually really easy.

I'm really starting to believe that this entire saber DIY thing isn't as hard as I thought it was!


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86888

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Update: hilt is gutted and ready to be shattered and weathered. Meanwhile, I'm going to start putting together a workshop where I can do all this stuff, and start getting equipment and materials.

Quick question for curiosity's sake, but what kind of LED was in my Apprentice?



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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86891

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Says it right on it, Luxdrive Indus.

How old is that saber? Those LEDs aren't terrible... for 2011.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86894

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KelbornX wrote:
Says it right on it, Luxdrive Indus.

How old is that saber? Those LEDs aren't terrible... for 2011.

I believe it is either one or two years old. I want to say two, since I believe that I got into this hobby around 2014 and received my saber on Christmas of 2015.


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 5 days ago #86908

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Eddlyss64 wrote:
scifidude79 wrote:
The LED is wired with a common positive. Each negative wire goes to a different pad on the board. With it wired like this, you can hold the switch to cycle through colors while the board is in sleep mode. The mixes are pre-programmed into the board. You just have to cycle through until you find a color you like. It’s actually really easy.

I'm really starting to believe that this entire saber DIY thing isn't as hard as I thought it was!

It’s really not all that hard. I’ve wired a couple Picos and a Prizm. It’s all pretty straightforward.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 4 days ago #86923

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Luxdrive Indus is the PCB manufacturer - diode itself is likely a Cree XP-E2 Green - likely bulk-ordered from LED Supply (part number on the back side of the star should match their listing).

It should actually make a decently bright blade on its own, you just need a better battery offering than what US uses.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 4 days ago #86925

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Kouri wrote:
Luxdrive Indus is the PCB manufacturer - diode itself is likely a Cree XP-E2 Green - likely bulk-ordered from LED Supply (part number on the back side of the star should match their listing).

It should actually make a decently bright blade on its own, you just need a better battery offering than what US uses.

Good to know. I've stored all the gutted parts in a lidded can for now to get them out of the way, but if it's a decent LED then I'll hold onto it.


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 4 days ago #86929

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Data sheet says they're XP-E, so not as efficient as the XP-E2. It is better than the Seoul P4 and LEDengin RGBW that they use now, which is odd. Though it doesn't surprise me if US goes backwards in tech if it saves a few bucks...

It's not the worst LED if you want to do a 1-up stunt build.
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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 4 days ago #86930

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KelbornX wrote:
Data sheet says they're XP-E, so not as efficient as the XP-E2. It is better than the Seoul P4 and LEDengin RGBW that they use now, which is odd. Though it doesn't surprise me if US goes backwards in tech if it saves a few bucks...

It's not the worst LED if you want to do a 1-up stunt build.

Good to know. I'll hold on to it. Maybe I'll end up giving the parts to someone in my family as a torch passing kind of deal, so that they learn how to build a saber...

One thing at a time haha


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Overhauling my Ultrasabers Apprentice 2 months 3 days ago #86955

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So something just occurred to me. How am I going to charge this saber? Will I need to drill a hole to put a charging port through or...?

EDIT: Also, while looking at soundboards, I realized that Saberforge's Sabercore 2.5 is several dollars cheaper than the Pico Crumble and has the larger soundfonts, but no FOC of course, and the colors can't really be edited. Is the Pico still a better buy?


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Last Edit: 2 months 3 days ago by Eddlyss64.
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