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TOPIC: Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics?

Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 21 hours ago #88454

  • EJT
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I have a question about the new double reveal graflex. It's breathtaking and I have to have it. No question there. The crystal reveal aspect isn't real important to me, though, and I already have an LED and a blade. So my question is whether a schmuck like me who is new to saber building and has no real skill or really any common sense to speak of.....I lost my train of thought.....oh yeah, whether I can buy a graflex initiate tier, plug and play sabercore 3.0, latching switch, and assemble it myself? Doing it manually would save about 65 bucks, and would let me swap out the LED colors if I want to change between blues.

FYI, I know there are graflex parts in the ASP section, but it looks like they don't have the same level of detail (the circuit board clamp, for exanple, doesn't look as nice in the ASP version) and the finish on the double reveal version is just too pretty. Plus I love that the recharge port is hidden inside the second reveal. So the ASP version isn't the best fit for me.

Here are my specific questions:
  1. If I'm not concerned about wiring up the crystal (which may be apocryphal, I know), so if I ignore the crystal, would I be able to snake the LED leads past it to connect the LED to the soundboard? I don't know how the crystals work, so I don't know if there is clearance in there for an LED wire to get past.
  2. Does anyone know if the hole for the recharge port would fit the recharge port on the champion tier sabercore 3.0? The recharge port that comes with that board has a 12mm barrel and a 14mm lip. I'm not sure if the lip would cause fitment issues.
  3. Is there any reason that the PnP soundboard wouldn't fit, or that a standard PnP LED wouldn't fit? I think these are no brainers, but want to confirm.
  4. Are there any other challenges or show-stoppers I''m not thinking about?

Thanks in advance!
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 18 hours ago #88457

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You say you don't care about the crystal at all. Why not buy the ASP Graflex parts then? You don't pay extra for the crystal reveal, which "interfers" with duelling etc and makes the elextronics install harder.
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 10 hours ago #88472

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Thanks for the reply. I knew that question would come, so I tried to preempt it in the original post. From what I can tell in the pics, the ASP version doesn't have near the same detail as the double reveal version. The glass eye, the clamp on the control box, the screws in the grips, and so on. Plus the finish on the double reveal and the fact that the recharge port is hidden inside really sell it for me. The ASP version isn't a good fit for me.

After reading the description again, it looks like the LED wires are routed through those brass tubes in the crystal reveal section. Obviously no plug-and-play connector would fit through there, so I would have to snip the connectors and re-solder it back together on the other side, assuming I had access to the brass tubes. That sounds like a pain, but maybe doable.

I dunno. Any other challenges I'm not considering?
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 9 hours ago #88475

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As you accurately discovered, one of these reveal Graflex would require proper wiring through the crystal chamber, Plug-N-Play electronics will not work without redoing the wiring.

Please do not go the ASP graflex part route, how do I say this.... They are very poor representations of a graflex hilt.

If you are dead set on the Crystal Flex from SF, and plan to install it yourself, your easiest method would be to purchase the PnP kit, and splice the wiring in and out of the crystal chamber. That will give you a pretty basic installed saber.

If you want something more robust, detailed, and properly wired, you have a couple choices. You could stick with the SF Flex and have a proper install done on it (run you somewhere around $350 not counting cost of hilt), or you could go with a Korbanth/Parks Flex 2.5 for an ever more accurate looking flex, and if you want have something that is 99% identical to the movie prop, a Roman's or TGS replica. Total costs on those would be same ball park as the SF Flex for a standard non Crystal chamber install, and a Crystal chamber version will run you around $650-750 to start.

I do not own a SF flex, nor have I had one come across my workbench yet, so I can't speak to it directly from an install perspective, but it should follow common principles that SF uses when they design their hilts.

I'm all for folks trying things on their own, it's very satisfying to build something yourself. Feel free to reach out for any advice or help. Here's some inspiration for you:

Korbanth Graflex 2.0 (TFA) and Roman Props Flashgun (ANH)


Korbanth Graflex 2.1 (ANH)


Roman Props Flashgun (ESB)



Enjoy, and good luck.
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Last Edit: 2 weeks 9 hours ago by Jas-Ot.
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 9 hours ago #88476

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If you are thinking of any dueling with a Graflex whatsoever, then the Double Reveal shouldn't even be a consideration. The thing is not warranted for dueling, period.

Now, then, the main draw of the SF 2xR Graflex is the crystal chambers. If you don't care about those, then I would honestly recommend seeking a different Flex, at least until SF develops and releases their eventual Elite-tier Graflex/MPP, which there has been some talk of(and which I yearn for, as it will be a race between an Elite MPP and the long awaited Vanguard hilt that will one day catch my fancy). As you just observed, it would be a pain to wire this thing up. As someone who is just starting their own first saber build but now has knowledge of necessity for this hobby, like soldering (you WILL need to solder) and electronic balancing, that would be a hell and a half to install as your first saber project.

So basically, with the 2xR Flex in mind, consider this:

The crystal chamber will add an extra level of complexity.

If you aren't going to wire the chamber, then you're making more work for yourself.

You can't duel with it.

For a first build, I would recommend either getting a Flex-inspired hilt from SF (The Progeny comes to mind, as well as the aforementioned ASP Flex parts), or seeking a different Flex hilt. Or you could be patient and see if SF releases an Elite Flex.


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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 6 hours ago #88501

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Jas-Ot wrote:
I'm all for folks trying things on their own, it's very satisfying to build something yourself. Feel free to reach out for any advice or help.

Thanks everyone for the detailed responses. It occurred to me this afternoon that what I'm trying to do here is take something beautiful and ask artists for advice on how to do a half ass job with amateur hackery. Not cool, EJT. Thanks for humoring me!

Eddlyss64 wrote:
If you are thinking of any dueling with a Graflex whatsoever, then the Double Reveal shouldn't even be a consideration. The thing is not warranted for dueling, period.

Is this true? On the main site, in the description for all the crystal sabers, it says "our gorgeous spring loaded reveal sabers are also fully functional dueling sabers." So I was assuming that, when closed, they are closed solid enough for dueling. Did I assume wrong?

That said, I don't duel. I stand in the living room and swing it around in the air like a poser.

But I do have three young kids that I enjoy "tapping" sabers with, and I won't want them to be able to break daddy's $600 saber with a $30 lightsaber from Toys R Us.

Eddlyss64 wrote:
If you don't care about those, then I would honestly recommend seeking a different Flex, at least until SF develops and releases their eventual Elite-tier Graflex/MPP, which there has been some talk of (and which I yearn for....

Ruh roh. I agree that an Elite-tier Graflex would be EXACTLY what I'm looking for, but sadly, I think in the main Double Reveal Graflex thread, Brax relayed a FB post where Phil said that there are no plans for a non-crystal version of the Graflex. Sad news.

Eddlyss64 wrote:
As someone who is just starting their own first saber build but now has knowledge of necessity for this hobby, like soldering (you WILL need to solder) and electronic balancing, that would be a hell and a half to install as your first saber project.

This would actually be my second saber project. The first was an US Graflex with SF plug and play electronics, where I drilled holes in the body for an LED retention screw and the sabercore 3.0 recharge port. It's fully functional and everything, but it's a cosmetic mess. It's best that we speak no more of it.

Here's the thing. I actually have an electrical engineering degree and a decent soldering station / lab setup at home. So I have the capability to do this. And when it comes to my job or my kids, I have meticulous attention to detail and supreme patience. But when it comes to my hobbies, like building my Jeep or modding a saber, I have the patience and attention span of an 8 year old boy OD'd on caffeinated ice cream at Disneyland. (Legal Note: I am neither suggesting nor implying that Disney parks and/or resorts have ever engaged in selling caffeinated ice cream to minors). My point is, I rush through stuff and make a mess of it.

So in trying to be realistic with myself, it's better if I pick a project with no drilling or cosmetic work, where all my hackery can be hidden on the inside.

Even so, maybe this particular hilt isn't a good candidate.

Okay, I'll give the plan more thought. Thanks again for all the advice!
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 6 hours ago #88503

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EJT,

Not trying to talk you out of the SF Crystal reveal flex, but you are correct, the SF crystal reveal sabers are considered "duel worthy". That said, I wouldn't "recommend" it, at least not hard full on dueling. some light whack N smack with the kids is perfectly fine.

If you don't care about a crystal reveal, and just want a functional Graflex saber, A korbanth Flex 2.5 might be the better choice for you. You CAN get crystal chassis for them, but you absolutely don't need to. Goth-3Designs makes a "padawan" chassis for the flex 2.x series which is fantastic. the only "difficult" part of it is getting the recharge port in, but that's honestly not that hard. There's a little more "prep" involved in that saber though and by default it is setup for 7/8" blades (you can purchase a 1" blade holder from TCSS though).

Or, just get the SF flex and don't bother wiring the crystal chamber. You'd just need to pass the wires for the LED through the holes in the crystal chamber.

Price wise the two would be within about $50 of each other all said an done.
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 5 hours ago #88505

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Okay, good advice. I'll give it some thought. Really appreciate all the comments.

I also really like the phrase "whack N smack". That captures the whole activity nicely, including all the times one kid misses the saber and hits the other kid in the face. Whack N smack.
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 5 hours ago #88507

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Jas-Ot, you'd better coin that term before Hasbro steals it and uses it to advertise their extendable sabers! :lol:

Yeah, it was mentioned several weeks ago by Phil that if there was big enough demand for it, they would do a run of Elite Graflexes and MPPs, which would be my dream come true, as well. Even though I'm anticipating the eventual official reveal of the Vanguard saber (inspired by Anakin's AOTC saber), I wouldn't mind owning a duel-worthy MPP.

That said, I believe I saw somewhere that the 2xR Graflex/MPP don't have strong enough threads to be fully duel-worthy, as they are only quarter-turn threads. Don't quote me on that, but that's what I thought I saw. Jas-Ot is right about all other CR sabers here, for certain. I don't remember if there was difference between those and the Flex/MPP.

Your last statement tells me that you must learn some Jedi patience, friend! :P I feel you, however. A year and a half ago or so, I was making all kinds of plans for which SF sabers I was going to own. Now, I'm content to be patient and take things one step at a time.


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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 2 weeks 4 hours ago #88519

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Eddlyss64 wrote:
Jas-Ot, you'd better coin that term before Hasbro steals it and uses it to advertise their extendable sabers! :lol:

Coined, pressed, minted...

it's mine, ALL MINE, MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA....
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Graflex initiate tier + PnP electronics? 1 week 2 days ago #88909

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Jas-Ot wrote:
EJT,
If you don't care about a crystal reveal, and just want a functional Graflex saber, A korbanth Flex 2.5 might be the better choice for you. You CAN get crystal chassis for them, but you absolutely don't need to. Goth-3Designs makes a "padawan" chassis for the flex 2.x series which is fantastic. the only "difficult" part of it is getting the recharge port in, but that's honestly not that hard. There's a little more "prep" involved in that saber though and by default it is setup for 7/8" blades (you can purchase a 1" blade holder from TCSS though).

Well shit. I went to buy the SF crystal flex yesterday and it was sold out. I guess that's that. Looks like I'll be doing a Korbanth build after all! Actually, after all the advice above, and TONS of searches and reading after that, I think the Korbanth route will be a better solution for me anyway. I just need to decide whether to find an installer or build it myself.
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