Sunday, December 18, 2011

My first lightsaber build

So, I began a couple side projects.

I'm starting on my first personal lightsaber.  I originally planned on doing this build about 5 years ago and put it off for my droid build.  My build will be a Sith blade and I have the hilt on hand as well as the Petit Crouton 1.6 board.  Not sure yet if I am going to go with a Deep Red LEDEngin 5W and overclock it to 1.5 amps, or with a Seoul P4 overclocked.  My understanding is the main difference between both is the hue of the red - the LEDEngin Deep Red is much closer to the crimson Sith blade, while the P4 has a slight orange tint.   I would love to up the saber to 10W, but not sure that I really want to deal with the headache of cross wiring pads on a 10W star.

I should be able to get a start on this sometime between Christmas and New Years.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of my first lightsaber build. I couldn't post these as this was a gift for a friend and I didn't want to tip my hand too early. I delivered the saber yesterday.

This was my first attempt at scratch building a saber. This one was made from some PVC tubing that I had on hand, an extra blade and a Seoul P4 Red electronics kit from TCSS. No sound in this saber, just a simple on/off LED circuit.

The saber appears to have an orange-ish/yellow appearance in the photos. I assure you, it is a very bright red.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some news and a couple side projects

It's been quite a while since I had a moment to update this post.  This month marks 4 years as a member of the R2Builder Group and I've made a lot of progress over the recent years.

October/November provided quite a bit of action for Artoo with events - Buffalo's 2nd Annual comic convention at the Buffalo Library, among trick or treat events (Safe and Seen Halloween at Erie Community College, appearances at my church for our annual Trunk or Treat event, Halloween day in my neighborhood, and even an appearance at my children's elementary school for a Star Wars movie night). 

Needless to say, we both are getting some much needed downtime before two planned January events.

Ok, well, he is.  I've been working like mad with my job as of late and my planned maintenance period has quickly been disappearing.  I had planned on disassembling and inspecting the shoulder area and thanks to the generosity of a member of my church, replacing the shoulder panel on the frame with a machined aluminum part that will lock my legs in a three legged position.  I have been having difficulty navigating Artoo over bumps as the front casters will catch and stop his forward motion, while the outer legs, driven by the motors, continue moving forward.  This brings him to a standing position, with the potential of him tipping forward.  Thankfully, he hasn't fallen yet while controlling him and I would like to prevent that from happening at all.

I also plan on upgrading the caster set up in the center foot to better navigate cracks in the pavement or small bumps along the way.

The rear door still isn't installed.  I have vacation time coming up at the end of the month, so hopefully I'll have some time to do some building.

I have a couple side projects going on.  Based on my E11 blaster project from a couple years back (I posted my progress in this blog - check July-August 2009), I started a Fleet Trooper blaster.  I haven't gotten far with it as I put it aside temporarily, but its something that I do plan on completing over the winter.  Maybe.

I have also created my first LED based lightsaber.  I just completed a fully scratch built saber made from scrap PVC, a sink pipe, spare blade that I had kicking around and about $20 worth of electronics from The Custom Saber Shop.  I can't post pics of it at the moment, but I will get some to post soon.

I have also started another more advanced saber.  This is a project that I put aside to take on the Artoo build, so it's a good 5 years in the making.  One major benefit of holding off is the advancement of technology.  TCSS introduced the the Ultrasound saber sound and while I was setting aside money for a build, went out of stock for a long time, until the US 2.0 was released.  Both boards had mixed reviews, although were generally accepted as a good board.  Advancements over the years brought about revisions in the coveted Crystal Focus board from Plector Labs, and more recently, the Petit Crouton as designed by Plector Labs.  I commissioned a saber over the summer with a Petit Crouton (PC) 1.5 board and am happy with the board, however, due to some error (or poor judgement...) on the sabersmith's part, I cannot custom tailor the saber is it's designed (I won't mention the sabersmith, however, I will say that he will no longer see my business as there seems to be a lack of communication on his part to resolve this issue).  I am, however, pleased with the board and the construction of the saber overall is nice.  Short and long - it's usuable.

I've just decided to take it a bit further.  I now have a hilt put together and have purchased a Petit Crouton Rev 1.6.  I have some more components to acquire, but will soon start on this build.  I'll post pics as I go along.

That's all for the moment, more news and some pictures to post soon.