Sidious repair/redux

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Tsi Talon
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Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:27 pm

The current project is another for Jeff. This time he brought me a me a partially disassembled (he hand sanded some horrendously deep scratches out of it, and we will powder coat it again) Sidious hilt that already had an install done on it by a respected person in the community who claims to have 11 years of "experience building sabers". This log will serve to chronicle the changes, fixes and some improvements.

First, some pics of the hilt, a majorly obvious problem, the holes are nearly 2mm off center of each other. I dont understand why the previous owner would have paid for this snafu or why the installer would have done a fairly good job on the electronics and snarfed on the hilt work (if he did the hilt work, im not clear on that)

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Onto the insides.

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I dont know what this was doing in there, looks like crap and is a badly cut piece of PVC plumbing pipe that was sanded with some very low grit sandpaper leaving nasty grooves. Presumably to make it smaller to fit the hilt?

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Wiring, it can be routed better, not sure why the green speaker wires are so long, they dont need to go very far. Also the speaker holder just floats in the hilt unattached to anything.

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By simply turning the battery around 180º and routing the wires through the chassis, the speaker holder can then butt right up against the chassis and be attached and secure. Some people make such a big deal about "exposed wires that might ground out" and pull stunts like this on unsuspecting customers.

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The first improvement will be to replace these switches with something a bit slick. Stay tuned to see what i have up my sleeves this time around :)

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Now, onto some custom pieces. I cant build or work on a saber and not make some one off pieces to make it a bit more special

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Mormegil
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Mormegil » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:12 pm

AJ wasn't kidding about the scratches, which didn't really show on the pics I received from the previous owner (whom I begrudge nothing). What did show on the pictures were two major flaws I just didn't pay attention to: The holes for the activation buttons being misaligned (causing one button to be bent slighty downward and tight while the other one was more wobbly) and the curve at the top of the outer sheath having an obvious flat spot. I went ahead and brought the outsides down to the bare aluminum (except for the emitter) and hand-sanded a proper curve into the contour...before passing it on to AJ for some of his magic!
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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:08 pm

So, not much else to do but jump right into a couple of the fixes while i wait on some Delrin rod to come in the mail.

I could be wrong, but i think this isnt supposed to be pointing up like that...

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I removed almost 1.5" of wire from the speaker circuit, attached the speaker holder and rerouted the battery wires. There is just enough room to access the SD card slot even with the wiring running over the sound card. Sweet!

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The vent holes looked to be too small and Jeff had mentioned that the speaker seemed low on volume (possibly due to the busted speaker). I figured it couldnt hurt to drill them out about twice the size they were originally, but without cutting into the slope of the pommel. Hopefully this will help with the volume issue if the speaker wasnt busted when Jeff bought it.

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm

The anatomy of a truly custom blade plug...

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This shows just how bright the LED's can be and it would take almost no time at all to cause temporary or perm blindness if you look at them directly. The purpose of a blade plug is so you can show off your saber, while muting the light output to a safe level. Even with a blade plug, its not advisable to look directly at the LED's.

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Did someone say kill keys? Red because the main LED's, blue because the FoC LED and purple because of the combo.

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:10 pm

Parts are at the powder coater, parts are in the mail and there nothing else to report. :|

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:31 am

So, i got to thinking about all the wiring and the possibility of cleaning it up some more after i received a box of header type connectors and pins. I pulled the internals out to look at them closer...and then i noticed some rather odd irregularities... Like, why are there 10 wires? 6 wires for the main LED's and 4 wires for the two switches? Thats 3 wires more than the manual calls for.

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Originally i thought the wiring was pretty good, but then i looked a lot closer... So, we have 3 wires for the main LED's (blue, purple and red) and 3 wires for the switches (yellow, orange and black), so where are the extra wires coming from at the connectors?

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Ah, two more wires underneath, black for the 4th wire on the switches and grey for the common positive for the main LED's. But wait, that still doesnt add up to 10 wires?

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Wait, why are there two pieces of heat shrink on the positive wire? And why is it looped and all of a sudden 3 wires? First, why is it looped? Anyone who knows anything about electronics and powering them, longer wires equates to greater resistance. Although in this case, its not that big of a deal, but still, like the speaker wires, why the extra length and then splitting it up into 2 extra wires? Makes no sense whatsoever. Second, it serves no purpose to split a single wire into three when they are going to the same source. It also may explain why some customers/installers consider this board to be a LOT more difficult to install versus say a Nano Biscotte v4. But it isnt if you dont take advantage of the extra accent LED's as it contains the PeX that the NB would need for a third channel onboard. Having the PeX onboard for the third channel means you have less wiring to do and that means its simpler. Not that the Prizm is meant to be more basic than the NBv4, it just contains two boards in one.

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Stay tuned for updates. Jeff wants to replace the white chassis with black Delrin, ill be reducing the amount of wiring and waiting for the powder coater's call to pick up the hilt.

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:44 pm

Well, did a little work and just went back to the start of the whole wiring. I wanted to make the power and speaker use header pins to connect, that way if the board needs to be serviced, or the saber needs to be disassembled or upgraded it would be easier.

What behind the heatshrink you say? How about 6" of extra wire? Dear god, why? :shock:

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First step of rewiring for the header pins

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Much much nicer ;)

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So, which one looks better? Yes i know the resistors arent wired in yet, but you gotta admit that the ribbon cable looks so much nicer and is definitely easier to manipulate.

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Look, no wires on the other side!

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Even though Jeff doesnt want to use the white chassis, doesnt it look better now?

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:16 pm

Forgot to post these last night, was a long day after little sleep the night before, so thats my excuse ;)

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Next step is the chassis and switches...

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Tsi Talon
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Re: Sidious repair/redux

Post by Tsi Talon » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:50 am

Well, the powder coating didnt quite go as planned and we may have to take a step back and reevaluate what to do with the hilt. In the mean time, the chassis design i had in mind wont work due to the limited space and the switches were simply too big for the internal diameter. Im still waiting on a large tactile switch order, so we will see what Jeff and i decide on doing for those when they get here.

Dont have much, but heres a pic of the original chassis with the new wiring

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