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31  General Category / News and Announcements / FORUM ACCESS please read on: June 13, 2011, 07:49:45 AM
You have to email me.  Opening the forum up for registration has flooded my inbox with spammers and hacking attempts.

bradley at robotpirate dot com

Supply your desired username and I'll get you set up with a temporary password.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Brad
32  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:38:28 AM


GLAM SHOTS!













33  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:37:57 AM

Finally getting a chance to finish the last few details on this one... It's been out in the field for more than a month.



I got the saber in for some minor maintenance and a checkup, adding the LEDs in the control box and painting the activation button. Here's a shot of the two switches and pololu switchboard (wrapped in electrical tape)



Here I need to add a way to keep my three setscrews that hold the crystal chamber steady. After almost a month of use, these backed out a bit and tended to wobble the chamber slightly. Also pictured is the cram fu of getting the battery pack and soundcard inside.  The soundcard is heatshrunk, and the guts are electrical taped to tighten everything up for installation.



Here's the setup for the triangle LEDs on the control box. I have to have different value resistors here so they both light up more or less evenly.

Left to do: Secure and Loctite the three setscrews that hold the chamber base, wire up the control box LEDs to channel 1 of the soundcard, reassemble everything.



Here I am running an extra set of wires from the positive lead of the LED strings and the negative lead of channel 1. This will power my control box LEDs. You can also see the buffer spring I have on the lock support rod. This keeps the chamber from slapping open too hard, and eases it into position.



Here it is put back together with the control box LEDs lit.

34  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:37:03 AM


Dec 24, 2010 - Finally presentable to the customer. Will revisit the control box LEDs and paint the button after the holiday.



The blade is brighter than any saber I have ever seen. My eyes!



This has been almost two months of the hardest work I have done in a long time to get it ready for Christmas. My third saber, and I am still learning so much.



Compared to my first crystal chamber, it was a lot more difficult to get all that detail into a one inch diameter space instead of a one and a half inch. The springloaded chamber mechanism and lock also provided a giant challenge.



And here we have all three Luke sabers.
35  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:36:38 AM
Ok, I will post up my wiring diagram tonight after I scan it, but I think I have settled on it being a bad ground or short someplace...

For now though, a slight update...



And here is a video of the chamber mechanism... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ivfFNbgqj0&hd=1



First charge! Nothing's shorting out or smoking, looking good!



Ready for presentation! I am missing the two small brass screws under the LEDs in the control box, and the LEDs themselves, and still need to paint the activation button black. I'll add these details after Christmas.
36  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:35:54 AM



At this point I milled out the slot for the button. I took ever so slightly less off till the button barely fits in the slot.



I also had to file off the corners of the button section that goes into the box for a test fit for the switches and board.



Here's the button for test fit. When the screw is installed, it lets the button rotate JUST enough to activate either switch.



Here's the first triangular hold filed out. A small triangle file is needed for this kind of thing, and loads of elbow grease.



And here it is with both trianglar LEDs set for fit. I'll clean the box up a bit after I drill and tap for the two small brass screws that go underneath the LEDs.
37  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:35:33 AM






Now I need to start on the control box. First, I take a TCSS box and shave down the sides so there's no groove, then polish away the machine marks.



Then I take two long button 90 degree tactile switches, and measure out on a piece of aluminum stock where the tabs go, drill and testfit, then drill the pivot hole. The 4-40 screw will tighten this down against some brass tube, which will go into the pivot hole.



I only need a very small amount of travel to activate either switch, and the pivot rod will make sure the button only hits one switch at a time.
38  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:35:14 AM


Here is the lock knob with the collar on. You can see the slot I milled out to allow for plenty of room for the speaker connections. I don't want to risk shorting here, as main power goes to the speaker.



The pommel attaches to the lock with a single 6-32 set screw going from the surface of the pommel through the collar, and into the lock knob.



Painting the grip section, I taped off the back and front, and carefully spray painted with black enamel. Before painting I made sure to polish and wash with dish detergent to remove all dust, oil, etc.



Painted, allowing the grip enamel to cure before I shave off the outermost raised areas to reveal the aluminum beneath.
39  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:34:56 AM


So here is what I am thinking for the pommel latch. I think I might lose some of the springwork in there, but for the most part it should go like this.



Well, this is as good a project as any to break in my new milling machine! Here I am milling out slots in the locking fins to allow the retainer bolts to go between fins.



Fin slots cut, now I countersink the screw holes so everything is flush. I do this by hand, as my drill press chatters when I attempt it, I just use the MT2 chuck with the countersink bit chucked in and press down and turn... .over and over again.



Screws countersunk, spacers machined, rod entry points countersunk so the support rods are fed into the lock instead of banging on the face of it.



Here it is locked, with the rods in it. I'll fine tune this a bit so that when it's all together, everything is flush and smooth.



It works BEAUTIFULLY. A nice snap open, and closed. The rods move through the lock smoothly, and without rattle or wobble. I need to machine a collar to fit this protrusion and the pommel, and drill a hole through the lock for the speaker wire.
40  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:34:36 AM
LOTS of work going on, almost not enough time to take pics...

almost.



LOTS of wiring going on this week. Carefully and meticulously measuring, trimming fitting all the wiring and electronic components into the handle. Lots of tedious back and forth, measure twice, cut once, solder, heatshrink, sew the wires into place, etc. Also, got both neck pieces machined, and painted, once the enamel is cured, I'll sand off what needs to be silver, and drill for the setscrews that secure each neck piece into the hilt.




The wiring of the blade is pretty small work, this is before heatshrinking the wires and stuffing them into the blade neck.



Here I am threading down through the template so all my bolt holes line up after I slice off my retainer plates.



The template fits fine, and everything lines up. The latch twists clockwise to lock, letting the larger diameter plug pull against the slot to close it.



Here's the front retaining plate on the template after turning. I'll do the same for the back retainer plate.



Here you see the final front retainer plate.. This method works pretty well as long as the threads all line up vertically enough to keep the work plate snug and tight to the template. I used some masking tape between the two while turning on the lathe to get the final smooth finish.
41  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:33:12 AM
Updates!



Today's work involved the blade anchor plug that will serve as the inside of the emitter, holding the blade secure against the emitter shell. It was kind of dark in my office, so not so great a picture, let me turn on a light so you can see it better...



Oh yeah, we have ignition! The small bit of blade tube visible behind the emitter shell is very much like my Obi. I do this because it looks cool, and it gives me the most surface area inside the shell to anchor the blade.



It was so bright, it was messing with my camera, so the pic doesn't quite do it justice. I'll be finishing off the blade shortly, and beginning my wiring harnesses once I finish the two neck sections.

Heh, the wife says this one is TOO bright, blinding even.  I might just dim it down a tad.



Getting the wiring all threaded through my tubing, I have three wires running through the copper to the recharge port. In the brass tube just behind the threaded support rod, I have a single white wire for the positive feed for the blade, surrounded by seven smaller ribbon cable wires to handle the grounding sections and the clash sensor. The wires for the crystal chamber are already threaded through the base.



So here's what I am thinking for the control box.  Aluminum blocks for the two switches, bolted and hinged as illustrated,

rear for activation, fore for clash trigger?

Also I have a trick up my sleeve for the two triangular LEDS.  Not pictured here, the pololu latching switchboard also fits in there.
42  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:32:41 AM


I got a lot done today, though it may not look like it...



Set the recharge port today in the chamber top, and put three setscrews in to secure the harddrive motor case that is the base of my crystal chamber. That outer cylinder with the setscrews fits inside the main handle, and lets the rods go through to open and close the chamber.



This is the only place I could think to install the recharge port. Once the chamber is open, you'll be able to plug it in to charge the saber. I will probably shorten the chamber a bit, depending on how much length on my support rods I end up with.
43  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:32:14 AM


Whew, got my emitter machined, and the pommel on there, still have a ways to go.
44  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:31:54 AM



The copper collar that goes on the top section of the neck, I had to cut off with a hacksaw from the main stock, so I wasted as little copper as possible. Also, I hate this particular alloy of copper, as it's extremely difficult to machine. It work hardens pretty fast, and gets gummy.



After shaving off the hacksaw side, polishing and slipping it on to the neck



Now I need to hollow out the pommel for the speaker. To do this, I drilled a half inch pilot hole, then went in with my 7/8 bit. Slowly, because it's a bit dull, and it chatters some.



After boring out room for the speaker, the last bit of hollow section will be the resonance chamber. Hopefully it will sound ok, I can adjust a bit if I need to. Also, I drilled out the hole for the sound to escape.



The speaker fits just fine. I'll machine a tube to go from the inside of the pommel, holding the speaker in, through into the inside of the main handle section. This will also serve as my base for the latch.



Here I am starting the emitter. I have a couple of emitters for reference, one from Rylo, one from the RPF, and I am sort of averaging those together for mine.



The bottom section machined, I'll drill this for a threaded 3/8 hollow rod, and flip it over to do the top section.



However, I couldn't resist putting the Rylo emitter on just for grins. It's really coming together!
45  Projects / Slothfurnace's Lightsabers and assorted other things. / Re: ROTJ Luke Saber - Crystal Chamber - Thin Neck - Detachable Blade on: June 12, 2011, 12:31:28 AM


Remade the LED array, and lathed away some of the brass part of the mount.  It's much cleaner now.



Tonight I spent a few hours machining part of the neck. This plug will fit into the forward grip, and be interchangeable between an emitter/neck with blade, and one without.



The slightly raised lip fits snug into a tiny bevel in the shoulder of the forward grip. A black setscrew will secure this, and be well hidden in the groove after it's painted.  The copper section above this will cover the long tube.

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