Hi, I'm sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place, but I keep getting directed here as the source of those who know......
I've been searching all over the sight for answers to some general technical questions, but I can't find the information I'm looking for, and I keep getting stonewalled with jargon and brand references and such that I have no idea about. And I should be studying for my respiratory national board finals right now instead of researching light sabers, so I kinda need it fast and straight from someone who knows their stuff.
I'll try to keep it brief: I built a light saber a long time ago - 50 led's sequentially lighting up and back down the blade with a slider control. This was all totally from scratch and before anything like it was on the commercial market. I'm still not sure if anything quite like it is on the market. I made it for my oldest son for Halloween, (because what WAS available at the time was LAME), and I never had time to make it perfect, but the prototype is all there and working and fairly cool.
Fast-forward a few years and I'm now wanting to build one for my youngest son. But I know there have been some changes in technology, FX sabers appeared on the scene, this forum, the whole saber hobby genre came to be, etc...etc... It's been a while. I want to make a similar sequentially controlled blade, but cooler! Brighter, thinner, Brighter, smoother, BRIGHTER. After all, the first one I made can only be seen for miles, I want it visible from SPACE!
So finally to the questions, and I'm sure I'm about to sound REALLY ignorant; What is the common practice for making sequential blades these days? I can't find any posts about it newer than 2010, and those were pretty vague. What kind of controllers? Are there any controllers available capable of sequentially lighting that many LED's? I saw a force FX in Wally-World that had all of a 10 LED sequential blade. Do higher quality FX sabres have a larger number of LED's sequenced. I know you can parallel together all you want, but mine had 50 individual steps for the blade operation, and in slower activation it still looks a bit choppy, so I can't imagine having less than that. Does anyone make blades like that? And if so, what's the basis of operation? I'm not asking for anyone's top secret schematic or anything, just a 'what's out there these days' kind of thing. Anyone making an LED alphanumeric array and driving it with a stamp?
I see a lot of people lighting up a lot of LED's, but there's something missing.....
Ultimately I guess I'd like to make a sequential component blade that uses 1/2 watt or better LED's, or maybe small and a LOT more of them. And yes, battery power and cooling would be major issues.....but if it's not pushing the limit, what's the point?
If anyone could help me out I'd be eternally grateful, as would I'm sure anyone else with the same crazy ideas.