I have finished my repair and reconstruction of my Vader ESB, minus the overly ambitious FM transmitter. Ironically, I decided to skip embedding an FM transmitter when I realized that every single FM transmitter ever made by the company I work for is utterly inappropriate to such a project, and I couldn't really get away with using a competitor's product in the company light sabers!
The important part was the total restoration of the blade. All 64 LEDs now light up.
The only problem I ran into was a screw that may have been slightly cross-threaded, and the head snapped off. It is annoying, but doesn't really affect the saber.
So, a big middle finger to Master Replicas. I would have been happy to pay half the purchase price to have it repaired ($60), but they flatly (and rather snottily) told me they would not do it, period. Thanks for forcing me to learn one more semi-useless life skill.
Sadly, the documentation for the restoration may have been lost to a hard drive crash. If I can get the info off the HD, I will make the repair tutorial. If not, I am not redocumenting it, sorry.
Now that I have these mad, l33t repair skills, I have a general question for everyone. Should I offer a repair service? Here is my thoughts:
-I would have to do so as an unconditionally UNGUARANTEED repair that COULD result in making things even worse, as I will not pay to replace anyone's saber for any reason, including my mistakes, negligence, accidents, or whatever.
-In the event I could not repair it, or broke it and made it worse, or whatever, I would charge only an "examination" fee (maybe $10 or something).
-Shipping costs would be prepaid, i.e. shipping both ways would be at the expense of the customer.
-I should be able to offer "tweaks", like increasing the brightness of the LEDs slightly, or changing the LED colors (all purple, rainbow mix, red and green LEDs for a Christmas model, adding an audio output jack, adding an FM transmitter, other things), but these would be at additional cost.
Assuming anyone found that acceptable, what would be a fair price to charge for the repair? I wouldn't consider it for less than $40, and even that seems low considering the fairly large amount of time it takes, and the somewhat specialized electronics knowledge and equipment needed to do it. Anything over $60 seems like you'd have to ask yourself if a repair is worth it, or if just buying a new one would be smarter, but that may be my modestly well-padded wallet talking and I can sure remember days in my youth where the difference between $60 and $120 was massive, so perhaps some people WOULD find value in the repair fee.
Thoughts? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?