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FX-Sabers Discussion => Saber Modifications & Customs => Topic started by: profezzorn on May 13, 2016, 04:30:54 PM

Title: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 13, 2016, 04:30:54 PM
I'm gearing up to build my first light saber. I'd like to think I've done my homework, but no plan survives prolonged contact with reality...

Anyways, here is what I have / have ordered: (source in parenthesis)


First blade (complete)

The first blade is an LED string type. Using neopixels will let me control the color of each LED individually.

Second blade (mostly finished, but needs better diffusion)

Third blade: (in progress)

Fourth blade (only if I can make a led star adapter that is short enough!)

The blade connector has 8 pins, and I'm planning to use one of them to make the blade itself the kill switch for the hilt.
I don't have any interest in making a "reveal" light saber, so I won't go fancy on the interior, I will just try to make it robust and easy to
maintain.

I'm planning to write the code for it from scratch, planned features are:

If I feel ambitious, I may also implement a light-writer POV mode and proper sound font support.
Either way, I plan to make the source available to anybody who wants it.

I will post pics and updates to this thread as I go.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 13, 2016, 11:28:29 PM
Ok, got a few things soldered together: teensy, prop shield, ubec and speaker.
Made sure to cut the usb-vin bridge on the teensy first of course.

(https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1kg4GZG0RZ5kaOgXy5cpGbZig9aU-KRjAqg) (https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1kg4GZG0RZ5kaOgXy5cpGbZig9aU-KRjAqg)

Testing loading images from google photos, let me know if you can't see it.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 14, 2016, 08:18:43 AM
Looking forward to seeing this develop, good luck!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 14, 2016, 11:58:57 PM
Did some coding today and got some basic idle sound working.



The recording is pretty terrible though, next time I'll use a real camera.
I also bought some sound fonts and quickly realized that the 8Mb flash on the prop shield is not nearly enough for a sound font. Might not be an issue if I can synthesize some of the sound, but I ordered an sdcard shield from pjrc just in case. Another alternative would be to have add mp3 support, but looping mp3 files may be a little tricky.

The sound synthesis is based on this excellent article: Lightsaber Sound Cookbook (http://www.dblondin.com/071807.html)
I used the same algorithm to implement this: Shadertoy BETA (https://www.shadertoy.com/view/MscXWj)

Next up: swing sounds
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 15, 2016, 12:21:34 AM
If you need it, I will write you a font within 8Mb.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 15, 2016, 05:15:55 PM
TheBaconWizard: Thanks, I'll let you know if I think I need it.

I got my NL4FC / NL4MP connectors today.  I love the connecting action (insert-and-twist), and the plug insert would fit really really well in a blade with an inner diameter of 3/4" (might need a little filing). Unfortunately, the jack is fairly big, and would not fit inside a 7/8" blade holder. It could fit below the blade holder, but given how little space there is, I don't think that's going to work for me, so I'm going to go look a different connector. I think these connectors would work wonderfully for anybody looking to build a 1" blade though.

Some pictures:

(https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1aKHo_7AV6Cjm_5I1mr3T9R010ZiDBmCY0A) (https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1aKHo_7AV6Cjm_5I1mr3T9R010ZiDBmCY0A)
(https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1f3ezT-daIk7_iWwKFGOFHkR1b94H43JWZw) (https://docs.google.com/uc?id=1f3ezT-daIk7_iWwKFGOFHkR1b94H43JWZw)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 15, 2016, 08:14:05 PM
#(*&#(#$

I think I busted an USB port on my computer. Probably a bad idea to power the teensy from a cheap power supply.
If I'm extremely lucky there is a polyfuse in there and it will start working again tomorrow.

I suspect that the problem comes from a difference in ground potential between the power supply and the usb port. If that is true, then everything would be fine when the teensy is battery powered.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SpaceWindu on May 16, 2016, 07:43:45 AM
This is great! Good luck with this,
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 16, 2016, 07:40:04 PM
No magical self-healing polyfuses saving my USB port. :(
I have a spare USB connector on the motherboard, so I was able to just move the plug over and everything works again.
I'm routing my project through a cheap USB hub and I'm going to avoid turning the power supply on/off while the USB is connected and hope for luck.

Time to work on those swing swing sounds.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 17, 2016, 10:47:13 AM
Anybody know where to get a decent looking (graflex style) 7/8" blade plug?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 18, 2016, 11:49:50 PM
Got some new connectors today. Called "aviator connectors", I think they are the same as "CB radio microphone connectors". They are 8-pole and are supposed to handle 5A per pin. The best part is that they are just over 1/2" around, which should make them perfect for my blade connector. Going to design and 3D-print something to hold the connectors in place. (I'll post some pics of the connectors tomorrow.)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 19, 2016, 04:53:29 PM
Does anybody have the interior dimensions of a graflex 2.0? (Or can measure them?) I have 9-11 weeks left until I get mine and can measure myself. :(

I was thinking of designing and 3d-printing some parts for holding the connectors that goes to the blade, and possibly some chassis parts, but I need to actually know how big they should be...
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 19, 2016, 10:05:25 PM
New connectors, yay!

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1RZyGjXVWh5M540PPFIAcXiaQyIZDwbPQNQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RZyGjXVWh5M540PPFIAcXiaQyIZDwbPQNQ)(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1tnpAz_JrYZmY45yWBh-fT2xXWupBPXJd7Q) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tnpAz_JrYZmY45yWBh-fT2xXWupBPXJd7Q)

The male connector is a little over 18mm at the biggest part, and the female connector is about 14.5mm:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1yEfDJHU-bfEZGvzhHDQwUKkpIXnz4qvQsw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yEfDJHU-bfEZGvzhHDQwUKkpIXnz4qvQsw)(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1IdqVVRgPAe-fdAfU9CVFajyRfP0HiehLFQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IdqVVRgPAe-fdAfU9CVFajyRfP0HiehLFQ)

There should be plenty of space for these in a 7/8" blade holder, and as I said before, each pin can handle about 5A.
They look a lot like DIN connectors, but they are a bit sturdier, and because the female connector uses a tube to connect to the pins instead of just two "fingers", the contact surface is a lot bigger, which is why they can handle more current. I think these connectors will work quite well for just about any kind of LED string blade.

Credit where credit is due: I got the tip about these connectors from iwuk78 over at the TCSS board.
Wish I had a better name for than "cb radio connectors" though, anybody know if there is an official name for these?

To mount these to the blade, I'm going to custom design and 3D-print some shrouds. I will post the designs to thingiverse and link them here.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 20, 2016, 11:56:54 PM
Mostly done with designing the parts that will hole the connectors. Need to figure out the inner diameter of the graflex 2.0 before I can finalize though. Here is what it looks like:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1CpbomchUZ3Qb3D7zeppt8AISzJSzrHUdRQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CpbomchUZ3Qb3D7zeppt8AISzJSzrHUdRQ)

The blade part can either be glued in place, or a hole can be drilled and tapped to hold it in place.
I think the hilt part will be held in place by chassis rods which I intend to insert directly into the edge of the blade holder.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 22, 2016, 01:49:45 AM
And here is the final result for the blade end:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1F1goru8kAfHtLVj3jZQ9mu0sSXU-3JIVOw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1F1goru8kAfHtLVj3jZQ9mu0sSXU-3JIVOw)(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1gTR_T_6zOReCFSvKy6k6M8pXFEdR93Nr6A) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gTR_T_6zOReCFSvKy6k6M8pXFEdR93Nr6A)

It holds the connector pretty good, I might not need a screw or glue to hold it in place.

PS: Got the 7/8" tube for the blade today. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SwampFox on May 22, 2016, 01:12:32 PM
I'm looking forward to this bigtime, awesome work so far.  If you don't mind, where did you order those connectors?  Looking forward to seeing how it sounds and how it controls the blade.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 22, 2016, 03:47:10 PM
I bought them from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9IVM5E (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9IVM5E)
They seem to be available from lots of places, usually called "cb radio microphone connector" or something similar. I haven't found a part number or standard identification that makes them easier to find unfortunately.

Thanks for the encouragement, this forum can be a bit quiet sometimes, it's nice to hear that people appreciate the extra effort of taking pictures and sharing information. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 22, 2016, 06:05:54 PM
TheBaconWizard, are you still up for helping me up with some sounds?

I did some coding today, and realized why the sound founts I bought are so big, and why they won't really work the way I want to. It's because most of the effects have a long tail of "idle" sound. I assume this is to make less repetition and fewer cuts between sounds, but since I intend to synthesize idle and swing sounds, I really need clash/on/off/lookup sounds *without* the idle sound in the background. These sounds would also be significantly shorter, and might possibly fit in the 8Mb flash chip that's on the prop shield. (If not, I have an sdcard shield just in case.)

Btw, if you send me some sounds, make them 44100Hz if you can, as that is the native playback rate for the teensy.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 23, 2016, 12:47:36 AM
Sure, I can do that... I could also look at the hum itself and see if it can be shortened and looped more frequently without hurting too much.

But is there any way you can work with a lower sample-rate? It is literally taking double the memory of any other sound font because of that, and it really isn't worth the difference without studio speakers or headphones.

Either way, send me the font you are currently using and I'll knock it into shape as best as it can be.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: smaneesint on May 23, 2016, 11:34:55 AM
Have you found 7/8 Graflex Blade Plug yet? If not, Khal does sell a decent one on his Etsy store. Look up KRSabers and you should find one. =)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 23, 2016, 11:39:20 AM
I can absolutely make it play 22Khz files. However, I'm trying to keep the code simple, and the audio library that comes with the Teensy is hard-coded to run at 44Khz. For now, I would say that you shouldn't worry about making it fit, just give me some sound effects without the idle and swing sounds and if they don't fit, I'll consider what the best way is to solve it. Options include:

I've already looked into all of these, and I'll probably add support for some of these eventually, I just haven't gotten there yet.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 23, 2016, 11:40:36 AM
Have you found 7/8 Graflex Blade Plug yet? If not, Khal does sell a decent one on his Etsy store. Look up KRSabers and you should find one. =)

I did find one here: Graflex 2.0 "Accurate" Razor Blade plugs - Limited Run | Imperial Royal Arms (http://imperialroyalarms.com/thread/6542/graflex-accurate-razor-interest-thread)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 23, 2016, 01:18:03 PM
Ok, only just seen this and have already replied to your priv. message.

Commercial fonts are 16bit, I dunno if you will simply experience a slight drop in audio quality or encounter bus problems or what... but meanwhile I can certainly whip your current font into better shape for your memory, I'll get on it tomorrow.

So are you planning to manufacture a whole run of these for sale, once you have this prototype done?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 23, 2016, 02:37:47 PM
So are you planning to manufacture a whole run of these for sale, once you have this prototype done?

No, I plan to open-source everything.
If someone else wants to make a run, they are welcome to.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 26, 2016, 11:49:38 AM
I emailed you the corrected version of your sound font dude. Hopefully you got it?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 26, 2016, 02:45:32 PM
I emailed you the corrected version of your sound font dude. Hopefully you got it?

Yes, I did, thank you!
I'm currently on vacation, so I don't expect to get anything done for a week, but I did get the modified font and I did try it out a little before I left. Once I'll get back I'll record a little video and post it. In the meantime I might try to play with some filters on shadertoy.com. :)

I did try to to play a bit with changing pitch and volume of the idle sound based on swing speed before I left, which is really cool for slow movements, but doesn't seem to do much for generating "swing" sounds.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on May 26, 2016, 11:33:25 PM
Yeah, doppler shift is a little more complex. I have a suspicion that it affects different elements of the hum differently, ie that you may need to vary the algorithm for the low buzz vs the top hum and any other sounds involved. Not sure on that, but if so it's another way to vary according to x,y,z as well as may sound better.

The rise/fall in volume is almost an exponential curve, it starts like any other but much more rapidly builds/falls the closer it is to your ear maybe with distortion at that point, and the same point is a sudden pitch change downwards compared with the beginning which would be higher than the idling hum, and then there's a more gradual continuing fall thereafter. The latter reminds me of a phaser actually. 

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 30, 2016, 08:52:16 AM
Not a lot of progress, since I'm on vacation, but I thought I'd share my power calculations for the blade.

Basically, I intend to have about 100 neopixel-type LEDs in the blade. Each one is rated at 0.3W. 0.3 * 100 = 30W, which sounds kind of scary.

What is actually in these neopixels is three 20mA LEDs paired with constant-current drivers and a control chip. This means that if you only have the blue LEDs on, you use 10W instead of 30W.  Also, the LEDs are rated for running at 4.5 to 6 volts. Since we know that the current is going to me 20mA per powered LED, we can see that the wattage is actually somewhere between 4.5 * 0.02 = 0.09W and 6 * 0.02 = 0.16W per led. The LED will not be brighter when we feed it higher voltage though, the constant-current driver will just dump the extra power as heat. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing, because it means that the resistance of the LED ladder itself, and any associated voltage drop is not going to cause the blade to light up unevenly and it's a curse because it's a waste of energy.  Ideally, I'd feed just enough voltage in that I still have 4.5 volts at the end of the blade. Unfortunately, I have not found an adjustable voltage converter of sufficient power that is small enough. The one I'm planing to use can produce 7A @ 5.5 volts.  What I expect to need is 20mA * 3 * 100 = 6A, so I have some head-room.

The voltage converter can accept anything from 7 to 36 volts as input. I'd like to drive it with a bunch of serial li-ion cells to reduce the amperage (and heat) on the "feed" side. Unfortunately, the voltage regulator I got for the teensy is limited to 6-23v, which limits me to 6 cells in serial. 5 if I want ot be safe. For now I've picked up a 4xAAA battery holder and 4xAAA protected li-ion cells. When the batteries are close to depleted, this will produce about 10.8 volts, which would mean I would need to draw up to 5.5 * 6 / 10.8 / 0.85 ~= 3.5A through the batteries when all the LEDs are on.  I'm not sure if the batteries can handle that sort of draw or not, if not, I shall have to figure out how to cram more batteries in. It is certainly possible to cram 7 AAA cells into one hilt section, but it will require a black belt in cram-fu to do so.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: oswaldkefo on May 30, 2016, 06:35:35 PM
Wow this seems like a really cool build. I like the idea of using the blade as the "kill-key", a nice space saver. I am interested in LED string blades, and I am really liking what you are putting together for that too!

I will be watching this build with great interest!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on May 31, 2016, 09:34:54 PM
Speaking of cram-fu, here is my preliminary pin-map for the teensy:

// Teensy 3.2 pin map:                                                                                                                     
// 0 - FREE (reserve for serial?)                                                                                                           
// 1 - FREE (reserve for serial?)                                                                                                           
// 2 - input, motion sensor interrupts                                                                                                     
// 3 - used by octo library                                                                                                                 
// 4 - output, SD card chip select (optional)                                                                                               
// 5 - output, enables amplifier                                                                                                           
// 6 - output, serial flash memory chip select                                                                                             
// 7 - output, spi led chip select (optional)                                                                                               
// 8 - AUX button (optional)                                                                                                                         
// 9 - AUX2 button (optional)                                                                                                                         
// 10 - used by octo library (used to be pin 4)                                                                                             
// 11 - SPI data out (flash memory, spi led, sd card)                                                                                             
// 12 - SPI data in (flash memory, sd card)                                                                                                       
// 13 - SPI clock (flash memory, spi led, sd card)                                                                                               
// 14 - output, WS2811 led (blade)                                                                                                         
// 15 - used by octo library (connected to 16)                                                                                             
// 16 - used by octo library (connected to 15)                                                                                             
// 18 - I2C (motion sensors)                                                                                                               
// 19 - I2C (motion sensors)                                                                                                               
// 20 - input, Battery level                                                                                                               
// 21 - input, Blade identify                                                                                                               
// 22 - FREE                                                                                                                               
// 23 - power button         

The teensy also has pads on the bottom which can be used, but I'm hoping to avoid using them as they are a bit of a pain to solder to. Especially *after* I've soldered the prop shield in place.

I hacked up the OctoWS2811 library, which is normally used to control 8 neopixel strings in parallel, so that it would only output data to one pin. It's a bit inefficient memory-wise, but offloading the LED communication to the DMA engine will leave a lot more cpu for audio processing.

I'm reserving pin 0 and 1 for a serial port, but I'm not sure why anybody would want one since the USB port can fulfill the same function with no additional hardware needed. (I already have command-line interface that let's you enter commands through the arduino serial monitor to play sounds, turn the saber on/off, etc.)

The "blade identify" pin is intended to make it possible to have several different blades with different default sounds and colors. The idea is to put different resistors in the blade and measure them against the internal pull-up resistor in the teensy. This also makes it possible to have blades of different lengths with different number of LEDs.

I figure I'll draw up a full connection diagram this weekend.
                                                                                                             
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 02, 2016, 09:01:07 PM
Circuit diagram:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=13QYhAo_sf61luV8U9Fb2nxmQEu5H5br0BA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=13QYhAo_sf61luV8U9Fb2nxmQEu5H5br0BA)

Some notes:

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 03, 2016, 09:47:51 AM
Got the LEDs I ordered, plugged one in and tried it.
Annoyingly, it starts up with a blue color, also it flickers a lot when I try to control it.
Not sure if I need a 5v buffer between the teensy and the LED, or if it's because the timing is off.
(The datasheet seems to indicate that the PL9823 expects different timing than a WS2811 led, so I'm going to try different timing first.)

I'm probably going to order some APA106 leds too, just in case.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 04, 2016, 12:17:44 AM
First light




Turns out the flickering LED problem I had was just a bad connection.
And yes, I've rubberbanded (verbing weirds language) my electronics to a stick so I can wave it around. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 04, 2016, 09:47:27 PM
I tried to start building the LED string today, only to discover that the legs on these LEDs are a bit too short to build a traditional LED string. I'm going to find some single-strand wire (to avoid short circuits) to use as a support structure.

Here is what my failed experiments look like:
(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1A58iHeWDVgl5ViTS_VVna9M7uwIByduSCQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1A58iHeWDVgl5ViTS_VVna9M7uwIByduSCQ)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 04, 2016, 11:55:56 PM
Found a suitable 1mm copper wire in some old coax cables. (I have a whole box of them, kindly provided by.... wait for it... my cable provider!) A bit of a pain to get it out, but I think it should work pretty well.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 05, 2016, 12:18:59 AM
Proof of concept:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1h5t9ksp4m_MHGGBZsPaAmFcDy6GTjREcgQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1h5t9ksp4m_MHGGBZsPaAmFcDy6GTjREcgQ)

Still to trim the legs and solder the wrapped bits together though.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 05, 2016, 01:31:32 AM
So, is the idea that people could use neopixels OR a traditional string?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 05, 2016, 02:04:15 AM
Generally speaking, the idea is that people can do whatever they want. Since the teensy has lots of in-out ports, and the source will be available (if anybody wants access to the source sooner rather than later, let me know) any type of setup could be implemented. Driving a regular string blade would require some external components though, like a FET + resistor or a PEX. Same thing if you want to drive a luxeon-style setup with a teensy board.  I'd be happy to draw up some alternate circuit diagrams and hack up some code, but I'd need help testing stuff since I'm not planning to build any of those things myself.  Basically, the number of pre-defined ways to use the code depends on how many people are interested in building something based on this setup.


Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 05, 2016, 02:36:06 PM
Turns out I forgot to add the voltage divider needed to check the battery level, updated circuit diagram:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1WKcFjmXwSbSkpoLtO3Sei15z5e3Z_vz-pw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WKcFjmXwSbSkpoLtO3Sei15z5e3Z_vz-pw)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 06, 2016, 12:17:18 AM
I think I'm going to have to find new LEDs. The PL9823 just have too many things wrong with them:
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 06, 2016, 02:12:01 PM
Ordered some slim WS2811 strips from ebay. I don't have enough power for the 144 leds/meter strips unfortunately, so I'm going with 60 leds/meter. I'll glue these strips together back-to-back and wrap them in packing foam to diffuse them. I'm still worried that they won't be diffused enough though.

I might still build the PL9823 blade while I wait for the strips to arrive, depends on how bored I get. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 06, 2016, 04:24:56 PM
Ordered some slim WS2811 strips from ebay. I don't have enough power for the 144 leds/meter strips unfortunately, so I'm going with 60 leds/meter. I'll glue these strips together back-to-back and wrap them in packing foam to diffuse them. I'm still worried that they won't be diffused enough though.

I might still build the PL9823 blade while I wait for the strips to arrive, depends on how bored I get. :)

I'll be super interested in this. I was thinking of using 60/m for a cheap string, maybe 3 strings per blade arranged around some kind of core. I bet they'll be diffused enough.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 06, 2016, 05:08:50 PM
Ohhh, I just had a neat idea!

I think I'll add a FET before AND after the 7A bec, and I'll make sure that the one that goes after the BEC is connected to a PWM-capable pin on the teensy. That way I can drive either "normal" LED strings or WS2811-based led strings/strips with with the same hilt electronics. I'll use the blade identifier resistor to switch to the correct control logic.  The standard string blade will need a resistor to drop the voltage down from 5.5 volts though. (Should be something like 1.1 Ohms for 100 leds.) The formula for the resistor would be (5.5 - led forward voltage) / (LED forward current * number of LEDs).

I'm currently thinking that I'll build one PL9823 blade, one based on WS2811 strips, and one traditional one, based on some small blue LEDs. (Although, it seems that ranking LEDs based on total light output is nearly impossible as the standard measurement is mcd, which depends on the spread of light, and every LED has a different light distribution pattern... Wish they would just publish lumens per watt...)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 07, 2016, 12:39:03 AM
It's soo pretty!

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=16nRwxLnrTTNFZ4zq6v3ymOSkAerjcGZkKw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=16nRwxLnrTTNFZ4zq6v3ymOSkAerjcGZkKw)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 08, 2016, 12:16:28 PM
I think I'm going to upgrade my battery solution to 4x14500 IMR batteries. IMR batteries generally support higher current than regular LI-ION batteries. I found some that should allow for continuous draws up to 4 amps, which should give me nearly 50 watts of power to play with... :)  (Assuming I don't melt something first...)

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 08, 2016, 12:35:23 PM
I had another thought:
It might be possible to build an adapter that would make it possible to use non-string blades.
Simplest possible would be something like a led star or laser, a FET + resistor, crammed into a 7/8" copper pipe. If it can be made short enough, it could be sit inside the blade holder and provide light for a hollow blade.
Also, it could be swapped out easily for a different color.

Perhaps the most difficult part would be to get it out afterwards... :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 09, 2016, 12:36:34 AM
Almost there...

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1LjaSet0rD-AuICBu3poBK4mD-oHXeZlQAw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LjaSet0rD-AuICBu3poBK4mD-oHXeZlQAw)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 09, 2016, 01:25:05 AM
Aaaaand I updated the circuit diagram again. Added a FET to control the power-supply for the blade, and also added alternative blade circuits. I'm planning to build a couple of different blades to try out these circuits actually, and the software should automatically detect what blade is attached and do the right thing. It should be pretty cool. :)

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1TkE0HO5DE2eKNXGPK4nI8n16-Jnrhf-m8g) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TkE0HO5DE2eKNXGPK4nI8n16-Jnrhf-m8g)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 09, 2016, 12:11:20 PM
Very cool! :D
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 09, 2016, 07:37:51 PM
Missed the mailman today, but he left a message saying I have a package from park sabers! Total wait time: 5 weeks, I will go to the post office to.orrow to pick it up.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 10, 2016, 02:09:41 AM
Got the string all finished and wired, here is a closeup of the blade identifier resistor (2.6k)
(https://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffredrik.hubbe.net%2Fsaber%2Fblade_identifier_small.jpg&hash=5e577e799fb7560189e2602f5fc363f0) (http://fredrik.hubbe.net/saber/blade_identifier.jpg)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SpaceWindu on June 10, 2016, 11:43:27 AM
It's soo pretty!

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=16nRwxLnrTTNFZ4zq6v3ymOSkAerjcGZkKw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=16nRwxLnrTTNFZ4zq6v3ymOSkAerjcGZkKw)

It is!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 11, 2016, 05:46:07 PM
Finally have my Graflex 2.1!  Fitting stuff is going to be interesting.
Made a crude 3d model of the inside so I can plan things out:
(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1yRxsvUgoRAenz-7djQD-4hAP4tvDcUxoCA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yRxsvUgoRAenz-7djQD-4hAP4tvDcUxoCA)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 12, 2016, 04:37:31 PM
First blade is finished:

It uses 97 PL9823 LEDs, a packing foam sheet inner diffuser, than the TCSS 3/4" diffuser tube, and then the 7/8" diffused polycarbonate blade with a rounded tip.

Here is a brightness comparison:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1uWb35IEt4ImDVbI0zfgwhRXaJRLtRg9rCw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uWb35IEt4ImDVbI0zfgwhRXaJRLtRg9rCw)

The bottom one is a "Black Series Luke Skywalker Force FX Lightsaber", with reasonably new batteries.
The top is my new blade. The camera is exaggerating the effect a little, but my blade is a fair amount brighter, and that's with only the blue LEDs on. It should be roughly 3x brighter when white.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 14, 2016, 01:25:14 AM
Finally got the blade working correctly, it needed a level shifter (3v-to-5v) to work properly. (Will update the circuit diagram later.)

Here is a demo:



Sorry the colors of the blade doesn't show up very well in the video.
The teensy can update the color of all the LEDs about 300 times per second, major overkill, but kind of cool.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 14, 2016, 02:09:48 AM
Lol @ the stripy blade! Although I can imagine a number of cool lockup effects and after-shock waves from blaster blocks. And obv force effects etc.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SpaceWindu on June 14, 2016, 06:57:42 AM
Omg this is so amazing you are seriously taking this to the absolute next level. Great job I love the blade
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 14, 2016, 04:21:53 PM
Today I'm going to experiment with the teensy touch sensor support, if it works, I plan to make clamp card a touch sensor. Unfortunately, you're not actually supposed to *touch* the touch sensor[1], so I'm probably going to have to add a layer of packing tape to the clamp card.

[1] Because static electricity is Bad
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 14, 2016, 07:56:56 PM
Touch sensors work! (and are kind of awesome..)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 14, 2016, 08:27:43 PM
Updated circuit diagram, with touch sensor and level shifter:

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1O7UBEFjN9DMsIxb0Ex2ArP9Dvp7oNMd6eA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O7UBEFjN9DMsIxb0Ex2ArP9Dvp7oNMd6eA)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 15, 2016, 08:43:14 PM
Woot! I think I found a better BEC (https://amzn.com/B000MXAR12). Assuming it works as advertised, the voltage is adjustable, the amps are equal or better (10A peak) and it's smaller than the one I'm using now.  I should be able to use it to power both the blade and the teensy, thus eliminating one of the BECs in the circuit diagram and simplifying the circuit a fair amount.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 16, 2016, 11:19:59 PM
Got a pack of LEDs today:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1-iD-4sqk82-6wrXb4PJ9JaXyZuL2aXqSug) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-iD-4sqk82-6wrXb4PJ9JaXyZuL2aXqSug)

These are 3mm LEDs, forward voltage is 3.2 to 3.8 volts @ 30mA. They are bright enough that I see yellow spots after every time I test them. :) I estimate that I'll be able to cram in about 140 of these in a blade, which will draw 4.2A, for a total of about 13.5 watts.

I'm using 20-gauge tinned copper wire for the power rails. I could probably use a more traditional bent-leg-ladder instead, but the LED legs are pretty thin and might not hold up very well to 4.5A. This handy chart (http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm) sayd that 20-guage should be good up to about 11A.


Only 135 to go...
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1CvKRZUVx8le8-tEbRaTY49hbi7tnGrigTQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CvKRZUVx8le8-tEbRaTY49hbi7tnGrigTQ)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 17, 2016, 11:51:23 PM
Possibly final circuit diagram:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1_LtlH9GGS19uWmR6KE0B2KmihUhWMGKnOQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_LtlH9GGS19uWmR6KE0B2KmihUhWMGKnOQ)

This also includes the sdcard adapter, which can either be the pjrc wiz820+sd adapter (https://www.pjrc.com/store/wiz820_sd_adaptor.html) or the standalone sd adapter (https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/sd_adaptor.html). The sd card adapter is optional though. The 8Mb on the prop shield is enough for at least one sound font, as long as it's not too big.  I'm going with the plain sd card adapter, which needs to be connected with wires. The Wiz820+SD adapter can be connected directly to the teensy with pins, just like the prop shield, but the sd slot ends up at the opposite end from the usb port, which can be a problem.

One thing that I have not included is schematics for how to wire up an RGBW led star. You'd need FETs or LED drivers, and 4 PWM-capable pins on the teensy. I'm not planning to do this myself, but I don't mind helping if someone else wants to do that.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on June 19, 2016, 01:45:27 PM
Great work profezzorn! And welcome in the club of saber electronics wizards! It is good to know that this community is growing.

If you like you can have a look into my User Manual:
https://github.com/Protonerd/DIYino/blob/master/DIYino_v1_User_Manual_draft_v03.pdf
 (https://github.com/Protonerd/DIYino/blob/master/DIYino_v1_User_Manual_draft_v03.pdf)
I described an idea how to extend the battery life in spite of the power hungriness of neopixels even in idle mode. Feel free to use it if you like, Í dubbed it programmable kill key.

I recall you want to synthetize the hum sound on the processor you are using. There is a guy calle racemaniac, same name on this forum actually, he is working on a similar project, maybe you can bundle up for sharing ideas. Definitely what you are up to guys will make hum much more fun an realistic, not to mention motion effects and swings more realistic.
rgb ledstring lightsaber (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=366701.0;topicseen)

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 01:29:50 AM
Great work profezzorn! And welcome in the club of saber electronics wizards! It is good to know that this community is growing.

If you like you can have a look into my User Manual:
https://github.com/Protonerd/DIYino/blob/master/DIYino_v1_User_Manual_draft_v03.pdf
 (https://github.com/Protonerd/DIYino/blob/master/DIYino_v1_User_Manual_draft_v03.pdf)
I described an idea how to extend the battery life in spite of the power hungriness of neopixels even in idle mode. Feel free to use it if you like, Í dubbed it programmable kill key.

The programmable kill key seems exactly like what I have in my circuit design above. (An N-channel FET disabling the power to the neopixels.) Does it work well to hook up the neopixels directly to the batteries? All the neopixels I've seen say to use 4.5-6 volts, so I'm driving mine with a bec, but it gets a bit hot.

Quote

I recall you want to synthetize the hum sound on the processor you are using. There is a guy calle racemaniac, same name on this forum actually, he is working on a similar project, maybe you can bundle up for sharing ideas. Definitely what you are up to guys will make hum much more fun an realistic, not to mention motion effects and swings more realistic.
rgb ledstring lightsaber (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=366701.0;topicseen)

Cool, I'll be reading up. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 01:44:55 AM
Figured out how to attach the sdcard adapter to the teensy+prop shield. It requires a few wires, but it's sturdy and the sd card points in the same direction as the usb port, so they can both be made accessible though the pommel.

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1rYX_FISOW6NRQ5BGt48pA2dxH_JXWF2U6w) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rYX_FISOW6NRQ5BGt48pA2dxH_JXWF2U6w)

The eagle-eyed among you will, also see a FET attached to the other side, which means that the only external components left is a level shifter and two resistors.

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1gkkzXffEkNoygpMzJbPYGL_FE1FDf-osYQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gkkzXffEkNoygpMzJbPYGL_FE1FDf-osYQ)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on June 20, 2016, 04:07:28 AM


The programmable kill key seems exactly like what I have in my circuit design above. (An N-channel FET disabling the power to the neopixels.) Does it work well to hook up the neopixels directly to the batteries? All the neopixels I've seen say to use 4.5-6 volts, so I'm driving mine with a bec, but it gets a bit hot.


**** I wanted to write something nasty about teh guys writing the spec for the neopixels. So far I've been using only the WS2812 style stripes, but they are fine with down to 2.5V!!! It's even detrimental to use 5-6V, because the Vth of the LEDs stay the same as for conventional LEDs, i.e. ~2V for red and ~3.6V for blue and green. You can quess what that means: if you power the LEDs with say 5V and want to have red color, you have to dissipate ~3V, that is 60% of the power! And to prove the theory I also measured it. I connected the stripe to a bench power supply, and went in both directions, while programming all red with pwm=255. Until the Vth_max (somehwre between 2V and 3V) the current resembled a diode curve, then it suddenly jumped but the LEDs did not get any brighter -> the excess voltage is wasted on clamping circuitries.
I have now a saber which connects the 3.7V 18650 battery directly to the stripes (as in the User Manual) and it works perfectly. Probably for green and blue you could go up with the brightness using max 4V, but the gain would not be that tremendous.

This also explains why yours heats up.

BTW, what is a BEC? It is like a boost DC/DC?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 10:12:56 AM
BEC = battery eliminator circuit, it's a buck-converter that takes a higher voltage and outputs a lower voltage, with fairly high efficiency. The term "BEC" is mostly used in the RC hobby circles, and most BECs are made for quadcopters and other RC vehicles.
(Which is advantageous for us, as quadcopter BECs are small and light.)

I'll have to do some experimentation with running my blade at 2.5-4 volts, because if it works it would certainly be a lot more efficient, but I'm not sure if the PL9823s are as forgiving as real WS2812Bs.

I've always assumed that neopixel style devices have linear regulators configured as constant current drives in them (one for each LED), but those usually drop about a volt or two. If you can drive neopixels as 2.5 volts, that either indicates that the LEDs have a very low forward voltage, or the regulators don't work the way I expect them to.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 01:03:50 PM
I really hope running my LEDs directly off a single LI-ION battery works well, because it makes everything better:

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 07:40:09 PM
Hmm, my PL9823 don't loose a lot brigtness if I power then with 3.7v, but brightness drops pretty much linear from there down to about 2.5v. Now I just have to decide if I want 15 minutes of 100% brightness or 30 minutes of 95% to 30% brightness. I tested with blue, because PL9823 defaults to blue, and it's actually the color I care most about.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 08:21:28 PM
Hmm, looking at panasonic discharge curves, it seems that the battery will stay above 3.3v for the majority of the discharge time, and then start dropping quicker and quicker at the end. At 3.3v, the blade still has *most* of it's brightness, so maybe I should think of it as 20 minutes of 80% brightness or more.

Now I just need to find out if running the blade at less voltage lets me get rid of the level converter, because that would be *sweet*.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 08:44:47 PM
Answer: No, I can't get by without a level shifter.
In fact: The PL9823 LEDs don't are not particularly stable at 3.5 volts, even *with* a level shifter.
(At 4.1 volts they behave much better.)

So, I guess that pretty much settles it, I'm going to keep using my BEC.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 20, 2016, 09:13:04 PM
The BEC I have can be programmed to change the voltage. It's too bad that the lowest voltage I can specify is 4.8 volts. If it could go lower, it could directly drive LEDs, which would be an awesome feature.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 21, 2016, 10:55:46 PM
I've been working on a chassis for my saber:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=16LO1L_NcDsejPNwieQItPn6AyV-HVzVLDA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=16LO1L_NcDsejPNwieQItPn6AyV-HVzVLDA)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=13O8KtUZBBtx4VQ0gVwKXklxb6_X4MaWCsQ) (http://ttps://drive.google.com/open?id=13O8KtUZBBtx4VQ0gVwKXklxb6_X4MaWCsQ)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=18j4QmO5LjK39e80hUWhx0X-5TE0VgKAq2w) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=18j4QmO5LjK39e80hUWhx0X-5TE0VgKAq2w)

It's going to be a pain to print on an FDM printer (which is what I have). I might have to build supports into the design.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on June 22, 2016, 05:24:01 AM
Answer: No, I can't get by without a level shifter.
In fact: The PL9823 LEDs don't are not particularly stable at 3.5 volts, even *with* a level shifter.
(At 4.1 volts they behave much better.)

So, I guess that pretty much settles it, I'm going to keep using my BEC.

I'm just curious what you use as a level shifter and if it has enough current capability to fully supply the LEDs. Unfortunately the PL9823 datasheet is very basic, it does not even have a proper electrical parameters table. I looked up that of the WS2812B, it says the LEDs have 2-2.2V (red) and 3.4V (green/blue) max voltage, so any voltage above 3.4V is wasted. But I will do a shmoo with my LED stripe to see at using which color where the clamp begins and where do I see a sudden increase in current.

But I saw one strange drawing the datasheet for the PL, it has a limiting resistor drawn, this could maybe explain the difference, maybe the PL has a passive current limiting while the WS does it with active components.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 22, 2016, 09:26:24 AM
The BEC provides the current. The level shifter is simply a 74xx125 gate which shifts the control signal from 3.3 volts to 5 volts.
I don't think it's a resistor, I just think the LED voltage is higer and/or the constant current drive has a larger drop. Either way, the brightness isn't the biggest problem, the biggest problem is that I can't reliably control the LEDs when they run at 3.5 volts.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 22, 2016, 03:41:04 PM
Hmm, I just realized that if I use a FET or PEX (which is a FET) instead of a level shifter, it will make the led star adapter simpler. It just means I need to add a pull-up resistor and add some code to invert the control signals for neopixels. I will update the circuit diagram later today. :)

The simpler the better, right?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 22, 2016, 08:38:14 PM
As promised, a new circuit diagram:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=11l-Gsv27OCyR8ecdT5U9MUTAVltuxtfdBg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=11l-Gsv27OCyR8ecdT5U9MUTAVltuxtfdBg)

New in this version: Got rid of the level shifter and replaced it with a FET or PEX, this lets me drive the blade control circuit with enough current to drive LEDs directly, which in turn simplifies the blade adapters. I also realized that because the kill-key circuit in the blade is an unregulated ground lead, I can use it to drive a third FET/PEX which lets me use RGB stars.

Note that the FET that drives the double ground wire to the blade cannot use a PEX if we want to be able to drive neopixel strips/strings, as it would use too much current.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 23, 2016, 11:01:00 AM
First part of the chassis printed out:
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1Rl5tJeXou-2_nIy_HKxaJcsr81NgCFUkjw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Rl5tJeXou-2_nIy_HKxaJcsr81NgCFUkjw)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1KzzNTZhurTYckxrFsaCViUBEm0hzE-XGig) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KzzNTZhurTYckxrFsaCViUBEm0hzE-XGig)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=12bk_WSTUef8AcQHU-tULkvuJE1K7pLVFQw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=12bk_WSTUef8AcQHU-tULkvuJE1K7pLVFQw)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 25, 2016, 01:40:33 AM
Got my SK6812 strips today. It was super-easy to build a blade from them, they work well at 3.2 volts and they are about as bright as the PL9823, or maybe a little brighter, while drawing less amps.

However, I am not happy with how the blade turned out, it just didn't get diffused properly. The strips have 60 leds per meter. Since they are directed, I folded it double so that there would be LEDs both on the back and on the front. I then diffused it with packing foam, a TCSS inner diffuser and a trans-white polycarbonate tube, same as my PL9823 blade.

This is the result:
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1dN4BSc8WpNNN58hOO6gncNAHpXZSyrSKiQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dN4BSc8WpNNN58hOO6gncNAHpXZSyrSKiQ)
(Looks like there are alien eggs glowing inside my lightsaber)

If I had 144 leds / meter, the result might be better, but even if there was an infinite number of leds per meter, there would still be a definite shadow on the "sides" of the blade, and this is with the slim 4mm wide strips, wider strips would probably have even more shading. Maybe if I was making 1" blades, I could add enough diffuser to make it work.

If anybody reading this has any ideas of how to improve the diffusion, please let me know.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 25, 2016, 04:40:43 AM
How tough/flexible are the strips? Could you loosely plat 3 together? You'd get more LEDs per meter of actual blade and more of a 360deg effect. Suspect it'll still corn-cob but worth a try.

I'd instantly be trying to fit 3 x 3-plats inside there lol.

Failing that, it still might be worth a look at trying to get 3 strips in there, in a triangle cross-section. Maybe a polycarb dowel up the middle with them attached on 3 sides?

Also, is it possible to fold the strip like this? -- (yellow blob = LED chip)

(https://s31.postimg.org/p699k72y3/strips.png)

OR, if you had a dowel up the middle, could you wind the strip onto it in a spiral, like wrapping a handle with leather? Or even do it in a double helix.

I am awaiting some strips actually, so if you haven't found a solution by the time they arrive I'll have a go too.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 25, 2016, 04:45:30 AM
Another idea: fold over 2 strips to make 2 x double sided, and then make this...

(https://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.easypeasyandfun.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F07%2FFolding-Instructions.jpg&hash=d47f53102f9c4dbed4eddf0f79201022)


Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 25, 2016, 11:34:45 AM
Three strips in a triangle configuration would fit, I just didn't order enough, also, it would make the "core" bigger, which means less packing foam.  Same thing for wrapping it around a dowel. I might experiment, but I'm skeptical. The more you "arrange" the LEDs, the closer they get to the surface, which will make them harder to diffuse well.

The strips I bought are pretty thin, the major component is the copper, so it folds kind of like thin metal. Folding them should be possible, but you'd have to be very careful, as it could pop off the components or damage the copper. Also, you would have to make sure that the none of the open pads touch each other. I don't think I'm going to try to fold mine, I think it's more likely to break them than produce a good blade.

Here is a picture of the 4mm strips I bought (search for ws2811 3535 on ebay):

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1W73-bFKHH_xwIfF4AlK1Vdq0AoAlQcan6g) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W73-bFKHH_xwIfF4AlK1Vdq0AoAlQcan6g)

I think the configuration that is most likely to work is to get 3 or 4 strips at 144 leds per meter. (Unfortunately, I have not found 4mm-strips with 144 leds per meter.)  Then configure them into a triangle or square shape. Since each strip can draw up to 8A per meter, it would suck up power like crazy though. My current hilt configuration could not support that.

Let me know how yours turn out TheBaconWizard, I'd be very interested if you find a way to make it work.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 25, 2016, 03:51:05 PM
Yeah, will do.

Mine are actually 6v analogue strips (really hard to find!) so it's only the physical configuration that I can help with, but I'll certainly do that.

I kinda thought all string blades were 1inch though, you are using 3/4?

Also, Makoto foam is supposed to be better, but again I think it only comes for 1inch :(

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 25, 2016, 04:12:40 PM
I'm making 7/8" blades for my Graflex 2.0. (2.1?)
I have some tubes with a 3/4" inner diameter from TCSS, which is the same as the thick-walled 1" blades. I also have some thicker blades from ShadyCanuck which have a 5/8" inner diameter. I'm planning to put the 3mm led string I'm working on in one of those. The Makoto foam goes on the outside of the blade though, right?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 25, 2016, 06:55:58 PM
The outside stuff does exist, but no, the string goes in the middle of it and it slides into the blade.

My darkcore blade needs a string to be bright enough so I am speaking to a supplier in china about getting 200m of the stuff.

Have you considered using some cellophane wrap?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 26, 2016, 12:51:32 AM
Hmm, it would seem that power FETs aren't really happy to switch at ~800KHz. It mostly works, but causes the blade to flicker sometimes. however, I discovered that with a 100ohm resistor, a level shifter isn't really needed. (Not sure why that didn't work last time I tried it.) I also discovered that if I lower the frequency to 580Khz, the PL9823 blade works well down to 3.2 volts. (And then it starts to flicker.) Sooooo, that means that getting rid of the BEC and running the blade directly from a li-ion battery is back on the table again.




Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 26, 2016, 10:11:23 PM
I'm working on a new circuit diagram for using a single li-ion battery rather than 4x10440 a BEC, and I realize I have some options for how to wire it up:

Option one: I could use a standard 2.1mm charge port. I don't really need it for the kill key though since my blade is my kill key.
PROS: Standard charge plug, opens up a pin in the blade connector which could be used for something else, like maybe RGBW stars.
CONS: Have to unscrew the pommel to charge, takes up space in the hilt

Option two: I could charge the battery through the connector at the bottom of the blade holder. The charger would be a special blade plug which hooks up to a 4.2v 500mA power supply.
PROS: fewer parts, more space in the hilt, no need to unscrew anything to charge
CONS: no RGBW stars (but RGB is still possible), need to make a special blade plug for charging.

What do you guys think?

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on June 27, 2016, 12:18:17 AM
The bladeplug charger is very cool imo. Personally I don't see the point in a charger-port that you must unscrew the pommel-for. If you have to unscrew the pommel, then you might as well remove and replace the battery while you're at it.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 29, 2016, 10:40:18 AM
Well, I think I worked out a way to support RGBW stars and charging through a blade plug. :)
While testing it out I figured out why my PL9823 blade is having problems with low voltages: One of the LEDs in the middle of the blade is dead. It's so well diffused that I didn't notice for a long time. :)

Apparently the dead LED still lets the data signal through if the voltage is high enough. I'm going to replace it tonight and see if the blade works better with low voltages after that. Luckily I had not glued the ends of the blade yet. (In fact, I might not do that at all since they seem to stay in place pretty well with just friction.)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 29, 2016, 10:18:54 PM
Time for an updated circuit diagram:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1CRhYHJYreh6C2CX_Xqa1NOb9g3vwAiZIKA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CRhYHJYreh6C2CX_Xqa1NOb9g3vwAiZIKA)

There has been a few changes since last time:
There is a single li-ion battery instead of 4 batteries in serial.
The LEDs runs directly off the battery, they use resistors as current limiters and FETs for control.
Blade ID and WS2811 control now share a pin in the blade connector.
Three powered channels makes it very easy to hook up RGB stars.
RGBW stars are possible, but requires a FET/PEX in the blade adapter.
Charging is done though a special blade plug. The special blade plug will have a 2.1mm jack at the end and one (or a few) neopixels in it to indicate charge status.
Battery level only needs one resistor, because the pull-down resistor in the teensy can be used as the other half of the voltage divider.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on June 30, 2016, 03:39:27 PM
I think I shall name the three FETs in my design.
How about Cassus, Jango and Boba FET?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 03, 2016, 12:21:27 AM
Replaced the faulty PL9823 in my string blade today, now it works all the way down to 1.7 volts!
(Although, at that voltage, only the red LEDs light up at all.) At 2.7, the all colors work well, but not nearly as bright as they could be.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 08, 2016, 12:53:09 AM
Electronics is all put together, except for the buttons:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=13OwVOwWIp3GwRiTld8f-9AbWFRMTMK8veg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=13OwVOwWIp3GwRiTld8f-9AbWFRMTMK8veg)

Quite the ratsnest, hopefully it will actually fit. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 08, 2016, 09:33:20 PM
Ok, I'm officially confused.
It seems I hooked everything up right, but two things don't quite work the way I intended.

1) If I hook up a bench supply instead of a battery, the power booster draws nearly two amps of power and gets really  hot. (I'm using the lipower booster from sparkfun.) Not sure what's up with that, and it could be a problem when charging the battery. If I plug in a battery, everything seems to work fine, and the booster does not heat up. Weird!

2) When I pull the FET gates low, the FETs still seem to conduct some power. I read about 2 volts over the LED string, and unless I make sure the LEDs are off before I disable the FETs, they still glow. I've measured the source-gate voltage on the FETs, and it's only a few millivolts, so I don't know why they would still conduct. Interestingly, they seem to stop conducting when I flash a new program onto the teensy, but I don't know why.

Neither of these are going to stop me from making an awesome lightsaber, but they are definitely mystifying. If anybody has any ideas, let me know.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 08, 2016, 10:38:50 PM
Mystery (2) solved: I skipped the 50-100ohm resistor that hooks up to the data-in on the first PL9823 in the string. Aparently the PL9823 could source enough current from that one pin to make a whole bunch of LEDs glow.

I think I'll just add code to stop driving that pin when the power is off, and then I won't have to add the resistor back in. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 09, 2016, 01:59:50 AM
Seems the battery I bought isn't very good. Unless the battery is completely full, the protection circuit cuts in when I turn the blade on, especially if I turn the blade "white". The battery is supposed to be good for 10A, but I think maybe it undervolts when I turn the blade on, causing the protection circuit to cut it off. I tried adding a big capacitor, but that seems to have made it worse somehow.

I've ordered some alternatives from liion wholesale (http://liionwholesale.com/), some of which are unprotected and can tolerate spikes up to 100A.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on July 09, 2016, 01:43:10 PM
Mystery (2) solved: I skipped the 50-100ohm resistor that hooks up to the data-in on the first PL9823 in the string. Aparently the PL9823 could source enough current from that one pin to make a whole bunch of LEDs glow.

I think I'll just add code to stop driving that pin when the power is off, and then I won't have to add the resistor back in. :)

It's funny, I had the exact same problem with Arduino. It also took me some time to figure out the reason. Actually it happened in both directions.
1. I removed the 5V/battery from the stripe, but left the USB connected to the Arduino. The digital line used for programming the strings had enough current capability to back-supply the stripe from the USB.
2. Later when I introduced a similar technique as you to disconnect this time the GND of the stripes, I again had the faint glow on the first LED of the stripe. It turned out, that the digital pin again if it is left in logical LOW/0 state, will reconnect through itself the GND to the stripes I just disconnected using the FETs. So I had to constrain the I/O to HIGH/1 in order to avoid it.

Good point though, I will take this latter point up in the DIYino User Manual.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 10, 2016, 09:47:10 PM
Well, today was pretty much an unmitigated disaster.
I was trying to figure out mystery (1), so I hooked replaced the battery with a few leads to the breadboard, hooked up an amp meter and started trying stuff. First I tried the bench supply, and the booster started heating up.
Then I tried the battery, and the same thing happened.  At this time I thought maybe the booster is broken, so I removed it and found that the teensy was also eating power like crazy. I thought perhaps I had a busted amp, so I took everything apart, which was a pain in the behind. I tried it again, and still it was eating power like crazy.

At this point I just about gave up and assumed everything was just toast, but then I noticed that I had the polarity backwards! I reversed the polarity, and everything started working just fine again. Gah!

Anyways, I'm taking the opportunity to clean up the ratsnest a bit by using ribbon cables, so the whole thing will be a little neater. But, and I cannot emphasize this enough: Gah!

Anyways, back to your regular scheduled programming, nothing to see here folks.
Oh, and when your stuff doesn't work: Check the polarity people!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Sethski on July 11, 2016, 01:56:44 AM
Phew! I thought you'd fried some of your kit when I read 'unmitigated disaster'  :shocked:

Glad that wasn't the case  :wink:
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on July 11, 2016, 07:46:21 AM
Take it as a hand of fate. A while back I did the same to a MR Darth Vader saber (the more expensive Hasbros) and reversing the polarity instantly fried the board. I was furious and frustrated. But I had to replace the board. Long story I do not want to tell, but it got me on the path to build my own board for string sabers. I'm now glad that I fried that board :)

In your case it ended good, nothing fried, although it's a miracle...
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 11, 2016, 10:45:37 AM
I actually think it's really important to talk about the failures as well as the successes. Not only might it be helpful to someone who encounters a similar problem, but it also makes people not feel like idiots when their projects fail spectacularly. It's going to happen, it happens to everybody, get used to it and make sure to buy extra of all your components.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 12, 2016, 09:52:59 PM
The cram-fu is strong in this one...

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1n0X4BXTfyJ2Wn4kCELHRswgrA6Et0RYiXg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1n0X4BXTfyJ2Wn4kCELHRswgrA6Et0RYiXg)

I had to take off the connector on the voltage booster and replace several cables with shorter versions to make everything small enough to (hopefully) fit, with enough space left over for an 18650 battery. I don't think I have to worry about securing anything really, because there won't be any space for anything to move anyways....




Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on July 13, 2016, 05:45:47 AM
I wholeheartedly agree to your comment about failures. Yes, we and all the other can learn the best from these examples. Making failures means you work and you experience. Better a few mistakes than no work done...

And if these mistakes and the lessons learned are shared, they become valuable to the community as well.

I do not believe any one of us managed to make a saber without any hick-ups. If someone would tell me that, I would outright laugh at him/her.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 18, 2016, 09:59:13 AM
Been mostly working on the software for the last few days. I've re-written the WAV player, so now I have: gapless playback, support for 11, 22 and 44kHz, multiple simultaneous sounds, dynamic compression and rudimentary support for both monophonic and polyphonic sound fonts.  Also, I can play background music at the same time.

Also, I got some new 18650 batteries to play with. I'm particularly fond of the Samsung 25R INR battery. Lasts a long time and provides plenty of current. (Rated for 25A)  Of course, if I ever short it, I'm likely to set something on fire since it's unprotected, but dangerous toys are more fun, right?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 24, 2016, 09:23:06 PM
Lots of progress in the last week.

First of all, the hilt is done, more or less, I might still tweak a few things:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1PFcvFGDV2_H7cKuX2cnbId-awlO46COGSw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PFcvFGDV2_H7cKuX2cnbId-awlO46COGSw)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1EehQdf8dZsjlO_k0zOkkr9U7njyzvh6DEg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EehQdf8dZsjlO_k0zOkkr9U7njyzvh6DEg)

It's a standard Graflex 2.5, nothing much to see here. except maybe the tape-covered circuit board which is configured as a touch button and the micro sd and micro usb accessible through the pommel. The micro usb can be used to flash new firmware, and of course the sd card contains the sound fonts.

Second, I finished the charging adapter:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=17pWCyCwfvO11-Y3S_RXmfgBc4-kIsuv2xA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=17pWCyCwfvO11-Y3S_RXmfgBc4-kIsuv2xA)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1_OjAJm4ZAlom-Nw7sfNe-nSVhZeECx5PdQ) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_OjAJm4ZAlom-Nw7sfNe-nSVhZeECx5PdQ)

Looks decent, but I might make another one using trans-white tube to see what that looks like. I learned that ABS cement (ABS dissolved in acetone) is NOT the right thing to glue polycarbonate with, as it causes cracks. The adapter is still fine and strong enough, but it would be a disaster for a dueling blade. Live and learn...

The core of the code is finished (audio playback, blade control, buttons, battery sense, etc. ) but there is still a lot of higher features not there, like stab sounds and some sort of settings menu.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on July 30, 2016, 09:20:30 PM
Ok, more progress, the website (http://fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber) for the teensy saber is done enough that it might be useful to someone, so time to put the links out there. You can download the software from there, even though it's not done yet, and the chassis design is available, together with lots of pictures. Three of the four blade pages are not done yet though, but I'm working on it.

Feel free to drop feedback in this thread, PM me, or, if you prefer, just curse me silently and don't let me know.

Once I think the website and the software is more or less feature-complete, I intend to start a new thread, specifically so that people can comment, ask questions and what not, but right now it's probably better to focus on the people who have been following this thread.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Sethski on August 04, 2016, 11:36:13 AM
Website's looking good and clear with info and to navigate - thanks for putting that together and sharing  :wink:

I'm curious re how sound effects are implemented. I read earlier in the thread about applying effects to the hum during swings and wondered if this is in addition to a swing sound being mixed with it or if this IS the swing sound?

I remember some time ago a promising custom board in well-developed prototype stage - 'Hiltworks' - which I guess the creator/developer lost interest in, but had excitement and interest from myself and a lot of folks on the forum at the time. Part of the appeal was around the swing sounds being generated by applying effects to the hum sound based on motion detection data, ehich made for a pretty seamless correlation between the two. I wondered if your solution with the Teensy works on a similar basis or is a more traditional transitioning/mixing of sound clips? Or something between these.

The Hiltworks thread is here HiltWorks Project Demo (http://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?topic=32098.0) and the web page with links to demo videos is still up HiltWorks (http://hiltworks.com/) if they're of interest.

It still carries a lot of (personal) appeal as an alternative to the usual approach, even with the advances with boards and motion detection with sound since then...
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 04, 2016, 12:32:50 PM
Website's looking good and clear with info and to navigate - thanks for putting that together and sharing  :wink:

I'm curious re how sound effects are implemented. I read earlier in the thread about applying effects to the hum during swings and wondered if this is in addition to a swing sound being mixed with it or if this IS the swing sound?

I remember some time ago a promising custom board in well-developed prototype stage - 'Hiltworks' - which I guess the creator/developer lost interest in, but had excitement and interest from myself and a lot of folks on the forum at the time. Part of the appeal was around the swing sounds being generated by applying effects to the hum sound based on motion detection data, ehich made for a pretty seamless correlation between the two. I wondered if your solution with the Teensy works on a similar basis or is a more traditional transitioning/mixing of sound clips? Or something between these.

The Hiltworks thread is here HiltWorks Project Demo (http://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?topic=32098.0) and the web page with links to demo videos is still up HiltWorks (http://hiltworks.com/) if they're of interest.

It still carries a lot of (personal) appeal as an alternative to the usual approach, even with the advances with boards and motion detection with sound since then...

Cool, I'll have to look into that.

Currently the sound effects just use sound fonts. Synthesizing the swing sounds was more difficult than I thought, so that part of the code is just not finished yet. I still want to do that, it's just fallen a bit lower on my todo list.

I do have a pretty reasonable "hum" synthesizer, which reacts to small (non-swing) motion, but it's not in use in the code right now.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Sethski on August 05, 2016, 12:48:47 AM
I imagine that would be a substantial and challenging undertaking - it would be great to see it come to fruition and hope the open source approach may be helpful in enabling that.

I'm certainly inspired by your work and hope to invest in some parts (Teensy, Prop Shield, neopixel string, etc) and time to spend on them myself later this year and start to get a bit better understanding of all that entails.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on August 05, 2016, 04:24:51 AM
Website's looking good and clear with info and to navigate - thanks for putting that together and sharing  :wink:

I'm curious re how sound effects are implemented. I read earlier in the thread about applying effects to the hum during swings and wondered if this is in addition to a swing sound being mixed with it or if this IS the swing sound?

I remember some time ago a promising custom board in well-developed prototype stage - 'Hiltworks' - which I guess the creator/developer lost interest in, but had excitement and interest from myself and a lot of folks on the forum at the time. Part of the appeal was around the swing sounds being generated by applying effects to the hum sound based on motion detection data, ehich made for a pretty seamless correlation between the two. I wondered if your solution with the Teensy works on a similar basis or is a more traditional transitioning/mixing of sound clips? Or something between these.

The Hiltworks thread is here HiltWorks Project Demo (http://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?topic=32098.0) and the web page with links to demo videos is still up HiltWorks (http://hiltworks.com/) if they're of interest.

It still carries a lot of (personal) appeal as an alternative to the usual approach, even with the advances with boards and motion detection with sound since then...

Cool, I'll have to look into that.

Currently the sound effects just use sound fonts. Synthesizing the swing sounds was more difficult than I thought, so that part of the code is just not finished yet. I still want to do that, it's just fallen a bit lower on my todo list.

I do have a pretty reasonable "hum" synthesizer, which reacts to small (non-swing) motion, but it's not in use in the code right now.

Whatever I can bring to that, I will. The problem facing you imo is that it will get old, fast, unless a variety of different functions are used to vary the hum during a swing motion. Otherwise it would simply a matter of make it a bit louder, maybe rise in pitch a little, and perhaps a little distortion.

Doppler effect is handy too.

The  list of what you COULD do is pretty long, and it all takes processing power.  that being said it wouldn't need to do all of them all the time, but select from a choice of functions, maybe even transitioning from one to another at the peak of the swing.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on August 05, 2016, 06:26:03 AM
Now speaking of changing pitch of hum sound when moving the hilt: I became so fond of the idea, that I tried to do something similar on my DIYino Prime board. I knew that I did not have acess to the sound files since they are processed by a dedicated encoder chip. But this same chip has the function to change the equalizer to different genres. I tried this and it gave good results, pitch can be changed. So I was about to implement it when I found out that changing the EQ only works for MP3 format, not for WAV... problem with MP3 is, it does not allow gapless playback. Maybe if time permits I will again explore changing between MP3 and WAV.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on August 05, 2016, 07:21:36 AM
Now speaking of changing pitch of hum sound when moving the hilt: I became so fond of the idea, that I tried to do something similar on my DIYino Prime board. I knew that I did not have acess to the sound files since they are processed by a dedicated encoder chip. But this same chip has the function to change the equalizer to different genres. I tried this and it gave good results, pitch can be changed. So I was about to implement it when I found out that changing the EQ only works for MP3 format, not for WAV... problem with MP3 is, it does not allow gapless playback. Maybe if time permits I will again explore changing between MP3 and WAV.

Nice idea!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 06, 2016, 05:20:59 PM
Here is my design for an adapter that lets me use hollow blades in my hilt.
(Also, if you have multiple adapters, it makes it easy to change between red/red/white, blue/blue/white and red/green/blue, or whatever combination you want.)
It's intended to be made on a lathe, and should hopefully be pretty easy to make.
It's made up of three parts, colored red, green and yellow in this picture and is held together with some set screws. (black)
The bayonet cut in the front should couple up with a custom t-shaped key that lets you pull the adapter out of the hilt easily.

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA)

I'm not a machinist myself, and I don't have a lathe, but if anybody is able to make one of these for me, PM me with a cost estimate.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 06, 2016, 06:05:40 PM
Tried using white shrink-tube to diffuse my LED strips, total bust, it reduces the brightness quite a lot but doesn't actually diffuse it that well, probably because it's too close to the LEDs. Oh well, worth a try I guess.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on August 07, 2016, 01:37:06 PM
Tried using white shrink-tube to diffuse my LED strips, total bust, it reduces the brightness quite a lot but doesn't actually diffuse it that well, probably because it's too close to the LEDs. Oh well, worth a try I guess.
Sorry, pretty sure you mentioned it, but what kind of string density are you using? The 144LED/m type? With the transwhite blades from TCSS you can diffuse the light very nicely, individual leds will not be visible. For sure some intensity will go lost on the way, but that's a fair trade off.
I recently bought 2meters of the 144 type, I will glue them back to back and feed it into a TCSS blade and make a video with some close ups.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 07, 2016, 06:06:55 PM
I'm using the 60 leds / meter type.
My original hilt design didn't have the amps needed to drive the 144 leds / m, so I bought 60 leds / m.
My current design can totally supply the required 12 amps, it will go over the specs of the connector slightly, but not enough that I would worry about it. The pins are rated for 5 amps, and I use two for the positive side and three for the negative side, so technically the limit is 10 amps, but whatever.

I'll keep an eye out for some slim 144 leds / m strips.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 07, 2016, 06:22:13 PM
Tried using white shrink-tube to diffuse my LED strips, total bust, it reduces the brightness quite a lot but doesn't actually diffuse it that well, probably because it's too close to the LEDs. Oh well, worth a try I guess.
Sorry, pretty sure you mentioned it, but what kind of string density are you using? The 144LED/m type? With the transwhite blades from TCSS you can diffuse the light very nicely, individual leds will not be visible. For sure some intensity will go lost on the way, but that's a fair trade off.
I recently bought 2meters of the 144 type, I will glue them back to back and feed it into a TCSS blade and make a video with some close ups.

Btw, are hou using 1" blades? I'm wondering if the extra space in the 1" blades diffuses the light better.
(I'm using 7/8" blades.)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on August 08, 2016, 04:22:21 AM
For lack of anything else I use the 1" blades. So far I have 2 pcs from the heavy duelling transwhite blade from TCSS (overkill I know), including the diffuser tube. I have to ephasize that for any kind of string blade both are absolutely necessary:
- transwhite blade (i.e. http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/1-Thin-walled-Trans-White-PolyC-40-long-P529.aspx (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/1-Thin-walled-Trans-White-PolyC-40-long-P529.aspx))
- diffuser tube inside the transwhite blade (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/40-LED-blade-diffuser-for-1-thin-walled-blades-P449.aspx (http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/40-LED-blade-diffuser-for-1-thin-walled-blades-P449.aspx))

Any less than that and no matter how dense your string is, you will see the individual LEDs. It's way better to loose brightness than to have the LEDs visible through the blade. Oh, I have one neopixel saber with 60L/m type, that one is impossible to diffuse so that the pixels are not visible (I tried all possible combinations of blade types and diffusing material, but simply the distance between the LEDs is too big and the viewing angle too narrow). So go for the 144L/m!

These blades are very hard to source in Europe, so far the only source for them is still TCSS.



Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 08, 2016, 11:32:03 AM
While more work, I really like my string of PL9823s. It's much easier to diffuse and requires a lot less power to drive. (Because it's not double-sided.) I've ordered some 144 leds/m (7mm wide) strips to see how that turns out, I'm also considering ordering some 5mm APA106 LEDs. They work the same as the PL9823, but come in a shorter version, which should let me cram in more LEDs. Unfortunately they are not diffused, but I'm not sure that matters.

I'm using 7/8" blades, and I have some thin-walled trans-white blades from TCSS, and I have some thick-walled ones from ShadyCanuck. The thick-walled ones are clear, and the internal diameter is 5/8", so they can't hold the diffuser tube from TCSS, however, I think they will work fine for my simple string blade, which is made from 3mm LEDs.

What I would really like is some 7/8" photon blades, they would look fantastic lit up with a string of blue LEDs, but that doesn't seem to exist yet.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 13, 2016, 11:26:46 PM
Software is coming along nicely, version 1.11 handles most things it needs to make a good light saber. I have two blades completed now; the PL9823 blade and the 150x30ma led string. Interestingly, the 130x30ma LED string is not actually much brighter than the PL9823 blade, and not nearly as fun to play with.

Next I plan to make some demo videos showing it off, maybe tomorrow.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Sethski on August 14, 2016, 11:30:31 AM
Great to read of more progress, look forward to videos  :wink:
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 14, 2016, 04:40:04 PM
Finished another saber today:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1ckW58ZEWtMbRzgdhXsL9BaUy-iRBY5rejA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ckW58ZEWtMbRzgdhXsL9BaUy-iRBY5rejA)

 :wink:
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on August 14, 2016, 11:15:02 PM
 :laugh:
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 15, 2016, 08:25:18 PM
Eureka!

I've had some problems with my saber crashing when powering on the blade suddenly. For the most part I've worked around it by introducing 10ms (or more) ramp-up time for the blade, but it doesn't always work.

So yesterday I started poking around with the circuit diagram for the TeensySaber V2, and I noticed that the voltage booster has a capacitor hooked up to the low-voltage shutdown pin, according to the design, this is supposed to avoid triggering the low-voltage shutdown when voltage is first applied. Unfortunately, it also translates any voltage drop on the input directly into the low-voltage shutdown pin. Because of the way it's configured, a sudden voltage drop of about 0.16 volts will cause it to shut off the voltage booster for a short time. Or at least that was the theory. Today I removed the offending capacitor from the board, and the crashes went away!

Now I just need to update the build instructions!

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on August 16, 2016, 11:36:52 PM
Good job at solving that problem, thinking like a real engineer (which you are for sure I guess, no other guys can put together a working saber electronics on their own...)!

I have a similar problem with one of my DIYino sabers, at clashes it can go into power-up reset. Because that one I power with a single 3.7V Li-Ion Battery I'm aware that I use it at close to the Vmin condition, so any sudden current surge can cause a drop which leads to an undervoltage. This one uses neopixels also. My current theory I have to check is, that when there is a clash, I change from a reddish-yellowish hue to an abrupt change to full white for 50ms. That is of course a current increase which can lead to undervoltage reset... so I need to see if a shorter flash-on-clash solves the problem. I use the same color change, but for a shorter period on blaster deflect and so far no issue.

I had in the past another reset issue, that one was found to be caused by the battery loosing temporarily contact to the battery holder upon clash. I fixed it with isolating tape, now the little bugger is not jumping around!
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 17, 2016, 12:58:01 AM
Are you using protected or unprotected batteries?
My first battery was protected, and it seemed to cause some problems during spikes, using unprotected batteries has it's own issues, but it spikes cutting out the power is not one of them. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 17, 2016, 10:47:58 AM
Aw crap!  I mean: Yay! now I have to redesign everything better!

Teensy 3.5 & 3.6 by Paul Stoffregen ? Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulstoffregen/teensy-35-and-36)

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 17, 2016, 09:54:07 PM
Got my 144 LEDs/m strips today, blade assembly has begun...
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 18, 2016, 12:25:28 AM
Looks like the 144led/m blade is going to work pretty well, the LEDs are close enough that diffusion should not be a problem I think.
It seems to be a touch brighter than the PL9823 blade, which is good, and of course it's a lot less work to make.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Sethski on August 18, 2016, 09:18:53 AM
Good to hear re the 144LED/m strip looking to be a bit brighter and positive first impressions re spacing/diffusion. Are you planning to use a single strip or 2 back to back? Interested to see if it'll present any issues viewing blade from different angles, such as when the strips in blade are 'side-on' to the viewer (if 2 back to back).
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 18, 2016, 10:21:51 AM
I'm using 2 strips, back-to-back.
The strips are SK6812-based and only 7mm wide, which should help with diffusing the sides. (I hope)
I'm a little disappointed that it's not *a lot* brighter than my PL9823 blade though, as it has nearly twice as many LEDs and draws twice as much power.

I think I'm going to have to build a string from APA106 LEDs next. They are similar to the PL9823 LEDs, but shorter and not diffused. I should be able to squeeze in quite a few of those in a 40" blade.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 19, 2016, 04:46:20 PM
I have some second saber woes.

I'd like to make a second saber...
.. but do I really want to spend hundreds of dollars on another saber?
... it would be really handy to have one when comparing brightness of different blades though...
.... but none of the other sabers are as cool as a graflex, and do I really need another graflex?
..... I really would like to work on a V2 of my sound electronics though, and I need *something* to put it in...
....... The OWK saber is kind of cool, but has an inner diameter of .883, not sure if I can squeeze everything in there....

goto 10
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 20, 2016, 09:09:07 PM
Has anybody tried putting a 7/8" blade inside a 1" thin-walled blade?
I've been wanting a photon blade, and this might be a way to do it.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 23, 2016, 03:13:59 PM
Here is my design for an adapter that lets me use hollow blades in my hilt.
(Also, if you have multiple adapters, it makes it easy to change between red/red/white, blue/blue/white and red/green/blue, or whatever combination you want.)
It's intended to be made on a lathe, and should hopefully be pretty easy to make.
It's made up of three parts, colored red, green and yellow in this picture and is held together with some set screws. (black)
The bayonet cut in the front should couple up with a custom t-shaped key that lets you pull the adapter out of the hilt easily.

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA)

I'm not a machinist myself, and I don't have a lathe, but if anybody is able to make one of these for me, PM me with a cost estimate.


I think I figured out a simpler way to build this adapter.
Basically, start with a copper pipe, cut a groove at both ends for retention rings and use a dremel to make the bayonet cut.
Put a stack of copper washers behind the LED (possibly stick them together with thermal tape.)
Use a 3d-printed piece to hold the connector part and a silicon tube to add tension, holding everything together. I've ordered the pieces, it it works I'll add detailed drawings and instructions to my website.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 23, 2016, 10:36:38 PM
Finished my third blade today, using 2 x 144 led/m strips. The diffusion worked out good enough. (It would have worked out better if I could have used a transwhite tube, but the inner diffuser just didn't fit. For some reason the transwhite blade are slightly smaller, both inside and outside. Also, I didn't do a great job on the packing foam wrapping, so there are a few creases, which show up on the blade, but are not overly visible.

The blade is a little brighter than the PL9823 blade, but perhaps more importantly, it is also lighter than the string blades, making it easier to swing around. Now I just need to update the instructions. Also, I'm going to make a video to try to compare the brightness of the blades.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 24, 2016, 11:24:52 PM
Brightness comparison time...

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1-XAMtXAeKz3__GkrgYLXjwyJfBDY2nJwVw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-XAMtXAeKz3__GkrgYLXjwyJfBDY2nJwVw)

From the top:

I was a bit surprised by the results myself, I did not realize that the two neopixel blades are nearly identical in brightness, even though the strip blade draws more power and has more LEDs. I also did not realize just how much brighter the string blade is than the other ones.

Of course, the neopixel blades are running at 1/3rd power here, since only the blue LEDs are on. Here is what happens if I turn blade (2) to white:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=139Fr2q0S7D8epW4-Wr82-N22lugy9ExdbA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=139Fr2q0S7D8epW4-Wr82-N22lugy9ExdbA)

As you can see, at full power, the neopixel blade is pretty darn bright.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 25, 2016, 12:53:16 AM
Got my photon tube today. It looks like I can squeeze a 7/8" blade inside it... with a hammer.
I was hoping that it would be easy to slide a blade in and out of the photon tube, but that's not going to happen, so I'm probably going to make another LED string blade and shove it inside the photon tube.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on August 25, 2016, 07:34:48 AM
Will be interesting to hear the result: the thicker wall will dull the blade but the photon brightens it.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SpaceWindu on August 25, 2016, 11:25:55 AM
I really like the look of the all white #2
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 25, 2016, 12:06:22 PM
I think the camera is exaggerating it a little, and it's not a perfectly clean 5000k white, but it is still pretty cool. :)
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: TheBaconWizard on August 26, 2016, 07:38:37 AM
And you've had no problems with the back-to-back strings at 180degrees to the chips? No shadow?
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: Obi_1 on August 26, 2016, 10:19:24 AM
I really like the look of the all white #2

I secound it! From the pic it looks like it can take it on with the traditional LED string.

I'm now really itching to use my 2m of 144L/m to build a "better resolution" pixel blade.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 26, 2016, 02:49:35 PM
And you've had no problems with the back-to-back strings at 180degrees to the chips? No shadow?

It's not perfect, but it's quite good, much better than "good enough" in my opinion.
I have some imperfections in my foam padding wrapping, and those are much more noticeable. It's only an issue when you inspect it up close though.

I'm not sure if it's important, but I'm using the skinny 7mm strips, which might help reduce any shadows on the side.  Definitely need to use 144 leds / m strips, 60 leds per meter is just not enough.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 26, 2016, 02:57:47 PM
Btw, unprotected batteries are fun. (If you like smoking electronics)

My newest blade is a bit tight to insert in the blade, so it requires some force to insert. This somehow caused something to get bent in the blade connector, causing a short and my lightsaber started smoking.  The battery I'm using is capable of some pretty spectacular amps (100 amps for ~10 seconds.)  But it looks like nothing was actually damaged.

I had a similar problem with one of my earlier blades (but no smoke), and I fixed it by filling the female blade connector with hot glue, which I think I will do for all my blades, and recommend that other people do it too.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 26, 2016, 03:01:57 PM
I really like the look of the all white #2

I secound it! From the pic it looks like it can take it on with the traditional LED string.

I'm now really itching to use my 2m of 144L/m to build a "better resolution" pixel blade.

I'd like to point out that my "traditional LED string" is pretty powerful; It draws about 4.5A.
The white neopixel blade probably draws more than that, so it *should* be pretty bright.
(The specs says it might draw as much as 17A, but I don't think it does. I have not measured.)


Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: hybridtheory on August 27, 2016, 09:01:18 PM
I thoroughly enjoy reading your DIY lightsaber project, but couldn't download the Teensy Saber Firmware (lighsaber.ino) from your website: fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber/  Was it removed for some reason? Thanks.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 27, 2016, 09:42:21 PM
I thoroughly enjoy reading your DIY lightsaber project, but couldn't download the Teensy Saber Firmware (lighsaber.ino) from your website: fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber/  Was it removed for some reason? Thanks.

I renamed the file to include the version number, but forgot to update one of the links.
Should be fixed now, let me know if you still have a problem.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 27, 2016, 10:38:59 PM
Did some work on the LED adapter today, teaser shots:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1QfrkUHg5oMTsKejA6E06a5H4-lj3N6jxvg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QfrkUHg5oMTsKejA6E06a5H4-lj3N6jxvg)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1dL5_34BG72Wl8cQEFVwL-qEjSYYQG_pd6A) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dL5_34BG72Wl8cQEFVwL-qEjSYYQG_pd6A)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1ruE0cW8_BhytoIsyhea90qvCX4ZJIO9bcg) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ruE0cW8_BhytoIsyhea90qvCX4ZJIO9bcg)

It's not particularly pretty, but that's not really the point since you won't see it once it's inside the blade holder.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: hybridtheory on August 29, 2016, 12:54:08 AM
Still no luck with the Teensy Firmware file, when I clicked on the link, the webpage returns "Sorry! That file was not found.  Hubbe.net is constantly being updated and re-organized and the file you were looking for was not found. fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber/lighsaber-1.14.ino"
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 29, 2016, 09:19:18 AM
Still no luck with the Teensy Firmware file, when I clicked on the link, the webpage returns "Sorry! That file was not found.  Hubbe.net is constantly being updated and re-organized and the file you were looking for was not found. fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber/lighsaber-1.14.ino"

DOH! That's what I get for not actually testing something after I change it. (And stupidly assuming there was only *one* bug to fix...)
Anyways, should be fixed now. Thank you for taking the time to tell me about a problem found on my website, please continue to do so so I can keep making it better.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on August 31, 2016, 11:10:46 AM
I think I've decided to make an OWK saber my next build.
While I don't really need another saber, I do need an excuse to work on a "teensy saber v2" sound board.
The OWK is much smaller than a graflex 2.0 on the inside, so the V1 electronics will simply not fit.
The OWK can be configured for 7/8" blades, so I should be able to use my existing blades with it.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on September 02, 2016, 01:55:26 AM
Finished my first LED star adapter. It has a Cree Tri-XP-E2, blue-blue-white LED star in it, together with the correct resistors. Works like a charm:

(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=14RbpMWyhrcUBNSpHn6v6bPUSPE1KqHUqqw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=14RbpMWyhrcUBNSpHn6v6bPUSPE1KqHUqqw)(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=14n5AAKbmQAUABO7vmjg1GO2RQ3fe9ic4Ig) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=14n5AAKbmQAUABO7vmjg1GO2RQ3fe9ic4Ig)

Here is a shot using an empty trans-white tube, no blade film.
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1kX3-BMYgWoUv3-TJYxZuP0bh0DfGiS13Jw) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kX3-BMYgWoUv3-TJYxZuP0bh0DfGiS13Jw)

Also, my blade plug looks much cooler when lit up....
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1FMtKxnd1Iwj0bPkdDHxjmrngXD91nFH2LA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FMtKxnd1Iwj0bPkdDHxjmrngXD91nFH2LA)

I think using modules like this would be cool for other types of electronics as well, as it makes it super-easy to change the color of your saber, without resorting to RGB stars, which are just not as bright.

Tomorrow I will work on the instructions for how to make these.

Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: SpaceWindu on September 02, 2016, 10:33:40 AM
So cool. Great innovation
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on September 04, 2016, 12:44:26 PM
Earlier in this thread, I pointed out the importance of documenting your failures. Yet, I have failed to do so for the LED star adapter.
It didn't just appear fully formed, I've been thinking about how to make this thing for months.

I started with a TCSS 7/8" heatsink. My first idea was to add a small piece of wire, inside the edge that holds the lens in. This wire would go most of the way around, but leave a space where a tool could be inserted to extract the adapter from the hilt. While this could potentially work, I did not have a tool that would fit, and the narrow opening is probably not going to work well with a 3d-printed tool either. Also, I tried 3d printing something that would hold the blade connector to the bottom of the heatsink, but could not figure a way to attach it securely. FAIL.

So, I drew up a second design, with the intent of hiring a machinist to make it. It looked like this: (sorry about the rotation)
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=18BbIbFQvUztB0d-X7saO7zL6kx2A59NwDA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=18BbIbFQvUztB0d-X7saO7zL6kx2A59NwDA)

This is a tube, threaded all the way through with three inserts, all threaded on the outside. The tool needed to extract the adapter would be threaded too.

A quick chat with an actual machinist, and I was told that threads are a pain in the behind to make, again FAIL.

Next design:
(https://drive.google.com/thumbnail?authuser=0&sz=w320&id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA) (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pB4Hyo4HgPRhtdR1GnlsTKGXbsstt8gczA)

This one I was told wouldn't be *too* difficult to make on a lathe. It uses set screws to hold everything in place.
However, machinists are busy people, so I was told that maybe I could get it made in a few months.
I'm not very good at waiting, so I kept thinking about it, trying to come up with a design that I could actually make
myself, which is what led to the current design:

(https://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffredrik.hubbe.net%2Flightsaber%2Fadaptoid2.png&hash=52ecbfad72f0ce86a7d26ca4f8573eb2) (http://fredrik.hubbe.net/lightsaber/adaptoid2.png)

This one can be made with a dremel and a stand to hold it in place. Total success, it just took me three months to figure it out. :)



Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on September 09, 2016, 11:26:33 AM
I'm getting back to something that I've been wanting to do since I first started working on this: Synthesizing Audio.
No actual progress yet, but I read a good book about digital filter theory (https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/filters/). Next I need to figure out how to build ladder/lattice filters which are numerically stable in fixed-point implementations.
Title: Re: Profezzorn's first build (graflex 2.0, teensy, prop shield, neopixel led string)
Post by: profezzorn on September 18, 2016, 10:54:26 AM
I realized I had forgotten to upload the actual source for my chassis 3d models. It can now be found together with the stl files on thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1691758). If nothing else, it documents the internal dimensions of the graflex 2.0. :)