I’ve always admired the MHS system at TCSS. Well made, versatile, affordable…the list goes on.
A few people have asked me to post a few pics of my chassis option that I sometimes implement in my builds. It’s certainly not a Yoda Chassis, but it gets the job done, and holds all the “saber guts” in place while you’re unscrewing the saber apart (all MHS parts are threaded, not pinned). It also makes for a neat pseudo-Yoda look when everything is disassembled. The main benefit with having all the guts slide out in one piece is that you can say goodbye to those nasty twisted wires!
The buildup below shows the basic version that I do. Hopefully it is of some use to someone here building their own. More complex versions include LEDs and clear or smoked acrylic spacers, instead of the plain gray PVC ones seen here.
To start, I mark out the width of the pack on an MHS choke. The holes must be drilled tightly against the pack’s edges, or the brass rod will ride against the inner wall of the ribbed section. The rod I use is just under 1/8”. Any thinner, and it isn’t rigid enough to hold the weight of all the guts. Note that you can use *slightly* thicker rod if you’re using one of the main hilt sections, which have a larger ID.
Next, I take some a 1” PVC coupling and cut grooves in it to channel the brass rod. The 1” smoked acrylic looks way better, but costs more so I reserve it for more advanced projects. The tension of the brass rod is crucial; again, too much and it crimps the pack, too little and it rubs against the inner wall.
The grooves are for the rod channels. The black sharpie marks are where smaller grooves on the inside of the PVC will be cut to accept the soundboard. The key here is firm seating for proper gesture recognition.
The coupling is split in two, and filed down to the appropriate length.
The length of the entire setup is determined by the length of the hilt you’re fitting it in. If it’s not long enough, then you’re relying on the glue itself to hold everything together. I fight with my sabers rather abusively, so for best durability I calibrate the entire chassis length so that the pommel screws firmly up against the speaker/pack/board to hold everything in place. An added bonus is that, with a thin rubber washer placed between the pommel and speaker holder, there is less rattling and the sound is MUCH more crisp.
Checking the length… Notice the TCSS speaker mount, which wasn’t used in this final version because the lip would prevent the chassis from sliding completely out of the saber. Also, in this particular case the mount does not fit in the narrower ID of the ribbed section.
The board is situated opposite the brass rods (rods at 12 and 6 o’clock, board at 3 and 9 o’clock) because the board is slightly wider than the ID between the rods. The PVC spacer holds it in place, while still not intruding beyond the circumference of the OD of the rods (if they did, the PVC would rub against the ID of the hilt section).
Another spacer is made for the speaker. A little trick I do is to bend the brass rods together slightly when there is nothing between them. Then, when I assemble the board spacers, board, pack, and speaker spacer, the rods create a slight down pressure to hold everything in place. The speaker wires thread nicely through the stock holes in the batt pack.
With the ribbed section screwed in, the batt pack protrudes slightly into a 2” MHS functioning as a resonator cavity. Again, perfect alignment is necessary to ensure that the pommel sits directly against a thin rubber washer which puts just enough pressure against the speaker and the rest of the chassis. Enough pressure to benefit the sound and secure everything from rattling, but not enough to warp the rods and cause one of the components inside to rub against the hilt section. IF DONE CORRECTLY, there should be a 0.5mm gap between the rods and the inner wall of the hilt. Always remember: Measure thrice, cut once!
All closed up. What’s remaining is to finish wiring the MR board, clean up the shavings on the pvc spacers and paint them, bake on a light oil finish, install an SRD/UltraEdge, and then this one is off to the block!
'Hope this was helpful to someone looking to build their own gut sack :).
Any questions/comments, just shoot.