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Author Topic: Extendable/Retractable blade?  (Read 16595 times)

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Offline Firedrops

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Extendable/Retractable blade?
« on: September 27, 2009, 07:44:00 AM »
I've noticed so far all sabers are either with blade or without blade, and i remembered those little plastic ones i saw as toys when i was younger, those with extendable and retractable blade. so i was thinking why not fit one up with a Lux LED and a little soundboard?
i don't know how to make it automatically extend(to full length) and retract(into the hilt) with the press of a button though. having to do it yourself makes it less cool.
another bad thing i've noticed is how it will be much thinner at the tip compared to the base.
so, what do you guys think of this idea? maybe we can start small by simply getting the 10-20 bucks one from a toys'r'us and add a lux LED to it then expand from there?
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)

Offline Darth Centorus

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 04:52:49 PM »
Sounds like a brill idea to me, but unless you could use a realy strong material I don't think that it would be an ideal dualing saber. But then again those toy sabers can take quite a beating considering, I wonder if you could re-model one of those blades to fit and see how that would work.

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Offline Firedrops

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 07:47:46 PM »
maybe some engineer here can make a blade shaped like that toy blade, but made of polycarbonate?
I can't really do anything mechanical or electronical or engineerish i can only talk sorry :(
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)

Offline Onli-Won Kanomi

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 08:05:30 PM »
Its an interesting idea.

One could try for a taper-lock like an ASP baton only with a polycarbonate saber blade...it would require custom machining since the sections would be tapered not straight wall...doable I suppose but I suspect would be expensive. The other issue i can see would be light diffusion since both the inner and outer surfaces must slide against one another blade film would be problematic and sanding might be sub-optimal...so if one was trying this I'd suggest a white polycarbonate like in UltraEdge so self-diffused.

The other thing is if you made it so the blade retracted entirely into the hilt where would you fit the electronics? maybe a single li-ion could fit in an external control box but I dont see how one could fit sound in.

Still its an interesting possibility with potential for future development...good luck to anyone who tries it.
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Offline Firedrops

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 01:12:17 AM »
I wonder if anyone has one of those toys which they can gut and study the internal space?
the only thing i can' think of for the space issue is to make the hilt longer as it doesn't make it look as bad as making it fatter.
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)

Offline Darth Inferis

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 09:47:34 PM »
Way ahead of you guys. I have an Anakin force action lightsaber that I took apart recently. The mechanical aspect is easy enough to figure out. The catch is that the tip of the blade contains a plug that fits into a hole in the centre of the LED array. This array contains a single momentary switch that provides what passes for a clash effect. Because the plug is made of white plastic the light never reaches right to the end of the blade. It's silly but if Hasbro fitted the things with better LEDs & a transparant plug in the blade tip the effect would be so much better! As it stands the motion sensor is hyper sensitive and with the slightest motion goes off on a 4 second delay. Furthermore the sound effects sound awful & the only parts of the blade that light up are the top & bottom rims of the blade segments. They're not easy to take apart either. The emmiter section is screwed & glued in place. I had to break mine in order to take it apart. The activation button is spring loaded too so if you're not careful the moment you try to prise the hilt apart the button & spring will fly across the room! Not helpful when you share a home with house spiders that would give a tarantula a run for it's money. There's one in my room at the moment. I heard & then saw it crawling out from under a pile of paper streamers. I stamped on it but I was wearing big Homer Simpson slippers at the time so it ran out from under my foot & hid under the bed. I swear I can hear it laughing at me from under there.  :-[
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Offline Firedrops

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 01:13:11 AM »
So you already have a non-ideal, but working model of this thing?
can you put up any pics or videos?
the LEDs,sound and button problems can easily be solved by getting some TCSS stuff
its the extendable/retractable blade part that is worrying me
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)

Offline Darth Inferis

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 06:05:35 AM »
Alrighty! To start with here's the blade plug I mentioned


From left to right through the centre: The battery holder, the speaker, the locking/releasing mechanism, the bed spring & the retracted blade.
Above: activation button. Sliding this down activates the saber electronics & releases the blade. Below: faux Graflex clamp box containing the circuit board & motion sensor.


The blade cap is held in place by 4 small Philips head screws.


With the outer cap removed it should be possible to remove the inner cap so all the segments of the blade can be taken apart. The inner cap slots in place very snugly though so the blade may need to be cut from the rim to the screw hole in one or two places.


Here we have the LED array with a better view of the locking/releasing mechanism inside.



The outer LED array with a view of the 3 standard white LED's.


The inner LED array. Here you can see the ring shaped PCB that the LED's are connected to & on the left between the bottom left screw & the connection point for the wires you can just about see the tiny momenary switch for the clash effect.


Here is the final electronic componant. The momentary switch that triggers the activation sound leading to the idle hum. By sliding the switch again or colapsing the blade  back into the hilt until it clips into place you trigger the deactivation sound & the saber goes silent.


Lastly this is the locking/releasing mechanism without the LED array obscuring it. It's spring loaded so be careful to avoid a "ping frak". That what I call it when you're taking something apart, something goes "ping", you shout "frak!" & something small but important, usually a spring, goes sailing across the room never to be seen again.  ???
 The lip of the black plastic slat that the activation button slots into  sits just above the left hand section of the two T-locks that form the locking mechanism. The larger one in the back that slides onto the right hand pivot pin also has a tiny plastic lip facing the back of the saber chassis. This lip sits just above the momentary switch in the previous photo. The smaller one in the foreground holds the blade plug in place when the blade is retracted. By sliding the button down the locking mechanism releases the blade & the bed spring & activates the electronics all at the same time.


Hope that helps.  ;D
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Offline Firedrops

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 06:09:26 AM »
hmm does it retract at the push of a button too?
man if only someone can develop this further.
any engineers here up for the challenge?
(come to think of it it might not be such a challenge if your a full-fledged engineer)
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)

Offline Darth Inferis

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2009, 12:44:06 PM »
I'm afraid it doesn't retract that way, you have to shove it back into the hilt with your hand, a wall, a friend or a pet. (Disclaimer: Poking your pet with a lightsaber, retractable or otherwise, is not advised. Especially if the pet in question is a mouse, hamster, gerbil or goldfish.) It could be possible if you made the already large hilt even bigger in order to fit it with a motor that could reel in a length of fishing line (for example) connected from a wheel on the motor to the blade plug. There are other ways you could do it but they would all involve making an already comically large lightsaber hilt even bigger to accomodate additional parts. I suspect that the technology is not worth developing beyond this. I also suspect that Hasbro have done what they always seem to do in these situations. Taken a great idea initially aimed at adult collectors, Eg. Force FX lightsabers or Masterpiece Transformers, & copied it in the cheapest tackiest way humanly possible in order to sell it to kids & the kind of adults the Jedi mind trick would work on. Not unlike what Hollywood did with Japanese horror films & British sitcoms, or what Britain did with the Spice Girls & reality TV. When I think about the guys at Hasbro I always seem to picture them in Star Wars terms. On the bottom rung of the corporate ladder you have the Jawas who work on the assembly line using sub standard parts, plans supplied by Bothans, in conditions so cramped they'd make an Ugnaught stoop and hot enough to make a Krayt Dragon sweat! Next you have the Toydarian executives fluttering around cracking the Jawas whips, paying the Bothans & congratulating each other on their latest corner cutting, money saving scheme. Lastly right at the top you'd have a big fat Hutt who's main jobs are to lord it over everyone below him, accumulate wealth at the expense of others & keep concepts like integrity & cutomer loyalty on a short chain & dressed in a gold bikini! Although my perspective may be slightly influenced by my somewhat left wing beliefs.

P.S. I'm a 3rd generation engineer like my father & his father before me.  ;D

P.P.S. You're welcome. *sigh*  ::)
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Offline Master Jedye

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2009, 01:03:22 PM »
Clever analogy, Inferis.   :D

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Offline Darth Inferis

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2009, 01:31:03 PM »
Thank you kindly Master Jedye, glad you liked it. I've been reading a lot of Bill Hicks material recently & I think it's starting to have an effect.  ;)
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Offline Darth Nerdold

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2009, 03:30:04 PM »
I remember there being blades like this on the nonedited version of Ryan Vs. Brandon 2. They seem to be carbon fiber blades probably, but they look very impressive. I'm not sure if it was just edited that way though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuK_v7OyzVQ


Offline Darth Centorus

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2009, 04:09:12 PM »
I remember there being blades like this on the nonedited version of Ryan Vs. Brandon 2. They seem to be carbon fiber blades probably, but they look very impressive. I'm not sure if it was just edited that way though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuK_v7OyzVQ



I remember that vid very cool however I think that it maybe edited but if not then it looks like the type that you have to flick out, but even so if someone could get in contact with Ryan Wieber or even Brandon Flyte they may have some insite to the Idea  ???

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Stunt saber no electronics
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Offline Firedrops

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Re: Extendable/Retractable blade?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 01:22:40 AM »
Yes, i've noticed that the tip has the same diameter as the base, if not just a tiny bit smaller.
if only we can enlarge that...hmm...
the idea of using the mechanics of the fishing hook is very plausible, we just need a extremely scaled down version if it
we'll probably be needing 2 buttons but thats just a small setback.
same spring that push it out, but it drags the line along, and when you press the other button it'll be pulled back in.
wow that way you can adjust the blade length too! but then there'll be the problem of each segment of the blade not stretching out evenly, giving it a unequal and noobish look.
maybe i'll pick up one of those toy sabers and see if i can figure something out in the holidays
for now if anyone wants to please work on this.
and thanks for all the info you 2 provided, inferis and nerdold
credits to Paul Lanski(for making these models)