It's been a long time I wanted to make a Luxeon Yoda Saber. The Yoda hilts aren't that popular cause it's hard to justify their use unless you have the costume that goes with it ;-) However, I love the shape and I think it's a great collector item. I finally got an empty hilt (THANKS VV !! THUMBS UP), a salvaged MR one, and the project could start. This small hilt was also a nice challenge to fit batteries, CF and speaker. Also, I wanted to keep the stock green "indicators" that are fake on the MR version, and turn them into functionnal light-up switches for controlling the CF board.
Monolithic PCV chassis for the (home made) 14500 li-ion battery pack, speaker and board. Overdriven green luxeon V, invisible recharge port, rumbling motor, Crystal Focus 4.31 and custom light-up tactile switches for the blade activation and auxiliary button. TCSS conversion kit.
My work started with the modification of the green plastic inserts / bubbles / lenses to make the light-up tactile switches.
► I worked on the most difficult one first : the side greebly. I had to carve the plastic with a dremel bit to free the square insert then carve again to free the lense without ruining it.
► Then I had to create a very SLIM and FLUSH switch since it was meant to be installed between the sleeve and hilt body. I used incredibly tiny switches identical as what you can find in a Wii Remote. Impossible to install the LED on top of it, though : using the led in sandwich between the tactile and the Green plunger, would have made the electrical connections to the led after some use. Hence, I chose a side lighting, less bright but safer. Light is still guided and bounces to the green lense to illuminate it. An idea of the scale with the caliper ^^ .
►The green lense receive a little washer so that it can't escape from the hole. Then switch & led were glued on a piece of plasticard and glued in place so that the lense acts as a tactile plunger on the yellow surface of the switch. Light is more shy compared to a switch that would be lit by under the lense, but still, it lights up clearly. This assembly was really micro electronics. The LED is a 0603 smd package, wire is 30 gauge ribbon cable. To confirm it again, it's not just a led, it's an illuminated custom tactile switch :-)
►Same for the activator. I didn't want to use the stock MR latching slide switch, I prefer momentaries when used with the A-POP feature of the Crystal Focus board. Fortunatly I had a red momentary that would fit with only minor milling of the stock switch cavity. The red was replaced by the same SMD "pure green" as for the lateral light-up switch presented above. Since everything must remain removable if I have to take appart the saber, micro JST connectors to hook up switches to the CF board.
►Invisible Recharge Port (centering to be perfected)
► Closing the beast
►Almost done. I still have to do a Yoda sound font. Good opportunity to come back to some audio work left behind like 2 years ago. I also need to powder coat the emitter in satin black. For now, the idle LED is the activator one, not so great when displaying the saber, when the saber is laying flat with the activator facing the base of the stand. The side led (aux switch) will be setup as the idle led next time I open the saber.
[update] I worked on a little emitter plug, this time using some semi reflective film. I've PCed the part, not that bad, then weathered it a little since I though that's where the saber can get slightly worn out because of the blade energy. The semi reflective film given an almost accurate look but leaves the light go thru when lit up. You can also spot the kill key.