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Author Topic: THE Battery Setup for Stunt stabers!  (Read 20305 times)
CJ-Nihilus
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« on: December 23, 2015, 09:02:58 AM »

As some people will have probably noticed I'm a bit of a battery life freak Tongue I've been posting around a lot to find out solutions to batteries for all day trooping and general ease of use.

Well FINALLY I have the answer to ALL of these problems (or so it would seem after initial testing)!!

If you have a stunt saber with EITHER the standard set-up 4xAAA (4.8-6v) with a resistor, OR the Li-ion Buckpuck setup this should work (Works on my Buckpuck stunt and Resistor grab bag sabers). What you CANNOT do is directly drive the LED's with this because it runs at 5v output it will probably kill your LED.

So down to the nitty gritty, what is this all mighty battery? Well simply put its a lipstick shaped USB mobile phone charging bank... yes you heard me a USB mobile phone charging bank... it pumps out 1.5A @ 5v and has a 5000mAh capacity, so should do nicely for ~5hours of continuous use!

The big bonus is that it pumps out the 5v, meaning that you don't need to alter the resistor or buckpuck - like you mostly have to do if you run a single 18650 Li-ion setup (because that only outputs ~3.7v). Compared with a single 18650 hooked up to a 1000mAh buckpuck on a TRI-CREE setup this USB Battery bank is FAR brighter - due to the higher voltage being able to actually drive the buckpuck properly.

So how do you do it, well its pretty simple. Cut the wires to the existing battery pack (there are only two - the red and black. Red is your + and Black is the -). Then solder the Black wire to a USB connector at the Ground/Negative end and solder the Red to the +5v connector.



I suggest buying something like this: (im waiting on them arriving so I cut the one in the photo from an old USB cable.)



The Battery bank:



Battery Bank in a Sentinal V4 - note this is not pushed all the way in!! I also have thick velcro on the inside of the hilt which makes it a very snug fit.



And side by side comparison of Fully charged Battery Bank vs Fully charged 1x18650 3400mAh battery (both with Buckpucks and identical TRI-CREE Fire Orange LED's).




As you can see from the pictures the USB bank is MUCH brighter... in fact when I did another test it was still brighter than a 2xAA Li-ion setup... which is good!

The Battery banks are cheap as well, I bought four from Amazon and they were 6.99 each (~$10)... which to me was excellent value, I already have a soldering iron, solder and heatshrink but to buy those your looking at maybe 15-20 and then you need the USB connector ends which I got a pack of 10 for 2.99...

Overall a conversion which was cheaper than buying a load of 14500 Li-ion batteries or NiMh AAA's... and cheaper than the 4 18650 batteries I bought... wish I'd thought of it sooner!!

Dimensions of the Battery bank is 2.8"x0.8"x0.8" and it fits with a good 3-4mm each side in the hilt (so some thin fluffy side velcro will hold it perfectly to stop rattles!).

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Kouri
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2015, 09:14:19 AM »

Seeing a big problem in the brightness comparison - the 18650 doesn't put out enough voltage to fully power the buckpuck, which is why it's a fair bit dimmer than the other blade. Swap out the puck for an appropriate resistor and you'll have a brighter blade than any tri-configuration running on a single puck.

That out of the way, the battery bank itself is a really great idea. I imagine it uses a separate port for charging than it does for providing power? If so, a little extension cable and a hole drilled into the pommel, and you could have your own little in-hilt recharge via USB.
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CJ-Nihilus
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2015, 09:20:10 AM »

Yeah I knew about the voltage issue with the 18650 but the capacity at the time was more important to me, from what I've seen most people using them have them direct driving a Blue/Green/White single LED, but for TRI setups and especially amber LED's which I have no idea what the voltage and mA limitations are I thought it be a safe bet to just leave the buckpuck. I was trying to find solutions that didnt involve ripping out all the wiring and hooking up multiple resistors or pucks to allow for max brightness on each LED. I may do that at some point though.

Yeah it uses a Micro-usb connector to recharge you certainly could mill out a hole, best bet for that would be to utilise 2 cables, a Micro-usb cable which ends with a female USB rather than male USB, then have a male-male USB cable and charge it from a mobile phone usb socket wall charger.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 09:24:37 AM by CJ-Nihilus » Logged

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CJ-Nihilus
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2015, 09:27:59 AM »

To add as well, my next saber in line to do is a Guardian Blue single LED which currently is resistor based and runs off the 4xAAA setup. IIRC the resisitors US uses for the AAA setup is good for upto 6v - alkaline AAA are 1.5v whereas NiMh are 1.2v, making alkalines run at 6v and NiMh at 4.8v... so 5v sits nicely in the range for brightness to not be effected by the resistor dropping voltage, but has like 5x the capacity of the best AAA batteries - since the battery packs dont stack capacity, only voltage.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 09:36:17 AM by CJ-Nihilus » Logged

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Kouri
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2015, 09:53:07 AM »

1ohm 2w resistors are a safe and readily available resistor for just about any LED running on a single Lithium. If you ever feel like re-wiring your hilt, pick up three of those and wire the LEDs in parallel. Any decent 18650 shouldn't have an issue putting out 3A.

Also, concerning the pucks - if you ever take one apart, would you mind sharing which mA model US is using for their Tri-Cree sabers? I imagine they're using the 2100mA model so that each LED's operating at 700mA, which is supposed to be a really nice balance between brightness and power consumption as opposed to running all three LEDs at 1000mA. I'm also really hoping that all three LEDs aren't trying to split the current off a single 1000mA puck...

EDIT: Scratch that - looks like the 2100mA BuckBlocks have a 10v minimum. Going to assume the tris are sharing a 1000mA BuckPuck, limiting the current on each to ~333mA. Enough to get them to light up, but really curious how they'd do with three separate pucks or a resistor that lets them shine at full brightness.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 09:57:25 AM by Kouri » Logged

CJ-Nihilus
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2015, 02:47:13 PM »

Yeah the pucks are the same 1000mA on TRI setups which i can understand is probably done so people don't complain about battery life.

As far as resistors go, I don't know what I'd need for Amber LED's. Blue/White/Green can all be run at 1000mA @3.7v but Red needs to be run lower than that and I suspect Amber would be the same, but I'm yet to find specs on an Amber CREE.
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JediXIX
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 05:18:47 AM »

Great idea CJ-Nihilus . . . +1  Smiley

I'll be looking at trying something like this for sure, and the recharge port idea with a USB charger is awesome . . . The other great thing is having a couple charged up and easily swapping over for truely all day saber trooping  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2015, 11:47:31 AM »

An Amber Cree XP-E2 is 2.65V @ 1000mA.
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RevanReborn
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2015, 12:06:59 PM »

Thanks CJ nihilus, I've been planning I doin some upgrades to my stunt saber, nothing crazy just install a rechargeable power source and change switches n stuff like that- I really like this idea not only because of the high capacity of the rechargeable power bank but also because of (if I'm understanding it right) the relative ease of process.  Point for you Smiley. I'm very inexperienced/ lacking in knowledge atm when it comes to the electronics.  But I'm gonna be researching very soon so I can get into the guts of the  sabers for future mods/ builds.

Am I right to think that -assuming I'm using the same bank or at least something with same 5v output- my stunt, which is just standard battery set up/ red led (not tri's) would be ok with whatever resistor it's already got? Or would I have to change resistor?  I know that's a dumb question i kinda just wanna confirm from someone who actually understands the stuff lol
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CJ-Nihilus
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 07:26:00 AM »

Thanks CJ nihilus, I've been planning I doin some upgrades to my stunt saber, nothing crazy just install a rechargeable power source and change switches n stuff like that- I really like this idea not only because of the high capacity of the rechargeable power bank but also because of (if I'm understanding it right) the relative ease of process.  Point for you Smiley. I'm very inexperienced/ lacking in knowledge atm when it comes to the electronics.  But I'm gonna be researching very soon so I can get into the guts of the  sabers for future mods/ builds.

Am I right to think that -assuming I'm using the same bank or at least something with same 5v output- my stunt, which is just standard battery set up/ red led (not tri's) would be ok with whatever resistor it's already got? Or would I have to change resistor?  I know that's a dumb question i kinda just wanna confirm from someone who actually understands the stuff lol

Resistor should be fine, I saw no difference in brightness between using 4xAAA that were 1.5v rated and 4x AAA that were 1.2v rated (6v vs 4.8v) so any 5v source will have the same brightness as the AAA battery setup.
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RevanReborn
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 11:47:27 AM »

Sweet Smiley. Thanks so much for the help and for this wicked idea/ post.  I'm def giving this a shot!  Will award point as soon as I can Smiley.
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Sarich Belmont
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Re:
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2016, 06:38:31 PM »

It actually isn't a fair comparison because the buck puck limits the 18650. Take the puck out of that saber and you'll see the brightness shoot up.

This photo is my friend and I, Tri-Crees mixed to cyan, 18650 no resistor with camera flash.  [/IMG]
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CJ-Nihilus
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Re:
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2016, 10:51:00 AM »

It actually isn't a fair comparison because the buck puck limits the 18650. Take the puck out of that saber and you'll see the brightness shoot up.

This photo is my friend and I, Tri-Crees mixed to cyan, 18650 no resistor with camera flash.  [/IMG]


Yeah I know its not that fair a comparison, however a lot of people use a single 18650, also unless you're using a Blue/green/white LED you're gonna need a resistor or puck anyway.

Tri-Cree to me is more complex as for max brightness you'd drop the puck, wire all LED's in parallel and run a resistor on each LED, then wire that all together to the switch then the battery. You'd be eating through anywhere from 2100mAh to 3000mAh however and any battery you use would last a pitiful amount of time. To me it just seemed far less work and better for battery life while still retaining brightness to just hook up a single 18650 - which have now all been converted successfully to USB battery banks.
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slayercandidate
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 11:01:34 AM »

this is a great idea, and im new to wiring and everything so heres my question, if i do this settup with a stunt saber where i soder the 2 cables into the usb thing will that heat up significantly or would i not have to worry about that?
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CJ-Nihilus
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2016, 11:35:52 AM »

this is a great idea, and im new to wiring and everything so heres my question, if i do this settup with a stunt saber where i soder the 2 cables into the usb thing will that heat up significantly or would i not have to worry about that?


I haven't had any heat issues at all at the USB end, the only part of my sabers that run warm are where the LED's are which is to be expected.

The batteries packs though are always pretty cool to the touch and I've never had one get hot.
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