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Author Topic: Custom Archon Saber from Bellicose parts  (Read 1044 times)
LSUJedi
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Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


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« on: June 09, 2019, 12:20:20 AM »

Hey everybody, first time poster, long time admirer. I'll get straight to it.

I'm looking to accomplish something I think most on here have either already done or hope to do at some point: build my own lightsaber. However, given my limited experience with wiring and electronics, as well as my desire to keep this project somewhat affordable, I'm (hopefully) taking a shortcut.

I have a Bellicose saber with the usual suspects onboard (Buckpuck resistor, Obsidian v4 soundboard, etc) that has served me well and taken a beating over the years. My hope is to construct a new hilt similar to the Archon 2.1, repurpose the electronics from the Bellicose into the Archon, and replace the current Guardian Blue LED with a TRI Consular Green. In case it comes up later, yes, this is absolutely a very inefficient project, both in cost and time, but hopefully not in performance. My goal by posting here is to get advice and be made aware of any incompatibilities between the two hilts.

Here's the inspiration, and hopefully, something close to the end product: https://ultrasabers.com/product/archon-v2-1/

So here goes, the list of parts I already have in the current, fully-functioning (mostly) Bellicose saber, and the parts I have earmarked from US for purchase.

Bellicose parts:
-Bellicose body
-Bellicose emitter- this emitter is a bit odd, it sits down inside the hilt and has its own (maddening) fastening screw from the outside of the hilt, as well as the two inside that secure the actual blade.
-Bellicose Long grooves pommel
-40" Ultraedge blade*
-Modular LED System- Guardian Blue
-Guarded Momentary Switch
-Buckpuck Resistor*
-2x 14500 Li-Ion Battery Holder/Speaker Combo*
-Obsidian v4 Soundboard*
-2 AA Li-Ion Batteries*
*to be repurposed for Archon saber

US parts to create Archon:
-War Glaive Body- My biggest question mark. US has a disappointingly limited selection of lightsaber bodies, and none of the choices seem to match up to the Archon 2.1. It looks to be either this or the Shock body.
-Archon v2.1 Emitter and Neck- MHS Compatible, as is the War Glaive body, so shouldn't be any problems, right?
-MLS- TRI Consular Green
-Anti Vandal Momentary Switch - Illuminated Green- Big issue#2- Both War Glaive and Shock bodies come drilled for Guarded Switches, no option to enlarge for AV switch. US is pretty chill though, so I'm assuming they could req. charge me to enlarge the holes maybe?
-Archon Pommel- MHS compatible

So the basic thinking is 1) Disconnect Bellicose electronics from the Guarded switch, 2) Install AVM Switch onto War Glaive body, 3) Wire new MLS TRI Consular Green, battery pack and switch, 4) Screw in Archon Emitter, 5) Attach batteries, Archon pommel, and Ultraedge blade.

I'm guessing there are at least 10 things wrong with this, but I'm hoping the basic premise is possible with certain tweaks. Hopefully, I'm not coming off as TOO wide-eyed and inexperienced. I'm here to learn, and grateful for any and all advice.

PS, I'm also newish to the forum, and I wasn't sure where would be best for a kinda sorta DIY nature of the project to be posted, so if you think this might be better suited for the Technical section or another section, please let me know. Thanks again.



Here's helpful links to my current saber, the goal Archon 2.1 saber, and parts I'm looking to acquire to complete the project:
Bellicose Saber- https://ultrasabers.com/product/bellicose/
Archon 2.1 Saber- https://ultrasabers.com/product/archon-v2-1/
War Glaive body- https://ultrasabers.com/product/war-glaive-body/
Archon emitter- https://ultrasabers.com/product/archon-v2-1-emitter-neck/
Switch- https://ultrasabers.com/product/anti-vandal-momentary-switch-illuminated-green/
Pommel- https://ultrasabers.com/product/archon-pommel/
MLS- https://ultrasabers.com/product/modular-led-system-mls-unit/
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Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

tx_tuff
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Force Alignment: -1061
Posts: 3940



« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 03:47:19 PM »

If you really want the Archon you can buy the empty hilt, I just looked and it's $104.

The only other thing you need is the CG LED and an AV switch. US sells ask the above.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk

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LSUJedi
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Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 11:56:05 AM »

Quote
If you really want the Archon you can buy the empty hilt, I just looked and it's $104.

Thanks for the response! Yeah, I considered that, and I guess it would still be mostly the same since the Archon 2.1 comes apart into the individual pieces I'd be buying anyway, but it just didn't feel the same. Still, it remains an option, as long as I can solve the aforementioned electrical wiring issues with the internal parts.
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Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

chalion
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 224
Posts: 973



« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 02:00:33 PM »

Thanks for the response! Yeah, I considered that, and I guess it would still be mostly the same since the Archon 2.1 comes apart into the individual pieces I'd be buying anyway, but it just didn't feel the same. Still, it remains an option, as long as I can solve the aforementioned electrical wiring issues with the internal parts.

$104 for complete empty hilt and you get to decide which switch type it can be drilled for and one of 2 pommels (free or $7.50 more for the clean classic)......................or $45 for the emitter, then $35 to $45 for a body that won't be as close as the empty and you'd have to request (and have approved) to have the hole resized - which if allowed will take a little more time and probably a little more cost - and a pommel which you will have to pay for too.
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22 diamond lightsaber and counting

LSUJedi
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Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 08:14:06 AM »

Yeah, I may end up doing that with the hilt. The main purpose of this post was to get advice and consideration on the feasibility of migrating and ultimately connecting all of the electronics, if you or anyone has any thoughts on that...
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Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

tx_tuff
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: -1061
Posts: 3940



« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 02:09:18 PM »

So if you don't have the equipment the first thing you need to do is get a good soldering iron, good soldering wire, and good flux. And you may get away with a cheap kit but cheap isn't good. Do some research online for good quality soldering equipment and then do research on prices before you buy. You will also need shrink sleeves for the wires.

Now you need to learn how to use all the above, if you don't already. Get some wire and watch some YouTube videos or find other websites etc.. that teach soldering. Get some wire and practice, practice, practice.

You might need some other tools as well. Like wire clippers, helping hands, hobby vice, plus safety gear for yourself.

Once you are ready it will be very easy to switch guts from one saber to another. You can do it on any order. What I do first, and this needs to be first, remove the batteries. Then I start by cutting out the battery pack/sound board from the bottom of the saber. Cut one wire at a time and label both side of the cut.

Then I move to the LED module and do the same. One wire at a time and lable the wires.

Last is getting the switch out. US hot glues their switches in. A heat gun works best for me. Great to the area of the saber around the switch until the glue softens enough and pull it out.

In the new body do the reverse. Start with the switch, insert the wires into the hole, to wires go to the emitter, bottom wires go to the pommel. You will have to find a way to attach the switch. You can buy a nut and screw it in, you can hot glue it in again, or you can use electrical tape to press it in. Put the tape around the threads (may take less then a full wrap) and this will make the fit tight enough you can just press it in.

Now solder the wires back together making sure you solder the wires that match each other (why you labeled them). I go in reverse, so LED, then battery pack/sound board. Never solder with batteries in the battery pack!

Now insert your batteries and enjoy!

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk

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chalion
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Force Alignment: 224
Posts: 973



« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 02:10:10 PM »

I've moved a Emerald board/obsidian lite combo from my Electrum Wind to a Aeon V4 blank hilt that I had and had no problems (I had needed someone to do the soldering for the AV switch), so it's possible.

From my experience, most of the V4 and up all have enough room to take UltraSabers electronics (Obsidian lite, V3, V4, Emerald driver board or the diamond controller setup). The Emerald with a sound board & rechargeable batteries actually look to take up more room than other setups - but the diamond board is longer overall. If you go to where you can build out a lightsaber and it lists all of the controller options, then you should be able to fit what you want into that hilt.  Personally, in the last year i've only purchased diamond controlled lightsabers - the added functionality and customization more than offsets the higher cost - but that's my opinion.


Note: This is only about UltraSabers products and parts.

I also see that you're proposing going from a normal AV switch to a lit AV switch. The Obsidian V4 board can accommodate this, but it does add more to be soldered.  In looking into my Archon v 2.1 hilt, the AV switch can be removed without disconnecting the wires from the LED module - when I moved my electronics I only needed to unscrew the LED module case from the LED heat sink, so I only needed 2 wires soldered. I can take pictures of the upper inner hilt if you want those for reference.
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22 diamond lightsaber and counting

LSUJedi
Knight Lance Corporal
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Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 03:22:46 PM »

Quote
I also see that you're proposing going from a normal AV switch to a lit AV switch.

It's actually a guarded switch currently on the Bellicose, if that makes any difference. The lit AV switch on the new saber wasn't a priority for me, but they don't seel the regular AV switch on US parts.

Quote
I can take pictures of the upper inner hilt if you want those for reference.

Yes please!
Logged

Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

chalion
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 224
Posts: 973



« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 03:39:50 PM »

Here's one of the internal spot. I'm trying to get a more lit shot, but it's a start. Note: My saber is diamond controlled, with non-illuminated AV switch. The illuminated switches are longer - almost the full width of the hilt. Hmm, maybe not. The one US shows in pics is almost the same length.


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22 diamond lightsaber and counting

LSUJedi
Knight Lance Corporal
*

Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 03:31:34 AM »

UPDATE: All finished. A couple changes along the way. Most prominently, I decided to go for the Archon v3.1 instead of the 2.1. I also went for the empty hilt instead of ordering the parts individually. Finally, I did not hook up the LED portion of the switch for a few reasons: 1) battery drain, 2) lack of confidence in my ability to perform this task on top of the rest of the operation, and 3) the lack of desire to learn about momentary to latching converters, resistors (thank God for Buckpuck), etc.

All in all, I did what I wanted to. I put together my own lightsaber from parts, and it worked. I'm sure this is mere child's play to many/most of you more experienced guys, but I'm calling it a win, and to paraphrase our favorite Dark Lord of the Sith, my skills are complete. It may not be an original creation, and it was not incredibly complicated, but it was fun, and I now have a new lightsaber to wield.

Now on to the next project. My Bellicose is still precious to me, and its the best sparring hilt I have. So, I've decided to make it a stunt saber. It still has its original GB LED and guarded switch intact, so I believe I can simply add on a new battery pack, and maybe a resistor as well?

Anyways, pics of finished product, and my collection:
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Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

tx_tuff
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: -1061
Posts: 3940



« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 01:40:56 PM »

Congrats and great job! Like your displays as well.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk

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Therion Jinn
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Posts: 3967


May The Force Serve You Well


« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 07:52:47 PM »

Definitely nice work.
And I second the display comment.
No need for emergency lights there
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Cyclops942
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Force Alignment: 166
Posts: 1019


ASU Quidditch -- Brooms up!


« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 02:55:14 PM »

Chiming in to join the praise-fest for your display method!
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Aeon LE v3 in Consular Green
Initiate v2 in Fire Orange
Initiate v2 in Arctic Blue
Dark Initiate LE v5 in Adegan Silver
Azure Fallen (Diamond) in Dark Violet Amethyst
Frankensaber in Consular Green (part-time resident)
Dominix v4 (Obsidian Lite) in Guardian Blue w/FoC in Adegan Silver (soon to be gifted)

Light Side points preferred, when warranted

LSUJedi
Knight Lance Corporal
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Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


WWW
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 07:26:37 PM »

Much appreciated everybody! Just thankful I have a wife cool enough to allow it in our hallway.
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Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

LSUJedi
Knight Lance Corporal
*

Force Alignment: 7
Posts: 44


Strive for the light. Accept the dark.


WWW
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2019, 11:25:41 PM »

Updated with finished (sort of) Bellicose stunt reconstruction. See here if you'd like to offer input on how to fix my Bellicose brightness problem: http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=42268.msg723766#msg72376
Logged

Alekso Lor'ens <------ X ------> Darth Emrys

Dem Sabers:
DIY Archon v3.1 - Consular Green
Bellicose - Guardian Blue
Initiate v3 LE - Violet Amethyst
Double-bladed Apprentice v5 LE - Fire Orange
Dark Initiate - Consular Green
Dark Initiate - Blazing Red

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