Sentinel Reforged

A journey to create an easy-to-use lightsaber that you don't have to fear breaking.

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Tomorrow's better lightsaber. More maintainable, easier to use, more capable, more confidence-inspiring, more predictable. We just need some time & work to get there.

This is a full-stack project. Hardware, custom PCBs, firmware, and (thanks to BLE) a phone app.

Welcome. For those from /r/lightsabers, thanks for stopping by. For those from Hackaday (or elsewhere) unfamiliar with lightsabers, that subreddit has a very helpful Buyer's Guide that will give you the high-level of the ecosystem.

There are many lightsabers that bill themselves as "combat-ready". That's not new. Nor is the variety of blades, colors, sounds, or sound effects. There's even sabers with customizable motion control now. However, the only sabers that can be used confidently in a combat scenario (as far as I've seen) are the ones that are ruthlessly simple in their function. The instant you add more complex functions, you have to really think about how you do it, or else they show their weaknesses under fire, and lose their fun. But even those simple sabers still find a way to break down in really hard to fix ways. This leaves the market, to my eyes, composed entirely of half-measures and compromises.

Here's the thing: all of these issues are fixable.

Clunky button menus do not have to be the standard. Motion controls with a mind of their own changing your settings behind your back don't have to exist. Slow-scrolling color fading doesn't have to drag you down. Random button-triggered visual effects that can give people seizures don't have to make you afraid to turn the saber on. Broken wires don't have to leave you doing "percussive maintenance" in the middle of a combat round

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  • Almost had an assembled board

    minifig40408/11/2023 at 14:40 0 comments

    ...And then I spotted a design issue.

    Here's the pictures I got from the manufacturer:

    I'm going to have one part to do myself, but ah well.

    So what's stopping the process? I edited some footprints, and did so incorrectly. Some of the pins got mixed up, and I'd probably fry something as soon as I applied power.

    We learn by making mistakes, and this is one of my mistakes. It'll be sorted out soon.

  • Update on Board Progress

    minifig40407/27/2023 at 13:24 0 comments

    Boards have been ordered. This should help save a bunch of space inside the chassis I've been working on, and maybe even fit inside an LGT chassis. We'll just have to see when we get the board.

  • A Successful Test!

    minifig40406/14/2023 at 00:55 0 comments

    Last week, I was able to test my hilt in a combat/dueling setting. It performed exactly as I expected, with no visible damage. I'll put visuals in the Read More, but first I want to talk about some quick notes about current state:

    • The button is wrong. I originally made it wrong for testing, but now there's no space to fix it. So, a whole new generation of electronics & chassis will be required (I'm working on it!).
    • It's taped together. It still holds up to dueling, but it's definitely not the prettiest option.

    Lastly, thank you to the friends who've gotten me this far. I couldn't do this on my own, so thank you for your help, however minor you think it is.

    Video & photos below, more info in future updates. Stay tuned!

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  • Prototype Chassis: Hilt Fitting

    minifig40405/30/2023 at 12:46 0 comments

    I got a chassis to fit in a hilt!

    OK, yes, I need to re-print it. It's still pretty exciting that I got this far.

  • Prototype Chassis: Two Steps Forward, one step back

    minifig40405/11/2023 at 18:57 0 comments

    Looks nice from this angle, doesn't it? Well, that little blob of spaghetti in the button hole should be a clue that maybe something's off...
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  • Gen 2 PCB

    minifig40404/14/2023 at 17:18 0 comments

    Another round of hardware!

    This round was mostly a first-pass at shrinking. But I did make a few other changes. Whether the hardware shrink is enough to fit in a lightsaber has yet to be seen.

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  • First PCB

    minifig40403/31/2023 at 16:57 0 comments

    Well, here it is. Gen 0 hardware:

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  • A Technically-Working Prototype

    minifig40403/26/2023 at 23:55 0 comments

    Every project has to start somewhere. For most electronics projects, this "starting point" is the breadboard. The lightsaber is no exception:

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