Build an LightSaber soundboard with buit in LED drivers

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The goal of this is to create a modular system that can easily be adapted and used by others with minimal experience, smiler to other Lightsaber soundboards. I'm working on making a write up as I go so that it can be easily followed and replicated. This project can be broken down into a few subsystems. The high power 6-12W LED's require large drivers that allow the control of each die independently, a gyro and basic DSP is used to detect swings and clashes, and some sort of sound player and amp to play the sounds loudly over a speaker in the hilt. The difficulties with this is that all of these electronics need to fit within a hilt, ideally with a width of under 1”. Demo in the project log.

Some of the features that are to be included in the design are a low power standby mode. Power on, power off, idling, swinging and clashing sounds. The standard and clash color of the lightsaber will be selectable through software and the blade should flicker smiler to the movies. Some stretch goals include an auto-calibration mode, having multiple sounds for swings and clashes, and a blade lockup effect.

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  • Done?

    aalves01/16/2017 at 21:36 0 comments

    So it's been a long time since I updated this, but might as well. The project has finished the next main step. I have working electronics that I installed on a custom chassis in my machined saber. Although not done the next step in the process would be to make a custom pcb, I'm also looking into using a feather M0 adalogger, since it has a built in sd slot and could save some room in the hilt.

    Here is a quick viedo I did, it's mostly aimed at those in the lightsaber comunity, but it shows the electronics in action.


  • 1.1 progress

    aalves02/29/2016 at 19:37 0 comments

    First update in a while. I bought a saber with a crystal shard, and realized that my set-up was much better then I thought. At the moment I have appropriate sounds for power-on, hum, swings, clashes, and power-down working well. The new code I've written is far nicer and should be easier to expand with. I was hoping to use a modified pico-buck but that set-up requires more voltage, meaning it would require 2 batteries in series. I'm going to try and see if I can make a relatively simple direct driver set-up, although this isn't as good as a constant current, it should be simple to implement and cheap.


  • Current State

    aalves09/22/2015 at 00:57 8 comments

    It's been a while since I've worked on this, but I'll still update this on my progress. I have most of the device working for version 1.1 with the Teensy 3.1. The extra processing powere means there is no noticable delay when the ideal hum repeates. It is assembled and there is good detection of swings and clashes, the lighted momentary switch is rigged up and the code is working. Essentially what is left is more documentation, adding the audio amp, and the LED current supplies. I ordered a hilt from Adaptive Saber Parts, once that arrives I'll have a better idea of how much room I have and renewed interest.

  • Winter Break

    aalves01/12/2015 at 05:35 0 comments

    The current design the microprocessor has been upgraded to a Teensy 3.1 with a micro SD breakout. The Teensy has enough processing power that it removes the need for a separate soundboard and the audio library is easily installed. This current design uses many off the self parts that require minimal modifications (such as changing gain resistors) allowing it to be easily replicated. Currently I'm working on translating the code from the previous prototype to work with the Teensy and integrating all the different components together, while documenting the steps to provide a writeup.

  • First Prototype

    aalves01/12/2015 at 05:35 0 comments

    Initially the plan was to use and Arduino pro mini and a sound board to enable the system to be easily modified by others. A prototype was built to test the feasibility of correlating sound with a gyro input. Unfortunately most sound cards are unable to parse through the header of a wav file without causing a noticeable delay in the sound, which is unacceptable for extended idling. Although libraries exist that enable the Arduino to play the sound directly, they proved difficult to set up and would have made the project more difficult for others to replicate thus defeating the project goals. Dispute the low sound quality the prototype was able to detect swings and clashes reliably. Additional prototypes tested features such as powering on, off, auto-calibration and the blade shimmering effect.

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