The Return Of The Jedi Luke Skywalker V2 Lightsaber - Part 5 - The LED String
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Here I am beginning the seriallel LED string construction, with my LEDS run across the belt sander to knock off the domed lens, for diffusion.

And the first set of bends on the leads...

Once you get them all soldered together, You'll end up with the positive track from the top section going to common positive, and the negative track of the top section soldered to the positive track of the flipped bottom section, and the negative track of the bottom section going to ground, or one of the channels on the CFLS

I'd say they're going to be bright enough.  Probably the brightest LEDs I have worked with so far.

Ok, Here's how I make Seriallel blade strings.

A: Untouched LED with intact dome lens.

B: Sand or drill out the top of the dome lens.  This will more evenly diffuse the light out to the sides, instead of out the top, as they're designed to operate.

C: Fold the leads out 90 degrees to either side.

D: Fold them down sharply right outside the boundary of the LED case, as if you're making room for the next set of leads to slide down flush.

MAKE SURE YOU MEASURE THE NEXT FOLD!!!  If I want 96 LEDs in my string, in a 34 inch blade, I have to fold that next 90 degree bend right at 0.4 inches.   I have machined a special jig for this, and have special pliers, but you don't need that if you're careful and consistent.  However, don't get in a hurry.  Consistency here = success.

E: Start assembling them, taking care not to shorten them much as they're being folded together.  CONSISTENCY HERE ALSO IS IMPORTANT if you want a straight string, which will be VERY important in the last steps.  Also bend out your leads when folded as such, it makes soldering and trimming so much easier.

F: I have ONE SECTION of eight LEDS.  Let's call this SECTION A of SEGMENT 1.  I will have two SECTIONS per SEGMENT.  And the CFLS will drive SIX of my SEGMENTS.

G: ONE SEGMENT ASSEMBLED, soldered and leads trimmed. 

WHEN ATTACHING SECTION 1 TO SECTION 2: Solder the BOTTOM NEGATIVE lead of section 1 to the TOP POSITIVE lead of section 2.  Essentially, once power leaves section 1, it goes into section 2, LIGHTING THE FULL SEGMENT.  You might notice the bent lead at th elocation near the letter G, that is where my POSITIVE WIRE will hook into SEGMENT 1.  CHANNEL 1 of the CFLS CATHODE will hook into the BOTTOM NEGATIVE side of SECTION 2.

Now.  If that's not all confusing by now, good job.  I know it's a lot to take in, but believe me, if you do it right, and consistently, you'll end up with this:

And if you turn it on, supplying 7.4 volts ...

These are 60,000 mcd green LEDs.  The brightest I have worked with, and they're seriously painful.   They won't even be overdriven on the CFLS.  BUT THEY COULD BE!

keeping my spacing BETWEEN segments correct, as the wires weaved between segments will be the only thing keeping the string together at this time.

Point C is where the NEGATIVE (Cathode) Connection is made, usually with white 28 or 30 gauge wire, and woven down through the string to the base.

3/8" clear heat shrink will serve to restore the structural integrity of the blade string.  It also helps diffuse light, and it helps to be able to strengthen the string, for insertion into the foam diffuser.

Did you make your string straight as possible? Cut off any sharp edges or errant leads? If so, this will be easier than impossible.  If not, good luck.  Pushing what amounts to a sharp edged chain of 6 delicate segments into a flat garden hose will not be easy, but it's possible.

I have created a set of random tools to help with this, but your solution may be different. 

I almost forgot: TEST YOUR STRING at this point. If while inserting the string into the heat shrink you broke a connection, it would be better to know now at this point than later when it is all shrunk down. 

Once the heatshrink is on, and shrunk, you'll have a nice, slick knobby plastic array that will fit into the MR/Hasbro foam diffuser.   I've tried to do this without the heatshrink, and it can be next to impossible.  Especially with seriallel, since segments are not soldered to each other, and only "float" with wire connections between them.

And here are the complete components of a Slothstring blade. 

A: High Output LED String, wired Seriallel, wrapped in 3/8 clear heat shrink tubing.
B: MR/Hasbro Foam Diffuser
C: TCSS Plastic Diffuser
D: TCSS Thin Wall 1 inch OD Blade


On. Same exposure, just with a ten second delay while I plugged it in.

Now, That's at setting 1000 out of 1023.  At that setting FOC isn't very visible, but let me tell you, it's plenty bright at setting 512, with FOC set to full blast, and it's SHOCKING how bright FOC is.

I need to get more work done, so I can actually take a video, but damn it's promising.

Further blade tests... off...


Off with ANH Obi...

Both on...



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