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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber3 weeks ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Incidentally, that's only about 60% of the theoretical max brightness. I started to get a little worried about safety.

    UPDATE: Here is a video of the completed saber:

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  • thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber's weekly stats: 1 month ago
    • 100 Watt Light Saber
      2,191 views
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      5 comments
  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber1 month ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Thanks! I'm trying to get the whole thing finished in time for Halloween, but my plan is to post a more detailed instructable with information about how to build the handle, details on how to choose and assemble the electronics, and a complete set of design files (including the code to drive it).

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  • thatguyer entered 100 Watt Light Saber in the LED Contest contest 1 month ago
  • thatguyer commented on spaktashabit's instructable Simple Lightsaber2 months ago
    Simple Lightsaber

    I've made a few saber blades this way, and there are some useful details that you should mention. First, the LEDs are actually wired in parallel, not in series. Sometimes this can cause a problem when you don't have a current-limiting resistor on each one, but I found that if you buy all the LEDs together they are pretty well matched. Second, it is really, really important to get them all oriented the same way (all the anodes on one side, all the cathodes on the other side). Once you bend the leads it is hard to see which one is longer, so what I did is first put a little mark on the cathode side of all the LEDs with sharpie. Third, you didn't mention how you're powering the blade. The blue LEDs usually pull 20-30mA each at around 3.2V-3.4V. With 110 of them, that's 2-3 amps! I've found...see more »I've made a few saber blades this way, and there are some useful details that you should mention. First, the LEDs are actually wired in parallel, not in series. Sometimes this can cause a problem when you don't have a current-limiting resistor on each one, but I found that if you buy all the LEDs together they are pretty well matched. Second, it is really, really important to get them all oriented the same way (all the anodes on one side, all the cathodes on the other side). Once you bend the leads it is hard to see which one is longer, so what I did is first put a little mark on the cathode side of all the LEDs with sharpie. Third, you didn't mention how you're powering the blade. The blue LEDs usually pull 20-30mA each at around 3.2V-3.4V. With 110 of them, that's 2-3 amps! I've found that the limiting factor on brightness is the internal resistance of the battery. You can switch to a high-drain 3.7V LiPo battery (like the ones for remote control vehicles) to boost the power. Although the voltage on a LiPo is a little high (especially when fully-charged), there is enough voltage drop along the LED string that it ends up being OK.Finally, if you want to take this design to the next level, you can wire the LEDs into separate segments and light them up in sequence using a microcontroller. Most microcontrollers cannot provide that kind of power directly through a ping, though, so you need to use a transistor (use a MOSFET) to switch the power.

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  • A Guide for Buying LED's on E Bay ---- Part TWO

    Another interesting option, if you haven't seen it, is the chip-on-board (COB) lights. I've been tinkering with the 12V strips that are sold as car accent lights. A 17cm COB can contain as many as 80 discrete LEDs, producing a very uniform light without needing a lot of added diffusion. Try searching for "cob led" on eBay. I pull off the outer frame and assembly, and re-solder them into various configurations. Cutting them is tricky because the underlying PCB has a peculiar circuit pattern, but I have been able to do it. They are ridiculously cheap -- $3 - $4 for a pair.

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