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  • Portable Low Cost DIY Solar Panel Setup

    Just a minor comment on the wording: saying "don't go below 14awg" might be misleading to people who don't realize that higher numbers are actually thinner wires

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber7 months ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    I can send you whatever files you need. I don't have a wiring diagram, per se, but all the connections can be determined in software. What's your skill level in electronics? Do you have the equipment to assemble a surface mount PCB?

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber7 months ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Thanks. I'm trying to get all the information together, but "work" is getting in the way! ;-) Aside from the blade, the electronics consist of four main parts: a Trinket Pro (from Adafruit) to run the program, a DFPlayer (from DFRobot, or one of the millions of clones) to handle the sounds, a gyro/accelerometer (you can get a breakout from Adafruit) for the motion, and an LED controller. Of all of the these parts, the LED controller is the most specialized. I ended up designing a custom PCB using Eagle and getting it made at OSHPark. It consists of a PCA9685 PWM controller and a bunch of N-channel MOSFETs to switch the higher power/voltage. I'm happy to share the project files. You can also just order the board directly here:<a href="https://oshpark.com/shared_projects...

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    Thanks. I'm trying to get all the information together, but "work" is getting in the way! ;-) Aside from the blade, the electronics consist of four main parts: a Trinket Pro (from Adafruit) to run the program, a DFPlayer (from DFRobot, or one of the millions of clones) to handle the sounds, a gyro/accelerometer (you can get a breakout from Adafruit) for the motion, and an LED controller. Of all of the these parts, the LED controller is the most specialized. I ended up designing a custom PCB using Eagle and getting it made at OSHPark. It consists of a PCA9685 PWM controller and a bunch of N-channel MOSFETs to switch the higher power/voltage. I'm happy to share the project files. You can also just order the board directly here:<a href="https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/6GX19Svs"><img src="https://oshpark.com/assets/badge-5b7ec47045b78aef6eb9d83b3bac6b1920de805e9a0c227658eac6e19a045b9c.png" alt="Order from OSH Park"></img></a>The alternative is to use the PWM pins on the microcontroller, but you'll still need to control the LEDs indirectly through power transistors.There's also a huge, crazy world of lightsaber builders (way beyond what I'm doing here!). You can find really good tips at https://www.fx-sabers.com/

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  • thatguyer commented on woodbywright's instructable How to Hand Cut Dovetails7 months ago
    How to Hand Cut Dovetails

    Nice description! Two things that I've found helpful. First, like you, I prefer to cut the tails first, since the angles don't matter much. The crucial detail, though, is that the saw must be perpendicular to the face of the board, otherwise the tails have a slightly different size/shape on the two sides, which can mess up the scribing of the pins. Second, I saw a nice trick (in Fine Woodworking, I think) for helping with the pins. One of the issues is that it can be hard to get a clean line on end grain. What they do is put a strip of blue painter's tape across the end of the board, then trace the tails onto the pins with a sharp knife. Peel away the parts where the tails will be, and you're left with nice clean pieces of tape where the pins should be.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber9 months ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Hi! Thanks. I will be updating this instructable or writing a new one soon. I'm just waiting for all the parts to arrive. The COB LEDs came from aliexpress. The ones I used are only 6cm long, so I needed a lot of them. At $1 each, the LEDs were around $40. Here is the link:https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-10pcs-3v-3w-L6...All-in-all, this is not a cheap project to make. The goal was to make something super-bright, regardless of the cost.I'm working on a more complete parts list now. Stay tuned!

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber11 months 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: 12 months ago
    • 100 Watt Light Saber
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      5 comments
  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber12 months 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 year ago
  • thatguyer commented on spaktashabit's instructable Simple Lightsaber1 year 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...

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    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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