Neopixel strip for lightsaber

This week, Erv announced some major, major revisions to his catalog. Another notable addition to the entire Plecter line is the inclusion of a protection circuit that prevents the board from frying if exposed to too much voltage or reverse polarity. Since the board can individually address up to LEDs in a NeoPixel blade, the AccuBolt feature allows highly localized color changing to replicate true blaster deflection. MultiBolt takes the experience even further by properly syncing the light effect with the blaster sound and allowing for multiple blaster hits in a single track.

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European saber builders will be able to purchase the boards directly from Erv later this month. I can guarantee one thing: I will be using these boards with NeoPixel blades in future builds.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. The full set of new specs and a video of the NBv4 with a NeoPixel blade can be seen below. Share this: Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest.Login Register.

Hello Folks! This post is sort of an introduction, and also includes what's in the title My name is Mark and I have been building sabers since I took a break from the hobby in for some other projects and am finally back. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see both Neopixels and Smoothswing Anyways, I am working on a new saber and was not super happy with the available Neopixel strips. If you go with the "Skinny Mini" strips you sacrifice some brightness for evenness.

On the other hand the strips are brighter, but harder to diffuse. I have made some progress on the design and wanted to share it here to see if anyone has suggestions or tips. I'll keep this thread updated with progress. Here are some renderings of a proof-of-concept model parallel data lines not shown :. New KR-sabers strips are single-piece rigid pcbs but still flexible in a needed range designed from scratch specifically for use in sabers.

I helped Khal to test and improve the strip design for absolutely max efficiency, so it will be the best and brightest neopixel strip on the market for sabers. And it won't cost more than 2 regular flexible strips.

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First thought: I'm no neopixel expert, I've only made the one pixel blade saber and I don't really intend to make more component blades aren't my thing. Off the top of my head though, my concern would be waste heat dissipation.

Second thought: okay, so, LED string blades have mostly died because it was a right pain to bend the legs of 5mm LEDs and solder them together, and Neopixels came along and surpassed them in most aspects. I dunno, it just sounds overly complicated to me. Third thought: maybe replace the single core wire on the data line with stranded core wire. Despite my negative outlook, I do look forward to seeing what you can do.

This hobby thrives on people trying out their craziest ideas. Who knows, maybe you've got the next big thing here. I used to be a Jedi like you, then I took a lightsaber to the knee. I look forward to seeing how these perform.

Heat is definitely a major issue in real world performance. What if one put a thin metal strip up the blade to act as a heatsink and mounted the pixel strips to both sides of that? Would that help with the heat issues?While this is true I did not take into account the learning curb needed to start working with the NeoPixel library and I ended up spending most of my time trying to figure out how to use it.

Well after figuring out basics I thought I would make a quick tutorial to show you all how the basics of the NeoPixel work! Did you use this instructable in your classroom? Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Before we jump into learning about the library that helps us control them lets take a second to talk about NeoPixels. These are individually addressable LEDs all housed on a string that can be controlled from a single pin on a microcontroller.

So as you can see using individually addressable can help create some cool effects. Adafruit produces a line of addressable LED strip and also supplies the library to control them, this is called "Adafruit NeoPixel", there are other companies that have produced libraries to control these addressable LEDs however, in my opinion, I've found that Adafruits has the best support and is the easiest to get started one.

If you don't have one already you can get the NeoPixel here. So we have decided we are going to use the Adafruit library to control our NeoPixel, how do we install it? Well, first things first you need to have the Arduino IDE installed on your computer which can be downloaded from here.

Once that's all loaded up go ahead and launch the Arduino IDE and do the following:. You can test this by checking to see if the examples loaded into your IDE:. At this point, the library is successfully loaded into our Arduino IDE and we can now move on to checking out the examples. Now if you clicked on any of the examples you may be a little surprised at how much code is involved in getting one of these to light up.

The "Standardtest" example has 6 extra functions! Controlling one of these is definitely more challenging than just setting the Red Green or Blue pin to high like on a standard RGB strip but it's worth figuring out as it allows you to do some really cool stuff. There's a lot of important code happening in this example so we are going to take a look at it piece by piece.

This tells the Arduino that we want to use the NeoPixel and all the properties it brings in this sketch, the sketch would not function without this. This states that if we are using an AVR board such as the Trinket or Gemma to include a library that is compatible with them. This has no effect if you are using an Arduino.

The first value named "PIN" is used to tell the sketch which pin we want to use on the microcontroller. If you wanted your NeoPixel to be controlled from pin 8 on your microcontroller you would need to change "6" to "8". For example, my string has 8 Pixels so I changed the value to 8.

This value helps the sketch keep track of how many Pixels are on your string allowing us to create functions using this value which we will do later on. This code doesn't really serve a purpose for us, its there to help the microcontroller communicate with the NeoPixel. The first couple of lines of code are again just there to make this work with the trinket and other microcontrollers of that class so we don't really need to worry about it.

Now, this code is quite complex and is used to create a function, we are going to come back to this in the next step. The code starts out with "pixels. The first value is "i" now this is the part of the code were we tell it exactly which pixel we want to be lit up, right now its set to "i" because its part of that function we spoke about earlier but if i change this value from "i" to "3" and then upload the code the third pixel on the string will light up.

This is how we control indavidual pixels. After this we see "pixels.

Are neopixel lightsabers duel worthy?

Color 0,0 " these are the values we change to change the color, the first value is Red the second value is Green and the final value is Blue.I have entered this in the Arduino contest -- if you like this Instructable, I would greatly appreciate your vote.

This project started as part of my Halloween costume, and then expanded And, I decided to go beyond the normal lightsaber, and create a party mode with colorful animations on the saber. You definitely want to watch until the end of the video to see Kylo's reaction when he tries out his newly constructed saber, and finds out it also has the party mode….

Note on the code links later -- I was particularly happy with the code for the Kylo Ren saber for a couple reasons: a it imitates the sparking look of his unstable blade better than others I've seen, b the power on effect delays the side blades until just after the main blade powers just as in the movies for those not obsessed with sabers, the side blades are exhaust vents for Kylo's unstable blade, and thus do not come on until the main blade is lit.

Also, both blades have a sinusoidal power on effect that I think is a bit closer to the effect in the film than the linear power on effects I've seen in a lot of sabers. Instead, I wanted to focus on making something that looks high quality and cool, with a metal hilt and LED control button, at a reasonable cost.

Did you use this instructable in your classroom? Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson. The hilt is constructed primarily from plumbing parts you can find at Home Depot or any big box store, except for the 1" polycarbonate tube that you can buy from Amazon. The main part of the hilt is made from a combination of a 1. The cool thing about the 1. Use a miter saw, or a hack saw to cut it down. Drill a hole and matching hole on opposite sides of the hilt.

This makes an end cap that will provide easy access to remove the battery holder and change batteries. Optionally, use a miter saw to an angle at one end to mimic the look of the Skywalker saber.

Neopixels, How Do They Work?

Optionally cut these sections at angles with a miter saw before gluing them. These mimic the side exhaust vents for Kylo's unstable blade. I'll describe it here, but you can just come back and do the following steps after testing that the LEDs work properly.

Use the adhesive backing on the strips to attach them to each other back to back. If you have a hard time getting the strips through, use Gaffers tape or Gorilla tape to tape a straightened coat hanger to the strips, and use the hanger to pull them through. Follow the above wiring diagram to wire the Arduino to the momentary push button and LED strips, and wire everything to the 4AA battery holder. I used JST connectors between all components to make the blade easier to assemble.

Anakin saber: I connected all matching wires from both LED strips, so I could run a single power and ground to the strips, and run a single control signal from the Arduino to both strips.

Kylo saber: same as Anakin for the two LED strips in the main blade, and then ran a second power, ground, and control signal to the four short LED strips in the sides of the blade. One note on LED choice. They have a redundant control signal, which means that if one LED goes out the rest of the strip continues to work without any issue.

Check out the video or one of the countless Arduino instructables if you need more details on this part. Nothing fancy with the code in this one The code is written so that pushing the momentary push button will cycle through modes in the following order: saber on, saber off, party mode, saber off. The code has a sinusoidal power on and off animation, and the party modes are a fun way to do something different with your saber.

One thing that was surprisingly tricky about this build was getting all the electronics arduino, wires, button, etc inside the hilt. It is way easier to show and explain than put in writing. Watch the video starting here for a full explanation and walk-through of the assembly process. Saber sounds are cool, for sure. Heck, I added them in the video for this reason.

However, most environments where you'll actually use a saber halloween parties, etc. Since adding sound also requires adding motion sensors, it greatly complicates the build, so I decided to leave them out for now.

NeoPixels/LED Strips

I would love to see someone add sound with an Arduino, if that is possible. Once it is assembled you are ready to fire it up and have a good time!Remember Me? What's New? Results 1 to 7 of 7. Thread Tools Show Printable Version. I have tested them into a very cheap transparent plastic tube, I wrapped them in a sheet of paper to diffuse the blade, here is the result: Since my LEDs are RGB leds, I'll go for a white blade. But I am not sure which blade to get in order to achieve maximum brightness with correctly diffused light so that we can't see individual leds.

Should I get a thin walled or thick walled blade? I don't plan to fight very much with it but I don't want my blade to break. Or is the white blade going to be enough to diffuse the LEDs? Can you guys advise me? I thank you in advance. Regards, Azsde. Last edited by Azsde; at AM.

neopixel strip for lightsaber

You don't need to worry about the blade breaking, but you may have to worry about the wiring for the pixels breaking so if you plan on fighting with a pixel strip blade you will need to take steps to keep the stress off the joints or you can tear the pads right off the strips. A thick wall blade may reduce the stress, but it will also not leave as much room for diffusion materials.

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Think trans-white may help. I do not think the thin trans-white blades are as helpful as one might imagine. I use a combination of white packing foam and clear gift wrap to diffuse my blades and I find that this works quite well in the thin walled clear blades.

To be honest, the best diffuser I've found is single ply toilet paper, but the seam will always be ugly. I'm not sure anyone who's active here has posted much about pixel blades other than me, hopefully that changes now that there are more options available! Originally Posted by jbkuma. I never thought of the flooring section. The big box hardware stores usually have it in their "moving supplies" section.

I'm sure there is something better out there, but I have been building these for about a year and I haven't been able to find something better that is readily available, affordable, and the right size. I considered some more expensive options like a layer or two of PTFE heatshrink which is somewhat cloudy. Using the 5mm type to build a string is would be easier to diffuse, but they have an annoying "feature" or light up blue until they receive their first set of instructions.

neopixel strip for lightsaber

The best you can reduce this to is a blue flash at startup. Because pixels have a continuous drain regardless of if they are lighted, you want to kill the power to them when the blade isn't lit. So every time the pixels chain is re-energized it will flash blue. With strips this is not a concern.

If someone shows you their beautiful pixel LED string blade that doesn't have this blue flash then they are excluding that from the demonstration.

neopixel strip for lightsaber

There is no way around it. JBkuma I had only learned about that issue recently. Oh well, the LEDs were cheap. Could the code have the extend feature lead with a quick blue flash on the LED?

The leading LED would be blue, or flash blue and then followed by color of choice.Add the following snippet to your HTML:. I made two NeoPixel sabers controlled by Arduino, with plumbing part hilts that look nice, and animated party modes.

Project tutorial by Modustrial Maker. This project started as part of my Halloween costume, and then expanded And, I decided to go beyond the normal lightsaber, and create a party mode with colorful animations on the saber. You definitely want to watch until the end of the video to see Kylo's reaction when he tries out his newly constructed saber, and finds out it also has the party mode….

neopixel strip for lightsaber

Note on the code links later -- I was particularly happy with the code for the Kylo Ren saber for a couple reasons: a it imitates the sparking look of his unstable blade better than others I've seen, b the power on effect delays the side blades until just after the main blade powers just as in the movies for those not obsessed with sabers, the side blades are exhaust vents for Kylo's unstable blade, and thus do not come on until the main blade is lit.

Also, both blades have a sinusoidal power on effect that I think is a bit closer to the effect in the film than the linear power on effects I've seen in a lot of sabers. Instead, I wanted to focus on making something that looks high quality and cool, with a metal hilt and LED control button, at a reasonable cost. The hilt is constructed primarily from plumbing parts you can find at Home Depot or any big box store, except for the 1" polycarbonate tube that you can buy from Amazon.

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The main part of the hilt is made from a combination of a 1. The cool thing about the 1.

Neopixel Lightsabers W/ Party Modes - Arduino Controlled

Use a miter saw, or a hack saw to cut it down. Drill a hole and matching hole on opposite sides of the hilt. This makes an end cap that will provide easy access to remove the battery holder and change batteries. Optionally, use a miter saw to an angle at one end to mimic the look of the Skywalker saber. Optionally cut these sections at angles with a miter saw before gluing them. These mimic the side exhaust vents for Kylo's unstable blade.

I'll describe it here, but you can just come back and do the following steps after testing that the LEDs work properly. Use the adhesive backing on the strips to attach them to each other back to back. If you have a hard time getting the strips through, use Gaffers tape or Gorilla tape to tape a straightened coat hanger to the strips, and use the hanger to pull them through.

Follow the above wiring diagram to wire the Arduino to the momentary push button and LED strips, and wire everything to the 4AA battery holder. I used JST connectors between all components to make the blade easier to assemble.

Anakin saber: I connected all matching wires from both LED strips, so I could run a single power and ground to the strips, and run a single control signal from the Arduino to both strips. Kylo saber: same as Anakin for the two LED strips in the main blade, and then ran a second power, ground, and control signal to the four short LED strips in the sides of the blade.

One note on LED choice. They have a redundant control signal, which means that if one LED goes out the rest of the strip continues to work without any issue.

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Check out the video or one of the countless Arduino tutorials if you need more details on this part. Nothing fancy with the code in this one The code is written so that pushing the momentary push button will cycle through modes in the following order: saber on, saber off, party mode, saber off.A neopixel lightsabersometimes called a Plecter Pixel lightsaberPixel saber, or Neo saber, is a type of custom saber equipped with flexible LED strips inside the lightsaber blade.

Neopixel lightsabers feature bright blade illumination, RGB color changing customization, and extensive, customizable visual effects. The neopixel lightsaber blade is removable from the hilt. Neopixel lightsabers are brighter than lightsabers with an in-hilt LED configuration and neopixel lightsabers feature more complex and customizable visual effects e.

Ask the specific lightsaber manufacturer for details regarding the durability of their specific product. Neopixel lightsabers generally cost more than in-hilt LED lightsabers. Neopixel lightsabers also drain their batteries faster than in-hilt LED lightsabers. Neopixel lightsaber blades cost a lot more than standard tube blades as well. Neopixel lightsabers only use neopixel lightsaber blades and neopixel lightsaber blade plugs.

Blades designed for in-hilt LED sabers, which are simple polycarbonate tube blades without any in-blade illumination, are NOT compatible with neopixel lightsabers. Neopixel blade plug adapters are available and may be used to convert many types of standard blade plugs designs for an in-hilt LED saber into neopixel blade plugs. Disclaimer: The Etsy and eBay links are affiliate link, meaning if you purchase an item through these links, I receive some money at no cost to you.

Also, the following companies are not necessarily endorsed by SaberSourcing. Always thoroughly research a company before purchasing from them.

Skip to content. Neopixel Lightsaber Blades and Blade Plugs Neopixel lightsabers only use neopixel lightsaber blades and neopixel lightsaber blade plugs. List of Neopixel Lightsaber Companies Disclaimer: The Etsy and eBay links are affiliate link, meaning if you purchase an item through these links, I receive some money at no cost to you. Share this: Tweet.

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