Wejack – prototyping hilt

Wejack is a hilt designed for ease of prototyping, allowing easy access and change out of components. The hilt was assembled from scraps and I originally had no intention of ever sharing it beyond it possibly existing in posts about components I’m developing. After giving it a spin on the drill it started to look too good for me to just leave alone. I added some brass screws out of convenience and liked the way it looked so I kept that theme in fitting the rest of the build out. As it started taking shape I started thinking of a name and eventually settled on Wejack, Algonquian for the animal known in North America as a fisher and a tribute to our recently depart princess, Carrie Fisher.

All of the wiring in the hilt is simple to quickly disconnect (I’ve already had a lot of practice with this). With the in hilt multi-pin adapter (available in the MSWS shop) a number of accessories can be inserted in the emitter. Rather than using a charge port and kill key, the accessories and blades act as an activation key, bridging the system and battery ground lines. To kill power to the hilt the inserted accessory can be pulled out and rotated to prevent contact. A charging and programming adapter can be inserted for it’s nominal functions, as well as featuring a yellow pilot LED indicating the hilt is powered up and a WS2811 LED which mirrors the blade colors. My current development work is with pixel blades, the pixel blade can also be swapped out for a blade featuring an in-blade, WS2811 driven Tri-Cree star LED. If desired, the adapter can be easily removed and replaced with a standard 1″ LED housing. The standard decorative blade plug features a 7-pixel “jewel”, while a prototype on/off blade plug features a 16mm latching switch to allow the hilt to be turned on and off without removing the plug.

The hilt currently features the DIYino, and Arduino based prob board designed specifically with lightsabers in mind. The board has built in SD card reader, sound, motion detection and six LED drivers allowing it to operate a standard LED, string blade, or pixel blade. The current firmware is a modified version of LSOS v1.4 I’ve cleverly named LSOS v1.4jb. Since the hilt wiring is modular, the DIYino can be switched out for several other electronics packages if desired. The 20mm speaker from TCSS is surprisingly loud and clear and definitely deserves consideration even when space isn’t an issue.

prototype in blade LED

Since the hilt is designed to be modular, the switches needed to be out of the way to allow components to be swapped out. With that in mind I decided to put them in the emitter section. With a little creative cutting and wiring I was able to get the switches in the position I wanted with far less difficulty than I thought I would. The switches caps are worked from brass rivets with the use of a hacksaw, drill, and sand paper. Rather than use a Covertec wheel or D-ring, I decided to use a knurled brass nut for two reasons: the knurled nut is easy to loosen and grant access to the internals, and while a Covertec wheel is too large to fit in a standard CB mic clip, the nut fits very comfortably and securely.

  • Hilt Materials: Aluminum tubing, brass button screws, brass thumb screw, brass rivets, brass knurled nut, various set screws, 1″ PEX chassis
  • Hilt Electronics: DIYino w/LSOS 1.4jb, Orbtronic 3500mah 18650, 20mm speaker, tactile switches, wiring of various gauge and collor, MSWS hilt adapter
  • Programming plug: 5.1mm charge port, TRSS 3.5mm audio jack, yellow LED, WS2811 driver & RGB LED, DynaOhm, MSWS programming plug kit
  • Pixel Blade: TCSS 1″ thin wall blade & rounded tip, clear gift wrap, packing foam, 2x 120 pixel WS2812 strips, MSWS blade adapter
  • LED Blade: TCSS 1″ thin wall blade & rounded tip, clear gift wrap, 1″ aluminum, .875″ heatsink, RGB Tri-Cree LED, WS2811 driver, TIP42C, resistors, MSWS blade adapter
  • On/Off Blade Plug: 1″ aluminum tubing, .875″ clear PVC, 9 pixel WS2812 strip, 16mm latching switch, MSWS blade adapter
  • Decorative Plug: 1″ aluminum tubing, 7 pixel NeoPixel “Jewel”, hardware store decoration, MSWS blade adapter

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