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 Post subject: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
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Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Someone asked me for help on the chest box lights, and I was already planning on uploading my WIP so here is this tutorial.
While I was doing my research to make my lights I found there is no definitive sequence for the lights since access to the real props is very hard, actual footage or reference is not very clear.
So I did my own analisys of the ESB movie going frame by frame, and the results you can see on this video:ESB LIGHT BOX SEQUENCE REVISITED

The chestbox on film appear to have 2 separate lights per slot, which means more combinations thus more complex sequence, if any. I considered 1 fully lit slot only since that’s what almost all vendors do. I believe only Space-In-Vader at Vaderbase.com has a box with 2 lights per slot and is amazing but not cheap (not for me at least).

After doing my own set of lights electronics I can say it may be more pratical to buy from Fettronics or any other vendor, because if you never have soldered electronics it can be a little hard and time consuming, and after buying tools and materials ... the total cost just about matches buying a ready one and the only savings are taxes and shipping. But the advantage is that you get to code your own custom sequences and the satisfaction of self-made lights.

What you will need is as follows:

Materials:
1 Arduino controller board. ( Adafruit Trinket or Trinket Pro.)
1 small rocker switch.
1 small push button
1 yard of red cable 24 or 26 ga.
1 yard of black cable 24 or 26 ga.
1/8", 1/4", 1/2" heat shrink tubing
1 9v battery. (a rechargable Lithium battery can be used as well , see Trinket documentation)
9 red high luminosity leds
1 diffused red led (optional)
1 diffused blue led (optional)
3 resistors (gold-black-red-red)
Solder and solder paste
(If you’re anything like me, buy x2 in case you screw up..)

Tools:
Soldering Iron for Electronics (static free)
Cable Snips
Helping hands
Rotary tool (Dremel or such)

So what I used is a little controller board from AdaFruit electronics called Trinket which is arduino programable and ready to use, and is quite cheap (around $7 dlls). There is also a Trinket Pro which has more features, if you already know your way around electronics and arduino coding, give it a go perhaps you can integrate sound as well. (perhaps the respirator sound ... maybe?). You can find more about it here:Adafruit Trinket

One thing about the Trinket is it has only 3 analog pins that can be used with PWM (Pulse With Modulation), which means they fade the light slowly on the leds. Those pins are numers 0, 1, 4. (*note:Trinket Pro has x2 PWM pins).
So those pins ; 0, 1, 4, will be the pins used for the slot lights.
Pin 3 will be the momentary push button to switch between sequences.
Pin 2 is optional for accesory lights, I use them to light up the blue and red acrylics slightly.
Pin BAT is for power or battery.
Pin Gnd is for Grounding the circuit.

And so, the diagram of the lights looks like this:Image

Now the slot leds I grouped them with the help of a pin board, and cut it with a rotary tool so to fix the resistor and have the leds evenly spaced. And because of all the grounding are to be connected in order to close the circuit, I used a pin board again to connect them all together to try to keep the cables tidy. I tried to use as much shrink wrap as possible to protect the solders and avoid the cables from breaking. I tell you more than 1 cable broke on me while soldering the others.

And this is what the completed lights rig looks like.ImageImage

Now on to the sequence... The first sequence I defined is the "ESB Idle sequence" ; small pause between 6 and 7, and full pause in steps 8 and 10.Image

The second sequence I used is the "ESB Active sequence" ; with small pauses between 4 and 5, 6, and 7, 8 and 9, and full pause in steps 12 and 14.Image

Just for reference below are Fettronics and Anovos sequences. ImageImage

Now to get the coding into the controller board, you will have to install the Arduino software, and download the Trinket software and Trinket firmware, connect the Trinket to your computer with a USB cable and upload the sketch (or code). Check the Trinket documentation for further indications on how to do so. Just download the sketch file, upload to the trinket and give it a run. Then you can customize it as you see fit.

*Note: I order to switch between sequences the pusht button must remain pressed thru the end of each cycle, so that the Trinket can read the button has been pushed. This is because I coded using the 'delay' command which does not allow the card to have any input until the delay command has finished. A more versatile way to code it is using 'time' commands which would allow the Trinket to read that the button is pressed at any time and switch sequences, but I found out about it after I was done and my programming abilities are not there yet.

Here is the arduino file:ESB_fade_w-button_rev1.1.ino
So here's a little demo of how my light setup is at the time.DIY Vader chestbox lights demo
Cheers!,


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:58 am
Posts: 10483
Location: Denmark
You've put a lot of work into this. Very detailed. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Thanks a lot, it sure took a while to do!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
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Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Well I’ve had little progress on remaking the chest box. I’m trying to figure out how to make the ESB greeblies. In the mean time I updated the coinslots, I figured since I still had some aluminum I would cut and assemble them. The joints and seams did not turn out as I expected so I covered them with aluminum tape to hide the defects, but I love the how the slot lenses came out.
Image
Image
ImageImageImageImageImage
Image


Gardea Vader OVDs in Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:30 pm 
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Looks cool. Though, I have never seen a light extend outside the coinslot before. I've only seen the lens cover sit inside the slot.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
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Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Only the round tip extends out a little (about 2 mm) on ESB and ROTJ, i don’t know about ANH. I do have to inset mine, it’s not their final position.
ImageImageImage

This is still a bit much, but its the right idea.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
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Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Hello again,
Well, I’m updating my chest box and I 3D printed my own modeled greeblies, but now i have a question, how do I get rid of the printed texture and stepping? This pieces are quite small, and I don’t know what would would work. Filler primer? , spot putty?, poliesther resin? Bondo?, Rondo? Guidance for tiny pieces needed.
ImageImageImageImage
ImageImage


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:27 am 
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Location: Denmark
Good point on the coin slot lights. Never noticed that.

Layer height seems awfully big. What is the minimum your printer can print at? Mine is 0.06mm. I would start with some slow setting filler. I honestly don't know how Bondo works, but I've seen many people use it. I use something called Super Spackle, but it cures way too fast for detail work and is a pain to work with on small pieces because you run out of time too quickly.


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 Post subject: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Well, I don’t have a printer. They’re from a local printing service, and it can be quite expensive. In the long run it may be worth buying the printer instead, but they deal with the mess of the pieces that go wrong.
Their minimum is .05 but price really goes up, their maximum setting is .20, i think I went with .10, yeah it is a little coarse, but definitely better than carving by hand with was my plan b.
Plus I got to really analyze the greeblies and I’m confident that they are the most accurate I’ve seen in any 3d printing website.

Here’s how they turned out. Really happy with them, though they are not perfect, but close.

ImageImage

Yes, the rocker switches will be operable.
Image

Most accurate greeblies
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Well, the rework certainly came out looking great.

If you want a cheap, reliable printer for less than $300 you should go with the Creality CR-10 30x30x40 cm build plate, or if you are brave enough to use a liquid resin printer you could go with the Anycubic Photon for around $500 (though, this kind of printer is messy and toxic, so you need to consider that).


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Vader chestbox lights
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:19 am
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Very, very cool stuff. I can't wait for my printer to arrive so I can do stuff like this all day. lol


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