Saturday, September 24, 2016

Holocron N

The new boards arrived early; I didn't expect them until Monday.

I did make one mistake with my parts orders; I got some 100 ohm resistors instead of the 100K I needed. Hopefully I can compensate. Just got done placing components one by one on the first assembly and it is in the T-962 right now.

And, so far, so good. Had a bad hour or so when the neopixel didn't respond, but after splicing it into a previous circuit board to test it, realized the problem might be with the fuse setting on the AVR. Which it proved -- and thank you, since version 1.0 of the Arduino IDE you can burn those fuses automagically from the console. But I'll get some sleep before I test the charge circuit.

Yesterday I lasered again, mostly re-designing the internal diffusion cube to work better with the circuit board. If it all works I should be able to finally assemble a complete prototype with proper lighting (diffusion cube test, with an ad-hoc light source propped inside, in the picture below):

The sales thread at the RPF is started now and I've had eight requests for a fully assembled model. I have promised to show how some of the alternates look before I take the orders, though. Last night I also lasered out a partial set of the new "Sentinel" diffusion pattern (that's a Jedi symbol surrounded by a "koan" in Aurabesh). I didn't have a chance to cut circuitry, though, nor have I finished either the "Steampunk" circuitry design or the final of three planned diffusion patterns (which I'm calling the "Guardian" pattern publicly, but it is mostly inspired by Doctor Who.)

I also have to tweak the programming. That will take a bit. One depressing thing I've discovered is after all that tweaking for best possible fit, the width of the cut (and the resulting tightness of fit) is largely dependent on how the laser is feeling that day.

I also have to fill a promise to a very patient lad in Germany for a couple Pulse Rifle grenades and some rounds to go with them. I have a half-dozen bodies from my last run, just awaiting the buttons to be installed. Which is a full four-hour slot on the lathe and precision work, which is why I haven't felt up to it yet. The rounds I'll make a try at doing on the M3d but I'm worried about the quality.

This is more fully-assembled holocrons than I had hoped to have to build. I need to clean up the work area and assembly-line them. But now that the holocron is mostly a solved problem, I can move on to the next props projects. My feeling is, the priority projects now are two; a Morrow Project laser for my friend;

And a Wraith Stone for me. The former may be a great excuse for traditional prop building -- to get away from the machining and CAD and so forth I've been doing lately, and get back for at least a little to balsa and paint.

The latter combines several technologies. I dived back into the Holocron as a "simpler" project to learn surface-mount electronics and Lithium Polymer charge circuits. The Wraith Stone is going to require both:

My intention is also to carve it in semi-traditional style -- MDF, Apoxie Sculpt, etc. -- but then to scan it, print it, then cast it in order to achieve the kind of detail level and materials qualities I want.

Pity no-one else expressed an interest in the Retro Raygun, though. I still need to take it back and swap out the speaker and LED for more powerful models, but otherwise any concern I may have had about keeping the working files is fast ebbing.

(And when I borrow it back, I'm also going to take some proper pictures!)

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