Graflex Grand Master Chassis
Here is our most advanced chassis for Neopixel installs, worthy of expert builders.
With a full metal chassis core - extendable or completely removable - which design is inspired from the Star Wars Visual Dictionary.
- Removable Kyber Crystal - the Lightsaber changes behavior, sound and color according to the crystal inserted.
- Removable cover plates to reveal what's under the hood:
- Plecter Labs Crystal Focus X
- Removable 18650 Keeppower battery
- OLED screen
GOTH-3Designs cannot be held responsible for any mistakes made by DIYers during their install. You must have a good understanding of what you’re doing, of the components used and the safety measures associated to them. Always wear protective gear when working on install (gloves, eye protection, …), GOTH-3Designs cannot be held responsible in case of accident.
Always use the smallest wires to make your install easier. There can be big differences between one wire type and another for the same AWG specs. PTFE Wires with the smallest OD are recommended such as those sold at The Saber Armory. A perfect wire management is also required, routing wires properly helps a lot saving space.
These instructions will not cover how to wire the soundboard, make sure to learn how to by reading the manual. We have also typical soundboards wiring available in the Padawan Tutorials. Always test your install along the way! Verifying that everything works after important steps is better than having to dismount everything because something wasn’t wired properly.
This chassis is for experienced installers only. It requires good soldering skills and a perfect wire management, as every bit of space counts.
Watch the build timelapse video in order to understand what you are dealing with. Do not attempt to build this if you are just starting with DIY Sebers.
The video shows the prototype build, some minor features have been changed on the final version, but the overall process is the same.
Chassis Update Log
Design update May 2022:
Bluetooth support has been removed from the Grand Master Chassis design.
The over complexification of the wiring wasn’t worth the very low value added of bluetooth connectivity (plus the fact that no major app exists to support that connectivity).
No real change in the install procedure, since it is just skipped the BT board part.
Design update Nov 2022:
The 6 accents LEDs on the soundboard module have been replaced by 2020 accent pixel strips
Some minor improvements on the design have been added.
Another soundboard module cover design has been added.
– 10 x 3mmOD 2mm thick
– 34 x 2mmOD 2mm thick
– 30 x 2mmOD 1mm thick
Brass tactile Switches:
– 1 x 2.5mm height
– 2 x 4mm height
CHAPTER 1 – Parts Preparation and Chassis Pre-Assembly
Step 1 – Cut the tubes
– Grand Master Blade Holder: 3 x 4mmOD tubes 14mm length
– Crystal Holder: 1 x 4mmOD tube 19.4mm length
– Connector: 1 x 4mmOD tube 23.5mm length
– Crystal Chamber: 2 x 4mmOD tubes 46.7mm length (sides), 1 x 4mmOD tube 38.9mm length (top)
– Crystal Chaber Shell: 11 x 2mmOD tubes 3mm length
– Control Panel: 1 x 4mmOD tube 26.5mm length
– Battery cover side plate: 2 x 2mmOD tubes 4mm length
– Speaker Coupler: 16 x 1mmOD tubes (length to be trimmed once installed)
Step 2 – Drill and tap holes
– If the Grand Master Blade Holder is used, there are 3 holes needing a 4-40 tap on the main blade holder part, and 1 hole also with 4-40 tap on the Part 1 Style 1 (heatsink or NPX holder retention screw)
– A M2 tap is required on 4 holes on Part 16.
Step 4 – Pre-Assemble the chassis
Test parts fitment and adjust if needed (minor sanding or hole deburring).
Step 5 – Parts weathering
Weather the parts as you prefer. We’ve used Brass Black and Tifoo Silvergel.
CHAPTER 2 – Emitter Assembly
Step 6 – Glue the 4mmOD tubes
Step 7 – Glue the side plates
(mesh can be added)
Step 8 – Add the 1mmOD rods
Step 10 – Assemble the motor
– Glue the Part 2 on Part 1
– Glue the motor on Part 3 and assemble it on Part 2.
– Once tested, glue the motor on Part 2.
Step 11 – Install the NPX PCB
– The blade holder takes a 7/8 PCB holder.
– Lock the PCB holder with the 4-40 retention screw on Part 1.
Step 12 – Install the brass pins
– Assemble Part 1 on the Blade Holder, passing the wires as shown.
– Then add the connector and pass the wires into each channel.
Notes: On the final design, male and female pins have been inversed.
The males pins are on Part 1 side (and not on the crystal chamber side like shown on the prototype in the video). It doesn’t change the install procedure.
– Solder each Male Brass Pins (and take note of the wiring pattern)
– Glue the pins in the connector part, and lock the emitter assembly using the 4-40 nuts.
CHAPTER 3 – Crystal Chamber Shield and Arc Reactor (Part 1)
Step 13 – Glue the 3mmOD magnets to both connectors
Step 14 – Glue the 3 capacitors (Part 5) to the female connector
Step 15 – Glue the shield magnets
– Check the magnets fitment, deburr the holes if needed
– Glue 3 x 2mmODx2mm on Part 13, and same on Part 11
– Glue 6 x 2mmODx1mm magnets on Part 12
Step 16 – Assemble the Arc Reactor
– Cut Part 14 (there are 3 parts to separate) and glue the little ring on the clear plastic star
– Cut the big ring from Part 15
– Extract copper wires from an electric cable and wrap it on Part 14 as show
– Glue the clear plastic star on Part 14, then glue part 14 on the ring taken from Part 15
– Sand the excess of copper wires and glue the Single Pixel behind the star
CHAPTER 4 – Cover Plates Assembly
Step 17 – Add and glue the copper wires on the remaining part from Part 14
And glue them
Step 18 – Battery Cover Assembly
– Separate (cut) the fins and plate from Part 19
– Glue the fins on Part 18
– Glue the 2mmODx2mm magnets (10 magnets) on Part 18, then glue the corresponding magnets on Part 16 (5 x 2mmODx2mm and 5 x 2mmODx1mm)
– Glue 2 x 2mmODx2mm on the front of Part 18, and the corresponding 2 x 2mmODx2mm on Part 16
– Glue 2 x 2mmOD tubes on the side of Part 18 and add the small cover.
Step 19 – Soundboard Cover Assembly
– Glue the side magnets on Part 16 (5 x 2mmODx2mm), then glue the corresponding magnets on Part 17 (5 x 2mmODx1mm)
– Glue 2 x 2mmODx2mm on the back of Part 17, and the corresponding 2 x 2mmODx2mm on Part 21
– Glue the clear plastic windows on Part 17
– Add the curved 1mmOD rods on the side of Part 17
Step 20 – Control Panel Assembly
Several 1mmOD rods can be added.
Then glue the 4mmOD tube as shown.
CHAPTER 5 – Speaker Module and Coupler Assembly
Step 21 – Glue the 3mmOD magnets
Step 22 – Install in pogo-pins
2 pins for the speaker, 2 pins for the accent LED.
Step 23 – Install the Accent LED indicator
Sand flat the 3mm accent LED and glue it on the clear plastic part.
The wire and glue the accent LED assembly to the speaker holder.
Step 24 – Install the Speaker
Glue the speaker in the holder. Then insert the speaker holder into Part 23 (a guide rail is present to align the pogo-pins correctly).
Step 25 – Add the 1mm tubes to the coupler
If you don’t want to bother measuring each of them, the tubes can be glued first and them trimmed from the inside.
CHAPTER 6 – Crystal Holder and Arc Reactor (Part 2)
Step 26 – Glue the 2mmOD 1mm thick magnets
Step 27 – Install the pogo-pins socket
2 lines of 3 pogo-pins socket to be glued together.
Wiring example (Neopixel install):
(Note: the last free pin can be used for Data out to chain NPXL 2020 accent strips behind)
(Note: there are enough pins for a tri-cree install)
Notes: it is mandatory to check with a multimeter that there is no contact between the pin sockets and the crystal chamber.
There are also several holes on the crystal chamber and crystal chamber shell to add 1mmOD rods for additional customizations.
Step 28 – Complete the Arc Reactor
Add the 1mmOD rods (or esle) to the ring, then glue the ring on Part 13.
CHAPTER 7 – Kyber Crystals Assembly
Step 29 – Single pixels fitment
The single pixel (or RGB leds) will require sanding to fit properly into Part 8 and make sure the metal holder doesn’t enter in contact with the pcb traces.
Step 30 – Install the pogo-pins
Same as the crystal chamber wirring pattern.
Choose the resistor according the the tangible font selection chart of the CFX manual.
Notes: it is again mandatory to check with a multimeter that there is no contact between the pin sockets and the crystal metal Part 8.
Step 31 – Install the single pixels
Make sure to respect the neopixel direction, and wire first teh back of the crystal, then the front.
Step 32 – Assemble the crystal chamber
Glue the Crystal Chamber on the 4mmOD tubes.
CHAPTER 8 – Crystal Chamber Shell Assembly
Step 33 – Glue the 2mmOD tubes
Step 34 – Assemble the Crystal Chamber shell
Then solder the Crystal Chamber wires to the Arc Reactor single pixel
CHAPTER 9 – Accent LEDs and OLED Screen
Step 35 – Install the accent LEDs
The soundboard module takes 6 x 0805 smd LEDs/!\ Update Nov 2022:
The soundboard module design has evolved in order to use 2020 pixels accent strips (instead of 6 independent SMD LEDs). This makes the install easier, with better setup possibilities with newer versions of CFX firmware.
For CFX, these strips can be wired in parallel to the crystal, or chained using the data out free pin on the crystal connector.
– Remove 3 pixels from the accent strips.
The wires have also to be switches from front to back on the pixel strips.
– Insert the strips in their slot and secure them with glue.
/!\ these strips are fragile, make sure not to bend them as it would risk to break a pixel.
– Always make sure to test both sides along the way
Step 36 – Install the OLED Screen
Step 37 – Accent LEDs wire management
Group the wires to take as less space as possible.
CHAPTER 10 – Crystal Focus X Install
Step 38 – Solder the onboard jumpers and resistors
Step 39 – Wire the soundboard USB side
Step 40 – Install the Bluetooth module (optional)/!\ Update Nov 2022:
We don’t use BT module anymore due to the overcomplex wiring and low value added.
Step 41 – Install the negative battery tab and switch
Step 42 – Install the secondary switches (optional)
If you want to control the soundboard without the blade holder attached.
Step 43 – Install the positive battery tab
Step 44 – Install the pogo-pins sockets
CHAPTER 11 – Chassis Assembly
Step 45 – Chassis rear assembly
Screw the speaker coupler on the main chassis with 2x M2 screws (only tighten the screws after Step 47)
Step 46 – Join the two chassis halves
Solder the crystal chamber wires, and pass the main Npx wires through the tube to reach the connector.
The upper and lower chassis are held together with 2x M2 screws.
Step 47 – Install the brass pins
The prototype shown in the video uses male pins here, while the final version uses the female sockets (assembly procedure is the same).
FINAL CHAPTER – Result
The Chassis assembly is complete! Let’s see the result!