Savi's Upgrades DIY Kit - Build instructions

We have developed a complete kit to fully upgrade Savi’s Workshop Lightsabers.
Make it more realistic with better sound, smoother gestures and brighter blade, while still retaining the cool RFID Kyber Crystal change feature!

Follow this page instructions to learn how to upgrade your Savi's Lightsaber using our DIY kit.

The tools needed for this upgrade are the same as any other saber build. If you are unfamiliar with this, consult our Padawan tutorial page for more details.

Demo

Introduction

  • Disclaimer

    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.

  • Note #1

    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 good wire management is also required, routing wires properly helps a lot saving space.

  • Note #2

    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.

  • Note #3

    3D printed parts can have very slight accuracy variations. In some rare cases, some sanding or hole deburring can be required.

Chapter 1 – Dismount Savi’s lightsaber Core

  • There isn’t much difficulty in dismounting the core. Make sure however to store the screws separately and write down where each are going to make the re-assembly easier.

    Step 1 – Unscrew the bottom tube (4 screws) and slide down the battery module holder a bit, revealing 2 more screws.

    Step 2 – Remove the bottom ring from the battery module holder (sliding it down) and unscrew the 2 screws

    Step 3 – Open the chassis and gently take out the electronics. Be extra careful with the RFID coil that will be re-used in the new installation.

    Step 4 – Unplug the 2 connectors shown below, so that the electronic components are free.

    Step 5 – Unscrew the top tube (4 screws) and slide it up. The cables will slide up a bit through  the wire channel in the Crystal Chamber. (These wires won’t be re-used so they can be cut at this point to make thing easier).

    Step 6 – Remove the clear ring and the top plastic ring

    Step 7 – The chassis can now also be opened by unscrewing the remaining screw

    Step 8 – You can now gently remove the components.

    Step 9 – The blade connector needs to be dismounted as well. This will involve either cutting or unsoldering the wires.

    Step 10 – Put aside the following components, they will be re-used in the upgrade.
    – The top connector PCB holder and its 3 screws- The RFID Coil (wires to be carefully unsoldered from the PCB

    – The Hall effect sensor (switch sensor) 

    It needs to be unsoldered from its PCB (it will be installed on the upgraded PCB).

    – The crystal detect switch, also needs to be unsoldered from its PCB – remember well its original position and it will be the same on the upgraded PCB.

Chapter 2 – Dismounting the blade

  • The blade is also very easy to dismount, and again, put aside and mark down what screw goes where.

    Step 1 – Unscrew the blade connector (3 scews), and open it.

    Step 2 – slide down the led strip and open the bottom holder. 
    Gently put aside the blade tube, the foam tube, the 4 blade holder plastic sides and the metal guides.
    Just discard the LED strip and its connector, these won’t be re-used.

Chapter 3 – Mods required to the original core parts

  • A few modifications are required to the original core parts in order to accept the new chassis.

    Step 1 – Gently sand down (dremel sand drum) the lips on the bottom core chassis.

    Make sure the area is well round and polished. You can already verify that the upgraded chassis slides in correctly.

    Step 2 – Cut away the marked lips completely (sharp knife or dremel) to make space for the RFID reader board


    You can already check the RFID reader PCB fits properly, as follow

    Step 3 – Bore out a bit the hole of the crystal holder to allow more light to pass through and make the crystal shine better (again, careful with the RFID coil).

    Step 4 – On the upper chassis, a small wire channel is cut on the side to make the install easier (and avoid bulky connectors that can handle the neopixel high amperage)

    Step 5 – Still on that upper chassis part, file down the marked screw holder. This is to give room to the upgraded PCB pixels.

    Step 6 – The clear plastic ring is cut to allow it to be installed last (allows to expand it and slide it from the top).

Chapter 4 – Upgrade Core Installation

  • Plan ahead the wiring and understand the install perfectly before starting. Here is a Proffieboard wiring example that matches the config loaded on the Proffie and SD Card:

    COMING SOON

    Step 0 – It is highly recommended to test all components out of the chassis prior to the final installation. This will allow to confirm they are working fine. For example, wire the Proffieboard to the connectors and other PCB to check the pixels are working.

    Step 1 Insert the lower chassis negative battery tab. It will be soldered from the speaker holder.
    Note: test how the battery is fitting, if too loose, the negative tab can be opened a bit further to provide more pressure on the battery.

    Step 2 – Wire the kill switch (it is recommended to use a bit of heatshrink tubing to insulate the connections), and press it into its slot (secure it with glue if too loose).

    Step 3 – Solder the kill switch wires onto the negative battery tab.

    Step 4 – Solder the wires on the following PCB. Refer to the diagram on top of this chapter.

    Step 5 – Pass the wires through the chassis (make sure to respect on which side each wire has to go to make the proffie install easier. Then, solder the positive battery tab and glue it in its slot.

    Step 6 – Glue the PCB connector in it slot, the is a notch on the PCB that matches the chassis to allow correct clocking.

    Step 7 – Wire and glue the speaker in its slot

    Step 8 – Install the proffie and glue it in its slot

    Step 9 – Glue the hall sensor to the following PCB, we perpendicular. This will just help the soldering process next.

    Step 10 – Solder the hall sensor.

    Step 11 – Solder the short pins on the PCB

    Step 12 – Glue the Pogo-Pin PCB in it’s holder, with the notch to guide the correct clocking.
    Then solder the wires to the top PCB (see diagrams at the top of the chapter).

    Step 13 – Wire the RFID Reader board, then insert everything into their respective slots.
     

    Step 14 – A proper wire management is required, so that all will fit in their place and the chassis can be closed without issues.

    Step 15 – once the chassis closed, put back the screws and bottom plastic ring, then feed the wires through the Crystal Chamber channel.

    Step 16 – Glue the switch on the PCB then solder it.
    Be extra careful about the pixels on top of the PCB, they must not be broken or the blade won’t work.

    Step 17 – Solder the PCB, as shown (the right length of wires is required here to have the PCB sliding into the top chassis but not too much wire slack either).

    Step 18 – Install the pins on the top Pogo-pin connector. Make sure the pins are well aligned and the cap can be used for guiding them.
     

    Step 19 – solder the wires at the PCB bottom and test it

    Step 20 – Install the connector and its cap into the original holder and add the 3 screws to secure it.

    Here again the right length of wires is key, as the PCB assemble back into the chassis after.

    Step 21 – Solder the NPXL connector to the pixel ring PCB, and install the assembly in the chassis.

    Be extra careful when sliding in the bottom PCB, it has a correct way to enter and have the crystal detect switch back in its slot.

    Make sure to test the blade mechanism, push / twist / release, to see that it will work fine and the wires are at the right length.

    Step 22 – Add the Crystal detect part with its spring at the bottom of the chassis. This is a bit tricky as it must be held in place while assembling the other chassis half and locking tight everything.
    Once assembled, add the screw back to the chassis.

    Step 23 – Now the wires must be managed properly so that the top chassis can assemble with the Crystal chamber without pinching them. Pull down the lower chassis while sliding in the upper one, so that the wires are at their shortest on the top side. Then once the top locked in, there is enough space on top of the bottom pogo-pin connector to very gently push the wires back inside.

    Step 24 – Add the clear plastic ring. The cut will be covered and won’t show.

    Step 25 – Screw both bottom and top tubes back in place. Then finish by adding back the top black plastic ring.
    The core is now upgraded and ready to be played with 🙂

Chapter 5 – Upgraded pixel blade installation

  • We are simply replacing the original LED strip by a WS2812B Neopixel strip here. But there are also way to improve the blade brightness.

    Step 1 (optional but highly recommended) – Sand the blade and tip with 1000 grit sandpaper. It improves light diffusion.


    After a good sanding the blade will look much less being like made of 2 clear and white plastic tubes and will looks nicer compared to the original (on the picture, upgraded on top and original at the bottom)

    Step 2 – Prepare the Neopixel strip and “pre” cut it to a close correct length (so leaving a bit more pixels than necessary as final adjustment occurs later. 
    Note: The below picture shows the final length of our strip. However, SK strips were used in this prototype, the final kit comes with WS strips. So best to follow the steps and calculate the right length at step 6.

    Step 3 – Attach the strip back to back with double sided tape. make sure to have the pixel in steps as shown and test it.

    Step 4 (optional and can be skipped – not provided with the kit) – we inserted the strips into a clear heatshrink tubing (that was previously sanded to have it more opaque). 

    Step 5 – Wire the 2 strips

    Step 6 – Time to cut the strips to the right length. Assemble the wires as shown and insert the strip into the blade socket. Then check the strip length with the blade and correct it to the right perfect length by removing one or 2 pixels if necessary. In the next step, we also add a last single pixel facing top, so you have to also account for that.

    Step 7 (optional and recomended- pixel provided with the kit) – A single pixel facing top is installed at the end of the blade, this was to help the fact that the original blade has a clear tip and to make it shine.
    After install note: we would recommend to sand the single pixel PCB diameter to the max, less shadow around that last pixel when looking straight at it.

    Step 8 – Insert the strips into the foam tube.

    Step 9 (optional – not provided with the kit) – it is also possible to help diffusion adding few layers of clear gift wrap around the foam tube. These wrap are widely used (florist, etc..) and easy to find.

    Step 10 – Insert the blade strip assembly into the blade tubes.

    Step 11 – Bridge the wires and feed them back into the holder

    Step 12 – Add the custom PCB holder provided with the kit and wire the PCB.

    The face marked bottom sits at the bottom.

    Step 13 – Add the metal guide parts and the outer shell. screw everything back together and it’s done.

Congratulations for completing this guide!