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Making of the Transistor Sword (wishlist)
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Making of the Transistor Sword (wishlist)

by Nefeni on Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:07 pm

Edit: I didn't realize this forum was for customer support only. Thanks anyways for reading! :)

Hi Adafruit!

My name is June and this will be my very first Arduino project! I plan on making the Transistor Sword from the game Transistor created by Supergiant games.

A little bit about my background: I got into making my own websites for my anime / video game interests when I was a kid. I learned css and all that other neat stuff to make free sites function. It wasn't fancy by any means but that opened up a world of coding and programming for me. I grew up in a very Asian culture (if you know what that means!) and so I majored in accounting for my bachelor's degree. But for my minor, I majored in Math and was so glad to be able to take some C++ courses! I went on to get a Master's degree related to database management. So in summary, I'm not some crazy engineer, but a very enthusiastic hobbyist who found about the world of cosplay very recently! I created my first armor set which was the Glass Armor from Skyrim and since then, I haven't looked back at any other hobby. My interests have grown to the point where I want to embed electronics into my very own creations and after all my past and recent experiences, I'm ready to tackle my first big electronics project.

This is a reference picture of the Transistor Sword:
Image

If you are not familiar with the game, the protagonist, Red, carries this sword with her. In essence, her husband is trapped within the sword. Throughout the game her husband will speak to her from the sword itself. When he speaks, the lights flicker and fade to the frequency /loudness of his voice. My plans for the build of this sword is to make the sword generate non-battle scene quotes when a button on the handle is pressed and to quote battle phrases when the sword is swung. I also want an on/off switch to play the a few orchestral theme in a continuous loop from my jacket (not the sword)

Here is the link of the gameplay where you can see the sword in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ7Xq_Dj9ts

I have perused the Adafruit site of (almost) all your wonderful tutorial and learning guides and have found a few of them extremely useful for this build. I needed a tutorial to learn how to generate the sounds and then I needed a second tutorial for the LEDs to light up to the sounds produced. These are the tutorials I will base it on:

For the sound:
Audio Prank Gift Box-
https://learn.adafruit.com/shake-up-a-gift-box/overview

For the lights:
LED Ampli-Tie-
https://learn.adafruit.com/led-ampli-tie/overview
and
LED Sound Reactive Drums-
https://learn.adafruit.com/gemma-powered-neopixel-led-sound-reactive-drums


Here is my wishlist so far:
https://www.adafruit.com/wishlists?wid=369794

All the electronics will be housed in the triangular hilt. I plan to map out a blueprint of the sword in Illustrator to bring to my local plastics store to get it custom laser cut. This way I also can use the blueprint to gauge how many LEDs I will need. And an LED strip will come from the hilt and wrap up and around the circular disk and back down.

My plans are to start working with the sounds first. I will need 2 sound boards in this case (id 2210). One on the jacket to play around 3 long the orchestral themes using the play next trigger. The second one will be in the hilt of the sword to play the quotes. I plan on having 5 to 10 short non-battle quotes on one pin using the play next trigger and 5 to 10 short battle-ready quotes on another pin using the play random trigger. The non-battle quotes will be activated using a simple press button while the battle-ready quotes will be activated using a slow vibration sensor switch (id 1767) which will activate when the sword is swung. Both sound boards will be powered with the LiPo backpack add-on (id 2124) and 3.7v 150mAh LiPo batteries (id 1317). Do you think this is enough power to last for a few hours or a few convention days with one charge? Also, i plan on using 2 Mini Metal Speakers (8ohm, 1W) on both sound boards as well. Do you think it’s both small and loud enough for this project?

Next I will work on the NeoPixels (id 1138). I plan on using the Arduino Uno to work on the code and then transferring it to the 5V Pro Trinket. To detect the sound, I am using the Electret Microphone Amplifier (id 1063) and securing it as close to the speaker as I can. I will start working on the code by using the one from the drum tutorial as I like the effects it outputted and tweak it to pick up only the sound generated by the speaker from the sound board. I'm pretty sure I can configure the gain from the amplifier itself or somewhere in the code. Any ideas you may have or tips on which part of the code to tweak for this project will be really helpful! To ensure maximum brightness of the LEDs, I will use the Powerboost 500c (id1944) to convert the battery output from 3.7V to 5V and be able to easily charge the battery via micro USB at the same time without having to remove the entire LiPo battery from the sword. Maybe there is a way to add a fade affect to the LEDs using FFT?

That's all I have for now! If you have any questions or advice for me, I would appreciate it greatly! If you want to check out my work, you can go to my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nefenicosplay. Thanks for reading and I'll update this thread the moment I make some progress! :)

-June (Nefeni Cosplay)

Nefeni
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:10 am

Re: Making of the Transistor Sword (wishlist)

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:30 am

Sounds like a great project. There is a lot there But from your facebook page, it looks like you have had some experience with complex projects.

Both sound boards will be powered with the LiPo backpack add-on (id 2124) and 3.7v 150mAh LiPo batteries (id 1317). Do you think this is enough power to last for a few hours or a few convention days with one charge? Also, i plan on using 2 Mini Metal Speakers (8ohm, 1W) on both sound boards as well. Do you think it’s both small and loud enough for this project?

150mAh is not a lot. Depending on usage I'd expect you would get a couple hours maybe. Not sure how loud you need these to be. These will not be able to project from a stage, but with suitable mounting you should be able to get better volume than you would with say a smartphone in speaker-phone mode.

To ensure maximum brightness of the LEDs, I will use the Powerboost 500c (id1944) to convert the battery output from 3.7V to 5V and be able to easily charge the battery via micro USB at the same time without having to remove the entire LiPo battery from the sword.

You don't mention what battery you will be using for the Neopixels. But pixels are fairly power-hungry. I would skip the powerboost, use a 3.3v Pro Trinket and power everything direct from the battery. The loss in brightness will be minimal, your build will be simpler and you will get better battery life.

You might want to consider going to a single battery for both light and sound. The cylindrical cells pack a lot of capacity in a small package. These might be easier to integrate into your sword than the flat-style.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1781
https://www.adafruit.com/product/354

adafruit_support_bill
 
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Re: Making of the Transistor Sword (wishlist)

by joshuakane on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:02 am

Hi Nefeni,

I have been working on a very similar project for the exact same sword. I have the proof of concept complete, and made it using all Adafruit parts.

here is a quick video of the POC that I put together. Let me know if this is along the lines of what you were trying to do.

-- Joshua

https://youtu.be/7bziULfjLKg

joshuakane
 
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Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: Making of the Transistor Sword (wishlist)

by joshuakane on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:03 pm

Hi Nefeni,


Here is a wish list I put together. This is a list of all the parts I used to construct the Transistor sword electronics.

https://www.adafruit.com/wishlists?wid=371394

The one I set up is very similar to what you are talking about. I had some differences in the way the sword was setup, and where I chose to place the electronics. I put most of the electronics in the sword handle, placing the speakers in the the triangle shaped hilt. I also used two strips of the NeoPixels so the light was really bright and dispersed outward from the center of the sword.

My setup was a 3.3v Trinket pro with a battery backpack. I included programming to allow button pushes from the Trinket to trigger light and sound events. This was done using the serial interface of the Audio FX board, as opposed to the button push functionality on the AudioFX board.

I also added an Accelerometer that is triggered by motion events. This allows for the "battle sounds" you mentioned.

In addition I added a barrel adapter that connected to the battery backpack, and utilized the switch capability of the backpack to allow the internal battery to be recharged without opening up the sword.

Here is a photo of my friend Grace as Red with her sword. Also the Sword was designed by Sean Bradley, it is made from Vacuum formed plastic, PVC and some welded metal parts.

Image

joshuakane
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:40 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.