Assembly

Neopixel strip Layout

Lay the Neopixel strip inside of the blade with the LEDs facing towards the center (faceing the cutout of the blade).

Measure NeoPixel strip length

A 1 meter long strip should have three NeoPixel left over once you layout the strip inside the blade. Use flush cutters or scissors to cut off the extra NeoPixles.

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Remove silicone cover

To properly fit the strips inside the blade, we'll need to remove the silicone cover by cutting off one of the Neopixels along the copper pads.

Tin NeoPixel strip

We'll hold the NeoPixel strip in place using a third helping hand and then tin each pad to prepare it for soldering jumper wires.

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Female jumper wires

Cut and strip short female jumper wires in half, one for each side blade, and solder to the pads on the NeoPixel strips.

Mount LED strips

Use adhesives or gaffers tape to secure the strips inside the blade. Make sure the LEDs are face towards to cutout on the blade.

Craft sticks

Measure and cut four craft sticks for each handle end part. If the tolerances are too loose, use a small amount of mounting tac inside the slots.

Measure strip wires

Place the Feather board on the standoffs inside the handle so we can gauge the length from the end of the NeoPixel strip to each pin on the feather board. 

Y-cables

The strips will share pins for data, ground and power. We can share these connections with a small y-cable that will split each connection to share.

Solder y-cables

Use two third helping hands to hold the wires like shown above and apply solder to the center of the wires to create our y-cable. 

Heat shrink tubing

Measure and cut a piece of heat shrink tubing to insulate each y-cable.

Heat shrink tubing

Use a lighter or Hot Air to insulate each y-cable. 

Tin y-cables

Prepare each y-cable by tinning all of the ends.

Solder y-cables to feather board

Tin the ground, bat and pin #6 on the feather board according to the circuit diagram. Solder the y-cables to each pin. 

Wire management

Neatly arrange the wires and hold them in place with a piece of gaffers tape like shown in the picture above.

Male jumper cables

Connecting the wires from the feather board to the strips inside the blade is made easier by using male and female jumper cables.

Tin and solder jumper cables

Use a third helping hand to hold the ends of the y-cables and jumpers while solder them together. 

Jumper heat shrink

Measure a cut heat shrink pieces for each jumper.

Mount feather boarad

Use #4-40 screws to mount the feather board to the stand offs inside the handle.

It's easier to screw the board into the standoffs if you pre tap the feather board mounting holes with the screws first, before mounting the board to the standoffs. 

Mount battery

Add a small piece of gaffers tape to the top portion of the 2000mAh lipo battery  as a strain relief to the power cables.

Slide the lipo battery underneath feather board's standoffs. There should be enough room to securely hold the battery in place.

On / Off slide switch

To power the the feather board on and off, we'll build one using a slide switch with a JST extension cable.

Solder JST cables

Shorten the pins on the slide switch with flush cutters. Add heat shrink tubing before soldering each cable to the slide switch.

Mount slide switch

Add the slide switch inside the handle and arrange the wires so they can connect to the battery.

Close the handle

Carefully arrange the wires so they are in the wire slots. Snap fit the front part of the handle to the back handle part.

Make sure the wires can easily slide in and out of handle.

Handle ends

String the wires through the handle ends as you fit both parts to the main handle part.

Make sure the wires can easily slide back into the handle. 

Connect blade to handle

Connect the female jumper wires from strips to the male jumper wire on the feather boaard. Carefully push the wires back into the handle as you insert the wooden sticks into the blade. The blade should fit into the groove on the handle ends.  

Seal blades

You can use hot glue or E6000 to seal the halves of the blade together. Apply glue to the side of the blades and then hold together unit they bond.

Power Up

Allow any adhesives to cure before fliping on the switch and flight off the Covenant!

This guide was first published on Jan 27, 2016. It was last updated on Jan 27, 2016. This page (Assembly) was last updated on Jul 18, 2019.