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Extending toy light-sabre

Replica light-sabre that extends and retracts just like the real thing
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Light sabre replicas have moved on a bit since I was a kid. Then the best that was available was a flash-light with a plastic tube stuck on top, that resembled a light-sabre not one whit. With the advent of cheap LED's progress has been made, as in the example below which also makes humming noises as it's moved - cool! However, they are still far from perfect. The main problems are that they don't extend when activated like a proper light-sabre, and you can't hit people with them, which takes all the fun away.

This design should remedy both these problems. The light-sabre blade has two parts. Firstly, there is a carbon fibre telescoping rod, the sort of thing that is used as a pointing stick. If you don't know what I mean, it's basically like a car aerial, except being made of carbon fibre it's not so liable to getting bent out of shape. This is covered with a thin LED material, the sort of thing that people are proposing could be used as expensive glowing wall-paper. So the rod glows evenly down its whole length, just like a real light-sabre.

The second part of the blade consists of a tube resembling a condom, except made of sturdy transparent rubber, coloured red or blue depending on whether you see yourself as Jedi or Sith Lord. Think of a transparent bicycle inner tube, but not made into a loop. This covers the carbon-fibre rod. When the sabre is deactivated it is rolled up in the same way as a condom is, but around a metal ring to allow it to be un-rolled and re-rolled repeatedly.

When the blade is activated, two things happen. The LED in the rod is switched on. And a small airpump in the handle of the light-sabre inflates the tube, to about the same pressure as a bicycle inner tube. The tube extends and unrolls, pulling the telescoping rod with it. The rod therefore provides rigidity and light, and the tube maintains extension, and cushions the blade so you can whack your friends without injuring them. When you have dispatched whatever jedi-hating vermin you are currently smiting, you deactivate the sabre, and the tube is rolled up, which de-telescopes the rod into the hilt.

This little baby is gonna be quite pricey, but what's cool about it is that now you can carry a concealed light-sabre, so I reckon there are plenty of Star Wars loving nerds out there like myself who would be willing to shell out a couple of hundred quid/bucks for one of these.
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005

Replica light sabre http://www.empiresw...VIEWPROD&ProdID=787
It hums louder when moved! So cool! [spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005]

the discussion went on... A_20REAL_20Lightsabre
...there was a light sabre protection/shield idea that got deleted that I really loved...hands up if it was yours. [po, Jan 02 2005]

[link]






       Wasn't it cool, that thing you saw in the movies? You know better than this, sm.
DrCurry, Jan 02 2005
  

       [Doc], I don't think that applies. This isn't an idea for a working Light Saber (wouldn't it be neat if it were real,) but an improvement on the design of the replicas and toys that are presently on the market.   

       I don't really think the redesign is very good though. Inflatable condom saber = ugh. [-]
contracts, Jan 02 2005
  

       [Doc], if you can name the movie that has a toy light-sabre in it, I'll happily consider your implied mfd. Thanks for assuming I know better than this, though. Your confidence is appreciated, though I fear unearned. <*grin*>

[Contracts], it's not an *actual* condom. It's an inflatable rubber tube. I compared it to a condom partly to illustrate how it rolls up. Do you feel the same "ugh" when you think of a bicycle inner tube, or a party balloon?
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005
  

       The metaphor was poorly chosen, but the idea is sound. I know people who would buy this.
5th Earth, Jan 02 2005
  

       Oh, not this again.
bristolz, Jan 02 2005
  

       If this is redundant, [Bris], can you please post the link?
thanks for the support, [5E]
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005
  

       [po] that link is about the possibility of a *real* light-sabre. This idea is for a toy light-sabre. Not the same thing at all.
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005
  

       It's no longer redundant (deleted) but the last time it was posted it was contentious and drew a lot of trolling.
bristolz, Jan 02 2005
  

       Your main problem will be providing power for an air pump small enough to fit in the handle of light sabre but efficient enough to blow up your ballon more than once. You'll look pretty silly blowing up your light sabre, and it will take too long and ruin the effect if you have to use a hand pump.
ato_de, Jan 02 2005
  

       What are you saying, [Bris]? That this exact same idea has been posted before? If that's the case, what was contentious about it? After all, it's just a toy.

[ate_de] do you think that's going to be a problem? I must confess I don't know anything about pumps and their power needs. It should be similar to blowing up a bike tyre.
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005
  

       the most efficient way to inflate your sabre will be to use a bicycle type pump. But that won't look cool. people who buy something like this will want to push a button and have the thing extend on it's own. (similar to a car radio anteanna) you might be better served to install a rounded end on the extending guide rod and use it to pull the flexible rubber tube out. It would be much easier than finding a blower/pump small enough to fit in the handle that is efficient enough to inflate it more than once on a battery charge.   

       unfortunately, I think at this point you run into durability issues and it might not be able to withstand repeated whacking.
ato_de, Jan 02 2005
  

       Ooops. I thought it was deleted but, as [po] has linked, the idea still exists. No, it's not at all the same. Sorry.
bristolz, Jan 02 2005
  

       Your point is well taken. The trouble with pulling the tube out by means of the rod is that it doesn't solve the problem of inflating the tube, which is necessary to cushion the blade and allow safe whacking, and also that I suspect a mechanism for extending the rod would be complex, expensive and fragile. The great thing about extending it through inflation is that the blade itself is kept very simple and therefore tough. As you say, an essential part of the attraction of this is that the blade extend automatically. If there are serious problems with the power requirements, that would scupper the whole thing.

Edit: [Bris], we posted at the same time. Don't mention it. Relieved to hear it's not redundant. :-)
[po], I see now that your link was in response to [bris]'s original post, so I shouldn't have corrected you. Sorry. ;-}
spacemoggy, Jan 02 2005
  

       One could inflate the rubber whacker by heating the air inside with a glowing shaft of light from a portable laser in the handle.
FarmerJohn, Jan 03 2005
  

       There should be a special mfd for things like this.   

       Oh wait...
waugsqueke, Jan 03 2005
  

       Use one of those readily available CO2 cartridges.   

       And then it will still be a huge glowing phallus.
contracts, Jan 03 2005
  

       //huge glowing phallus//
That's kind of in the nature of light sabres, real or fake, no? Don't blame me for that; blame George Lucas.

[waugsqueke] if you think this should be mfd then give your reason. If your reason is WICTTISITMWIBNIIWR then I would say the same to you as I did to DC: name the movie that has a toy light-sabre of this type in it. Furthermore, the help file clearly states in the WIBNI section that an idea is mfd'd only if no explanation is given as to how the thing in question is to be achieved. I would suggest that I've given a full and lengthy explanation of how this *replica* lightsabre would work. You seem to be under the impression that any item that ever featured in any movie is forbidden in the HB. Or have I misunderstood your objection? Please clarify.
spacemoggy, Jan 03 2005
  

       Blow it up with water instead of air.
entremanure, Jan 03 2005
  

       If your customers would not mind a fanny-pack sized augment to go with thier new toy, and a teather/leash that runs from the toy sabre to said pack, (perhaps through the sleeve of a garment, perhaps a toy Jedi's robe...) then this is quite bakable. Compact positive pressure pumps are available, (I would suggest a screw type pump) that would fit into an area 6"X3"X5" and rechargeable batteries that fit into the same amount of space are also available.
ato_de, Jan 05 2005
  

       Somewhere on the special features of the episodes 4-6 DVD set is a short that looks like a home movie. In it a little kid in PJ's is tearing open a christmas present and pulls out a real light saber. He promptly turns it on & begins swinging it around and accidentally cuts in half his mother who was sitting on the chair behind him. I hadn't laughed that much for a long time.
Zimmy, Jan 06 2005
  

       Nice one, [ato_de] - if the problem can't be solved, go round it. I like the idea of the fanny pack (or bum bag as we say in the uk; fanny has a rather different meaning here, snigger). And yeah, a jedi robe would be the ideal thing to conceal a sleeve-based hose. However, a problem has occurred to me: as the design stands, there wouldn't actually be any cushioning from the tube, since it is fairly free to flex around the inner rod. I think it needs to be tethered to the rod at several points along the length; but then it wouldn't be able to be rolled up. So I'm a little baffled now.
spacemoggy, Jan 24 2005
  

       Right with you [spacemoggy]. This isn't a WICTTISITMWIBNIIWR but an improvement on a toy that's in real need of improving. It won't look that good really, but it will look better than anything on the market now. That's the enduring thing about a lightsabre - you can see straight away that it's seriously impossible.
wagster, Jan 24 2005
  
      
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