Every electronics hobbyist has that project, that first project which they obsess over, which they pour their time and money and sanity into, which they get burned on and make their mistakes on and go on to be learned and wiser about at its completion. I had a project like that, and that project was a relatively well-known project called RGBSaber.
RGBSaber was a name given to a suite of electronics for a lightsaber prop. Unlike other lightsabers available at the time, RGBSaber featured full digital color control, and allowed the user to change the color of the lightsaber blade to any color within the 24-bit RGB spectrum, an impressive 16,777,216 different potential color combinations. The project achieved some degree of popularity, and was featured on Hackaday, Adafruit, and elsewhere. A brief demo video of RGBSaber is available below. Should you find yourself questioning whether or not the saber design was actually real or not, the first video in a multi-part build series is available here.
Challenges of RGBSaber
The primary challenges experienced in the development of RGBSaber were dealing with thermal issues and working inside the environment of a lightsaber hilt (confined, hot, electrically conductive). Other lightsaber designs, by virtue of being simpler, generally evaded these issues through the use of heat shrink tubing and other approaches.
Status of RGBSaber
At the time of this writing, RGBSaber is not seeing active development, the latest stable version being version 1.6. RGBSaber does have some interesting room to grow, however, and with Disney’s new upcoming installments to the Star Wars universe, RGBSaber may become the subject of future developments. At the present time, RGBSaber is open source hardware and all relevant source material for RGBSaber is available on github.