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I may be putting together a stage presentation involving light sabers as seen in starwars. So far it seems that lighting the sabers will not be a problem as I intend to use el wire (glo wire). But any ideas you have are welcome. Making the sound is what is going to be the hard part. My current idea is to have some sort of sensor near the tip of the saber which would send a signal to a computer and depending on the signal the computer recieves it will put out a certain intensity in sound. I need to do this for two sabers simulunatiously. Also I want some way for the computer to recognise when the two sabers are in contact and play a sound (two sounds actually one for initial contact and one for continous contact. Any ideas you have for this project are most welcome.

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How about some sort of thin copper wire marking out the saber. You could connect it so that when the two sabers contact each other, it opens a circuit. A computer measures the time in which the sabers are in contact. If it is greater than a short period, you could have the second sound. If shorter, use the first.


Also, you could have some spring mechanism that is connected but, when moved, opens the connection. This signal, could be accompanied with a moving 'swish' which is replaced by either of the 'contact' sounds as soon as the light saber clashes.


Just some suggestions.

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Letting you know in advance my critism is constructive and me thinking out loud.


How would I prevent the copper wire from being ripped of by the rigors of combat. and there have to be two connections between sabers for there to be a circut.


Thanks for the suggestions. I think something alonf the lines of your copperwire thing may be possible. For the "swhish" sensor I was also thinking something on a spring. Like a variable reistor on a spring with a weight. I don't know how id go about interfacing that with the computer tho.

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The copper should be strong enough to withstand contact. If not, you could use any other conductor. You would also need plenty of wire to make sure that when the sabers do contact, there is always at least one wire that connects.


I've thought of an alternative just now as well.


But to understand that, I need to present my idea about detecting motion.


I suggest that to detect when the light saber is moving, you use a similar divice to that used when trying to measure earthquakes. That might save you a lot of invention time.


And if you can make your detector sensitive to degrees of motion, you could analyse the motion that is made when a saber is forced to stop suddenly because it collides with something. That should look very different to when it stops because the swing hits nothing. Further, you may also want the computer to do a different sound if the collisions on both sabers happen at the same time (ie you actually contact the sabers rather than a body part or wall).


However, to create a computer code that could analyse the signal quickly with the procision necessary to distinguish between the different sort of contacts could be very difficult.


The last alternative is to make the scene coriagraphed so that you just play a sound track and the characters move to some beat. You could have music playing in the background so that the characters know when to move, strike, hit walls etc. This will take a lot of practice, but practice is not technologically difficult.

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