Operating System for Arduino based LightSaber
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LightSaberOS by neskweek and Protonerd based on Protonerd's DIYino saber boards


![DIYino demo of Neopixel lightsaber blade with LSOS] (http://img.youtube.com/vi/PjXLKvWpA8A/0.jpg)
This is a modified version of the neopixel code. LSOS doesn't come with this fire effect out of the box ;)
![DIYino prototype demo with LSOS by neskweek - Swings] (http://img.youtube.com/vi/tU3GZzV9I6E/0.jpg)![Motion Detection Demo (made under v1.0 RC5)] (http://img.youtube.com/vi/wY8BSSEyYLY/0.jpg)![Quick tour (made under v1.0 RC4)] (http://img.youtube.com/vi/mc8scn_qyFM/0.jpg)


  • Simple modular systems (you can choose to remove some features from your final compilation)
  • Supports all currently used blade types:
    • STAR_LED refers to an in-hilt high-power LED module, usually of type RGB for color mixing, but can be a single LED type or any combination
    • of colors and LED dice up to 3 (more can be configured on demand, up to 6 with DIYino Prime
    • PIXELBLADE defines a neopixel stripe running the length of the blade. For more information on neopixels, see: https://www.adafruit.com/category/168
    • Currently supported chip set: WS2812B
    • LEDSTRINGS are commonly known as segmented LED strings and represent a blade type where thru-hole LEDs of a single color are connected in parallel
    • along the length of the blade. Currently supported number of segments: 6 (like Hasbro high-end and Plecter boards among others)
  • Swing detection based on quaternions (reacts only on real swings, no need for complicated sensitivity settings)
  • Blade Clash detection (reacts reliably on clash without needing any sensitivity settings)
  • Full gapless sound playing with "Hum Extended" soundfiles (see below)
  • Blaster Shot deflect either triggered by button or on-the-move
  • Blade Lockup (either button activated or triggered by a clash if initiaited)
  • Accent LED for illuminated buttons
  • Flash-on-Clash LEDString
  • Multiple ignition/retractation/flickering effects
  • Config Menu to modify some features without connecting your board to your PC/Mac
  • EEPROM load/save of your config preferences
  • Soundfont adding supported (not automatic, you'll have little work to do ;) )



Designed to be used on DIYino boards (recommended) Designed to be used on Arduino Nano, Arduino Pro mini (ATmega328 processors)

  • IMU (accelerometer + gyroscope) modules :
    • MPU6050
  • Soundplayer modules:
    • DFPlayer Mini
  • Blade module:
    • homemade LEDstrings aka. LEDSTRINGS
    • RGB LEDs (Luxeon/Cree styled) aka. STAR_LED
    • Single LED (falls under the category STAR_LED)
    • Neopixel strings aka. PIXELBLADE


These instructions should work for IDE version 1.6.0 and greater and may work with 1.5.x also. If compiling hangs with 1.6.4, try again with File > Preferences > Compiler warnings: None.

  1. Download and install Arduino IDE (recommended version 1.6.11 or newer)
  2. Download https://github.com/neskweek/LightSaberOS/archive/master.zip.
  3. Unzip the downloaded file LightSaberOS-master.zip.
  4. Rename the unzipped folder from LightSaberOS-master to LightSaberOS.
  5. Move all folders inside LightSaberOS/Libraries to {sketchbook folder}/libraries. You can find the location of your sketchbook folder at File > Preferences > Sketchbook location.
  6. Open the file LightSaberOS/LightSaberOS.ino.
  7. Connect the USB cable to your Arduino.
  8. Set up your board manager in Tools/Boards/Boards Manager, select Arduino AVR Boards by Arduino and in the lower left side of the box the version 1.6.17 (recommended) and press install
  9. Select the correct board in Tools > Board (Arduino Nano for DIYino Prime v1 or Arduino/Genuino Uno for DIYino Prime v1.5 or greater and for Stardust)
  10. Select the correct port in Tools > Port.
  11. Follow the Project Setup instructions at https://github.com/neskweek/LightSaberOS.
  12. Once all configuration changes have been made to LightSaberOS.ino, do Sketch > Upload.


0. General Warnings

You are decided to build your lightsaber. Cool !
Don't think I want to deceive you from your goal but you 'll have to keep those things in mind :

  • This project is not plug and play ! It's tough, time consuming and you'll spend some times in trial and errors. But it's also highly rewarding once completed with success.
  • This project might be cheap, but it's highly unlikely. If you don't make mistake it can be. If you do you'll have to go on spare parts,etc... and costs can grew up.
  • Think twice about your power supply/LED relations ! This is CRUCIAL! A power supply that gives to much voltage for your LEDs will result in burned LEDs. We don't recommend the use of power supply that exceed total LED's voltage capacity. While it's still possible, if you do go down this path, calculate, think, ask questions and USE A MULTIMETER ! Beware of MAX_BRIGHTNESS setting. While this can remove some voltage from your LEDs it's certainly can not remove too much. Each MOSFETs can take a certain amount of voltage but it will heat up. And too much it can ruin your MOSFET or your DIYNO board.
    This choice is THE MOST IMPORTANT CHOICE for your device !!!!
    Also mind the intensity (Amps) your setup will require...
    I told you it will be tough !
  • You will have shorts !!! Well I hope you don't, in fact. Keep in mind that solders on your board are not bullet proof, even for experienced people. The more your board will move, the more these solderings will be exposed to breakage and that will lead to short cuts. On a fully completed blade, this mostly results in unresponsivness : the blade will stops flickering, you won't hear anymore swings and you won't be able to retract the blade until you cut the power off (remove battery, or plug a kill key). Isolate your buttons leads too, contact with metal hull => short cut. You'll want thermoretractable sheath and maybe hot glue.
  • Consider a kill key ! They'll preserve your batteries from draining out when you're not using your saber, allows you to recharge your saber, allows you to quickly shut down your saber.... You want to put a kill key !

1. IMU calibration

First, you'll need (if not already done) to calibrate your MPU6050. DIYino boards come pre-calibrated with calibration values stored starting from EEPROM address 96 or 200 (see comments for branch LSOS 1.5) I recommend you use the AutoCalibration script you can find here

2. Determine IMU orientation

The way you physically installed the MPU6050 in your hilt will influence how swing detection works.
You'll have to determine which IMU's axis is parallel to blade axis and change it accordingly in Config.h :

//#define BLADE_X
#define BLADE_Y
//#define BLADE_Z

3. Prepare your SDCard

Then, put the content of SDCard.7z on your SDCard:

  1. Format your SDCard. I insist ! (go read HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SDRCARD section for further explanation)
  2. Unzip SDCard.7z to a folder
  3. Select all the files from this folder and "Drag and Drop" them to your SDCard. NO COPY AND PASTE !!! : We need to have this file copied in the same order as their filename order. On Microsoft Windows, Copy/paste produce an anarchic copy order, but Drag and Drop produce an ordered copy as long as you select the first file to init the drag...

4. Check Wirings

If you use DIYino board, don't mind that paragraph.Go there instead and read user manual
If you use DIYino board v1, and want flicker effect wire SPK+ to A6 and SPK- to A7. Starting with v1.5 and Stardust this connections is included on-board.

Using Protonerd's wirings.
Don't forget to wire those ones which were added :


5. Select your blade type


In Config.h be sure this line is uncommented :

B. RGB LEDs or Single LED

In Config.h comment this line :

#define STAR_LED 
C. Neopixel stripes
  • b) In Config.h comment this line :

6. Compile and Upload the sketch to your Arduino device

7. Enjoy

Finite State Machine or How to interact with your saber :

In Standby Mode (idle) :
  • Short press on Main switch : activate your saber (Action Mode)
  • Long press on Aux switch : activate Config Mode
  • if idle for more than 5 min : PowerSaving mode.
In PowerSaving Mode (idle) :
  • Short press on Main switch or Aux switch : leave PowerSaving Mode (go back to Standby Mode)
In Action Mode :
  • Move your saber around : Swing effect
  • Hit the hilt/blade : Clash effect
  • Short press Aux switch : Enable/disable Blaster block modes. Move your saber to produce Blaster effects.
  • Long press Aux switch : Blade Lockup effect
  • Long press Main switch : Shutdown saber
In Config Mode :
  • short press Main switch : Up the value
  • short press Aux switch : Down the value
  • long press Main switch : Change menu :
  • Long press Aux switch : update config to EEPROM and leave Config Mode


1. For DFPlayer Mini

While there are several ways to make the DIYino board play your sound files from your SDard, only one can provide full gapless sound "enqueuing" : we need to call each sound file by their copy order number.

Let's say you have a fresh formatted SDcard.
You copy one file on it : its copy order is 1.
You copy another one: its copy order is 2. You copy another one: its copy order is 3.

Now the main "problem" to be aware of is : you remove file 2 (because you maybe want to replace it) : file 3 keep is order number. You copy another one: its copy order is 4.

In that case the only proper way to manage your SDCard I found is he following :

  1. You create a folder called sdcard on your computer
  2. Using a batch renamer utility (I personnaly use Bulk Rename Utility) you rename and copy your sound files to that folder in the order you planned
  3. You format your SDCard
  4. You select all your files from sdcard directory and DRAG AND DROP them to your SDCard.

Drag and drop on windows genereate a ordered copy following file name sorting.
Copy and paste (Crtl+C/Ctrl+V) generate an anarchic ordered copy. Don't use it !

Each time you will want to modify one file you'll have to do it that way. Adding files on he other hand can be done without formatting.

Files MUST be named that way :
where :

  • XXXX is the order number planned (ex.: 0001, 0002, 2568,...)
  • [-myfileName] is OPTIONNAL. But I encourage you to put one to ease up organisation.

You can put files in different folders if you like. You don't necessarily need to let them on SDCard root.
Here are different examples of organisation you can use :

  • All in SDCard root (like SDCard.7z example provided)
  • 1 folder for each SoundFonts. For example :
    • CONFIG folder containing files numbered 0001 to 0020
    • Barlow's folder containing files numbered 0021 to 0053
    • MySoundfont folder containing files numbered 0079 to 0124
    • ZZZZZ folder containing files numbered 0054 to 0078 In this example files in ZZZZZ have been copied BEFORE those in MySoundfont
  • an other example of organisation :
    • CONFIG folder containing files numbered 0001 to 0020
    • Barlow's folder containing files 0021-PowerOn.wav, 0022-PowerOff.wav,0023-Hum.wav,0024-Boot.wav
    • Swing folder containing only swing sound files numbered 0025 to 1075
    • Clash folder containing only clash sound files numbered 1076 to 1078
    • Blaster folder containing only blaster sound files numbered 1079 to 2001
    • Lockup folder containing only lockup sound files numbered 2002 to 2024
    • MySoundFont folder containing files numbered 2025-Hum.wav, 2026-Boot.wav 2027-PowerOff.wav,2028-PowerOn.wav
      In that case, the user wants to be able to use all of his swing/clash/blaster/lockup/etc. sounds with every of its soundfont.
      He can also configure some soundfont to use just a part like for example Swings 0100 to 0153.


Let's say you want to change the lady voice or ladies users may want their saber with a male voice or you may want her to talk in Dutch or French or Italian or Spanish (name your langage here).

I used this online free Text-To-Speech generator to produce those sounds.
You can produce your own sentences with it or use any other Text-To-Speech program.
For example :
"Hello Master! You just entered into Config Mode !"
Then rename the file it produces : 0001-CONFIG-ConfigMode.mp3. Remove old 0001-CONFIG-ConfigMode.wav file.


  1. Only in Config Mode case, mp3 are OK to use. We don't care in this mode if there's sound gap.
  2. Every changes in sounds file will force you to format your SDCard and copy the whole lot again.


In this video, you'll learn how to create the differents lightsabers sounds-effects.

You can experiment with different device to produce some unique sounds.

Then use Audacity to mix them.

Final sounds MUST BE in WAV format (NO MP3 ! NO WMA!)!
When encoding a sound to those format (MP3 or WMA) the encoder will automaticly put a silence at start.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/]http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ .


Thanks to Andras Kun (Protonerd from Arduino Forum) for initiating this project, providing DIYino Boards and his big contributions to LSOS Code
Thanks to Jakesoft from Arduino Forum for :

  • his initial idea of using Arduino device to build a lightsaber.
  • his idea of using Aux Switch as a triger mode for Blaster Blocks.
    and many more source of inspirations. You can also use his USaber lib to build your own code to operate your saber.

Thanks to Joe Barlow for his excellent opensource soundfont that I did remix for our needs.
Thanks to YOU for using it ;)


... a real life lightsaber which cut through stuffs, like a pizza, could be made...
But first things first : I need the pizza !


I hope you'll like it.

Don't hesitate to reports bugs (I've made a lot of test but... hey !), or suggest new functionallity.
If you want to contribute to this project, please contact me via mail or on the [thread of this project] (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=361566.0)