If we’re gonna interact with the electronics, then we need to be able to connect with the data/power contacts in the hilt. The hilt communicates with and powers the blade via 3 pogo (spring!) pins located at the very bottom of the barrel. There’s no easy way to really reach them without dismantling the entire hilt or going down the barrel.
We’re trying to be as non-destructive as possible, so I made a test wiring rig (instead of taking the hilt entirely apart.) The blade has three flat contacts that press up against the hilt’s pogo pins, and a rectangular hole for alignment with the locking mechanism. When you insert and turn the blade, the hole lines up with the hilt’s rectangular peg and turns, while the blade’s side locking pegs slide along a channel to secure in for movement.
I designed a jig in Sketchup with holes for wires and soldered them to copper tape and… more solder. The 3D printed jig lines up with the contacts and works with the locking system.
Spork volunteered his saber to be the first test subject for the jig as we tried to figure out which wire does what.