Of course, one of my very first goals was to make my own custom kyber crystal. While I’d love to eventually make a custom resin cast crystal (or even insert an RFID tag into a REAL gemstone crystal), ultimately this was the best (ie most delightfully ridiculous) choice to begin the new era of custom kybers.
Hattip to the amazing community on the Galaxy’s Edge Discord #makerspace and #lightsabers channels. This idea came about from a silly convo about custom kybers and the ethics of what custom/third party items we’d like to make. We’re sharing info about our projects in hopes of inspiring others to enjoy tinkering and learning more about interactive technologies with their own lightsabers too. 🙂
Here’s a short overview on how I made a working custom RFID kyber (porger!) crystal for my Elemental Savi’s Workshop Lightsaber.
First and foremost: Do not try this at home. Results may vary. May contain peanuts. Please don’t hurt yourself or your lightsaber. Be safe and read the safety instructions of any chemical, tool, or machine you use.
Second: This is probably not the best way to make a custom kyber crystal. Ideally, you’d want to order different, smaller RFID tags that are not glued into an existing enclosure.
Thanks to our previous research, we knew that any compatible EM4305 tag could be used to create an existing color kyber crystal (White, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, or Purple), or one of the unreleased broken colors (Orange and Teal). By rewriting our new RFID’s tag ID to match the colors we wanted, we would have a crystal-less kyber in need of an enclosure.
Note: Make sure you order REWRITABLE RFID tags.
The easiest compatible RFID tags to get ahold of quickly are these popular blue keyfob style tags. The catch is that they don’t exactly look cool, or even really fit into the kyber holder on the saber hilt. RFID antennas are also very delicate, and did not survive Spork’s attempt to remove them from their ABS plastic enclosure. I even tried soldering the antenna back to the chip, but no luck. (See above)
We had already ordered the correct solution of enclosure-less, smaller tags, but it was still weeks out away from delivery so… I figured it was a good time to try some science with all that extra waiting time.
Looking at the keyfob, it looked like the chip + antenna was being held in with either hot glue/adhesive or resin. I tried soaking it in both rubbing alcohol and mineral spirits to literally no effect, so I moved to acetone in hopes that the fob really was made out of ABS.
Ironically, the only glass containter I had was this one. Behold, the world’s most dangerous glass of blue milk.
It immediately had effect, so I left it overnight. The next morning I was left with only a freed RFID chip, antenna, and some leftover glue.
I was as delightfully surprised as you are that the chip still worked and was readable using the Proxmark. Spork flashed my chip to display Orange, and now I was ready to make it a new home.
(I want to express again just how ridiculous this build was. I was in a rush trying to finish this before leaving town, so many, many shortcuts were taken.)
Being short on time, I downloaded a great existing Porg 3D model from Thingiverse to start from. Using Meshmixer, I removed the feet, hollowed out the model, and cut it in half. Initially the plan was to size the porg down smaller enough to fit through the 20mm clearance into the chamber, but no amount of quick tweaking could fit the 19.5mm RFID into a Porg that was still the correct size.
I knew I had to custom model another porg solution, but drastic times called for drastic measures: This is why my porger crystal has a glamorously stylish copper belt in the form of a very visible RFID antenna holding both parts together. Ha!
I 3D printed my two halves at a very low resolution for speed, did a quick acrylic drybrush of color, then literally scotch taped together and shoved it into my saber to test.
Somehow, against all odds, it works and it didn’t even look half bad for a crazy proof-of-concept rush job. Concept is now officially proven, so I plan to make another higher resolution one with more patience once I’m back in town. 🙂