EL panel drawing too much current?

I am using a small 3v inverter with a 3.7v battery and powering small shapes. I have a volt meter going on my project and I will turn it on and it lights up fine reading about 4.1v (freshly charged li-ion) then randomly it seems it will just shut off and the voltage will instantly drop to 0.50 of a volt to 1.50v and won't turn on. Then a few seconds later it will jump back up to 4v and will work just fine...until it does it again. It does it randomly it seems. Does anyone with EL experience know why this could be happening? There aren't any loose connections or anything the only thing I can think of is the EL is drawing too much current causing the li-ion PCB to shut off possibly?? I don't have much experience with EL lighting. Does anyone else have any other possible explanations to what is happening?? Thank you!

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Are you over current it can cause the regulator to shut down.
Zebrah (author)  Josehf Murchison4 years ago
Do you mean am I over powering the inverter? It is hooked to a 3.7v battery but this particular inverter is meant to handle up to 4.2 (for li-ion batteries)
Without a schematic I am just guessing by the symptoms; however what you describe is an automatic overload circuit protection shutdown.

There are a number of ICs with built in overload protection sometimes called a short protection circuit.

They will shut down for a moment and then they will try to start up a little while later.

Some ICs will restart immediately if you turn off the power and turn it on again.

It sounds like you are drawing a little too much current through an IC, without a schematic I can’t tell you where the overload might be.

Joe
Zebrah (author)  Josehf Murchison4 years ago
Yes mine does the same thing, If I turn it off and turn it back on it will work for a little while. I have 2 EL panel designs running and 12 3mm LED's running off this roughly 1000mah li-ion pack. Is this a problem that having a slightly larger battery could fix you think?
If you are running EL wires you are running too many and too much wire.

If you are running EL posters you are running too many or too much.

If you are running an EL display, the display is taking more power than the inverter can supply.

In any case the inverter is being over taxed or the EL driver is being over taxed.

The battery is fine unless it has a thermistor, does the battery have three wires.

Joe
Zebrah (author)  Josehf Murchison4 years ago
No the battery has 2 wires. But it's a fairly small battery. I know you can't say for sure but you think it's probably the 2 designs are drawing too much power for the inverter to handle? Why would that cause the voltage to drop and then work again though? See my problem is I have very limited room. Would using 2 inverters one for each of my designs be better?? The inverter I am using now does get a little warm after a few minutes if that matters. Again I haven't used EL panels or their inverters in the past so I am not 100% sure how they behave. Thank you soooo much for all your help I am learning a lot!
OK no thermistor if there was a thermistor it could be a bad thermistor or the battery overheating however since you don’t have one in the battery this is not the case.

If the battery was too small you would need to recharge the battery every time before you could restart the circuit. Since you don’t need to recharge the battery it is not the battery.

ICs like LM78L05 look like a transistor and have overload protection circuits in them.

Many ICs have them even 40 pin ICs and they turn off the power like a circuit breaker and after a while they try to start up again.

What you describe is an automatic overload circuit protection shutdown.

ICs will shut down for a moment and then they will try to start up a little while later when you draw too much current.

And yes the inverter getting hot can be a symptom of overloading especially if the inverter has an overload protection circuit with a thermistor.

One inverter for each of your designs should cure your problem.

One other thing double check your EL patterns for a tinny defect that could be a short even moisture.

Joe
Measure the CURRENT drawn by the inverter then. It does sound like the battery is shutting down. What battery are you using ? What inverter ? Inverters can pull quite high currents for sure.

Steve
Zebrah (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
I am using a 3.7v battery pack it's some where between 750mah and 1200mah I think. It has a small protection circuit on it. The inverter I am using is a 3v inverter that is suppose to handle Li-ion batteries. Something I noticed...when I have my multi meter hooked up and I flip the switch on the volt meter (the dial) the EL cuts off...what in the world??
mah tells us the capacity of your battery, not the maximum current you can pull from it. We really need to know a.) How much the load is taking and b.) What the battery is RATED TO SUPPLY.