Odd problem with EL Wire... Help?
Description: It uses a remote controlled LED controller to turn some EL Wire either on, off, or flashing to music. There is also an override button, to use in case the LED controller stops working. The LED controller requires 12v and outputs the same voltage. I put the diodes in to protect the controller from the 12v that would come across the override button if it was on and the controller output was off. The transistor is a TIP31. The wires going to the override button and to the EL wire are both detachable (using a molex connector).
Diagnosis: The override button turns the wire on just fine, but the LED controller does not. When I did a quick test before assembling things by attaching only the controller to the power source and the wire to only the controller, it worked just fine. Additionally, when the override/EL molex is disconnected, I am able to get a +12v reading from my multimeter coming out of the LED controller. When it is connected, however, I am not. The LED controller outputs no voltage, and when I switch the output on, there is often but not always a small blip of voltage.
Here’s the odd part: If I turn the controller output on while the override button is on, it DOES output 12v. I can then turn the override button off, and the wire remains lit, the controller continues to output 12v. As soon as I turn the controller off, it will refuse to turn on properly again until the override button is activated (even though I detect 12v going into it).
I tried replacing the diode on output 1 with a transistor (generic npn, a BC337 if I remember correctly), and adding an LED between the output and ground. Neither fixed the problem, but I think that I will keep them because the transistor does not have a 1v drop like the diode does, and the LED is an easy way for me to tell whether or not the controller is outputting. One thing I did notice is that the LED did light dimly when the override button was on yet the controller was off.