Build Your Own EL Wire Power Supply


Introduction: Build Your Own EL Wire Power Supply

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As I promised in my video "EL Wire Made at Home" I came up with a few circuits for building your own power supply for electroluminescent wire. The first one is very similar to the "tickler" style 1908 Ford Model T spark coil



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    I've read some of the instructables (and other tips) on quieting down noisy EL wire power supplies. Will building my own help in this regard? Meaning, would using a different circuit or with "better" components alleviate the high pitched whine of the cheaper supplies. The 12v little cube I have (from Chinese ebay seller) appears already expoxied/sealed but still noisy (I'm running 12v LED strips as well as EL, thus needing the 12v version).

    We made a working version that goes from 9v to about 150v, driving a meter of wire nicely. We got most of the parts from an old clock radio. It's tough to read the schematic in the video, but the following worked for us:

    Resistor at the bottom (on the base leg of the transistor): 33 ohms

    Resistor in parallel with the capacitor (left of drawing): 1 K ohms

    Capacitor: 10uF (I think the drawing shows 6.3)

    Transistor: NPN - unknown harvested part, but an NTE 123AP also worked.

    For the transformer, we reversed the step-down from the clock, which had a single primary winding (700ohms) and a pair of secondaries (5 and 8 ohms). We bridged the two secondaries together and applied the + voltage in the middle. We found that the secondaries were wound in opposite directions, so we had to crossover the leads or it wouldn't work.

    3 replies

    is it posible for you to post the cercet. I have a hard time seeing hers and would like to have it right in front of me when working. if you can do that, that would be great.

    rofl idk what I was trying rofl spell there.

    Here's a schematic, as we built it.


    Thanks for the info. Great explanation of how EL works.

    love the video, I was wondering if you could put up a schematic. its really hard to see. all in all very nice!!

    Hopefully you didn't already address this, but do you have this circuit posted somewhere? I want to try and take a closer look at it before I take the plunge and try to build it. BTW - Great video!


    I'm working on a new project which will use about 200mm (8") of EL wire. In Ireland we have 220v ac. Can I just use this supply to power the wire or should I use an inverter of some sort?

    This video is helpful and has even inspired me in a new project. Thanks so much!

    Thanks for the EL instructable. I'm interested in EL and now you have saved me some time in researching EL.

    You should try improv acting.

    Nice video tutorial. Is that a 2N2222 NPN transistor? I'd really appreciate if you could post a detailed schematic.

    that sic yo something new to learn

    can you use a modified flash unit from a disposable camera?

    Very good info. Thanks!

    NeuroPulse: this is one of those plugin night-lights. you can get them at home depot, etc

    Can we use a Compact Fluorescent Light circuit from a cheap "silly straw(R)" bulb to drive an EL display?

    your camera has a death pixel

    Nice. I've used a variety of similar circuits to light fluorescent tubes. I think it's time I made some of this 'EL Wire'.

    Yay! Glad to see more posts to Instructables!

    Is that an electroluminescent panel or is it just EL wire in a flat box? I would love to know how to make EL panels.

    Thanks :-)