EL Wire Cassette Tape Dangler

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Introduction: EL Wire Cassette Tape Dangler

About: I love the design and ambition of vintage technology, and the usability and potential of new - my passion is bringing the two together.

This is a simple instructable to make a glowing el wire cassette tape. It makes a great pendant and would look good hanging in a retro record shop or something.

The el controller that came with it has slow and fast flashing modes as well as always-on, which are very effective and give that neon sign feel. I hope to hack a vu meter kit soon to make one of these that pulses to music, great for the festival season.

Step 1: Raw Materials

First you need some el wire. I got some cheap stuff from ebay, this instructable uses a 1m length, which was around £3 and didn't need any trimming.

Next a cassette tape - I picked up a 3-pack of new tapes for £1 at the car boot, which saved a trip into the loft and spending hours deciding which precious mix tape to sacrifice.

With the cassette dismantled and the tape itself discarded we're ready to start making, superglue at the ready!

Step 2: Routing the EL 'Tape'

I started by deciding where the power lead would enter the cassette body - I chose the end so it could dangle like a pendant.

You need to cut a hole for the power cable, then decide where to start wrapping the wire around the reel. It's easiest to glue the reel to the cassette body first, then stick the el wire to it bit by bit.

With a turn or two on one side it's time to route the wire through the cassette body to the other reel. Unsurprisingly el wire is thicker than magnetic tape - I found it easiest to cut small bites out of the cassette body with a rotary cutting tool to make sure the el wire followed the same path as the tape but would still allow both halves of the cassette to close fully together.

Step 3: Finishing Off

It's easiest to stick the wire to the second reel outside of the cassette body, winding and sticking bit by bit until all the el wire is used.

At this point the completed reel of el wire can be put in place and the cassette reassembled. This took a bit of jiggling but the earlier work with the cutting tool meant the el wire wasn't excessively pinched or stretched.

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    4 Comments

    Nice use of EL wire! Thanks for sharing

    It's 3v, 2x AA batteries in the controller box.

    Can you elaborate on the power source?