For this project I wanted to recreate the glow of a television without the dynamic and distracting snow. To do this I hollowed out the internals of an old CRT tv, and added my own light source using electroluminescent panels. Electroluminescent panels work in the same way that electroluminescent wire, or EL wire works in that they glow when a current is applied to their phosphor coating. Electroluminescent panels are often used as backlights for displays, and because I had some of these lying around, as well as their drivers, I used a few of each for this project. The electroluminescent panels were ideal for this application because they emit a diffused light rather than a point light source like LEDs (a spotlight pointed at you isn't the most relaxing thing).
This instructable will focus on the basics of the project as each electroluminescent panel will have it's own specifications and needs.
WARNING: I am not responsible for any injuries incurred during the making of this project, proceed at your own risk.
Step 1: Choosing the TV.
Step 2: Opening the TV.
Open up the TV and remove any circuits that do not hold the front panel together. Disconnect and remove the tube and place in a small bag or box.
Step 3: Hammer Time
Next you will want to remove a lot of glass from the stem side of the tube. As you can see in a few of the photos the front glass has a metal clip at each corner (where the front glass was mounted to the panel). You want to leave the front glass, and mounting clips in tact obviously. You will see a joint about an inch up from the clips where the back tube is joined to the front glass. Ideally you would like to smash all the back glass off to the joint so that you would have a clean front glass with no jagged edges, but RESIST the urge to break the glass all the way down to this point, as you will often end up with a cracked front glass and a wasted CRT.
Once you have removed most of the back glass, STOP. If you have some jagged edges you can sand them down at this point. Inside the tube you will see a metal screen, remove and discard this if it has not come out already.
Step 4: Remount the Front Glass.
Step 5: Driving the EL Panels.
Here I am using a large power supply similar to those found in a desktop PC to feed three separate EL driver boards that came with the EL Panels (one for each of the three panels I am driving). At first I tried using only one EL driver but the brightness suffered, so I tied three drivers into the large supply. Ideally I would have liked to have one large EL panel that fits my TV's screen perfectly, but I didn't get THAT lucky, so I had to use three EL Panels taped together. Taping the three panels together didn't look so good, so I had to make some adjustments (see the next step).
Step 6: Finishing Touches.
Step 7: Donezo
Thanks for looking.