For more information on the creation of the EL Wire logo, click here.
Step 1: The Basics
The Voltaic Systems 6 Watt kit comes with their 6 Watt Panel and their V15 Rechargeable Battery, plus a variety of cables and connectors. The panel charges the battery, which functions like a typical external battery pack common these days with smartphones and mobile devices. The output of the battery is through a standard USB plug.
The EL Wire logo is powered by an inverter that runs off of (2) AA batteries. Since the inverter is necessary for the operation of the logo, it needs to be kept. But the batteries could be replaced by the power from the V15 Rechargeable Battery.
Step 2: Get Adjusted
Since the outputs of the 6 Watt Panel and the V15 Rechargeable Battery are 6 volts, and the input into the EL Wire inverter is 3 volts (2 AA batteries @ 1.5 volts each), it is necessary to convert the voltage.
The LM2596 DC-DC Buck Converter is the perfect solution here! It features a trim-pot adjustment for the output, 4.5-40 volt input, and 1.5-35 volt output. It is low-cost, which is ideal, and small form factor. In fact, after a little bit of investigation, I determined that, if I removed the batteries and part of the spring terminals, there was a perfect amount of room inside the EL Wire power pack for the LM2596!