Build Your Own EL Wire Power Supply

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About: My Kickstarter is live! Pledge now before they're all gone! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system Self taught electrical engineer, ex-race car dr...

As I promised in my video "EL Wire Made at Home" .www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcXHx5ikjM4 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignition_system#Switchable_systems

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    20 Discussions

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    bc1235

    3 months ago on Introduction

    Great tutorial. I love that you target the language such that an even an inexperienced hobbyist can follow. I haven't done linear electronic design in more years than you've been alive so I've forgotten a whole hell of a lot.

    I needed a quick solution to power el wire for a Christmas display. Since the supplied battery is powered by 2 AA batteries I figured I could hack a piece of USB cable, grab the power wires to connect to the battery terminals and the other into a wall wort. I figured the the 2 volt difference probably wouldn't damage anything. Surprise, it did NOT work. Hmmm. Well I didn't have time to DX the problem and just scrapped the project and haven't tried it again. Any thoughts why that wouldn't work? This should be a simple solution but I guess if it was simple it would be all over the net.

    Any thoughts?

    BTW: Hooray for self taught electronics. I learned that way as well. The best electronic designers I've known't had the passion from childhood. Its in the genes :)

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    TallTexun

    3 years ago on Introduction

    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).

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    cfidafid

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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
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    dmalishcfidafid

    Reply 4 years ago

    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.

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    dmalishdmalish

    Reply 4 years ago

    *circuit
    rofl idk what I was trying rofl spell there.

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    djgriff0001

    4 years ago

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

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    green_screen

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    Hi

    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?

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    pdub77

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    neronix

    7 years ago on Introduction

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

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    -max-

    8 years ago on Introduction

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

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    konsumer

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very good info. Thanks!

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

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    DIY-Guy

    8 years ago on Introduction

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

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    Roj Blake

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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'.

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    NeuroPulse

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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 :-)