I ride a unicycle for fun and sometimes I try to convince myself that it is even practical. One thing I would like it to do is to glow so that I can see where I'm riding and spot bumps to avoid UPD's (unplanned dismounts). EL wire is perfect for this!!! I am very familiar with soldering and electrical circuits, but had never heard of EL wire until the contest came out, so no better time to learn about it and play around! Also, unicyclists always appreciate Uni mods!
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Step 1: Splice EL Wire
For help on how to solder EL wire, go to
Then you just splice the two colored EL wire. I have 3 feet of lime green and 3 feet of blue EL wire. Solder the Angel wires (and their copper solder ring that I attached) of each EL wire to each other. And solder the copper core of each EL wire to each other.
Pictures of the other components are somewhat shown in the next step (the inverter and power source and a switch). These will have to be soldered in line with the EL wire.
EL wire - Switch - Inverter - Power supply
I don't think the polarity of the EL wire matters. But the polarity of the power supply to the inverter DOES matter. Down circuit of the inverter, you can choose any wire to be positive or negative... (but be consistent)
Step 2: Abrasions MOUNT the Timpani
Set your unicycle upside down so that it spins freely.
I used electrical tape for the entire mounting process. Just tape it all to the spokes!
Mount the battery pack first. Try to get it really close to the hub of the unicycle wheel, this will keep your momentum and center of gravity more controlled while riding!
Next tape the switch in between a couple of spokes. I chose to place it in a position that I know I wont hit with my heel while riding (this is at the 80 degree position behind my left foot and on the opposite side, but you can ignore that).
Next, mount the inverter box somewhere else. If there is a long length of wire after the inverter, I'd put it at the center. Else, I'd put it closer to the rim... doesn't really matter, you can make any shape you want. And the inverter is light.
To attach the EL wire, just loop it through the spokes (inside them) and tape it in a few places to keep form :)
Step 3: Admiral Akbar's Picture Collection
These are my three different design attempts to trick out my ride :)
The circle one was my first try, the spiral was my dad's idea and was a bad idea (his fault, just kidding), the last pattern, the crossing loops was really sweet! It looked really awesome while moving and also added a cool glow effect as I rode. The ground would change colors from green illumination to blue illumination :) The crossing loops design will stay. It is perfect for lighting the ground beneath me too!
If I would have known better, I would have bought 2.5 mm EL wire instead of 5 mm EL wire like I did. I think the thinner wires are brighter. Oh well, thats how you learn...
Still really awesome! I really like this EL wire stuff (even if it is expensive!)
***I'll try to take some more pictures and upload them tomorrow
Step 4: Updated Pic's!
Participated in the
EL wire contest