EL inverters allow you to drive EL wires. This particular EL inverter accepts 3V input and outputs 110VAC to drive EL wire. The wires both terminated with JST PH connectors. These are designed to plug directly into our EL Escudo or EL Sequencer. You can drive EL wires with them directly, but you may need to re-terminate them.
These work well because they accept anywhere from 2.7-4.2V, so you can use them with batteries quite easily.
Note: The inverters that we are currently shipping are not labeled input/output on the body. Instead, the new units have a red/black pair (supply voltage) and a black/black pair (output voltage). New pictures are forthcoming.
Note: Some real world testing revealed that this inverter can easily drive a 3m length of EL wire. When adding a second 3m length, the two get a bit dimmer, but still close to full brightness. At 3 3m lengths, you can only tell all three wires are on if the room is dark. The inverter can light up 4 strands, but they are barely visible in normal light and very dim in the dark as well.
(The video states they are 6 foot in length, but they are actually 10 feet in length)
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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I am using two strips of EL tape to light the nacelles on a 1/350th scale model of the refit Enterprise - A. The small size and lower input power made the inverter a cinch to use with an Arduino mini which controls the complete lighting harness and a couple of other special effects. I’ll definitely be using these in other projects.
I used it on a portable project that required 110V AC to run a string of Christmas tree lights. Used 4 AA’s and it’s been running like a champ. It always seems like Sparkfun has just the thing to get my mad scientist projects done.
For a beginner, I found the instructions for input/output confusing. While troubleshooting with the EL Sequencer I used red/black in “DC out” and black/black for “AC in” because I originally had the wires switched, if anyone else is confused! Once I had it the right way around, the inverter worked like a dream.
Easy set up, but it does have a slight humming noise, which I worked out by dampening the unit.
We’re putting on a dance show that includes a number with costumes and musical instruments lit by EL wire. Rather than requiring the non-techie dancers to remember to turn on both a power supply for their EL Sequencer board and a battery powered inverter, I opted to spend a little extra and use one of these inverters for each dance setup. It was a good choice and simplified the design greatly. We did our first run-through last night, and the choreographer was thrilled. There’s still some tweaking to be done on the software, but now I don’t have to worry about the hardware anymore.