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Description: 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)

Documents:

Comments 56 comments

  • To anyone searching:
    The black pair of wires is the OUTPUT of the inverter and the side you plug into your EL wire.
    The red/black pair of wires is the INPUT. This is the side you hook to your 3v source.
    I couldn’t find any help online until I found the image on the link below, and have confirmed that it works:
    http://bildr.org/2011/06/el-sequencer/

  • When does it is going to be in stock again?

  • noob question: I want to use the EL Sequencer to light EL wire in a pattern that might have up to 10 meters (3 strands) of EL wire on at the same time. From the test results described above, a single inverter might not be enough to light more than 20 feet at maximum brightness. So my question is, how would I go about increasing the power to the EL wire–do I use more than one inverter? If so, would I also need 2 sequencers? Or is there a way to connect 2 inverters to 1 sequencer (without destroying the sequencer), and, if so, how would I do that? Thanks in advance for any help.

  • When is it going to be in stock again? :-)

  • When does it is going to be in stock again?

  • MY LORD, this thing is LOUD at 3 volts input!!!!! its like EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

    • Tried it at 2.5V (two NiMH batteries). Not much light on the EL wire (but excellent effect in a barely illuminated room), and not much “beep”. You shouldn’t wear it in when in the classroom or in the church.
      Tried it at 3.7V (three NiMH batteries). Quite more light on the EL wire, and much more audible beep.
      Oops, I measured 110 milliamps at 3.7V !

    • Are these really that loud? Is it the manufacturing that makes it so loud?

    • lol

  • Is there a minimum wire length to use this inverter? I got this, and the El Sequencer and I’m wanting to run at least 2 El wires around 6 inches (about 15cm) in length each. Do I run a risk of burning the inverter out? I ask because I have seen other inverters on other sites that talk about recommended minimum wire length.

  • With this inverter Can I control eight circular panels of 2 cms diameter each one?

  • Can I connect 1 3v EL wire inverter to 2 separate EL wires?

  • I was interested in looking into ways to control the brightness of EL wire. After realizing that I could not PWM the triacs on the EL Escudo Dos, and then looking at the data sheet for this device it seemed pretty clear that by modulating the input voltage, I could control the AC output voltage and thus the brightness of the wire. Worked great with the bench supply. However, I now find myself trying to figure out the best way to get from the PWM output on a 3V Arduino to analog control of the voltage on the input of the inverter. Given that the inverter is a bit of a load, does anyone have any suggestions on how I could approach this? (Its too much power for an RC filter and an opamp, as the peak draw is a couple of Watts.)

    • The EL Escudo Dos and the EL Sequencer include a linear regulator that can be used to power the inverter. This regulator uses resistors to control the output voltage; you could conceivably replace one of these resistors with a “digital pot” that will give the Arduino a mechanism to control the DC voltage to the inverter.

      Note that you can still PWM the triacs on the Escudo / Sequencer; you won’t get smooth dimming from off to full-on, but you’ll get a bunch of steps (some stable, some flickering) which might suffice for what you want.

  • If you are looking for screws to mount this to your project, I found that 2-56 steel machine screws/nuts from your local Radio Shack (or what have you) work great.

  • Hi, I have been looking at all the sizes of inverters for el wire and wondered what the smallest might be to power a small length such as maximum 1m but more like 50cm? I want to put it on some accessories but the inverter and battery needs to as thin and as small as possible but I’m not sure if this exists - saw your forum and thought you might be able to help? Is it possible to make compact inverters to carry a CR2032 lithium battery (or equivalent frequency of 500-100 Htz for 100v).

    All the best

    Alice

  • How bad for the part would it be if I were to supply this inverter with 5V from an Arduino?

  • What are the dimensions of the inverter?

    • The body is 1.15" long, 0.75" wide, and 0.92" high. Including the flange it’s 1.56" long. The mounting hole centers are 1.32" apart and are approximately 3/32" diameter.

  • Does the EL Inverter - 3v make the LED lights similarly strong in lighting like in the ending of the video?

  • Hi, I have a 3m EL wire connected to this inverter which is connected to a triac and 330ohm resister then to the Arduino pin 13. To test it I ran the blink tutorial. It worked great for about 2 minutes, was blinking on and off. Then it stopped blinking. The EL wire just stays on. Pin 13 LED does continue to blink. I’m wondering if something went wrong with the inverter. Does anybody know how to test these? Yes, I am a newbie.

  • ISSUE SOLVED********* Inverter Issue is related to the Ground wire, Ground on the board needs to be tied to the ground of the inverter source or the TRIACS will not work correctly. Hope this helps, I found this out accidentally when I was probing with my voltmeter the lights would come on. Its a little frustrating I burned out 2 EL wires due to arcing in the traces I induced by tapping the grounds together while troubleshotting.

  • The description say 2.7-4.2V, but the datasheet say 2.5-3.5V. Which do I choose?

    • Short answer, try to power it as close to 3v as possible. 2.5-3.5v is most accurate, but can be used at the other range as well. It’s an inverter, so it’s less important. Just try to be close to 3v.

    • Are their any dangers to be aware of… ie, when using this as a costume accessory… for example
      * rain on it or on the EL wire
      * dog biting it
      * if the wire is bent too far and cracks
      * cold (above freezing)
      Thanks.

  • Nominal current is 0.667 A at 3V. Not sure how this will work if underpowered but you probably want to take a pass on the 500 mA supplies.

  • i had problem in the connection, i have 2 black wires and in the other side i have red and black.
    which one should i connect to the battery and the same for the EL wire?

    • The red and black wires are the 3V DC input to the inverter (red is positive, black is ground). The black wires are the 100V AC output from the inverter (since it’s AC, the output wires are interchangeable).

  • What is the weight etc. Very poor spec sheets.

  • Hmmm, PC Mods anyone?

  • What is the procedure for shortening the wire? Since the inverters are specified according to wire length do I need to change anything when using 1.5m or .5m of EL wire?

  • These things hurt, don’t touch the output wires while it’s on!

  • Hate to beat a dead horse but it looks like this has been out of stock for at least a month and a half. I would really like to add this to a prop I’m working on for a local indie film but without the abilty to be mobile, I’m sunk!!!
    Any word on stocking issues. I am on a pretty tight deadline and my history of shipments from SFE has been seven calendar days from order to delivery. Need some help here!

    • We have some on order, but no word on an ETA yet. We’ve only been out of stock for about 2 weeks actually. We got 200 in, but they went very quickly. Make sure you have a backorder in the system or else they could go away again.

  • …and great to keep mosquitoes at a distance! :)

  • I found this chip on Digikey. It has an application diagram as well which looks straight forward. I am going to order the parts this week and should have something by the weekend
    www.micrel.com/_PDF/mic4826.pdf

  • hey guys why wait for this component
    lets design out own im trying to make it myself i think im really close :) if anyone find any useful thing post it here
    thankyou

  • When will there be stock of this again?

    • we’ve received other shipments from this supplier, but are still waiting on the inverter. We don’t have an ETA right now, sorry.

  • any chance you know when these are gonna be in stock? i put in an order a month ago with still no advance

  • What is the output of this device? I know that many el wire drivers range from 1-4khz. Also, what is the current draw?

  • Which set of wires take in 3 volts and which ones put out 100v+?
    Because on one set of wires i have a 3 v and on the other set they are not labeled.
    I guess the wires labeled 3v means they are the input?

  • What kind of interference does this inverter throw off? I used one a few years ago that made all kinds of noise on radios, TVs and monitors.

  • I actually have two questions about this item. First, why is it listed under LEDs? Perhaps you should create a category ‘optoelectronics’ to cover all light-emitting products. Second, does this output a sine wave or pulsed DC?

  • This would have been so nice to have a few months ago. I did a big El Wire project for Halloween and my inverter was less then spectacular.

  • Robert, is the inverter that you showed in the video that plugs into the wall going to be for sale?

    • Yeah, check the comments on the video, it says ‘coming soon’. that’s no lie. Maybe next week?

  • What is the “amps” for this inverter.

  • Definitely need to know the rated feet but also 2 other questions: how noisy is this guy and if I run it at 5v is the magic smoke going to escape?
    Cheers

    • The noise level depends on how quickly you switch wires, how many wires you drive, and what voltage you drive them with. With 1 3m length of wire, driven properly, there is a small buzz coming from it, but nothing TOO noticeable.
      It is possible to drive with 5v (we programmed the demo with a 5v FTDI basic), but the buzzing increases a bit.

  • How many feet is this capable of driving?

  • Does this inverter output ac with the same frequency as a vall outlet or a higher frequency.

    • ISSUE SOLVED********* Inverter Issue is related to the Ground wire, Ground on the board needs to be tied to the ground of the inverter source or the TRIACS will not work correctly. Hope this helps, I found this out accidentally when I was probing with my voltmeter the lights would come on. Its a little frustrating I burned out 2 EL wires due to arcing in the traces I induced by tapping the grounds together while troubleshotting.

    • On avrage it is 1000hz, 940 more than what a (us/japan/canada/caribbean) outlet

    • It’s a higher frequency:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_wire


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