Suggestions about fastening EL wire together
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Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by Ninevah on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:42 pm

I'm just starting a project that will involve making a ~16" diameter loop of EL wire. (wound around several times to make it thicker) It'll be attached to the rest of the object only at 4 equally spaced points and the loop will stand up vertically. I haven't worked with EL wire before, so I don't know if it'll want to sag or will hold that loop shape by itself. Should I try to fasten it to a rigid frame of some sort? And does anyone have a recommendation on how to bind/fasten the layers together so it stays together as if it's one loop? I thought that something like clear tape would be too obvious when the wire is off. Would clear twist ties or zip ties work well without standing out too much?

I don't know if that description made sense. Any suggestions would be appreciated, though. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:21 am

It will hold the loop shape at 16" dia. But it will be a bit floppy. Depending on how many you bundle together, it should stiffen up considerably. Clear tape would be better than twist or cable ties. Clear shrink-wrap would give you the most rigid hoop as well as the most seamless appearance.
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by Ninevah on Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:45 pm

hmm...I never would have thought of shrink wrap. Thanks!

By the way, is there an easy way for estimating how long of EL Wire to order for such an application? Like, can I use string or yarn or something to make a "mock up" of the loop and roll it out flat and measure it to figure out how much EL Wire to order?
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by pburgess on Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:41 pm

Pi!

Length = diameter x 3.14 x number of strands in bundle
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by Ninevah on Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:55 pm

Yes, of course, but the thickness of the strands are a factor, too.
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:08 pm

How precise do you need to be? The individual strands are pretty thin. A bigger issue is likely to be how precisely you can splice the ends.
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by Ninevah on Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:15 pm

I guess it doesn't have to be THAT precise. I just want to make sure I'm not thinking that I need just 24 inches of it, order it, and find out that I really needed a lot more than that.
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:28 pm

One strand @ 16" diameter works out to about 50.25". I'd multiply that by the number of strands and add an inch or two for each splice.
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Re: Suggestions about fastening EL wire together

by Ninevah on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:27 pm

You just used the circumference formula, didn't you? Ok, I get the hint.
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