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EL 12v inverter issues
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EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:58 pm

Last fall I bought an EL wire kit to fix the EL kit already in my car. I used the AA battery inverter to test things out and all was good. Connected one of the inverters and it lit up for about 10 seconds then slowly faded out and failed. Double checked everything. Plugged battery powered unit to test, all was good. Connected next unit and it did the same except it got hot and started smoking. I am 100% positive all wiring is correct (I'm MECP certified). What would cause this? I placed another order for more inverters.

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:21 pm

Last fall I bought an EL wire kit to fix the EL kit already in my car. I used the AA battery inverter to test things out and all was good. Connected one of the inverters and it lit up for about 10 seconds then slowly faded out and failed.

So it worked and then it didn't work? When did you do this testing, last fall or recently? Were you powering the inverter without a load attached?

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:13 pm

adafruit_support_carter wrote:
Last fall I bought an EL wire kit to fix the EL kit already in my car. I used the AA battery inverter to test things out and all was good. Connected one of the inverters and it lit up for about 10 seconds then slowly faded out and failed.

So it worked and then it didn't work? When did you do this testing, last fall or recently? Were you powering the inverter without a load attached?


It was tested a few weeks ago when I got the car back out of storage. I double checked everything and all was good. I ordered new EL wire and 12v inverters. Hooked everything up and all was good then I smelled smoke and the inverter melted. I took the hand held "AA" inverter and connected it to the EL wires. I have 2 of them. One that's about 6" and another about 3'. The old 6" would still light up. The new 3' EL wire wouldn't. This is the same thing that happened before. The 3' one stops working. It has no bends and is straight across being held onto the dash panel with 3m double sided tape. Are these 12v inverters not able to be used in vehicles? The reason I ask is when I was checking everything the vehicle was off (using dash light circuit for power). When I started the car, that's when the inverter smoked. Voltage at startup was around 14.2v. BTW, I am MECP certified in vehicle electronics so I am not totally dumb when it comes to wiring.

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:39 pm

The AA inverter should be good for wires about 1 to 8 feet in length:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/317
so not sure why it did not work for the 3 foot length. Did the wire come from us?

In terms of automotive use of the 12V inverted, I'm not sure so I'll ask. It sounds like maybe the higher starting voltage may have been an issue.

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:23 am

Yes. All wire and inverters came from you. Odd thing is the newer “sew on” style light (3’ long piece) gets ruined and will not work after an inverter fries. The original 6” piece still works though if I use the “AA” inverter.

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:30 am

I need to make sure what the threshold of these dc12v inverters are. I can not find the ratings anywhere on here. I’d assume 10-16v like most DC stuff is but maybe not. If this is the case, do you offer something that will work?

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:47 am

Any idea why these inverters don’t last once the vehicle is started?

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by adafruit2 on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:03 pm

as you've noted, often the 12V line on cars is super super noisy, has spikey voltage. that can damage a device not ready for it. these inverters aren't rated for over 12V, we only recommend them for use with AA battery packs
we don't have anything rated for car use. in general, we strongly recommend using a step-down or other converter (these plug into the 12V DC jack and 'clean' up the power) often giving you a cleaner 5VDC

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Re: EL 12v inverter issues

by ponchonutty on Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 am

I was able to find a solution. I bought a new inverter from another company. I didn’t change a thing other than the inverter. Works great now!!!!!

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.