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Cutting into EL panel & wiring help
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Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by Oshley on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:27 pm

Hey!

I have a question about the Electroluminescent (EL) Panel - 10cm x 10cm Aqua (https://www.adafruit.com/product/623).

Never worked with EL lighting before but I have done my own circuit building for motor and LEDs before so I am familiar with soldering and basic electronics. For my project, I need two 5cm x 10cm panels of EL and I was hoping that I could cut this panel in half to create two pieces/panels: one half with the pre-done power connection and one half just being the cut off 5cm x 10cm sheeting. I was wondering how this panel works to connect a new power connection to it (like where i would re-solder new wiring on the cut off sheeting), and what kind of of battery pack I could use to power both panels at the same time. Also... could I be able to power a ~1 meter long EL wire off the same battery?

I hope my questions make sense, still trying to wrap my head around this all :)
Thanks!

Oshley
 
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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 am

We have not found a reliable way to attach wires to a panel using common soldering equipment. It is possible to cut them, as long as you do not cut off the part where the wires are attached.

EL panel and wire requires an inverter. This 12v inverter will drive up to 100cm^2. That is equivalent to one 10x10cm panel or 6 meters of wire. You can mix panel and wire as lng as you keep within those limits. For example, you could run a 5x10 panel with 3 meters of EL wire.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/448

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by Oshley on Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:34 pm

Hey Bill! Thanks for getting back to me so fast! I checked out the 12v inverter you linked there, and that seems like a great option, thank you! Couple last questions.. I am so sorry if they are super basic!

Q1) Hmmm, I was watching a EL panel wire attaching tutorial on Youtube and the lady used and recommended using a solder glue/conductive epoxy to create a wire connection to a piece of EL panel (maybe you have even seen the video, it was by elec2go). Is this possible or recommended?

Q2) And if I keep within the 100cm^2 limitations, I could power 2 panels + small wire? That may require a bit of calculations because I would preferably like to power all three things on the same power source. Maybe I have missed it somewhere, but how do I calculate the cm^2 of an EL wire? Is there a way or do you kinda just ball park it based on already knowing 6meters can be powered by a 12v?

Thank you again!!

Oshley
 
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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:55 pm

Q1 - There are several different types of EL panel from different manufacturers and a wire-joining technique that works on one type may not work on another. I'd check with elec2go regarding which panels they are using.

Q2 - The 100cm^2 limit is not a hard limit. If you go a little bit over, the results will be slightly dimmer. If you go way over, the results eventually become too dim to be usable.

For calculating the load, we generally use cm^2 for panels and tape and for wire we go by length. 6 meters of high-brightness wire is roughly equivalent to 100cm^2.

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by Oshley on Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:16 pm

Hey Bill! Sorry for the late response but I want you to know that I got your response and used the info you gave me to make my first purchase! Hopefully my (maybe rather ambitious) project works out, and thank you again for your help! It was much appreciated :) Cheers!

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by semegraph on Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:12 pm

Hi, in case anyone else comes across this thread looking for info on adding a new connection to an EL Panel, I have done this quite a few times, and I made a video of the process for anyone who wants to give it a try. It's not as easy as working with EL wire, but with practice it can be done consistently, I recommend you use a scrap piece you don't care about for your first attempt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghSii8GO7GY

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:06 pm

Thanks for posting your technique.

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by ShelM on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:33 am

What a very informative and well done tutorial - thanks!

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by Sassy101 on Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:45 pm

I am completely new to adding LED's and wearable electronics to my projects but, I want to make a version of the VU Meter Baseball Hat (https://learn.adafruit.com/vu-meter-bas ... t/overview) that uses an EL panel instead of the LED's. Is there a way? If this is possible how would I power it? I want to minimize bulk since it needs to still fit my head and I don't think I can use the lipoly battery (as shown in the original project) to power the EL panel.

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:15 am

@Sassy101 - That would be difficult to do with EL since the whole panel lights up at once. You would need to use a lot of small panels and add a multi-channel switching circuit like the SparkFun EL Escudo. You would likely wind up with a lot more bulk than the original LED strip version.

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by Sassy101 on Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:01 pm

I should have gone into more detail. sorry. I want a single panel to light up behind a cutout (see picture) that I will make in the hat. but I want it to react to my voice like the EL wire Tron hoodie. Can I hook up the EL panel to a sound activated inverter?
Attachments
hat idea1.jpg
hat idea1.jpg (73.1 KiB) Viewed 26 times

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Re: Cutting into EL panel & wiring help

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:17 pm

The sound activated inverters will handle up to about 100 square cm (about 16 square inches) of EL panel. That should be sufficient for what you want to do:

https://www.adafruit.com/product/831

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