Another EL-wire question...

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Another EL-wire question...

Postby brushfire on the playa » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:24 am

Hey guys,
So I've been searching the web looking for reasonably priced EL-wire for next year and I've come across a few good ones. The cheapest one I found was at:
http://www.bewild.com/newpoeleledl.html

It's priced at $12.99 for 10', with battery pack. This seems a bit cheap compared to the other sites I've seen. I'm wondering if anyone has bought EL-wire from this site/company...? I'm on a bit of a budget, but I don't want to sacrifice quality for price. I don't want to have my EL-wire fail come Wednesday or Thursday on the playa - no fun! Does this price seem too good to be true? Thoughts?
Thanks!
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Postby teardropper » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:02 am

I've been using Cool Neon, in Oakland.

http://www.coolneon.com/

Call them and tell them what you want to do and they will help you get what you need. They are, as they say, very Burner friendly. Don't know if they are as cheap as that, but they are good people to support. And they provide support.
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Postby phil » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:30 am

I've bookmarked that page, and I'll order a couple of units sometime next year. There's no way to tell how it will survive the playa till you've been out their with it. I'll tell you now, though, that I'll wrap the control box in saranwrap to keep out dust. I learned that lesson from failures on _all_ my electrical stuff that wasn't wrapped at battery boxes and switches.
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Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:17 pm

You get what you pay for, just remember that.

The Chinese made wire is junk, and will crap out on you quick unless you don't flex it or baby the hell out of it.

The good stuff comes from Israel, and is what Cool Neon and other reputable companies sell. You get what you pay for.

In the end, how pissed off will you be when your fun night time light creation craps out on you on day 2 because you tried to save $10? This is only once a year.. do it right.. :wink:
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Postby phil » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:36 pm

> how pissed off will you be when your fun night time light creation
> craps out on you on day 2 because you tried to save $10?

shrug - none. We've got backups for everything, and it's worth the price to see how good it is.

One of the judgments we get to make is whether to spring for expensive stuff and have it fail on the playa or to buy cheap crap and have it fail on the playa. It's all gonna fail.
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Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:01 pm

True, but I'm of the persuasion that it costs more to do something crappy twice or three times than it does to do it the right way the first time..
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Postby teardropper » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:59 pm

Well, I gotta' say, keeping EL wire going on a bike on the playa is a challenge. You have to improvise the battery pack attachment. I ended up wrapping the pack in cardboard and zip tying them to the spokes. It works, but the batteries don't last long, so you have to cut the zips to put new batteries in and re-zip them. If you're out for more than a few hours, you have to do this on the playa, or they get dim. Tape would be easier, but has a hard time sticking in the dust. So I ended up with a little tool kit with my extra batts. This got harder the longer I was out as I drained my Margarita flask. Also, the dust sticks to the wire and you have to clean it everyday, or night, or it can cut down on the brightness. But you end up with a fabulously lit bike, so it's worth it. Or at least a lit-up bike.

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Postby lucky420 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:09 pm

We used gorilla tape on the el wire for one of our bikes and it stayed pretty well...in fact it's still on the bike
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Postby Boijoy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:26 pm

different than EL wire but, I purchased this solar rope light from Amazon & put it on my bike. It stayed lit all night. I have it on my patio now & it's still going strong.

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Postby SilverOrange » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:34 pm

Boijoy wrote:different than EL wire but, I purchased this solar rope light from Amazon & put it on my bike. It stayed lit all night. I have it on my patio now & it's still going strong.



Cool Neon also sells the rope light that runs off a battery pack. It's really bright, runs off 12V battery pack (8 AA's) and seems to run a long time. I've used mine to light my bar at a regional for 3 nights, lighting our camp at another festival for 2 nights, and another night at Decom this year and have yet to change the batteries.
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Postby brushfire on the playa » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:45 am

Thanks guys! I still have some time before I decide on my nighttime glowing purchases. I've never used EL-wire (always just stuck with glowsticks - but I'm totally sick of having to re-glow my bike every night with tons of glowsticks...) so I thought it wise to get some feedback from some people who have used EL-wire out on the playa.
Whatever I get, I'll be glowing bright for sure! :D
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Postby AntiM » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:30 am

We've had good luck mounting 12V gel cells on the bikes, under the bike rack or to the frames of the trikes.
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Postby teardropper » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:51 am

To clarify, the frame mounted lights work fine and a long time off the 12volt battery pack, 8-AA batteries. They're bright and last. It's just keeping power to those wheel lights. Thanks Lucky for the Gorilla tape. May try that.

What kind and size on the 12v gel, AntiM?
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Postby phil » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:35 am

brushfire on the playa wrote:Thanks guys! I still have some time before I decide on my nighttime glowing purchases. I've never used EL-wire (always just stuck with glowsticks - but I'm totally sick of having to re-glow my bike every night with tons of glowsticks...) so I thought it wise to get some feedback from some people who have used EL-wire out on the playa.
Whatever I get, I'll be glowing bright for sure! :D


Louise and I have used EL-wire, and it's not as bright as some alternatives. Here's a link to a video showing our bikes at night in 2009; we used the same lights in 2010:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/civex/3910693227/

Blinking LED Christmas lights and CCTs. We put the two battery-packs for the two light sets in the bottle brackets on the bikes, secured with electrical tape. The batteries on the LEDs last forever; the batteries on the CCTs needed changing once during the week's use. AAs on both sets.
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Postby brushfire on the playa » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:19 pm

AntiM wrote:We've had good luck mounting 12V gel cells on the bikes, under the bike rack or to the frames of the trikes.


Do you (or anyone else) have any good links to something like this?
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Postby phil » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:50 pm

> Do you (or anyone else) have any good links to something like this?

Louise and I have several gel cells. Are you asking for links on how to tape it to your bike?

I used to have several small 12v gel cells, and I'd carry one in my back pocket to light up my EL panel at night. They get a lot bigger and a lot heavier, depending on what you want to power and for how long.
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Postby gyre » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:00 am

Lithium disposables are probably called for, for mounting on the rim.
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I have no direct experience with elwire ballasts, but fluorescent ballasts vary from touchy and short lived, to ones that run until barely glowing.
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Postby brushfire on the playa » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:23 am

phil wrote:
brushfire on the playa wrote:Thanks guys! I still have some time before I decide on my nighttime glowing purchases. I've never used EL-wire (always just stuck with glowsticks - but I'm totally sick of having to re-glow my bike every night with tons of glowsticks...) so I thought it wise to get some feedback from some people who have used EL-wire out on the playa.
Whatever I get, I'll be glowing bright for sure! :D


Louise and I have used EL-wire, and it's not as bright as some alternatives. Here's a link to a video showing our bikes at night in 2009; we used the same lights in 2010:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/civex/3910693227/

Blinking LED Christmas lights and CCTs. We put the two battery-packs for the two light sets in the bottle brackets on the bikes, secured with electrical tape. The batteries on the LEDs last forever; the batteries on the CCTs needed changing once during the week's use. AAs on both sets.


what are those lights called that you have mounted onto the middle frame of your bikes in the video?
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Postby teardropper » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:19 am

gyre wrote:Lithium disposables are probably called for, for mounting on the rim.


Duh. Yeah, they probably would give at least a full night.

So, I've got lithium batteries and Gorilla tape. Not bad.
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Postby phil » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:15 am

> what are those lights called that you have mounted onto the middle
> frame of your bikes in the video?

CCTs - cold cathode tubes. Drop by
http://www.cieux.com/bm/2dTime.html
and search the page for cathode for whatever links I have to CCTs and other lights.
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