EL wire powered from sound system

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EL wire powered from sound system

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:58 am

I have a bike with a 300W sound system, and I'd like to run EL wire on the speaker tubes. I'd like to power the EL wire from the audio rather than the 12VDC that's available from the battery.

I'm an electrical engineer, so I can handle the necessary step-up transformer.

Does anyone have any experience powering EL wire from a sound system? Mainly, how does it look?
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:33 pm

Remember that EL wire runs on AC power, not DC. That's why you need a special driver to convert and not just a simple battery pack. Simply hooking it straight to speaker wire will not work.
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:44 pm

Remember that speakers run on AC, not DC. That's why it works. I did say that I'm an electrical engineer.

I connected a couple 1:4 step-up transformers in sequence (i.e. 1:16 total voltage step up) to my 15W amplifier, and it displays a nice pulsating glow on the EL wire at full volume.

I'll try it tonight with one transformer connected to my 150W system.
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:57 pm

Interesting, I didn't know that speakers worked on an AC signal.

EE status doesn't mean much though.. you just fall harder when you do fall. You're a bold man to proclaim it publicly. :lol:
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:02 pm

It just means that I have a feel for what's going on in the wires, based on 40 years of experience working on stuff with wire.
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:35 pm

Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baAhq34lq4s
It seems to work pretty well.
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:14 pm

Using your step up transformer try varying the voltage and freq from a signal generator. EL may be brightness sensitive to both.
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby captain mcguiver » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:13 pm

Wow. Very cool. Works better than the audio interactive drivers I have.

So, what happens when you add big speakers (and perhaps another amp?) Does the draw take away from the effect, or is it another separate circuit entirely?
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Re: EL wire powered from sound system

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:26 pm

The speakers use so much more power that the amplifier doesn't even know that the EL wire is there.

The amplifier output impedance is low w=enough that adding speakers shouldn't change the voltage level much at all.
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