Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

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Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby cammy.gray » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:02 pm

Hi

I am looking for any help I can get. I have inherited 6x60m strands of EL wire from a friends scrapped art project. I intend on using it to craft a matrix inside my dome. I intend on using an arduino with midi sheild and el escudo(6 channels) to control it all, the only problem is the el escudo can only take one inverter input. So I desperately need a driver that is capable of powering 360m(Output = 3.6A, 110v, 1800Hz). Does anyone know where I could get one/ information on how to build one? Much appreicated
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby Rice » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:54 pm

cammy.gray wrote:Hi

I am looking for any help I can get. I have inherited 6x60m strands of EL wire from a friends scrapped art project. I intend on using it to craft a matrix inside my dome. I intend on using an arduino with midi sheild and el escudo(6 channels) to control it all, the only problem is the el escudo can only take one inverter input. So I desperately need a driver that is capable of powering 360m(Output = 3.6A, 110v, 1800Hz). Does anyone know where I could get one/ information on how to build one? Much appreicated

Geeze! That is a lot of power requirements...

The only pre-make inverter I could find was: http://www.elwirepros.com/el-wire-power-inverters.html (up to 330')

or this: http://www.ellumiglow.com/Plug-In-Power ... re-s/7.htm


Here are some instructions on building your own driver: (the 2nd link explains how to pimp it out for increased length)

http://makeprojects.com/Wiki/elwire#Sec ... sequencers

http://makezine.com/21/primer/ (something about capacitors...)

Good luck!
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby BBadger » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:16 pm

You can try buying an expensive beefy inverter like this. I don't know if the Escudo (Duo) is even designed to carry that much power though. Make sure you get the newest Escudo Duo so that the triacs on your board don't die from transients like the original. Each channel potentially can handle 1A of continuous current, which means about 100ft of EL wire each channel. I would try and spread it out as much as possible.
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby cammy.gray » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:23 am

Thanks for the hasty replies. That 600' driver looks to be the biggest premade one iv seen online, but it is still way too small for this project.

@BBadger- I have spoken to the guys at sparkfun, they say it should be fine with up to 100m per channel, so <60m per channel should be within the limits hopefully.
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby cammy.gray » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:54 am

Stretch , do you have to subscribe to read the make article?
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:53 am

Consider using multiple drivers and just splicing them in where needed. Who says that you absolutely have to have one giant, long strand which is only increasing your chances of failure and/or inadequacy driving it?

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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby cammy.gray » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:03 am

Its not one big strand, it is 8-6 big strands running from a arduino (which only has one inverter input) I would be willing to build a something that could control multiple drivers but i have no idea how to do it?
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:08 am

cammy.gray wrote:Its not one big strand, it is 8-6 big strands running from a arduino (which only has one inverter input) I would be willing to build a something that could control multiple drivers but i have no idea how to do it?


Arduino output -> MOSFET/relay -> trigger for the individual driver

Also, you're planning on sequencing each strand individually.. but are any two always going to be on together? You don't need an inverter to power 360m of wire.. you only need one to power 60m.. if you're only planning on firing one at a time. You only need to find an inverter that powers the max length that you're illuminating at one time.

This inverter will do up to 100m at a time. Problem solved if you're only firing one or maybe two strands at a time.

I would highly suggest posting your question there on the product page and seeing what kind of responses you get.

Here is the unit that she's attempting to work with..

"We haven’t tested it all the way to these limits, but a rule of thumb I’ve seen is that each meter of EL wire uses 10mA or so of current. The triacs in the EL Escudo Dos are rated at 1A continuous and 8A peak. So in theory, each channel should be able to drive 100m (328') of wire without issues, and more if it’s not on continuously. Let us know how it works!"
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby Rice » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:30 am

cammy.gray wrote:Stretch , do you have to subscribe to read the make article?

Um, I do not believe so. I just checked all my links and they work for me. I am, however, in Canada @ a Starbucks -- using their wireless. (This should not be a factor, but some web sites are geographically sensitive).

I did several google searches on el wire inverters and found a few controllers that were capable of driving multiple strands of el-wire. It is very likely once of these is more apt to meet your needs.

It is still a little unclear as to what you are wishing to do with all that el wire. Do you want it all to fire at once, or are you trying to controll different strands of wire separately (strand 1, then 3, then 2 and 5, etc)?? If we knew sorta what you want to do, it would be easier to suggest options.

Good Luck.

Rice.
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Re: Big Inverters for LOTs of El wire

Postby BBadger » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:26 pm

Given that shields stack, and the Escudo Dos completely separates the digital control from the power inputs, you can just stack multiple Escudo shields and provide separate inverters for each. You'll need to use the stackable headers available for those shields.

To make it work, you exclusively populate certain outputs. For example, given two shields numbered 1 and 2, attach a separate 200m-capable inverter to each of the shields' power inputs. Then on shield #1 use only EL wire outputs 1-4; on shield #2 use EL wire outputs 5-8. They'll all be controlled by the same Arduino. You can increase this as needed up to 8 shields.
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