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Topic: EL Wire help! (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic

johnwasser

The El Escudo plugs into the sockets of the Arduino board.  It should only fit in one way.  That will make all the necessary connections.

If you get a 12v wall plug that hooks to the Arduino power jack you can then use the Raw Voltage output to supply power to a 12v inverter.  You can't do that with a 3v inverter because the Arduino needs 7v or more to run.

The EL Escudo switches the high voltage from the inverter to some combination of the outputs.  You write software to light or blink the strands of EL wire in any pattern you like.  To get a dimming effect you turn the strand on and off very rapidly.  The brightness depends on what portion if the time is spent ON. This is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
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smashu

I'm a newb working on a wearables project for university with the limited knowledge they've provided us with. I've got a similar setup as jannw. Could you clarify, is the 3V battery in the image only powering the inverter? Does this mean the Escudo needs a secondary power source for in order to get any EL wire to work on it?

johnwasser

The EL Escudo doesn't need low voltage power to operate.  Think of it as 8 high voltage switches controlled by Arduino pins D2 through D9.  The power it gets from the Vin pin of the Arduino (the raw power from the Arduino's power jack, before the 5V regulator) is just presented on the Raw Voltage socket.  This works well if you have a 9V-12V supply hooked to the power jack of the Arduino and an inverter that runs off that same voltage.

For wearable operation you would probably be better off with 3 AA cells in series (about 4.5V) connected to the 5V line of the Arduino.  That bypasses the 5V voltage regulator and saves a bunch of power that would otherwise just make the 5V regulator hot.  You can use the first two AA batteries to run a 3V inverter. 

You can, in theory, run the Arduino and a 3V inverter off two AA cells (3V) instead of 4.5V.  Technically the Arduino running at 3V should not be clocked at 16MHz but lots of people do it anyway and it seems to work.
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