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Topic: EL wire: separate controllable strands, single inverter, battery powered? (Read 5550 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm making a light display that will respond to music! I want to use only one inverter for a number of EL wire strands (possibly 12 of them) but have them separately controllable using the Arduino. I've seen a number of ways to do this but I had a few questions.

This seems to be the best option:
For my project, adding another optocoupler/triac pair for each separate channel would be necessary.

Could I use solid state relays instead? What would be the pros/cons?
The NTE3044 optocoupler is difficult to find. At Mouser it says that the part is not recommended for new designs. What does that mean and how could I find a equivalent part?
I have read that inverters can be damaged if they are turned on while not connected to anything. Why is this?

Also to be considered:
At any point in time while using my device, only 3 of the EL strands would need to be lit at once.

Thanks for helping me out!


You probably don't need the opto-couplers.  This product from sparkfun has  Z0103MN TRIACs connected directly to an ATmega168 (basically an Arduino Lillypad):

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So, you don't think there is any chance that the (relatively) high voltage from the inverter could zap the arduino?


So, you don't think there is any chance that the (relatively) high voltage from the inverter could zap the arduino?

Of course there is a chance that you could hook something up incorrectly or a component could fail and cause damage to your Arduino.  I don't think that adding opto-couplers will prevent stupid mistakes so adding them might just reduce the chances of failure from 0.0001% to 0.00001%.  Of course adding components also provides more opportunity for failure so in the end they might not even increase reliability. :)
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