I’ve been tasked with building a fairly involved sensor reactive light up costume using EL panels. I haven’t worked with EL panels before, beyond plugging a DC power pack into an EL inverter hooked up to one 10cmx10cm panel, so I’d really appreciate some advice!
I’m based in Australia so most of the parts need to be shipped abroad from online sellers and I don’t have as much time as I’d like to research before I need to place orders if they’re to arrive in time for me meet my deadline.
The requirements are as follows:
- We need to have discrete control of at least least 8 channels.
- Each channel will have multiple panels connected in parallel
- The channels will be switched to various stable brightness levels in response to arduino sensor readings, or just on / off if thats all that is feasible.
- We need to cover as much as the body in EL panels as possible, within reasonable power consumption / safety limits
- Needs to be battery powered (but only needs to run at full brightness for 1-2 hours before recharge)
- Needs to be as bright as possible
I realise that the requirements present some real challenges in building this costume. I’m basically looking for any indication that the components I’m looking at are going to work together and not catch fire or shock someone!
I’m looking at this for the sequencer / controller - http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.ACCT88394/it.A/id.1071/.f?sc=2&category=13 - It claims to handle up to 330ft per channel when driven by a powerful inverter. I can’t find a formula or guide to how many square centimetres you can expect to power per foot though which makes it hard to say how far this board will actually go.
And for the inverter - http://www.ellumiglow.com/electroluminescent-wire/el-wire-inverters/mega-200-12v-el-wire-inverter or something similar. The manufacturer claims that connecting it to 18v results in 3x brightness output with their panels… Am I right in suspecting this might either be a bad idea, or just the nature of EL panels in general and thus would work with any inverter and panel combination?
For the battery - http://elwirecraft.co.uk/el-products/el-accessories/12v-rechargeable-li-ion-battery-1800mah-2800mah-or-5000mah-for-el-driver-led/ or something similiar. I’ve also read about taking an 18v power tool battery and repurposing it to have dc connector for output… In any case we have a small backpack to conceal the electronics in and could use a 12v lead acid battery if necessary.
What are the chances that this will work? How worried should I be about frying components or setting someone on fire? Am I missing something obvious that will trip me up later?
Thanks in advance for the help! I have a reasonably healthy budget to work with and am prepared to work hard to get the best out of this project and any pointers will be greatly appreciated.