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: http://www.instructables.com/id/Programmable-LilyPad-EL-Wire-Dress/?ALLSTEPS 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!