Transistor to switch EL wire on not giving desired voltage

Hello, This is my first post in these forums. Thank you ahead of time for any advice I can get on this subject. This may be an easy answer, I'm just new to circuits and am having a hard time with this one. I have a very basic setup in which I'm trying to turn on an EL wire using a transistor as a switch. I've got the transistor hooked up to the 12 V inverter. I've got a PNP transistor and it more or less works but the voltage that comes out of the transistor is only around 6 volts when I try to control it with a 5v signal and thus the EL wire is very dim. If I omit the control signal going into the transistor and instead just hook up a couple AA batteries to the base of the transistor instead, I get the desired 12V output. Could this be a limitation of not enough current saturating the transistor?

Thank you!

You cannot control 12V with a PNP transistor with a 5V Arduino, you could damage the Arduino. Post a wiring diagram.

Thanks for the reply. Here’s a crappy diagram. I’ve been following some simple circuit designs that I’ve found online and I’ll openly say that I’m open to any and all suggestions since I’m no expert at this stuff. The transistor that I have in there right now is a NTE24 transistor( Vcbo- 100 V, Vceo 80v, VEBO 5V, IC 1A)

The diagram shown an NPN transistor (NTE24), and that should work.

I assume you did share 12volt supply ground with Arduino ground.

What is the current draw of this inverter. A 1k base resistor is only good for about 50mA inverter current. Try lowering that resistor to 220ohm. That should work for inverter currents up to a few hundred mA. If more, then you should use a logic level mosfet as switch. Leo..

Hi Wawa. Yes The Arduino ground and 12V supply ground are tied together. I tried a lower value resistor, and even removed the resistor completely and while the output voltage does go up it only goes up to 6.5 instead of 12 where it should be. I honestly am not sure what kind of current the inverter draws (I seem to remember it being less than 100ma) but I can certainly try a mosfet this week. I had a feeling I might have to head in that direction. Thanks!

reeceWatkins: and even removed the resistor completely...

That could destroy (or already have) the pin and/or transistor.

Show a clear picture of your setup. Leo..

Edit: another common problem is not setting the pin to OUTPUT with pinMode(). Please read the "How to post" sticky, so we don't have to ask all these questions.

what is “EL wire”?

Juraj: what is "EL wire"?

Electroluminescent wire.