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For a project I have 20 pieces of EL wire that each have their own 3V (2xAA) inverter. Now I think it's a complete waste and hassle to replace the batteries every so many hours, so I wanted to try and power the inverters from the mains.

What I am worried about with just connecting a 3V adapter is that with dropping the internal resistance of the batteries will result in a too high current that will fry the system (like with LEDs), will this be the case? Is there any way to control the current that will flow?

I have tried different resistances with a 6V power source, but I haven't been able to find one that still powers the circuit with 3V and creates a 70-125mA current (this is what I measured the circuit draws when powered by batteries), and I think I have fried one of the circuits so now I am afraid to do more experiments.

Note: an alternative is to get a 12V driver and a 12V adapter from the shop (I think). However, in this way I lose the different settings that come with the battery pack, which is undesired for my project.

Edit: I have tried to split the 6V into 3V according to the following diagram: circuit diagram splitting 6V The R1 and R2 are resistors and the yellow thing is my unknown EL wire circuit that I want to power. I used 220Ohm resistors for both R1 and R2 which results in a nice 3V over the circuit. However, the current over the circuit is not enough because of the resistors. Would it work with lower resistors?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Charlee, welcome to EE.SE. Would you have a link to a datasheet for the EL wire so we know exactly what item you are describing? And when you say "power the inverters from the mains" are you meaning "plug this into an electrical outlet?" It may be working right now, but chances are there are better ways to achieve this. \$\endgroup\$ – rdtsc Sep 25 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the sheets for the EL wire unfortunately. I got them from a friend, but they seem similar to this: chinabrands.com/item/… but then only 1 meter each. I am currently using a AC/DC converter with an output of 6V, and putting them in series seems to work. I'm open for better suggestions. \$\endgroup\$ – Charlee Sep 25 at 12:56
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Actually the answer was easy, I thought I tried it but trying again gave different results.

I just put two of the things in series and it seems to work. It draws 150mA but I don't think it is so much of a problem, the circuits seem to be functioning fine. I am assuming putting a 3V/110mA=27ohm resistor in series would also work, but I don't have one laying around to test this.

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