I would like to make an EL wire (electroluminescent wire) inverter because I can't seem to find a commercial inverter that can drive the right length of wire from the batteries I would like to use: all inverters that run on AA/AAA that I can find can only officially drive up to 9ft or so.

According to the Wikipedia article, EL wire runs on 90-120 volts at about 1000 Hz. There are some relay-based designs for EL Wire inverters out there, and I have seen some transformer-based designs, but it seems like there have to be a better way. There is also the SP4425 inverter driver chip, but it is hard to get in the US. Any suggestions on how to go about this? I am looking to drive between 9 and 15 feet of wire, but I was assuming [incorrectly?] that there is a general solution.

EDIT: I would also like to know what it means when we say that inverter A can drive 3 feet of EL wire, and inverter B can drive 30 feet. Is the difference how much current an inverter can source?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Might be useful to mention the length of wire you want to drive, and link to the wire. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15 '13 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, edited. No link though, since my specific wire is from a looong time ago. Or were you looking for a general link to similar EL wire? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15 '13 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was wondering how consistent the current requirements are between makes; the Wiki article says "about" 1nf per foot, but it seems unlikely they would all be exactly the same. So not knowing your specific wire, people will have to guess. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15 '13 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm.. I guess my thinking was that since inverters are sold to drive all sorts of wire (perhaps one difference being "high intensity wire" which generally is driven as if it is twice as long as it actually is, I think), it seems like it should be possible to build a functional inverter to work with "standard" (non-high intensity wire) without an exact wire specification. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16 '13 at 5:21

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