This is a simple method to connect your EL wire. You'll need:
- fine electric wire
- wire stripper
- cutter or screwdriver
- fine tip pliers
- solder iron with fine tip
- nail trimmer
EL wire is made like a coaxial cable, so there is one inner copper conductor covered with a phosphor paint and one external conductor made of two fine wires. Everything is then covered by an external plastic colored cover. Proceed by stripping approximately 6 mm (0.2") of the external plastic cover. Do it gently, so the two small wires are not damaged.
At this point you will be able to see the inner conductor covered by the phosphor layer and the outer conductors, the two fine wires.
Using a cutter blade or a screwdriver scratch the phosphor paint out of the inner copper conductor for approximately 2 mm (0.08"). Be careful to remove it completely or welding will result difficult.
Be careful not to cut the two fine wires. The EL wire must look approximately like this one:
Now you can proceed with bending at 90° the tip of the EL wire.
You should obtain something similar to this:
Twist the two small wires together and bend them so that they form a 90° angle with the EL fiber as shown in the following picture.
Cut a piece of flexible PCB long enough to connect all EL wires of the EL tape. If you have a traditional PCB (non flexible) you'll need to use a cutter to perform this operation.
Place the two small wires in one of the holes of the PCB and the inner copper wire in the correspondent hole of the other stripe as shown in the picture.
NOTE that flexible PCB's has the conductive small white soldering areas on one side only, so be careful that white soldering areas and wires are one the same side of PCB or it will not possible to solder wires to PCB.
If you want the EL wire to stay still, attached to the PCB, fold the two small wires backwards as in the following picture. This will prevent moving before soldering.
Proceed with soldering both wires. Only the white silver areas of the PCB are not coated, so it is very difficult to make mistakes.
This is how it should look after the soldering. NOTE: the two conductors must not touch or the EL wire will not work.
Cut the extra portion of wires with a nail trimmer
and reapeat the same operation for all wires of the EL tape. Here we used a 5 EL wires tape. Once finished you'll have all your EL wires connected in parallel.
Not it is time to connect the inverter to power your EL tape. Cut two small pieces of electric wire and strip their ends. Place the first one in one of the holes of the PCB, taking care that the white soldering area and the tip of the wire to solder are one the same side of the the PCB, as shown in the picture.
Proceed with soldering.
Do the same with the second wire. This wire must be connected to the other strip of the PCB.
Connect the wires to the output of one inverter of the right size, check that there are no shorts and..Let there be light!
IMPORTANT: EL wires are powered at 120Vac. If you touch the areas where you soldered the wires you might get a shock. It is not dangerous because there is very small current, but you will feel it. The area of the PCB must be protected with insulation. We are working to develop a solution for this problem. We will update this instruction file soon.
Note: it happened to us that after soldering an EL wire it was not working. We checked the area where we soldered it and everything was perfect. We then found out that the short was on the opposite side of the EL wire, and it probably happened when we cut the EL wire with our scissors. So if something is not working check the other end, too!
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