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Anybody use EL wire?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of using EL wire (a.ka. glow wire) to better light the edge of my window. The CCFLs are nice but they throw too much light around the case. I could tape the EL wire to the edge of the window so it only lights the window and not the inside of my case. My concern is that I've read the inverters for EL wire give off a high frequency noise while they are powered. What's been your experience?
post #2 of 12
Never used it, however, you piqued my interest. Wiki says that it is High Frequency - High Voltage, however, it is also very efficient. My bet is that you could isolate and shield the transformer / ballast outside of you case, thus eliminating any line noise. Depending on the quality of the ballast, there shouldn't be that much noise to begin with, I would think.

Put simply, if it uses something similar to the ballasts found in millions of fluorescent lights around the world, it should be okay to keep near your rig.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm not concerned with electrical noise, I've read that the inverters can give off a audible noise than can be quite irritating.
post #4 of 12
How to:

If you haven't watched this, you prolly should.
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post #5 of 12
What I read seemed to say that you could take a minimal A/C voltage from, say, your PSU, run it through a step-up XFMR to attain ~100v... She shows something like that at about 4:30 in the video.

At 6:30 mins she shows a dead silent way to light EL up, using a 3v battery.
Edited by grishkathefool - 4/2/11 at 3:51pm
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philistine;12975966 
I'm thinking of using EL wire (a.ka. glow wire) to better light the edge of my window. The CCFLs are nice but they throw too much light around the case. I could tape the EL wire to the edge of the window so it only lights the window and not the inside of my case. My concern is that I've read the inverters for EL wire give off a high frequency noise while they are powered. What's been your experience?

I am very familiar with EL Wire. It will definitely give you the glow you are looking for. The high pitch frequency is normal and part of the technology. Fortunately there are ways around hearing it, so it's not terribly noticable. In terms of the inverter, there are a number of different types of inverters, but I would go with a 12v inverter that would power the necessary amount of wire you are looking to have on your case. It can be powered by your case's power supply as well, so no need to hook it up externally.

Hope that helps.
post #7 of 12
I want to bump this thread in the hopes that the OP will keep us up to date on how things are developing. I am very interested in seeing their results!
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I forgot about this thread.

The EL wire inverter does have a high pitched whine but it is barely audible to me and I couldn't even hear it when it was installed in the case. Unfortunatly it was less than impressive for lighting my window. Taken from my build log:
Quote:
I wanted to try to light the window with EL wire in hopes it would give the window a more even glow and not throw a lot of extra light around the case. Well I just did a quick and dirty test of the EL wire by taping it to the edge of the window with electrical tape and its not impressive.

ElWireTest1.jpg

El Wire
ElWireTest2.jpg

Cold Cathodes
WindowLaughingMan3.jpg

Its far dimmer than the cold cathodes. Even with all the lights off the effect is barely visible (the above picture is from a timed exposure). It definitely gives an even glow to the etching but its just too dim. I do recall seeing some high intensity EL wire some where so maybe I'll give that a try.

Keep in mind that the above picture is from a 4 second exposure with all the lights and monitor turned off. With my monitor on the effect is barely visible. Right now I'm looking at SMD LED strips. I have a couple on order which I should get in a week or so. After I get this window etching and lighting nailed down I'll post a FAQ for others who'd like to do something similar.
post #9 of 12
OMG! Ghost in the Shell!!! I love the episodes dealing with that Hacker! You are one of my favorite modders now! Where did you get that etching?

OT: I kind of liked the EL effect, less glare to my eyes. But seeing it in person might be different.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grishkathefool;13209466 
OMG! Ghost in the Shell!!! I love the episodes dealing with that Hacker! You are one of my favorite modders now! Where did you get that etching?

Thanks! I had OCN artisan Pedgette make it for me.

Here's the build post for the window: http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/970983-deaf-mute-haf-922-w-laser-2.html#post12882302

And the graphic and how I converted it to be laser etched: http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/970983-deaf-mute-haf-922-w-laser-2.html#post12926580
Quote:
Originally Posted by grishkathefool;13209466 
OT: I kind of liked the EL effect, less glare to my eyes. But seeing it in person might be different.

With EL wire it is really dim when viewed in person. And the effect was unnoticable when the lights were turned on. The cold cathodes do look too bright in the picture but again that's a timed exposure (1 second I think). The effect is a lot better in person.
Edited by Philistine - 4/20/11 at 7:13pm
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