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EL Wire drivers - can they be doubled up?


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Who's got knowledge of EL wire drivers?

I've used EL Wire a few times in the past, and have some signs that are edged in it for a show coming up soon. I bought some small driver cubes that will supply up to 5m of wire and will be popping those into a custom box with a 3-ch DMX relay to deliver that to 2 or 3 signs at a time, but for those with 3 signs, I believe I'll be exceeding that 5m limit. 

Now, I have a couple of extra drivers, and was wondering whether it's possible to parallel the low voltage AC outputs up to give me the extra 'oomph' that I need, or would that be a bad idea...?

I also read recently that leaving drivers/inverters with their DC input powered but with no wire in circuit may cause the driver to overheat - something I found surprising, but worrisome all the same, as my plan to use the relays to switch the feeds to the different signs means that they could potentially be powered up for 99% of the show whilst dark - tif that is correct, I'll need to look at some power management as an alternative.
Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of such?


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2 minutes ago, J Pearce said:

I’d plan on treating driver and tape as a fixture, and switching feeds into the drivers rather than the feeds from the drivers.

I can’t imagine that paralleling an AC feed will work unless they are synchronised.

Absolutely correct. You should split the EL wire into sections and power each section from a driver. Don't try to switch the output - it's high voltage a.c. and could even arc over a relay as the voltage will rise when it's off load.

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Agree, EL drivers should be permanently connected to a suitable length of EL wire. All switching and control should be either on the ELV input to the drivers, on the mains voltage supply into the PSUs that operate the EL wire drivers.

Use only one driver per length of wire, the output is high frequency AC and there is no simple way to make multiple drivers run synchronised.

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