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Author Topic: Red Dog's pit - I finally started  (Read 644707 times)

Offline Nikolas_A

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #510 on: March 16, 2007, 01:06:53 PM »
Aaah, ok, I didn't understand that. So, you tested with 12VAC?

Nikolas

Offline Red Dog

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #511 on: March 16, 2007, 01:14:10 PM »
So far, I tested with a power supply 12v, and the small inverter coverting the 12vDc to 12vAc as pictured above

Have a bandit day
Red Dog

Offline maestro209

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #512 on: March 16, 2007, 05:56:51 PM »
Quote from: "Red Dog"
Thanks for all the inputs guys :)

Quote
In general mixing AC and DC like that in your pit will cause frustration and is potentially dangerious. I would reccomend staying DC for your backlights as painfull as that is, will save you in the long run.

Maestro, the EL sheets are Ac, so unless I want to forget using them and using leds instead, there is no way I can avoid mixing the twos.
I'm concerned as well mixing AC and DC in the pit. I should be fine though if I clearly separarte the circuits using colours codes accordingly.


Understood! (thumbs up)

I couldn't rightly give advice on a topic that has a high danger factor. I try to be as safety conscious as possible. When referring people to a given piece of advice esp. when the topic is electricity safety has to be paramount. It is easy to become confused (mostly on my end) and give/receive incorrect/misleading information, no matter how unintentional. I would rather you have the AC/DC complexity in a safe configuration over bad advice and a burned down house or worse.

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Offline Mike Powell

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #513 on: March 17, 2007, 12:39:00 PM »
Maestro has a very good point. Safety is a big issue.

An EL sheet is constructed with an opaque metallic rear sheet that acts as one electrode, an insulating layer containing the luminescing material, and a top electrode made of a transparent, somewhat resistive material (tin oxide?) and an embedded opaque metallic grid. When the sheet is trimmed, the cut edge exposes both electrodes separated only by the central layer which has been deformed by cutting. The two electrodes may short together or contact mounting or switch hardware. When powered by an inverter this doesn't cause much of a problem, other than the fact that the inverter may roll over dead. When powered directly from house AC power, worse case is something else rolls over dead.

The EL products I'm aware of run from 80 to 250+ volts AC over a wide range of frequencies. Depending on the blend of luminescing materials, there can be a slight color shift in the light  as the voltage and frequency are changed. These EL products will function from house AC power, but I would take a few steps for safety.

Seal the edges of the cut EL sheet so contact with the electrodes is not possible.

Use an isolation transformer. This prevents contact between the EL power wiring and a grounded object becoming an exciting event.

Put a resistor in series with each EL sheet to limit short circuit current. A few hundred ohms should do.

Fuses are good.



Another option:

Those little power inverters intended for use in your car may offer an alternative to multiple EL inverters. They put out more power than the EL inverter, but still provide isolation from the house AC power. If you've already got a large 12 volt DC supply for other parts of your 'pit, it might be something to experiment with.

Offline Ka-Bar03

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #514 on: March 17, 2007, 08:21:50 PM »
Thanks Mike


I just hooked up the LG sheet I laser cut. I hooked it up to the inverter they sent, 12v DC in from a car battery booster. I did get bit while messing with it, let me tell you, it was NOT pleasant! So be carefull with those inverters. The sheet lit up great along with the LG panel. I will post pics. Sorry Olivier, wasn't wanting to hijack your thread. We should probably split this off to it's own topic.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/kabar03/DSCF6660.jpg
Red Dog's pit - I finally started


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/kabar03/DSCF6666.jpg
Red Dog's pit - I finally started



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/kabar03/DSCF6651.jpg
Red Dog's pit - I finally started




Quote from: "Mike Powell"
Maestro has a very good point. Safety is a big issue.

An EL sheet is constructed with an opaque metallic rear sheet that acts as one electrode, an insulating layer containing the luminescing material, and a top electrode made of a transparent, somewhat resistive material (tin oxide?) and an embedded opaque metallic grid. When the sheet is trimmed, the cut edge exposes both electrodes separated only by the central layer which has been deformed by cutting. The two electrodes may short together or contact mounting or switch hardware. When powered by an inverter this doesn't cause much of a problem, other than the fact that the inverter may roll over dead. When powered directly from house AC power, worse case is something else rolls over dead.

The EL products I'm aware of run from 80 to 250+ volts AC over a wide range of frequencies. Depending on the blend of luminescing materials, there can be a slight color shift in the light  as the voltage and frequency are changed. These EL products will function from house AC power, but I would take a few steps for safety.

Seal the edges of the cut EL sheet so contact with the electrodes is not possible.

Use an isolation transformer. This prevents contact between the EL power wiring and a grounded object becoming an exciting event.

Put a resistor in series with each EL sheet to limit short circuit current. A few hundred ohms should do.

Fuses are good.



Another option:

Those little power inverters intended for use in your car may offer an alternative to multiple EL inverters. They put out more power than the EL inverter, but still provide isolation from the house AC power. If you've already got a large 12 volt DC supply for other parts of your 'pit, it might be something to experiment with.

Click Above For Information

Offline Red Dog

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #515 on: March 18, 2007, 09:41:23 AM »
hey Mike, with images like that, you can pollute my thread anytime :)


Guys, are you telling me 12VAC is THAT dangerous... it's 12V.
I'm not dicussing having 110 or 220v AC in the pit, that's out of the question.

I'm debating using 12V DC power supply then a DC/AC inverter that go to the ELsheet, remaining 12v
or
Converting the 220vAv from the wall (before entering the pit) to 12vAC and power the ELsheet

In any way,  those of us using this very ELsheets type will have 12vAc in the pit. You may decrease the lenght of AC by converting part of it to DC with a power supply, but you will end up with 12vAC near the EL sheet.

So is 12vAc that dangerous?

Have a bandit day
Red Dog

Cannon

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #516 on: March 18, 2007, 10:54:40 AM »
Quote from: "Kabar03"
Thanks Mike


I just hooked up the LG sheet I laser cut. I hooked it up to the inverter they sent, 12v DC in from a car battery booster. I did get bit while messing with it, let me tell you, it was NOT pleasant! So be carefull with those inverters. The sheet lit up great along with the LG panel. I will post pics. Sorry Olivier, wasn't wanting to hijack your thread. We should probably split this off to it's own topic.



How much does a sheet this size cost?  How about a very estimated cost for the left and right console? 12v dc would be fine, start messing with high volt ac- almost the same as a real plane!! My citation jet runs 115v ac for high current stuff such as windshield heat !!

Offline Ka-Bar03

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #517 on: March 18, 2007, 11:03:54 AM »
my source was 13 bucks a sheet shipped. Enough for one panel each, 2 smaller panels from one sheet. Not cheap.That's without the inverter to run them.As Olivier said, the offset of fiddling with LED, wiring them, even lighting....
Quote from: "Cannon"
Quote from: "Kabar03"


how much does a sheet this size cost?  How about a very estimated cost for the left and right console? 12v dc would be fine, start messing with high volt ac- almost the same as a real plane!! My citation jet runs 115v ac for high current stuff such as windshield heat !!

Click Above For Information

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #518 on: March 18, 2007, 01:17:58 PM »
I think it will be worth it!! That's a good deal for 13 bucks in my opinion!  I know your busy Mike, but it would be a nice thing to offer with the panels!!
Also, can you control the brightness with a switch?  I'm already saving for the whole set, so can I plan for those too?

Offline Crease-Guard

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #519 on: March 18, 2007, 01:39:57 PM »
It's not voltage that's dangerous, it's the ability to pass current through your body that's lethal.  Static electricty on your body can reach potentials of several thousand volts, yet not one dies when this is discharged because you are the high potential discharging to ground.  However, if you are the ground and the potential is some other source, then current will pass through your body.  How much depends on a number of factors.

110 and 220 are completely safe in a pit as long as you have GROUNDED everything properly, use proper terminating, proper gauge wire for the current you are drawing etc.  If you have done this and don't go sticking metal objects into hot circuits, there's no danger at all.

Jay

Offline Red Dog

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #520 on: March 18, 2007, 01:51:52 PM »
As Mike Powell suggested above, the El sheets edges needs to be taped to avoid any chance of short circuit, that's clearly explained in the EL sheet how to use.

I am not afraid of my grounding, that should be okay. I think the most dangerous point would be those cut edges where if not isolated properly, A metal switch might get in contact with both side of the sheet and thus harm the user and the other cockpit system.
In the case of the panel, a screw securing the backplate to the lightplate might also create problem

So i think the cut of the sheet needs to be carefully planned and isolated on the edges to avoid any future problem.

Now i just need to get to work ond power them properly

Have a bandit day
Red Dog

Offline Ka-Bar03

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #521 on: March 18, 2007, 02:13:01 PM »
Using a laminator on them would isolate the edges, as the instructions suggest. This will create a second step of cutting the lamination for the holes again. By knife or in my case laser again, no biggie really. They will need to be properly designed for proper panel fit, again no problem, I overlay may panel files and create a EL layer. I still think they are great for lighting, but
you can see the process soon adds up to the cost of the panel itself, the LG panel will require 2 sheets for proper even light. I used one in the above pics and the lower lettering is dark. Wiring is easy enough, 2 leads. I will try some different powering of them to see if it can be simplified. At this point I know I will be using these in my pit, others will have to decide if the added expense
is worth it. I will offer these lasercut at some point. I'll be doing the files soon as I clear my plate.

Olivier, we may as well discuss this here, after a bit of time I will split it off into its own topic to clear your thread, if thats OK?

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Offline Red Dog

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #522 on: March 18, 2007, 04:11:16 PM »
Mike,

Whatever's good for you will suit me ...

I know I'll use them also in my pit  :o  we just have to find the safest way to use and power them :)

Have a bandit day
Red Dog

Marvin

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #523 on: March 18, 2007, 04:37:09 PM »
So what are really the pro and cons of this procedure?

So far I am guessing the EL sheets are WAY more expensive then using LEDs.  I bought backpanel LEDs for dirt cheap.  But I still think when you add up the amount of LEDs needed for each panel, it should still come out cheaper than enough EL sheets per panel.

Is it less work??  Hmmm at first I liked this idea as it seemed like less work, which may be worth the extra expense, however it appears as though this may even be more work??

So I guess the only thing left to cosider is the lighting??  Does the EL sheets offer more effecient back lighting then using the LEDs?  I don't know I have not tried yet?

So anyone??  What are the real pros and cons of these EL sheets?  Should we go this route, or stick with LEDs?

Jody

Offline Red Dog

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Red Dog's pit - I finally started
« Reply #524 on: March 18, 2007, 05:02:54 PM »
I'll go EL iso ded

1. It's a lot of work because we progress in the dark for the moment and we don't have a decent common power solution for the moment.
But once that is set safely, it will be only a matter to connect 2 wires from panel to panel (probably with a connector to be able to remove only one panel)
Probably one set on the LEFT console and a second set on the RIGHT console and a final set for the center panel= total 6 wires and one switch to turn all backlight ON

Pros
- The light diffusion is way better than led, no question about that one, I tried both and the led don't give a constant light on the label, the sheet gives a pretty constant light on all the panel
- no drilling in the panel and in the backplate for the leds
- minor soldering required
- Sheet can be cut to shape, with the panel PDF realsize, this is very easy. The holes for the switches can be cut out as well.
- A rheostat may be used to vary the frequency and change the brightness
- El sheets are available in white and green, so white backlight becomes possible (unlike leds where Vishay leds aren't available in white - regular leds have to be used and their light cone is very narrow

Cons
- Power problem (the sheets are 12vAC)
- Sheets needs to be cut but with the PDF of the panel, it's easy - even with a cutter - easier lasercut :)
- Sheets needs to be laminated to isolate the edges and then recut ...
- the AC transformer may be slighly noisy (as a electric train transformer)
- Span life is around 3000 hours, after that the sheet will loose brightness


I still think it's way less work than soldering 250 backlight leds per cockpit side.
For me the only real point that drove my decision is the perfect diffusion of the light with Mike's panel. it looks great and it's just perfect

Have a bandit day
Red Dog