Sunday, March 3, 2019

DSKY substitute EL wire power choice and other work


Powering the electroluminescent wires

My EL wires came with a driver module designed to be powered by a 9V battery. These wires should be turned on and off with the AGC 14V switched power line, as the whole display should go dark when the AGC is in standby.

My first approach to this was to use a buck converter board to reduce the switched 14V from the AGC to produce the 9V for the EL driver. I wired it up and found that it works properly, however the combined current of the EL wires, driver and buck converter came to 56 ma, adding about 3/4 watts to the load on the AGC. Since its total power consumption is only about 70 times larger, this is not an insignificant impact.

I then decided I would draw the power from the 5V supply powering my DSKY substitute, which is entirely independent of the AGC. A boost converter board was set up and tied to the switched 5V power relay in my DSKY, which is switched on and off based on the presence or absence of the AGC switched 14V. The load through the wiring points I selected is just too high, however, producing odd behavior of the DSKY board once I apply 14V.

Therefore, I plan to use an outboard relay, which takes the switched 5V from the onboard relay and uses it to provide a different higher current path from the external 5V supply to my boost board and EL driver.


I had updated the light dam for the indicator side and did a test fit of the panel, the light mask on top, the dam below and the panel cover. All looked great, the only thing missing is the text itself.

Indicator stack with cover, ready for text legends


  1. For a future DSKY you might be inspired by the work of Ben Krasnow. Or maybe you can get him to help.

    Great work so far!

  2. Yes, I have been keeping my eye on his work.