I am working on a project involving 14 sections of EL tape. This is a circular array that incorporates a chaser effect with two lights lit on either side. originally I had found a small diy LED sequencer board that controlled both speed and brightness from 2 POTs.

Now I am attempting to adapt this to activate 7 relays (in place of the LEDs) which will in turn divert the power of the EL inverter to the tape sections. Each relay is the connection of 2 EL panels to the (+) of the sole EL inverter while its (-) is hardwired in parallel among all the panels.

These are all small panels cut from a 3m length and have worked using this inverter independently both full length and cut. through some trial/error as well as some brightness and speed tweaking I have made this system work for a panel or 2, sometimes more, but other times the inverter and relays are working by the sound of it but the lights are not lighting or when they do they are skipping. It's intermittent too sometimes swapping panels works but at times it looks like the socket may be bad and the light is good other times it's the opposite even with the same pieces.

I have considered the sparkfun sequencer and it would most certainly save the day except that along with space being an issue my device also incorporates a few other Arduino devices including 2 servos, a sound module and a push button to start the sequence. however the sequencer doesn't seem capable to run 7 el connections as well as 4-6 other operations. is there a simpler way? Am I missing components between my relays and lights? Could I use my Uno in place of the sequencer? or can I expand the number of pins on the sequencer?

I would like to avoid daisy-chaining arduinos/boards as much as possible and even break down the number of separate boards I already have. I am trying to run this off of a single 9v and maybe a pair of button batteries.

Unfortunately I can no longer find the exact sequencer I am using but there are many 8 channel led chasers (w/o Brightness control) similar to mine on ebay.

Any help, insight, coding, recommendations anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

closed as off-topic by user31481, per1234, SDsolar, sa_leinad, Code Gorilla Oct 27 '17 at 12:15

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Arduino, within the scope defined in the help center." – per1234, SDsolar, Code Gorilla
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Can you please edit your question to include what you've tried? Have you chosen any parts? What exactly do you need help with? – Anonymous Penguin Mar 20 '15 at 21:51
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    I can't bring myself to read the question. Have you heard of paragraphs? Or starting sentences with a capital letter? People here are volunteers who are keen to help you, but you have to make some effort to make the question readable. Please read How do I ask a good question? – Nick Gammon Jan 30 '16 at 4:59
  • My first guess is that you're using a power supply that can't supply all the power that the ELs, LEDs, relays, etc. are pulling. So the voltage drops (brownout) so low it makes the Uno act weird. Can you temporarily set up a test with a mains-powered power supply rated to supply at least 10 times the watts you think you might need? Can you help us help you by linking to which specific sequencer, specific relay, and specific EL you are using? – David Cary May 23 '16 at 16:20
  • You raise a good point David. Though now that I have learned a lot more I am starting to think that perhaps the timing of the AC and relay switching is continuously falling out of sync and finds a different pattern each time I hook it up. I haven't been using anything for voltage controlled switches like triacs. – SideTrack May 24 '16 at 18:18
  • Is there a reason you've chosen relays? Every time the sequence changes you'll hear audible clicks. If this is not a problem then there's no real reason to change, but MOSFETs or (possible gate-drive) optocouplers would be both smaller and quieter. – CharlieHanson May 24 '16 at 21:08