Help me design Elastolite lamp battery and inverter

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Auriel Kitsu, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Hai, I'm Auriel Kitsu and I am the acting director for a cooperative scientific society named The HiddenCIty Foundation. It's a startup based out of Mesa, Az. As a non-profit we do not wish to accept cash from our somewhat dear but somewhat perverse Uncle Sam and his questionable priorities and ethics. All of our small group have have a one time or another held public office as well as worked real jobs in the private sector. I personally spent 20 of the past 35 years working with information sciences under the roof of various financial institutions. For example Fifth Third Bank located in Cincinnati Ohio where I spend over 10 years in their IT division before retiring. Well sort of retired. I'm not really sure I could stand doing what most people call retired. Lets just say I decided one day that I was old enough and worked long enough that I didn't have to work 70 hours a week along with being eternally on call anymore. Today I do whatever I damn well please.

    I have a small network and computer company here in town and I mostly donate time and some modest outlay of my own cash to building this foundation I referred to earlier. I've got a science project and need someone creative with circuit design to work with. Although I understand many of the principles of electronics my actual skills are decades out of step. The last projects I worked on were a couple of dozen Zenith/Heathkit computers back in the late 70s through early 1980s. A dozen of those couldn't match the computing power of the simplest electronic wrist watch made today. They were fun and people paid me for them so I kept building them until someone eventually asked me if I wanted a job and the rest is history. I compulsively tinkered my way through a few decades of information technology.

    Today I'm a woman on a mission and my project is to fund my non-profit by doing more tinkering. Specifically I hope to find one or more people here to help design a lamp based on the Elastolite electroluminescent film manufactured by Oryon Technologies. Oryon Technologies have bragging rights for the costuming in the movie Tron. The lamp would turn on via a switch opening and turn off either by the switch closing or after a predetermined time just in case someone forgets to close it. Don't want the batteries to needlessly run down. This film would use induction rechargeable DC batteries. So it needs an inverter to give us AC power for the film. The device must be simple, extremely durable, and relatively inexpensive. Here are a couple of demonstrations of the film.



    If I can find talent to give us a design then either I and or a local collaborator will build the prototype and we can take it to market probably via crowd sourcing. The contributors get bragging rights of course and we will probably be disposed to brag about your work as well.

    Thank you for your attend and I look forward to getting to know some of you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    So...you need a battery charger?

    Probably better off in the Projects Forum. I'll tell the managers.
     
  3. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    The battery charger is the easy part. Induction ready batteries and chargers are an off the shelf component these days. What I would like is a sheet of BASF flexible battery. It would be light and easy to hide.
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Now I am surely confused about what you want from an electronics design site.
     
  5. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Perhaps is you could explain what part of the detailed explanation you are confused about then I could explain better?
    I mean I've stated twice that the recharging component is an "off the shelf component".

    So #12 what part of this is confusing you?
    The lamp would turn on via a switch opening and turn off either by the switch closing or after a predetermined time just in case someone forgets to close it.
    The point is that I need an elegant but simple design for the switch and timer. Like any consumer good that is this simple the selection of components is of critical importance but for cost and reliability.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    How much total power do you need from your inverter? I've been working on an EL project myself and soon realized that most of the cheap, commercially available inverters do not have enough power for what I want. But if the power level is low enough, there are lots of pre-built inverters and if necessary there are purpose-built ICs to simplify making an inverter.

    The switching and auto-shutdown are relatively simple functions.

    Do you have a solution for your battery charging system yet, or do you need that too?
     
  7. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    wayneh,
    Thank you for your consideration. The president of the company that makes Elastolite tells you what the voltage and amperage is. The company also sells a very small inverter for powering the film to an exceptional brightness.
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Let's focus on the switch:
    1) Is it to switch an AC or DC voltage. I am assuming you intend to place it between the battery and the inverter, so it will be DC. Many power supply devices have a "shutdown" connection. Will your inverter have such a function and/or will you need to have that function addressed?
    2) What current and voltage will it need to switch?
    3) After approximately how much time after the circuit is turned on do you want it to automatically turn off?
    4) Do you want it to be "re-triggerable?" That is, if the turn off time is set at one minute, do you want to be able to reset it to extend that time without going through an "off" phase?
    5) A switch that turns a circuit "on" upon opening versus closing is not that hard to envision; although, there might be a tiny bit of standby current (e.g., a fraction of a microamp) to detect that state change. How much stand-by current, if any, can your system tolerate? If you cannot have any stand-by current at all, why do you need a configuration that turns on upon opening?
    6) Do you have the resources to program a simple microcontroller?

    John

    Edit: Sorry, I was writing while posts #6 and 7 appeared.
     
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  9. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Let's focus on the switch:
    1) Is it to switch an AC or DC voltage. I am assuming you intend to place it between the battery and the inverter, so it will be DC. Yes Many power supply devices have a "shutdown" connection. Will your inverter have such a function and/or will you need to have that function addressed? The inverter they demonstrate in the video has on off, fast strobe light, slow strobe light. I just need on and off. This is to illuminate the interior of a purse from the bottom up. When the purse opens the circuit closes and the light comes on. When the purse closes the circuit is interrupted and the light goes out. In case the woman doesn't close the purse all the way I want to have a timer turn the light off after 5 minutes.

    2) What current and voltage will it need to switch?
    Watch the video please. It has that information

    3) After approximately how much time after the circuit is turned on do you want it to automatically turn off?
    Five minutes should be enough time I think if the woman wants longer then she can close and open the purse to turn the light back on.

    4) Do you want it to be "re-triggerable?" That is, if the turn off time is set at one minute, do you want to be able to reset it to extend that time without going through an "off" phase?
    No keep is as simple as possible my friend.

    5) A switch that turns a circuit "on" upon opening versus closing is not that hard to envision; although, there might be a tiny bit of standby current (e.g., a fraction of a microamp) to detect that state change. How much stand-by current, if any, can your system tolerate? If you cannot have any stand-by current at all, why do you need a configuration that turns on upon opening?
    Note the application

    6) Do you have the resources to program a simple microcontroller? The simplest answer is no I don't have even a soldering pen. However there is a hacker space near by with all kinds of tools and people that hack electronics and just about anything else quasi-magical that comes from tinkering with gadgets.

    I hope to find people to work with but I want to have something to start with so I can learn. A large part of why I'm doing this aside from raising money for our non-profit is the opportunity to learn about modern tech.

    The voltages and amperages involved here are infinitesimal compared to LEDs even much less small incandescent bulbs. The only other attempt to do this I've seen amounted to slap-dashing a small penlight into the lining of a handbag. Terrible aesthetic and prone to failure without doing a very good job of lighting the bag. The Elastolite can be formed into a pocket that lines the bottom of the bag and a couple of inches up the interior sides.
     
  10. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  11. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Not true! An EL panel requires at least about 120V to begin producing light, and supplies using up to 200V or so are not unusual. They oscillate to produce AC at 400-2000Hz. Any power supply capable of lighting an EL panel can KILL a human.

    The current the EL panel needs depends on the size you specify, which you seem reluctant to tell us. Those videos, which many here will not take the time to watch, do NOT provide that information. The answer depends on your design.

    Let's assume the purse is not huge, and therefore you do not need to make your own inverter and can simply choose a commercial one that is big enough for your project. That's great and solves a lot of problems.

    That leaves the switching, timing and charging solutions. jpanhalt is on the track of the switching and timing solution.

    What are you thinking about for the batteries and charging? Do you have some equipment picked out already?
     
  12. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    They have the patent to prove and I've personally seen people use these glued to their skin as illuminated tattoos.

    What are you thinking about for the batteries and charging? Do you have some equipment picked out already?

    I was just going to find out what power rechargeable batteries they are using now and substitute the induction rechargeable batteries in our design.

    Here is the bag I wanted to retro-fit with the lighting system.
    http://www.baggallini.com/product/Venture-crossbody/Baggallini-Classic-Collection

    The dimensions are . . .
    9.5”w x 7”h x 1”d

    I'm ordering a mule to prototype this with and I'll have better dimension after I have my hands on it and can get a feel for how far up the side I need the light to be effective. It may only need perhaps an inch or two on the sides with the bottom lined.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  13. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Here is the bag I wanted to retro-fit with the lighting system.
    http://www.baggallini.com/product/Venture-crossbody/Baggallini-Classic-Collection

    The dimensions are . . .
    9.5”w x 7”h x 1”d

    I'm ordering a mule to prototype this with and I'll have better dimension after I have my hands on it and can get a feel for how far up the side I need the light to be effective. It may only need perhaps an inch or two on the sides with the bottom lined.
    I'm guess based on the those dimensions that I want a 21 inch by 2 inch strip that wraps around the interior sides of the bag.
     
  14. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    OK, so ~42 square inches, or ~271 square cm. That will require ~38mA. At 120V, that's about 5W.

    You may have trouble finding an inverter for that large an area. I haven't seen any cheap ones that can handle more than 100 square centimeters.
     
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  15. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    This is the battery I want to use if I can get from prototype to production. They call it battery cloth it's so thin and flexible. It's a perfect match for the Elastolite EL film.
    http://www.flexelinc.com/
     
  16. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Interesting stuff. If you can get 12V arranged, an inverter like this is about half the size you need. Could use 2 of them, I suppose, they're cheap enough.
     
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  17. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Good idea, good catch.
    I'm composing an email to Oryon Technologies explaining the application.
    They manufacture the inverter package that goes with their EL film and hopefully the size of this strip will be within the scope of their design capacity and without the need of somethings expensive and custom.
     
  18. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    I was thinking about using magnetic-reed normally-open proximity micro switches in the leading edge of the purse clasp? There durable, small and cheap. Your thoughts gentlemen?
     
  19. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Reed SW is my choice; purse closed- SW closed, small current drain around 5 micro A; purse open- SW open, P ch FET delivers required current.
     
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  20. Auriel Kitsu

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Bernard can you explain your choice a little more?

    We wanted the circuit closed with current running when the purse if open so that the light goes on. Conversely we want the circuit open with no current flowing, light out when the purse is closed.

    Would all of you agree that the end goal is a relatively simple circuit that can be silk-screened onto a flexible membrane so that there isn't a hard board in the purse?

    I've talked with the rest of my team and we've decided to give you and the allaboutcircuits.com board credit for the design of the project. It would be good for us and good for you.
     
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