View Full Version : Anyone had any luck resoldering a broken section of EL Film?

05-10-2010, 04:20 PM
I can solder EL Wire no trouble, but I'm having a devil of a time finding anyone who's successfully re-soldered a section (partially because it seems noone can agree on what to call the stuff!). Had a break in the middle, cut off the broken section...now neither part works. Might try cutting a bit more off and sealing it, hopefully the ambient moisture didn't get Too far in...but can I salvage the Other part, the part Without copper leads? It's parallel plate EL...
Here's the situation; I got a length of EL Film (EL Foil, EL Tape, Backlight Panel, whatever you wanna call it), but it was way too long and not wide enough. So I folded it twice - no trouble there, still functioning fine, and at this point it kinda coils around one and a half times; there's a section facing the wrong direction but no big deal, a bit of duck tape, a bit of swallowing my pride over the inefficiency of it all, but it fits the panel I'm trying to light (the buttons pad for a power glove, incidentally). I go to screw it all together...and it won't fit. I readjust a few times, and it sorta snaps in the middle; now it's sparking at the break, and only lighting up the first section intermittently. So I cut off trouble part, it works fine for a few seconds and dies; the rest of the EL Wire before and aft of the intersection works fine so I'm not worried about the inverter...I hear moisture's a problem so, as I previously stated, I'll try trimming and sealing, possibly baking the moisture out if all else fails. But http://www.luminousfilm.com/el_lamp.htm says you can apply power to the copper power bus along the side...I don't see one and I'm hoping they don't mean the end that already has a lead hooked up...

Anyone have any experience with this?

05-10-2010, 06:49 PM
I've worked a lot with EL wire, but never film. Unless it was to pull damaged film out of a Parks Saber blade to I can replace it with EL wire.

Though I did have a job where I was heat bonding EL panels to keypad circuit boards for Motorola.

That none of that means I can be of any help to you. Sorry.

05-10-2010, 08:26 PM
Oh man! If J-lo can't help you with El....

I'd venture to say no one can!

05-10-2010, 09:19 PM
That bad is it? Well, then I shall push forward the limits of understanding I suppose...-_-

Lord Dottore Matto
05-10-2010, 10:31 PM
I have tried it and had the best luck with (**gasp**) cold solder (that was only once).

05-10-2010, 10:43 PM
You actually got one of those things to work, LDM? :o

05-10-2010, 10:46 PM
Interesting; so there Is hope, is there? Just have to find my damn electrical tape to seal up the cut...I know it's around here somewhere...mercifully I've got about 6 inches of screw-up before I'm screwed and have to buy more parts I can't afford...

05-11-2010, 11:03 AM
Slight thread derail:

J-Lo, you said you had a job working with EL Panels? Do apple Macs use these to light up their logos on the back, or is it something else?

05-11-2010, 01:34 PM
Heat bonding EL panels for the back lighting of Motorola keypads was just one of the things I did at this company I worked at, my main job was solder touch up and inspection.

Those logos aren't EL, they are translucent panels back lit from the LCD monitors.

Look through this thread for some case mods that people have done and you'll see what I mean:


I'm sure there are more places to see this sort of thing, but I had just seen this recently, so it's the one that came to mind.

05-18-2010, 02:06 AM
Slight update: Shoulda mentioned the section I got came pre-soldered off eBay. You can guess what the problem was. :-P
So that's the first part back in working order soon, just gotta see if the bit I cut off can be salvaged...I'm hopeful.

Update 1 - applying the bare leads to the edge of the wire gets an intermittent response. Woot!
Also the usual EL Wire tutorial (http://coolneon.com/SolderGuide.html) seems to hold true: Under the colored layer of laminate is a layer of white phosphor and if it's carefully scraped away, fragile shiny metal...

Currently scraping away...

It is bloody difficult to scrape away the one without the other...a knife slices clean through to the back laminate, if I had a razor I'm sure it'd be as bad, an Emory board either scrapes clean through or not at all in one swipe...and the little silver line at the end scrapes off at the slightest provocation...grr...now I don't have enough left...>_<