A simple walkthrough of the most basic EL wire connection.
- Using wire strippers, remove about a half-inch of the vinyl coating off the end of your piece of Cool Neon fiber. Check to make sure you have not removed the two fine, radial wires. (If you have removed one or both wires, carefully repeat this step.) Remove the half-inch of vinyl coating from the end of the wire.
- Find the radial wires (they are very thin and silver) and pull them back towards the vinyl coating. Wrap about 1/2 inch of copper foil tape around that same vinyl coating so that the edge of the copper foil tape is in line with the end of the vinyl coating. The smoother the copper foil wrap, the better your solder joint will be.
- Fold the radial wires onto the copper tape and solder them to it. This just takes a tiny bit of solder.
- Scrape the phosphor (that’s the powdery white coating) off of the center wire, exposing the metal. For this you can use wire strippers, tweezers, or a razor blade (carefully!).
- Take the pigtail end of your lead wire or connector and cut one side of the pigtail so that it’s shorter than the other side. Strip both sides of the pigtail so that a quarter inch of wire is exposed. Tin both ends of the pigtail with a little solder. (By “tin” we mean, apply the wire to the soldering iron, and apply the solder until the solder liquefies and lightly coats the wire.)
- Slip a piece of heat-shrink tubing over your Cool Neon wire before you solder anything onto it.
- Solder the longer pigtail end to the copper foil tape.
- Solder the shorter end to the center wire.
- Slide the heat-shrink tubing over the Cool Neon to cover your connection.
- Heat up the heat-shrink tubing using a heat gun or other heat source, being sure not to melt anything other than the heat-shrink tubing.
These instructions are copyright FunHouse Productions and are used with permission. See http://www.coolneon.com/soldering.html