can i use a 3v miniature inverter with a coin cell battery to power a small square of el sheet rather than el wire?
the el sheet would be 2cm by 5cm.
Absolutely! The principles that govern the operation of el sheet are virtually the same for el wire. Lady Ada has a great overview of the tech.
If you are looking to throw together your own inverter, a possible IC for the job is the MIC4826 and with supporting components would only cost a few bucks. Looking at the datasheet and assuming a 3V input, it looks like you should be drawing ~30mA, although you will to test for your specific sheet. A CR2032 carries 220mAh so you should be able to get ~7hrs of runtime.
The only issue with both ideas is exposing the HV circuitry, which can be very dangerous. So tread with care and good luck with your hack!
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