matt's mind

**here is the info for history's sake**

basically, the parts you'll need are some wire, an inverter, an EL panel, a piece of card stock paper (this goes behind the EL panel thats behind the screen), and some polarization filter.  oh, and an on/off rocker switch.

on/off switch -- … fqBQ%3d%3d

wire -- any small gauge wire will do (don't get solid-core though, get stranded)

inverter -- (it fits in the side of the DMG perfectly, and comes with double-sided tape already on it to hold it in place)

EL panel -- (the most economical solution i've found...  and it looks really good too and you can cut it with scissors or a razor blade)

piece of paper -- ....... (i know.. the hardest part of all to find...)

polarization film -- (the cheap stuff will work fine, and with the extra, you can tint your windows or whatever you want...  you are just looking for "linear polarization")

basically, this is the layering of the screen that you'll do, from top to bottom:

DMGs glass screen -> polarization filter -> EL panel -> card stock paper

you can replace the card stock with whatever you think is needed.  its just to be super-duper extra careful...

And, WARNING!!!!!  the inverter can, and will, shock you if you touch both the wires at the same time if its hooked up to the batteries.  I take absolutely no responsibility for you getting shocked.  just use basic safety considerations when dealing with electricity.

The inverter is powered by ONLY 2 of the batteries in the DMG.  i.e., 3VDC...  just solder the wires on the inverter to the metal tabs in the battery compartment (use a multimeter if you want to make sure you are tapping in to 3V, and not 6V like all 4 batteries would be).

use the on/off switch so you can use it to power off the EL backlight.  Since its tapped directly in to the battery compartment, this is the only want to turn the EL panel off without taking the batteries out.

since this EL panel is made out of plastic, obviously you can't solder the power lines from the inverter directly to it.  You'll need a crimp or something.  I bought a sheet of brass from the hobby store, cut it in to strips, then cut out my own little crimp things.  I could seriously get about 400 of these out of one sheet of the brass...  don't use a crimp with teeth on it, as this will pierce the layers of the EL panel and short it out...

you'll need to cut away some of the white plastic surrounding the DMGs screen, so the leads from the EL panel can go through.  DO NOT BEND the EL panel.  it will short it out, and it won't work.  Basically, just keep it flat, and you're golden...

I think that about covers the parts list...

if anyone has played around with this method at all, feel free to post pics or suggestions.  the particulars listed above can certainly be improved upon...


Is your avatar politically significant, or is the black/gold thing just chance? (Will delete post when you answer)

matt's mind

yes, it is (significant)

as i'm taking yours is as well big_smile

great minds....


Sort of at opposite ends of the spectrum lol >_> fkin capitlaist pgi dog

Edit: Cool tutorial anyway, I was going to ask, my EL keeps on intermittently going off, and I think it's got something to do with loose wires and shit inside the inverter box-thing. Are they easy/possible to fix?

Last edited by Tabaqui (Jan 9, 2010 2:35 am)

matt's mind

yeah, its a short....

you've got a loose wire somewhere...  it shouldn't be hard to fix.

opposite ends of the spectrum.  stateless, yes...  well, opposite ends of the anarchist spectrum.  we only disagree for the most part on what the natural development in a stateless world would be...  imposing capitalism would be awful in that system, as would imposing any communalist/syndicalist system...  i would bet we don't disagree on very much...  being that neither of us would want coercion to take part (hence, the commonality in the black part of the flag).

actually, ideally, i wouldn't be opposed to some sort of anarcho-syndicalism.  but, in a stateless society, the development of a marketplace (capitalism dumbed down) would be bound to happen...  at least in my theoretical approach.  don't get me wrong though....  capitalism is very savage, and the economic system called by that name now is hardly what i wish for...

to be honest, i lean more towards generic left-libertarian than market anarchist...  left-libertarian is just more inclusive...  from agorists, to Rothbardians, to radical minarchists, to anarcho-capitalists, and even anarcho-communists...  voluntaryism is by far my favorite political theory,

i could easily have changed the gold to green, or red even.  but, the actions of human beings, i feel, in a stateless world merit the gold.  its just the inevitable.  not the ideal, for sure, but part of human nature.


I find the idea of human nature unsettlingly constrictive though. We shouldn't always be constrained by what's 'natural': it's important to recognise what's positive and negative about our nature and make decisions which we think will improve ourselves.

It's no accident that many of the earliest anarchists were biologists (Kropotkin being an oft-used example): there are elements of the animal world that seem to contradict the traditional view of the animal world. I feel like the idea of humans as savage and individualistic in nature is an idea that's been propagated by those who have a vested interest in keeping us scared of ourselves and each other.

I respect your view and in my more cynical moments I've often thought similar things, and I'm by no means perfect, but I believe that systems of organisation such as syndicalism or just little things like forming communities that are kind and caring, could potentially abort the development of a conventional 'free-market' in a well-organised, stateless society.

Getting kind of academic though >_>




Back on topic:

Cool that you've made this info available Kitsch! Have you given up on the kits then?

matt's mind

@ Awol -- no, not at all.

expect some backlighting goodness in the next short while smile  the holiday break has given me some much needed time to catch up on some things, and get overwhelmed in what i needed to catch up on (design projects)

i hope this info helps someone out!


Ok cool! I feel competent enough to order all the parts and backlight my DMG without a kit, and I'd do that eventually if you weren't making them available, but kits are just much more convenient. But once more; thanks for the info!


Just wondering if you've given up on kits or further development of this after all, now that your RGBva backlight is available.

Does EL really have any significant advantage over LED?

matt's mind

no, i haven't given up at all.

that PCB is done, but just can't invest in it just yet...  the prototype works great though. 

they'll come when i can.

yeah, EL is awesomely consistantly lit.  absolutely no hot spots.  and the color is generally brighter for less of a current draw (more bang for your buck).

there are really advantages and disadvantages over both, mainly aesthetics.  LED allows for cooler tricks with the color (like, the RGBva), but, EL is iltimately more consistantly colored.

the drawback to EL is that it runs off AC instead of DC (hence the PCB needed).  however, provided you find an inverter to use, or design your own (like we did), then that problem is solved...


Hey kitsch, I'll receive my White DMG soon and I was wondering what backlight to put on it, EL Backlight looks great, are you still "working" on it, will you sell it soon?

matt's mind

yes, i am, i'm finalizing the order for the last part now in fact.  the circuit is done, here, assembled, ready.  the panels are the only part not done, but i've confirmed the samples. 

shouldn't be long wink


Hi, thanks for your fast reply! I think I'll wait for this backlight, can you just give me some details, like how is the battery life with this backlight compared to "classic" backlight? Is that hard to install? (I haven't soldered something since a long time, like 10 years ago at school), do you have pics with both EL Backlight and another backlit so I can see the difference? Finaly I guess you can only have one color with this backlight, am I wrong? Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Tsuki (Jan 6, 2012 11:35 am)

Milwaukee, WI

The only real question I have, is how bad is the buzz?  From what memory serves, there was a pretty grody buzz from these guys.

matt's mind

minimal in terms of EL tech...  i spent a while on the resistor values to get minimal hum.

it doesn't affect prosound output, didn't seem to the other, but i'll do more testing with actual equipment and not my ear at some point.

i guess i should mention, the PCB is designed with very small panels in mind, so unlike in the past when i'd use (or others) bigger inverters, this is a pretty small PCB 'stick'.  no overkill to it so less hum than the mod in the past for sure.