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The Hacksmith: Lasso of Truth With EL Wire

By The Hacksmith

The Hacksmith team has made a lot of recreations from the Marvel cinematic universe in the past few months, but with the recent release of the Justice League movie, the team decided it was about time to show the DC universe some love again. Batman is usually the first DC hero that comes to mind when making gadgets, but in this episode, the team tackles Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. Although the team is still working on getting the lasso to compel men to tell the truth, they were able to make it surprisingly strong and bright. See how they did it in the video below.

How Does it Work?

The lasso gets its brightness from EL that has extra voltage running through it. The wire is weaved with kevlar to give it some strength so it can actually be used as a lasso. The EL gets its current from an EL wire driver circuit housed in a flashlight handle, but the most fun, educational, and slightly dangerous part comes from running excessive current through the EL wire!

EL (Electroluminescent) wire has become very popular recently among makers and cosplayers. It is essentially just copper wire coated in a phosphor, which becomes luminescent when current is applied. The phosphor then has a finer copper wire wrapped around it which acts in tandem with the copper wire in the center to act as power supply and distribute current. The copper and phosphor are then coated with a clear protective material. A PVC sleeve goes around that on the outside to give the wire its color.


Diagram courtesy of Wikipedia

Phosphorescent materials are most commonly found in things that glow in the dark, like glow sticks. Ironically, the element Phosphorus is not phosphorescent, it emits light through a process called chemiluminescence. Phosphors degrade gradually when current is ran through them or when they’re exposed to oxygen. The manufacturers of EL wire have become pretty efficient with their designs. When used properly, EL wires can last for a few years. The Hacksmith team, however, did not use their’s properly...

By running more current through the wire, Bogdan, the Hacksmith team’s resident EE was able to get the EL wire used for the lasso supernaturally bright like in the movies. This drastically reduced the lifetime of the EL wire but looks really cool, so worth it. Bogdan made an EL wire driver circuit that fits in the lasso’s handle to run all this extra current through the lasso.

EL Wire Driver Schematic


Lasso of Truth With EL Wire

More DC Universe Made Real Projects on

If you’d like to see updates to “Make it Real” projects before they’re completed, be sure check out the Hacksmith VLOG channel on Youtube for updates!