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Discussion Starter #1
i just thought of this idea today. Since caps "stiffen" the voltage for whatever is on the receiving end then would this help the electrical system such as the lights from dimming? i realize you would need a lot of farads in order for this to work well but it could be worth a try. Has anyone ever tried this? i dont think i will just because i dont have the money for a high farad cap. i also know that caps still need to be powered by the alternator which is also powering the amp. so let me know what you all think.
 

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I've said for YEARS that if you want to stop your lights from dimming, you would be better off putting the capacitor next to the headlights than your amplifier. Only problem is a capacitor is NOT a substitute for an adequate electrical system. If you are going to spend the money on stereo equipment, you may as well make the appropriate upgrades to provide enough current to your equipment.
 

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I know that there have been capacitor bank experiments. But, the outcome has not been really good at all for street use.

That said, A good battery(like the Sears DieHard P-1 Platinum specs here DieHard Automotive Battery, Platinum P-1 - Group Size 34 - Model P-1 at Sears.com is better than an Optima), a high output Alternator and a BatCap or, Kinetik battery should work really well. And don't forget to upgrade The Big Three, Battery positive (+) to alternator - From the positive terminal on your battery to the alternator positive (+) post
Engine block to chassis ground - From engine block to chasis. This is to strengthen the ground.
Battery ground (-) to chassis ground - From the negative terminal on your battery to your car’s chassis. in 4 gauge wire or bigger. You should use the same gauge wire that you run to your amps.

Remember that capacitors are just for bursts of energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ya that makes sense...i just had that idea pop in my head haha. ive already got the big three upgraded and my headlights dont dim because ive got an aftermarket hid kit installed so they have ballasts which kind of act like caps in their own way. the only lights that dim in my car are the ones inside like dash lights and im sure tail lights which i cant see so i dont care much haha
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re-do your dash to ground w/4 guage. That should help that one.
Where would that little wire be? I have a 1994 mercury sable.
 

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I know that there have been capacitor bank experiments. But, the outcome has not been really good at all for street use.

That said, A good battery(like the Sears DieHard P-1 Platinum specs here DieHard Automotive Battery, Platinum P-1 - Group Size 34 - Model P-1 at Sears.com is better than an Optima), a high output Alternator and a BatCap or, Kinetik battery should work really well. And don't forget to upgrade The Big Three, Battery positive (+) to alternator - From the positive terminal on your battery to the alternator positive (+) post
Engine block to chassis ground - From engine block to chasis. This is to strengthen the ground.
Battery ground (-) to chassis ground - From the negative terminal on your battery to your car’s chassis. in 4 gauge wire or bigger. You should use the same gauge wire that you run to your amps.

Remember that capacitors are just for bursts of energy.
Why would you upgrade your alt-to-battery cable if you haven't upgraded your alt? It's still capable of the same output as it was before you put in a new battery. If it is for looks, go for it. I feel the same about some who insist on upgrading the wire from the battery to starter, or main fuse block. If you aren't drawing any more current, how will larger wire help?:confused:
 

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"That said, A good battery(like the Sears DieHard P-1 Platinum specs here DieHard Automotive Battery, Platinum P-1 - Group Size 34 - Model P-1 at Sears.com is better than an Optima), a high output Alternator and a BatCap or, Kinetik battery should work really well."

Did I say something wrong?

The bigger the pipe, the better the flow.
 

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Where would that little wire be? I have a 1994 mercury sable.
Take a drill and a 3/16" bit, get under your dash and find a large piece of metal that is near the guage cluster(use common sense here), and drill a hole. take a hard metal brush or 80 grit sand paper and scrape the metal. You can buy a ground cable that already has ends on it from Auto Zone 12-18" should be long enough. Use a bolt and nut and secure it to the dash frame. Then, take the kick panel cover off and drill another in the inner metal at a flt spot that is 3/4" or bigger(you only need the drill to just get through the metal, again common sense) take the brush or, sand paper and get a 3/4" spot of bare metal going. Take a self tapping screw and a washer and secure the other end. Just remember to wire-tie the excess wire in a neat maner. Put your panels back on and thats it. It should take you 20 mins or less.
Good grounds are really important IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
alright ive gotten ground wires from shucks before and ive made my own nifty one too. i just needed to know where to ground it at. thanks for the tips guys.

p.s. ill post some pics of what my battery ground to chassis looks like. i think its better than a fatty wire.
 

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Just wanted to say.. No this would not be a better solution. The Stiffening cap is a reserve of power that is only good for a short period of time and distance. The problem is it's there to fill a need during high current draw, the higher the current draw the more it's affected by resistance. This is the reason long distance power transmission is stepped way up in voltage so it can have a lower current level for less parasitic loss.


You want the cap to be as close as possible to the high current draw to provide that item with its needs so the entire system does not sag.. To support the rest of the system and allow the high current draw to have to pull further back would make it orders of magnitude harder for the system in electrical sense.
 

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That is what a cap does, but only for peaks and only the draw it can cover. If your alternator can't keep up then it can't charge the cap back up after a peak, and the cap can't hold that much power only a short peak...is why it often does not work. But sure you could put the cap on there for the headlights and let the amp voltage drop, it would depend on the resistance to the amp actually it might be more effective with a smaller amp wire then the amp would not pull the battery down as much right? Not too small mind you.

Wire is resistive per length. A short run of small wire has limited resistance look at a fuse for example. A long run it adds up per foot not the .5" of a fuse. Wire has a larger capacity than sizes typically used for amps, we only use that large to limit voltage drop over distance. The short wires under the hood may not have much drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
actually it might be more effective with a smaller amp wire then the amp would not pull the battery down as much right?
the wire would melt or atleast heat up significantly if it was smaller. well i guess it would have to be smaller than 8 gauge to melt with around 1200 rms that the amp is pulling right? but ya your right if i limit the amp from how much it pulls it wouldnt hit the battery as hard but then the amp would suffer. haha just a new alternator would fix this.
 

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You are exactly right. Just remember a couple things; the amp will only pull max draw at max output, at a peak, or continuous on a sine wave. Other times it draws much less. Wire can carry a lot of current before it heats, in car audio we use much larger wire to negate resistive effects and keep the voltage up over the distance to our trunk. Typical is go for no more than .5v loss over 15'. The wire would have to be a lot smaller to actually get hot enough to be dangerous, to drop the voltage that much, and the amp would have to be at max output for a while. Voltage drop and thermal limits are two different things and both can be calculated easily if you know the draw.

I put a clamp meter on my kicker 700.5 and clipping the subs hard (420rms) managed a peak of 74A on bass heavy music with the subs wot car running. Playing music clean at the max I ever run it was averaging around 30 and about 40A at point of audible clipping and subs dialed up (that I stay under in use) and peak nowhere near 70A. It runs on a 5ga wire. Also I can't max the subs with music or I can't hear the mids/highs, so I'd never draw 40A on music I was listening to. If you max your subs just to hear them on a sine wave/bass track, then you would peak them out, but even if you actually have a high side that can make SPL like that on normal music you will not. I want to hear so mine is near loud enough on 70rms/ch but not quite. But with my sub setup I would need over 150rms x4 easy to keep up with it. Plus the subs are rated at 150rms each IB, so I could run a 600rms amp on them, that is why clipping them does not hurt them. I can't get them to xmax on this 420rms no matter what I do, but I don't care because they step on the high side so much as it is.

The thing about the alternator, is it puts out 14v not 12 like a battery. That right there will have your amp making significantly more power than many other issues take away, that is why it is the best answer pita that it can be.
 

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alright ive gotten ground wires from shucks before and ive made my own nifty one too. i just needed to know where to ground it at. thanks for the tips guys.

p.s. ill post some pics of what my battery ground to chassis looks like. i think its better than a fatty wire.
where at in Puyallup? What kind of set-up? I'm South Hill BTW
 

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Discussion Starter #18
where at in Puyallup? What kind of set-up? I'm South Hill BTW
i go to all the shucks but mainly the one on canyon road near 112th.


this is my ground wire i made..it looks like crap because the paint has kind of come off.. but under the mess is five ten gauge wires soldered to a sanded bare metal surface. the wire length is only about 8 inches from this point to the battery. i just sprayed some black spray paint over the connectiong to protect it from rusting and what not.
 

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Oh for the love of Jesus get that grounding job changed!!!!! 4guage or higher with a proper ring terminal bolted to the chassis...please!?
 

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OMG x 2. Is that electrical cord. ie lamp cord. A cap for the entire car is a waste. Upgrade big 3, alternator, battery (kinda). Make your own "hyper ground system" Thats it. Case closed.
 
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