S-10 Forum banner
21 - 40 of 60 Posts

·
Got Art?
Joined
·
8,971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I apologize for not making abundantly clear in reply #13 that it was a continuation of reply #11, and for the confusion over it's wording. Reply #13 should start:
"I forgot to mention in reply #11 and the following is in reference to it"
I would have preferred being able to edit directly into reply #11 versus a separate reply, while also using the later improved wording.

I suspect that in reply #16 you are refering to "over fusing" as well as the use of a circuit breaker, in reply #13. If so by "over fusing" I refer to using a fuse of higher amperage rating then is recommended. And breakers often slower to react can allow surges while still limiting the average current, thus better then "over fusing" and similar to using a slow blow fuse. I would however agree, reply #16, more protection where needed is better. With that the current ratings in reply #11, for those that would like to know some recommended values, are from a reference which I use.

My only real contradiction of the original post is: There is no need upgrade the stock small wiring when it is just as easy to go to the source (the battery) or at least to the where the heavy gauge wires (cables) that can handle the current end, when either method will generally do.

If however you are upgrading to a 200amp alternator then go ahead and put in 0000 gauge wire or double up on 1 gauge, it should only help. And if you prefer to change "your big three wiring" as per the original post and it's reference, you might also consider same for frame (or engine block or battery - ) to cab body, if intending to use it for a negative connection (grounding point) for everything.

Again I apologize, for any confusion over my input. Would you please point that thing somewhere else.
you must be vastly confused on the way the automotive charging system works, the battery has to get its power from somewhere, that would be the alternator, the factory 8 ga wire isnt big enough to support much more than the factory electrical system, this is why we upgrade the wire going from the alternator to battery, block to frame and the battery to frame (big three).
8 ga wire is only rated for 40 amps, even the factory alternator puts out 90 so they were going cheap from the factory, so if you upgrade to a higher output alternator you will need even heavier wire.

also 0000 wire is very few and far between in mobile installations and is for the most part impractical to most members on this forum. 0 ga or at most 2/0 is the largest nearly anyone would need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
Not confused and yes I do understand the charging system, electrical in general, as well as some internal electronic circuits. And I have done plenty of wiring including home and auto not to mention other, as well as building regulated power supplies and simple low power audio amps.

Alternator to battery, it depends on how much of the alternator's output is actually run constantly though the wire to the battery. 20 amp charge (commonly under 10 amps shortly after starting), plus 20 amps average for a moderate amplifier (about 300 watt continuous, more for peak or max) equals 40. If other accessories are connected at alternator (such as head lights, constant current when on) that current doesn't go through this wire when running, it's drawn off the alternator directly. With no alternator output (not running) the lights would draw through this wire but the amplifier would would not. The wire is also generally where it has airflow cooling it, not packed in insulation in a wall or under carpeting. Less average current plus cooling you can push the specs a bit. If it's just the current surges (the thump thump causing flashing lights) you need worry about, then connecting directly to the battery may take care of that. Some current from battery and some current from alternator output, recharging in between surges.

The alternator's negative is the case mounted to the engine, and the negative engine block to battery is generally sufficient as that also handles the high current discharge of the starter, even though under spec for the starter as is battery to starter. If your not using the frame as a wire then battery to frame makes no difference as long as it handles OEM that's connected to frame. Same goes for cab. Block to frame and battery to frame is just double excess.

I agree 0000 gauge is a bit excessive, but it was an example using recommend ratings for a constant 200 amp (plus 25 instead of minus). Unless your actually drawing a constant 200 amp you don't need alternator or wiring to handle it, but it wouldn't hurt. OEM alternators come in various amperage ratings, even as low as 35 amp. If alternator is putting out enough to charge the battery with all accessories including stereo on then it's enough, maybe just barely but enough. If your head lights are slowly dimming going down the road (not to be confused with flashing), and vehicle won't start after you shut it off, as said before you need to fix or upgrade the charging system, cause it's not enough output to handle all. Otherwise the battery can handle the surges.

My first choice is to connect to (and with) what will handle the current surges, then upgrade the rest as needed or desired, to better handle the average current. You can do however you like.
 

·
"Da Dog"
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Great thread!!! This is the very reason that I run a capacitor in my stereos. That, and they're good for troubleshooting if you get one with a digital gauge on it.
 

·
NOS make light brighter!
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Capacitors are also less prone to be scrutinized by the police. That "I use that bat to test my tires" crap only works with truck drivers.
 

·
Got Art?
Joined
·
8,971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Capacitors are also less prone to be scrutinized by the police. That "I use that bat to test my tires" crap only works with truck drivers.
never heard of that before, but okay, i guess, dan is the man so ill jump on the band wagon:D
 

·
My mirror hates my sub
Joined
·
9,463 Posts
here's some cap history for you guys.. basically the origin long read but good
and i didn't write this lol

caps dont do shiznit, especially a 1 farad..read an enjoy

After studying a little history on large 1 Farad capacitors in car audio, you'd be amazed that they even sell at all. How useful are they? What do they really do? Will a Cap 'improve' my sound quality? Will it Prevent my lights from dimming? Will it audibly affect my audio system in any way?

Before you get the truth to any of the above questions, chances are, you've probably spent $100 or more on one of these devices. However, let's study a little history regarding this issue.

A long time ago, in a land far away, 2 elves...Ok, Richard Clark & Wayne Harris (Carsound magazine and the inventor of DB Drag, respectively) separately came up with a solution to preventing their lights from dimming.

WHO WERE THESE GUYZ?

As you may know, Richard Clark is one of the founders of autosound2000 Tech Briefs, Carsound magazine, and a published author of the industry of mobile electronics. In SQ competitions, he posted a record of 1234 1st place finishes, and only ended up NOT 1st in his first event. I've heard that he had minor system problems, but judging by his record, he must have corrected it. (evidently, he needed a Capacitor )

Wayne Harris was previously a leader at Rockford Fosgate in their development. Later, in his free time, he created the organization we call DB DRAG. Wayne was the first SQ World Champion from the organization we know as IASCA (International AutoSound Challenge Association).

Both of these gurus are both legends, and considered the leading experts in the field. During their competition days, both guyz came up with a way to assist in the prevention of voltage drops. In SQ competitions, the look of your system is actually more important than the sound, and having your lights NOT dim under high playing levels is a competitive advantage.

As you may know, amplifiers are made up a bank of little capacitors, resistors, etc. What has been common engineering knowledge is that capacitors store energy, and more or bigger ones assist in balancing the power supply.

Wayne came up with the idea of putting several dozen 'little' (approx 100uF) capacitors on a circuit board to 'extend' the power supplies storage. At about the same time, or shortly afterward, Richard came up with the idea of one huge mondo capacitor (I believe it was 800,000uF or 0.8F) to do the job.

Eventually, Richard won. The large cylindrical tubes won over the complicated 48 caps strapped to a circuit board. However, what did this really accomplish? Let's start here:

WHAT IS A CAPACITOR?

Basically, capacitors are an energy storage device. Large, 1 Farad or more
capacitors store energy (electrons) between their plates. Capacitors differ
from batteries because batteries store energy in the form of chemical
energy--and rely on acid and lead plates, as the place of storage. For a more detailed
description of a capacitor, go here:

http://www.eatel.net/~amptech/elecdisc/caraudio.htm

Then on the right hand side, scroll down to CAPACITOR. Keep in mind the use
of capacitors in an audio system.

WHY DO PEOPLE BUY CAPACITORS?

The number 1 reason would have to be because their lights dim when their
system is playing HARD. In car audio, we are told that a capacitor is
designed to prevent the voltage drop associated with your lights dimming.
The number2 reason is that it is rumored to 'improve' sound quality or
'stiffen' the power supply/source.

WHY DO MY LIGHTS DIM?

Headlights brightness is in direct proportion to the source voltage. For
instance, if your car is running, system voltage is ~12.5 -14.4 VOLTS. Your
lights will be much brighter than when your car is turned off--where battery
voltage is ~12V. Most car alternators put out between 75 to 120 amps of
current. When this current draw threshold of the charging system is
exceeded, system voltage will drop as power demands are now shared by the
alternator and the storage devices (battery & cap). We are using battery
reserves beyond this point until the demand lessens

When playing your system really hard. Your lights dim because your
alternator can't keep up it's charging voltage (around 13.5V) and therefore,
demand exceeds output. When this happens, your electronic devices are
dipping into the power storage of the battery. Since the battery stores
power at ~ 12-12.5V, there is a 1.3 to 1.8V drop in voltage available. This
in turn is why your lights dim down.

HOW MUCH POWER DOES A CAPACITOR STORE?

1 Farad = 100 joules or 100W/second
850cca battery = ~2,200,000 farads

For storage purposes, you'd need ~2,200 1 Farad capacitors to equal the energy of your battery.

Due to its impedence (ESR & ESL), a cap's energy is only 50% available. What's worse, is that in order for a 1 Farad cap to discharge, first the alternator output must have maxed out, and the voltage must have dropped around 1.5 volts. But I thought a cap was supposed to prevent that (voltage drop)!!!!!????? Yep, you got the point.


IF A BATTERY = 2,200 CAPS, THEN WHY BUY A (PUNY) CAP?

My question exactly. Marketing is the reason why people buy caps. In many cases, upgrading wiring will help your system get the maximum transfer of current. Once that has been reached, adding a capacitor may have a minor effect on your system. 50W over the course of a second is not a lot of power considering an amplifier may draw 2000W to put out 1400 watts. Let's look at the situation from a resources standpoint.

Alternator 80 amps
Car accessories (minus stereo) 40 amps
A large Car Audio system (DRAWS ) ~200 amps AT FULL OUTPUT

In this case, you have 240 amps of draw, but only 80 amps of current from the alternator. In your case, you need 160 amps x 12 volts or or let's say 1920 watts of energy. Since a cap stores 50W, how much of a difference do you think it's going to make? A cap is basically a peashooter. W+e need a Howitzer cannon here, to do the job well.

Also, Once a cap is discharged, where does it get it's power from? The alternator, which is already overloaded. Once a cap is discharged, it's worthless. Like SWEZ says, ・.The cap already shot its wad, an does limp til recharged・ I知 not so certain I will allow him to babysit my kids, but you get the drift. (I never said it quiet like that... and oh...I'm great with kids!)

SO, WHAT IS A CAPACITOR GOOD FOR?

1. Audio Jewelry- impress chicks with large cylindrical shiny thingy
2. Extra weight in winter time
3. A very POOR... BUT expensive distribution block
4. A projectile in the event of a crash
5. Rolling pin--for cooking purposes
6. A neat thing to tell your friend, "..Hey man, lick the top of this..


Please do not try # 6. New hairstyles are always refreshing, but if you are wearing railroad tracks across your teeth, you might have one big filling after it痴 over.

HOW CAN CAPACITORS IMPROVE SOUND QUALITY?

They can't. Sound quality is not dependant upon the presence of large bulky 1 Farad capacitors. How many 1 Farad Capacitors do you think the Boston Pops, Aerosmith, or Snoop dog use in the recording studio?

IN A NUTSHELL.......

When Richard, our fearless inventor, became World renown for winning every competition under the sun, people began copying what he did. Soon, every 'serious' competitor had a 'stiffening' capacitor--not to be confused with the 'loosening' capacitor.

WHY?

In the late 80s, people began sticking out their tongue when dunking the basketball because Michael Jordan did. Did sticking out your tongue improve your dunking ability? Same here with adding a capacitor to your electrical system.

STILL A GLUTTON FOR MORE PUNISHMENT?

Here's the Original Cap Debate.

http://www.carsound.com/ubb/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20010126-1-000307.html

Phoenix Gold's marketing guru had just posted information on how their Powercore (basically the Alumapro CAP15 in a Phoenix shell) had both stabilized their voltage and improved the sound quality. Richard called him on it (all in another post) and the marketing geek was unable to quantify any of the conditions that resulted in the voltage being HELD at 14.2V and the 'improved' sound quality.

Please do not read every stinking post as valid. There are a lot of people that have had the efficacy of capacitors inbred to their minds, and were not (and still not) convinced in the futility of a 1 Farad storage device.

In a final note, Richard relayed a quote regarding battcaps ( www.battcap.net ) as, "..The audio industry is the only place i know of where you can publish specs that show your product is useless and still be able to sell them------and whats worse is that technically ignorant people will argue against the math!!!!!!!..............RC.." when referring to the product. This also relates to most digital readout capacitors, and I wish my Archie Bunker skills could have said it better myself.
 

·
Justin "ADIO" Wilkinson
Joined
·
121 Posts
yeah, im not much of a fan for capacitors, but i see people all tha time saying their lights dim or their car isnt bumping enough, and their instant reaction is "i need to buy a cap"
 

·
keepin' it simple
Joined
·
107 Posts
I had a capacitor in my honda before i got my s10. I was running a decent sized system kicker 750.1 pushing two 10" L5'S as well as a kicker 350.4 for my highs. My lights would dim pretty bad and when i got my 5 farad cap..... no more dimming. ran it for over a year until i got rid of the car.
It worked, no more dimming, i'd recommend it for a system the size i had.
 

·
My mirror hates my sub
Joined
·
9,463 Posts
I had a capacitor in my honda before i got my s10. I was running a decent sized system kicker 750.1 pushing two 10" L5'S as well as a kicker 350.4 for my highs. My lights would dim pretty bad and when i got my 5 farad cap..... no more dimming. ran it for over a year until i got rid of the car.
It worked, no more dimming, i'd recommend it for a system the size i had.
so you truly are what your name says you are huh? and you must not of read a single word in this entire thread
 

·
keepin' it simple
Joined
·
107 Posts
Running a capacitor is not a hack. I'm just stating the facts of what it did for me. You cannot argue that. No more voltage drops and no more dimming headlights. I agree that a HO alt is the best thing to do, however a capacitor will help :)
 

·
Mine Sweeper!
Joined
·
6,512 Posts
Did you measure the voltage all the time or are you saying you had no more voltage drops because you never saw your lights dimming? Capacitors smooth voltage peaks and valleys to the point that you won't notice the drop unless you're measuring it all of the time. That means, when you're low on power, the voltage will drop more slowly and rise back more slowly than without the capacitor, so your eyes won't be able to tell the change in light brightness because it's gradual.
 

·
keepin' it simple
Joined
·
107 Posts
voltage meter was in the dash. it would constantly drop below 14 volts prior to the cap. after it did not drop below 14 volts ever.
 

·
keepin' it simple
Joined
·
107 Posts
lol. like i said before this was in my honda and i no longer have it. but i know for a fact it helped my electrical system. even if the meter is "not very accurate" at reading precise voltage, it can still tell you if the voltage is dropping or not. and you know the cap is doing something when your meter stops dropping. And even if a capacitor does simply " smooth voltage peaks and valleys " this is better than doing nothing at all. Again, i agree capacitors are not the best way to improve voltage drops, headlights dimming, etc. but they do work. if you have a 20,000 watt system.... then NO a capacitor will not help you. but if you're only running 1500 watts or so a cap WILL help and i know this from personal experience. not from hearing it off t.v. not from a car audio store trying to sell me something, not from a buddy, but from personal experience
 

·
NOS make light brighter!
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Are there any plumbers in the house? If so, can we get an explanation of how an accumulator works; and if it possible to forgo using one by increasing the water pressure?
 

·
Got Art?
Joined
·
8,971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
lol. like i said before this was in my honda and i no longer have it. but i know for a fact it helped my electrical system. even if the meter is "not very accurate" at reading precise voltage, it can still tell you if the voltage is dropping or not. and you know the cap is doing something when your meter stops dropping. And even if a capacitor does simply " smooth voltage peaks and valleys " this is better than doing nothing at all. Again, i agree capacitors are not the best way to improve voltage drops, headlights dimming, etc. but they do work. if you have a 20,000 watt system.... then NO a capacitor will not help you. but if you're only running 1500 watts or so a cap WILL help and i know this from personal experience. not from hearing it off t.v. not from a car audio store trying to sell me something, not from a buddy, but from personal experience
how much does a 5 farad cap cost? and then how much does a battery cost? a battery will hold 10+ times the amount of energy of a 5 farad cap for right about the same price, now tell me it isnt smarter to get the battery?
 

·
Got Art?
Joined
·
8,971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
How much does a battery isolator cost though??
depends on what kind you use, but ive seen some for 5.00 and i think 30.00 would be tops for them.
 

·
Mine Sweeper!
Joined
·
6,512 Posts
and you don't have to use a battery isolator anyways. it's just recommended if you like to sit with the truck not running but still listen to your stereo for a long period of time.
 
21 - 40 of 60 Posts
Top