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> Capacitor and Wiring Size
ScrapMaker
post Jan 27 2005, 12:29 PM
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I'm planning on getting another amplifier, for a grand total of 2200 real true RMS watts combined with my other amplifier...

now right now I'm running 4 gauge to my 640 RMS 4 channel, with no capacitor, and it plays the subs hard without dimming the lights...

what I wanna know is, do I really need a capacitor for my system? I have heard many people say that if you have a good battery along with good wiring, you shouldn't need a cap... I think I will keep my existing 650CCA battery up front, and add either a batcap or a nice redtop or yellow top ( I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about on these batteries.... ) in the spare tire well.

I am going to re-run my power wire. 1/0 is what I plan for the front battery to the rear fuse block, then 1/0 from the second battery to the fuse block to run both batteries in parallel, with the possibility of disconnecting the front battery from the system (to keep the car startable)

I plan on making a relay that runs off ignition power that connects the two batteries... this way if there is ever a problem with the system, both batteries won't drain... I can then start my car with the power stored in the stereo rear battery... plus if I were to drain the battery in the rear while parked, I wouldn't want it to drain the front battery overnight or something...

So:
1. Is a capacitor necessary in a dedicated battery stereo setup that will mostly be running two batteries in parallel?
2. Is 1/0 wiring overkill from the front battery to the rear battery (to keep the rear battery charged)
3. Should I put some sort of diode or resistor to keep the rear battery from charging too fast after a complete drain?

Thanks in Advance,
Steven.


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StevenK
post Jan 27 2005, 08:06 PM
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I think if you throw a optima battery in, you do not need the cap. You want to go with a Red top or yellow top depending on what you want in a battery, if I remember correctly, the red top is made to be completely drained, while the yellow top is made to provide more power output for large loads like subs.


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Heritage Z
post Jan 27 2005, 08:22 PM
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1. A spiral cell battery like Optima has much less internal resistance than conventional batteries, which means it is capable of delivering more current on demand when needed. If your alternator is up to par and you add a secondary battery, then in my opinion, you should not need a capacitior. Use a yellow top Optima for the system rather than a red top. The yellow can be deep cycled more and has a higher reserve capacity.

2. 1/0 ga. would be good if your system is going to be pushing around 2Kw of power. I was running 1/0 in my Expedition with 5000 watts pushing eight 12's.

3. The only thing you might want to add would be a battery isolater. This is essentially a high amperage relay used to disconnect the secondary battery from the starting (main) battery. That way, if you play the stereo for a long time without the car running, the system will draw current from the secondary battery instead of both, so your main battery won't go dead and you can still start the car. And when the car is running, the relay contacts will close and allow the alternator to charge both batteries.

Hope this helps.


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ScrapMaker
post Jan 27 2005, 08:27 PM
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so basically my alternator will die very quickly if I add another battery?

I guess maybe I should just find some way of making my stereo system cut off when my voltage reaches 10.8 volts or so... that would probably be a better solution... with 2 farads of capacitance...


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Heritage Z
post Jan 27 2005, 08:31 PM
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You shouldn't have a problem with the alternator charging both batteries. Because of the design of the Optimas, they accept a charge more easily than conventional batteries, which means not as much strain on the alternator. Do you know what size alternator you have in your car right now? You should be able to go with the 105 amp GM alternator and be fine.


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Jeff K.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
92 Z28 - 25th anniv Heritage Edition - Way too many mods to list. SOLD
04 Cadillac CTS - black on black, 20x8.5" Royale wheels, Eibach Pro-kit, more...
01 Supercharged Tahoe LT 12.85@105.9 (before new gears and updated pcm tune) on street tires and in full street trim @ 6000lbs -6.0 LQ9 swap, Intercooled radix s/c @ 10 lbs boost, Lingenfelter cam, LT Headers, true duals, BB pcm tune, Performabuilt Pro-Race trans, Eaton True-Trac and 4.56 gears, 24x10 wheels, 3/5 drop, LOTS more
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ScrapMaker
post Jan 29 2005, 10:37 PM
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yeah I have the 105...

What I really want to do is have both batteries on at the same time (when the car is on,) and then when my car is off, to ONLY use the optima... so I can park and jam out and not worry about my battery dying....

the only thing that bothers me, is to drain a battery all the way, you should use a deep cycle... however I'm mostly not going to be draining it all the way, and using it in combination with another battery always being charged off the alternator... its almost like I need a lithium-ion car battery!


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StevenK
post Jan 30 2005, 01:03 PM
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Use the yellow top like Heritage suggestested.


--------------------
1991 Z-28 - LS1 & T-56 Swap - 4.10 4th Gen Rear
ARE Stage 1 Heads - 2.02" intake, 1.57" exhaust, Comp 918 Springs
Thunder Racing Custom Camshaft - 224/224 .563/.563 114 LSA
Head Flow Sheet
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ScrapMaker
post Jan 30 2005, 09:43 PM
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what are the differences between the two? is one deep cycle, and the other is standard battery type?

I don't want to damage the deep cycle by running it off the alternator all the time....


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StevenK
post Jan 31 2005, 12:55 AM
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The OPTIMA YellowTop

Demand more from your vehicle? Then get more from your battery. OPTIMA YellowTop batteries are made for the extremes. If you have an extreme vehicle, you expect high performance. Whether your vehicle is made to take the abuse of off-road driving or cranking out decibels, you need more from your battery. OPTIMA batteries with patented SPIRALCELL? Technology deliver that performance. The deep cycle characteristic of this technology coupled with its extreme resistance to vibration provides performance vehicles with the repetitive power they need in a spill-proof package.

If your vehicle has a lot of accessories like running lights, high-performance stereo/AV system, winches, or hydraulics, your vehicle demands more from its battery. OPTIMA YellowTOP batteries provide the extra performance and deep cycling capability that your vehicle demands.


Taken from Their website


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1991 Z-28 - LS1 & T-56 Swap - 4.10 4th Gen Rear
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ScrapMaker
post Feb 1 2005, 01:44 PM
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yup I've read that... The site claims that both the red, and yellow batteries have this "Spiracell Technology".... and the description are almost exactly the same...

I take it the red one is the normal battery, and the yellow is is deep cycle?

for some reason the site claims that the yellowtop is a combination regular/deep cycle... in that case I'd say there'd NEVER be a reason to get the redtop unless its just a crapload cheaper


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92Z28BlueDragon
post Dec 18 2006, 07:48 PM
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I ran my 1800 watt system off my battery for a while and it did kill my battery (older battery) and fried the alternator over time. I eventually added a capacitor and then upgraded from the stock alternator to a high power one (can't remeber how much power though). Anyways, once I got the upgrade done, I did notice that the draw on the battery and alternator at a complete stop was completely done. It didn't dip anymore and I could run everything at once and not notice a draw on the lights when at idle.

 You could think about a battery isolator especially if your going to run duel baterries and dont want to risk frying the alternator to a mishap. The isolator does help in the even distribution of the power between the two batteries.

Best of luck on what you decide.

Bill
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ScrapMaker
post Dec 18 2006, 10:07 PM
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(92Z28BlueDragon";p="29739)
I ran my 1800 watt system off my battery for a while and it did kill my battery (older battery) and fried the alternator over time. I eventually added a capacitor and then upgraded from the stock alternator to a high power one (can't remeber how much power though). Anyways, once I got the upgrade done, I did notice that the draw on the battery and alternator at a complete stop was completely done. It didn't dip anymore and I could run everything at once and not notice a draw on the lights when at idle.

 You could think about a battery isolator especially if your going to run duel baterries and dont want to risk frying the alternator to a mishap. The isolator does help in the even distribution of the power between the two batteries.

Best of luck on what you decide.

Bill


your problem was solved simply by upgrading your alternator.  The capacitor did, and does practically nothing, except... cost money...


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89WHITEGTA
post Dec 19 2006, 04:45 PM
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is that like the flux capacitor


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ScrapMaker
post Dec 19 2006, 06:50 PM
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no, at least the flux capacitor gave people hopes and dreams


all the capacitor in a car audio system does, is cost money and look ricey


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92Z28BlueDragon
post Dec 19 2006, 09:02 PM
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Capacitors provide one thing, voltage stabilization.  When you're playing your stereo, the voltage at the power terminal of your amp is constantly fluctuating up and down. This is primarily due to the voltage drop across the long power wire corresponding to the fluctuating input current and the output impedance of the alternator (should be 14 V + or - at idle) and other electrical characteristics of your car can cause a slight AC ripple from the alternator itself. Just because you dont have a voltage dip right now doesn't mean you will not after time and constant use. A cap can substantially reduce fluctuation between the battery and the alternator. The only way to determine whether or not you need a cap is to measure what's going on at your amp's terminals at idle with peak performance (i.e Bass hit) and all accessories on (a/c, high beams, light, etc). If the flucuation happens then you might want to consider a high power alternator or a capacitor. The choice will be yours, you have to gauge the cost of the high power alternator versus a capacitor.

Good Luck Bill
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ScrapMaker
post Dec 19 2006, 09:27 PM
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using a capacitor in a car audio system is considered by most to be of little benefit. Upgrading your battery, wiring, and alternator are ALL things you should do first...

the voltage fluctuations will be much less significant if you have more power throughput.

recommending someone to run a cap because their lights are dimming, or voltage is dropping low is the same as telling someone to use scotch-tape to fix an exhaust leak...


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StevenK
post Dec 20 2006, 10:32 PM
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All I know is I was getting dimming, added a cap and its fine now. :dunno:


--------------------
1991 Z-28 - LS1 & T-56 Swap - 4.10 4th Gen Rear
ARE Stage 1 Heads - 2.02" intake, 1.57" exhaust, Comp 918 Springs
Thunder Racing Custom Camshaft - 224/224 .563/.563 114 LSA
Head Flow Sheet
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Greatone123
post Dec 21 2006, 08:18 AM
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this thread is the first time I've ever heard of anyone sayin a cap was useless...  I've always heard from everyone.. even audio forums that you get a cap before anything else... of course they say it depends on the bass that's being played...  steady thumps it does it's job, if it that dragged out rap bass then they don't help...


same as steven here... I had dimming got a cap and it stopped... that was on a 1400 watt amp at the time...
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ScrapMaker
post Dec 21 2006, 08:41 AM
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yeah, it can stop the dimming... but it's more of a band-aid than anything else...

I'm not sure what audio forums you have browsed through, but as long as it's not www.1337r!c34.com they typically don't condone the use of capacitors.

You have probably heard REPEATEDLY on many forums, especially thirdgen.org, that you upgrade "The Big Three" first...

1- Wiring
2- Battery
3- Alternator


Here is an analogy for what you guys with capacitors are doing...

Say you have a hose of running water, and the water is your bass output...  at the end of the hose, you have a valve, and that's what controls the bass output.  Having a capacitor, is like putting a ballon in the hose, right before the valve...

yeah, when the balloon fills with water, you will be able to have some strong bass, but as soon as the balloon runs out, you are limited to what the hose could produce in the first place...

in the case of a capacitor, you run out of juice REAL fast...

I've honestly never heard a true car audio enthusiast promote the use of a cap, unless you have maxed out all other aspects of your system, which I find unlikely in any of your cases.

If you are running 000 wire, with dual high-amp alternators, and a bank of dry-cell batteries, and your lights STILL dim, then you need a cap... there's no other choice, except going with more alternators and batteries...

I'd love some links to the forums that actually condone capacitor use... because I sure as hell haven't seen one yet.


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StevenK
post Dec 21 2006, 09:53 PM
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I didn't mean to say that I condone the use or purchase of a Cap.  I did mean however to say that they do what they say they are supposed to, and thats keep your headlights from dimming.

And yes, if you keep a constant bass tone that is loud enough to overpower the alt and battery, yes the lights will then start to dim again, but seriously, who has a system that can do that?

My system was only able to draw enough power to dimm the lights for short periods of time, any constant tones would have no affect.  So in my case, the cap was perfect.  No need to install a 2nd battery, bigger alt, etc, unless you really need it.


--------------------
1991 Z-28 - LS1 & T-56 Swap - 4.10 4th Gen Rear
ARE Stage 1 Heads - 2.02" intake, 1.57" exhaust, Comp 918 Springs
Thunder Racing Custom Camshaft - 224/224 .563/.563 114 LSA
Head Flow Sheet
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