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Thread: 1600 watt amp install - need help with power issues

  1. #11
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    it also need to be said that higher power alternators will need to be reved higher to maintain the amperage listed on them-- don't expect to get 120 amps it at idle...

  2. #12
    Low Bitrate jake789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woofnstuff View Post
    get an alternator that can supply the power you need.

    will a 120A be enough? basic math....

    1600W amp@ 13V will ask for 115A in itself, dosnt leave alot left for anything else
    That amp only pulls around 70amps max. Also music is dynamic so that load will never be consistantly maxed out.

    A bigger alt is overkill for this system imho. I've seen plenty of installs with much more power on stock alts without bad dimming.

    I would
    1. do the 'big 3'.
    2. run a seperate ground cable to your amp (alot of dimming probs come from bad grounds)
    3. get a good batt to replace your stock.

    If you still get bad dimming, then
    4. get a second batt for your trunk.

    Note: You can upgrade your batt without upgrading your alt. But you would be foolish to upgrade your alt without also upgrading your batt. Keep that in mind.

  3. #13
    Low Bitrate jake789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius View Post
    It bears repeating: capacitors and batteries are only temporary storage. To power those loads on a consistent basis you need an adequate power supply and that means a properly spec'ed alternator.
    I wouldn't put batts and caps in the same category. A batt is a rechargeable power supply. Theres a big difference.

  4. #14
    Low Bitrate jake789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwfreak View Post
    What kind of battery should I get?
    I think Deka batts are the best value for the price. Otherwise Kinetik is popular right now but I think they are overpriced.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake789 View Post
    I wouldn't put batts and caps in the same category. A batt is a rechargeable power supply. Theres a big difference.
    I would put them in the same category. They differ only in their capacity.

    If the current drain for your accessory load is greater than what your alternator can supply then the deficit has to come from somewhere and that means your battery. If your battery is supplying power, it isn't recharging and will eventually discharge. You have to ensure that you periodically reduce your load so that the batteries have a chance to recharge.

    I will, however, agree on the "Big 3" and the ground for the amp. Those have the possibility for increasing the load on the system and pushing you over the edge.

    Also, checking into the specs for that amp, it's only 800W RMS into 2ohms so ~67amps at 12v (less at alternator voltage) so double my numbers for time calculations above.

  6. #16
    Low Bitrate jake789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius View Post
    You have to ensure that you periodically reduce your load so that the batteries have a chance to recharge.
    Just because you have your stereo cranked, it doesn't mean you are running at max load. (unless you listen to nothing to test tones)

    When you look at the average load spread out over the period of a full song, I'd guess you'll only average a fraction of your max load depending on the type of music.

  7. #17
    Newbie frankrizzo's Avatar
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    wow a lot of people posting...my suggestions are these:
    1.) Alternator-sounds like you are running a lot, verify the 120..perhaps bigger.
    2.) i have a cap...not the hype, the purpose is for smoothing power. amp has circuitry to draw power incredibly fast when it needs it...from where? anywhere that power is going. since my 4ga is feeding the amp and pc, the cap is my backup resevoir. yah, it'll take a fraction of time to replenish it, but it helps prevent the pc from experiencing any electrical issues.
    3.)for your power demmands, you prolly need more than 4ga, and HIGHLY suggest as short and thick of grounds as you can get.
    4.) upgrade the battery, just good houskeeping there.

    I have a VW, notorious for electrical issues...never had any problem. also never replaced my altenator or battery. Planned low power components. I am running fosgate amp to eclipse 12". I forget exactly. I have a 1F cap.
    best luck.

  8. #18
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    Wow, thanks for all of the input!

    I'm going to check out the Deka batt, I'll definately be getting a new batt to go with my 120amp alternator.

    First, however, I'm going to do the big3 and see if that alone fixes most of the problem, doubtful but possible.

    After that, i'll do the batt and alt if needed.

    Again, thanks for the input!

  9. #19
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    In my experience, the average power consumed with music can be as high as half of the maximum sustained power, with a bass-heavy track. That's because the music producers try to make their CDs as loud as possible using multi-band compression and limiters.

    A 1600 W output amplifier would actually consume approximately 2400 W if it's an analog one. That would make 200 A. Half that would be 100 A, comparable to a starter motor.

    AWG 4 is about 20 square millimeters, that's pretty thin for 100 - 200 A at typical lenghts in a car.

    But 1600 W into a bandpass box should be awfully loud. If I were you, I'd worry more about tinnitus than about flickering lights. If the lights flicker, turn the volume down!

    But what I really wonder: Why is no one measuring the voltage. Run some loud music and measure the voltage at the battery poles and at the amplifier's power terminals. Sure the voltage will jump up and down, but try to get a reading of the minimum.

    If the minimum voltage at the amplifier is much lower (say more than half a V lower) than the minimum voltage at the battery, then you have a wiring problem.

    If not, then you should indeed try a better battery, a stronger alternator, or a second battery close to the amp.

    Well how much is the minimum voltage at your amp's terminals? Could you try to measure that?

  10. #20
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    Thanks for your input.

    My amp is a class D digital amp if that makes any difference.

    I'm getting a new battery (Optima red35) later this week, I'll measure the voltage as suggested and post the results after I get my batt installed.

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