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

  1. #1
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    Question 1600 watt amp install - need help with power issues

    I just installed a Phoenix Gold Ryval V8001 1600 Watt Monoblock Amplifier using an amp install kit rated at 1500 watts (4 guage power and ground wire) and hooked that up in parallel to two 4 ohm Pioneer Premier series 1000 watt subs in a band pass box and am noticing considerable headlight dimming and power drain and need some help figuring out how to fix this issue.

    I've done some research and found that testing the battery and alternator would be a good first step, and I'll do that later today.

    As well, some suggest installing a 1.5 farad cap, but others say that this cap will not provide the continuous power needed by the amp. Some say to install an extra battery solely for the amplifier. Others say to install a battery AND a cap. With all the differing opinions out there I'm not sure what I should do

    I have a stock 90 amp alternator now, and will be replacing that with a 120 amp alternator later this week. I have never had any power drain issues prior to installing the amp so I believe my car is simply too underpowered at the moment to cope with normal power drains AND the added drain of a 1600 watt amp.

    Would an extra battery alone solve my issue? What kind of battery should I get? How would I hook it up?

    Would a capacitor also be needed in conjunction with the battery or would a cap alone solve my issue? Should I go with a cap cell instead of a single cap? If so, what type/brand?

    Thanks for the help :music:

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    1 - Update your grounds with more capabile wiring (thicker = lower AWG).
    2 - Upgrade your battery to a deep-cycle unit and/or one with more amperage output.
    3 - Upgrade your alternator to one with more amperage output (you already specified that).

    It's called "the big three". Google it.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
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    4 - don't waste money on a cap.

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    I just read a very in-depth article explaining the Big 3 at this link: http://forum.sounddomain.com/ubbthre...e/1#Post312025

    I'm going to do this and hopefully solve my power drain issues. After that, if I still have significant power drain, I may do a 2 farad capacitor.

    Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    the biggest problem with caps is that they tend to hurt only a little less then they help-- its like a glass of water connected to a pipeline through thin tubes-- sure it keeps a reserve for when you need it, but once you use any of it, it takes a while for it to fill back up, and while filling up, draws that water away from the other things that need it (your amps)..

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate thewizard's Avatar
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    I've said it on before and will say it again, a cap will do nothing beneficial for your system. They are a gimmick designed to lighten your wallet. Ask any SPL guy and they will all likely have one or more for sale, the ones that they removed back when they first started out, knew nothing, and bought into the hype before learning any better.
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  7. #7
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Caps are purely a cheap bandaid to help smooth bad power until you fix the underlying issue. It will not help give more "power" to your system, though it might help sound quality due to dirty power causing your amps to freak out, but this is an issue which should be fixed regardless.

    Capacitors do NOT provide power. They smooth out AC ripple in a DC line. If you were to power your amp only off your capacitor, it would probably run for all of about 1/10th of a second if that. This is how much power "storage" a capacitor has. (purely an example, depending on amp and cap size your time may vary). So unless you're only pulling power for 1/10th of a second, that cap isn't gonna help lighten the load on anything.
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  8. #8
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcom2073 View Post
    Caps are purely a cheap bandaid to help smooth bad power until you fix the underlying issue.
    +1
    you said that the original issue is that all of your lights dim when you start turning it up. instead of imidiately throwing more money at it, try to determine [U]why[u/] the lights are dimming and fix the problem(it could be the big 3, but it could be something else too). while it is the harder way of doing things, it will prove to allow you to make a more reliable and stable power circuit in your car and you will have alot less problems down the road. remember-- that same voltage/current that is causing the dim lights also powers your engine computers-- and if the voltage goes too low, too much, it increases the chance of that going out(computer would see it as something like a constant brown out)-- and those aint cheap for any car.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcom2073 View Post
    Capacitors do NOT provide power. They smooth out AC ripple in a DC line. If you were to power your amp only off your capacitor, it would probably run for all of about 1/10th of a second if that. This is how much power "storage" a capacitor has.
    I've always wanted to do the math, and here's my chance.

    Let's assume a standard 1 Farad capacitor and this guy's 1600W amplifier.

    1F = As/V (1 Amp second per volt)
    P = EI (power = voltage * current) Solve for current, we have I = P/E
    Substituting we have:
    1F = (P * s) / E^2
    Solve for seconds:
    (1F * E^2) / P = s
    Plug in values:
    (1 * 12^2) / 1600 = 0.09 seconds.

    Wow, pretty close there, Malcolm.

    Oh, wait, he's looking at a 1.5F cap. 0.135 seconds, then.
    (Note: capacitors don't have a constant voltage/current as they discharge so the amp would likely get a usable supply for significantly less time than this)

    That being said, going back to I = P/E
    1600 / 12 = 133 Amps. Off a 90 Amp alternator. Uh-huh.
    (Note: if 1600W is the RMS supply to the speakers at max output, then the drain on the electrical system is actually much worse as the amp is not 100% efficient)

    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.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Woofnstuff's Avatar
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    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

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