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should I get a capacitor?

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  • should I get a capacitor?

    Just recently I took my 95 ford taurus in for service. I asked em to check the battery and alternator. They told me the alt. was a little weak. It's probably because of the 2400watt(Idk if thats peak or rms) pyle amp powering two pyle subwoofers. Some people have told me that getting a capacitor would help prevent the alternator from being overworked. Most of them said that 1 Farad is sufficient. The reason why I'm hesitant is because of what some people say about capacitors. They say that they are not worth buying and should just get a high end battery. btw, my have a the battery replaced just recently because it how many times I left the lights on, so it's not a stock.

  • #2
    The capacitor is more to deliver the extra power needed when the amp and subs are working hard.

    It doesn't stop the alternator from having to work its backside off to supply the power needed for the system to run, but it can help stop some of the peak spikes that the amp can require.

    Think of the capacitor as a smoothing device, when the amp suddenly needs that extra shot of power for a split second, the capacitor is there to give that little extra. But it is only designed to help smooth those little spikes, not deliver a sustained supply of power.

    You can look at having the alternator upgraded to a larger unit if the current one isn't supplying enough power, however that does become a bit of an engineering challenge, as usually you would have to get someone to make up a new bracket to mount the larger alternator.

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    • #3
      No you should not, it introduces further strain on the alt.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by hairyMerkin View Post
        No you should not, it introduces further strain on the alt.
        Correct. The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Thus you aren't going to be putting any less strain on the alternator, you're just moving it around at rates nicer to your subs when they need it.
        Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
        Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
        Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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        • #5
          TODO:
          -Upgrade big three wires atleast: alternator positive to battery positive, battery negative to chassis, and engine ground to chassis
          -Get a better battery (exile or optima, or something like that)
          -get a more efficent amplifiers (class D), cheaper than replacing the alternator

          You should measure the current draw of your system, and check the alternators max amperage (130A I think).
          What kind of amps do you have?
          Check my worklog:
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          • #6
            You should get 3 or 4 caps! Would suit the Pyle hardware perfectly...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WuNgUn View Post
              You should get 3 or 4 caps! Would suit the Pyle hardware perfectly...
              Very evil
              Check my worklog:
              Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

              Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

              "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
              because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

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              • #8
                Sorry...couldn't resist.
                My only memories of Pyle is from an surplus-everything store, 20 years ago...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WuNgUn View Post
                  Sorry...couldn't resist.
                  My only memories of Pyle is from an surplus-everything store, 20 years ago...
                  Well, to tell the truth, I didn't even heard of it until now, but their homepage is not too promising. And I think the 2400W RMS is on 18V, not on 12V
                  Check my worklog:
                  Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

                  Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

                  "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
                  because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

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                  • #10
                    I think 2400 watts would only happen if you ran 110V to it, and then only for a split second...
                    I think Pyle rates the amps at the first power up...that 'POP' sound you hear

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                    • #11
                      Caps are useless and nothing more than a band aid that doesn't work. A cap around 1 or 2 fared will help to filter out some AC ripple but will do nothing else useful in the the car audio environment. As mentioned already, upgrade the big 3 and install additional runs of power wire if you still need more. I also agree that your Pyle amps are no where even remotely close to their advertised RMS rating, as most amps in their class are not.
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                      Pioneer DEQ-9200 digital processor
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                      Digital Design sub woofers
                      3 runs of 0 gauge wire

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                      • #12
                        heres something to take to everyone that tells you that you should get a cap:

                        imagine that the amp and subs are a big bathtub, the alternator is a water pump, and the capacitor is a water tower.

                        when you want to fill the bathtub(make the amp/subs start playing), the starting 'jolt'(the first 'bump') of filling the bathtub is going to require more pressure than what the small pump, and water lines can provide, so the water tower releases some water to help keep the pressure up. so now the water pump now not only has to fill the tub, but also add water to the water tower to fill up what you used... if you start playing with the faucet knobs, and turning them on and off(what a bass beat is doing to the amp) it is going to keep drawing more water from the water tower, because the pump can't keep up with the high draw that happens when the knob is first turned on, and the pump will then need to send more water to the tower to fill it back up, stressing the pump more...

                        now, if you had a super large pump, and huge water lines going to the tub, the pump would always be able to keep up with you turning the knobs on and off, and you would not need the water tower, which will stress the pump a whole lot less, and make filling the tub a whole lot quicker...(by now, it should be come a little clearer with how a cap might help occaisionally, but will hurt performance overall, compared to a properly setup system)

                        like thewizard said, if you are having issues you should change the component(s), not add more stuff that will also require power...
                        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                        next project? subaru brz
                        carpc undecided

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dragger5258 View Post
                          Just recently I took my 95 ford taurus in for service. I asked em to check the battery and alternator. They told me the alt. was a little weak.
                          There's your problem- you told them to look for a problem, and surprise surprise, they found one! How reputable was your servicer? They may simply be playing to your fears and encouraging you to do work.

                          just my 2c but indeed avoid the cap.

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                          • #14
                            less volume?

                            The person who installed the system into my car did a great job w/ what he did. was great w/ hidding the wires and stuff.

                            Anyway, I understand wut ur saying and come to agree. My only problem is that I'm not really willing to spend the money on that stuff quite yet. One, cuz I need to be saving for other things such as school, car, etc. Two, if I intall an alternator and battery into the Ford Taurus 95, That would be a waist cuz I'm going to need to be getting a different car soon and I wouldn't be able to take the high powered alt. out of the taurus and use it w/ the newer car due to compatability. To my knowledge, you have to have the correct alternator for the right model vehicle right? sry I don't know crap about auto and I should.

                            Anyway, would just simply keeping the volume down help put less strain on the alt? I can live w/ less volume, but being so used to having the subs powering the music, it's kinda hard to go w/o em lol.

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                            • #15
                              get a optima yellow top battery

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