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  • Installing Power Capacitors?

    Hey guys,

    This is a total newb question but I just bought a 1 farad power capacitor but I'm not sure how to install it. I know that I need to feed a wire from the 12v+ to the 12v+ prong on the power capacitor, but what is the other prong on the capacitor for?

    I don't believe that it is for the 12v- (negative) terminal on the battery, but I'm not really sure because it could be.

    I was thinking that it the other prong was the output to the amplifier and the + was the input for the 12v+ terminal of the battery.

    Please help me! Thanks guys.

  • #2
    The Capacitor needs a power and ground just like your amplifier does. Feed it a 12v+ from your battery, ground it, then run a second wire from the 12v+ lead to your amplifier/distribution block/etc.

    Hope this helps!
    Carputer Progress Meter
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    • #3
      Originally posted by TWBarrett
      The Capacitor needs a power and ground just like your amplifier does. Feed it a 12v+ from your battery, ground it, then run a second wire from the 12v+ lead to your amplifier/distribution block/etc.

      Hope this helps!
      THANKS TWBarrett! When you say "ground it" you mean to the chassis right?

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      • #4
        Yes, to the chassis.
        Carputer Progress Meter
        {[|-------------------]} 5%
        Research and planning.

        Car: 1991 Toyota MR2 Hardtop
        Stereo: Planet Audio TT4300 & TT1250D, Kicker Resolution RS6 (front) & RS5 (rear), Image Dynamics IDQ12V.2 D4 (2x), Sony CDX-M610

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        • #5
          Don't forget to place the capacitor as close to the amp you can.. (the wire that goes from the capacitor to the amp should be really short)!!

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          • #6
            and dont forget to charge it the first time, capacitors are dead shorts when they are completely uncharged, so you cna cause a HUGE spark, weld, or even make your cap explode if you dont add some resistance in there teh first time! we usually use a light bulb. when hte light goes out, the cap is charged!

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            • #7
              Err yea, two good points. Rule of thumb is, what, 18" max from cap --> amp? And you can use like a $4 test light from Shucks or any auto parts store to charge it.
              Carputer Progress Meter
              {[|-------------------]} 5%
              Research and planning.

              Car: 1991 Toyota MR2 Hardtop
              Stereo: Planet Audio TT4300 & TT1250D, Kicker Resolution RS6 (front) & RS5 (rear), Image Dynamics IDQ12V.2 D4 (2x), Sony CDX-M610

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              • #8
                I forgot to charge mines once. Lets just say I will never forget from now on. lol

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                • #9
                  I've never heard about charging capacitors...thanks guys.

                  How does wiring a lightbulb charge a capacitor? Weird.

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                  • #10
                    Yea please explain
                    -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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                    • #11
                      The test light gives a path for juice to flow through the cap, charging it up slowly... I had charged my last one but took awhile to hook the amp and stuff up... when I went to install my fuse into my fused distro block, I arced the fuse and it partially welded to the block! DOH! Definitely wanna charge before hooking things up! lol Ground the cap on the Negative side, get your 12V supply ran and hooked up but before you connect it to the cap, put the test light in series with it... once the test light quicks shineing, remove the light and hook the 12V supply cable to the cap... should be good!

                      Good luck!
                      Coach... aka Randy! (I often forget who I really am!) ;)

                      ***Too many pieces and parts to list... maybe someday I'll show'm to ya!***

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                      • #12
                        Most car audio specific capacitors should come with a circuit board to charge up your capacitor. Basically you hook it up to 12V on a test bench for about 5 minutes and it charges up slowly to avoid a spark. LED goes out when it's all charged. Now if you don't have one or it didn't come with one I would recommend checking out monstercable.com or rockfordfosgate.com or something because they might have listed values. I'm not at work right now but next time I'm there I'll grab one of my boards and check resistor values and let you know.

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                        • #13
                          its just my hope that you arent gonna use the cap for yuor carputer and only for the amp.

                          Caps are overrated in all aspects. Too bluky for what they do, BIG power jolts by milliseconds at a time, if you hit the bass with subs on a nice low droning note, the caps do nothing and it just drains yer car battery.

                          If you are worried abuot power draw from AC, windows, radio, amp and carputer. Get a dry cell deep cycle battery.

                          NEVER EVER EVER buy caps, they are pointless. When a second battery is only $150

                          IMO
                          (All done)
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sdashiki
                            its just my hope that you arent gonna use the cap for yuor carputer and only for the amp.

                            Caps are overrated in all aspects. Too bluky for what they do, BIG power jolts by milliseconds at a time, if you hit the bass with subs on a nice low droning note, the caps do nothing and it just drains yer car battery.

                            If you are worried abuot power draw from AC, windows, radio, amp and carputer. Get a dry cell deep cycle battery.

                            NEVER EVER EVER buy caps, they are pointless. When a second battery is only $150

                            IMO
                            This is wrong. You sound like you've been reading too much nonsense on the net. Caps are good for those that use them correctly. No it won't save a battery or an altenator and no it's not a miracle worker. But if you get a cap for what it's actually meant for it can take some of your electrical system load for most dips dealing with bass hits. So my take is they aren't great pieces of equipment, but in no way are they useless.
                            Georgia Area Meet Photos

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                            • #15
                              UM NO.

                              have u ever installed car audio yourself?

                              Caps do nothing to stop power load drops. A bass hit with a 1 farad cap and a 1000watt system will work until the bass becomes a drone. Millisecond charge/discharge of the cap makes it utterly useless in all but the most mediocre settings. Bass hits like a hip hop beat work fine, but you throw in some techno and some fatboy slim bass drones and your lights fade away and so does your sound. And in carputer applications a big explosion from a DVD could do it.

                              You may see caps used in competition cars and think wow they must do it, so must I. Competition people use them CUZ ITS COMPETITION and they are mostly sponsored by companies who make their own caps.

                              It boils down to cost really, 1 farad cap sets u back $100. Whereas a deepcycle battery that takes up no more volume of space than the 1 cap or 2 half caps, costs $150 and will work to your benefit. Powering everything including amps, carputers and subs for long after you shut off the car. Caps cant do that, they dont hold a charge when the car is off. Wel yes they do but a millisecond charge that doesnt get recharged never really existed if it does no actual work.

                              In a carputer/audio setup the computer comes first and a deep cycle battery is the way to go. Anyone i ever talk to about competition sound this and car audio that, dont use caps. Its pointless, deep cycle batteries wired in series can power anything you can ever throw at it and not get drained. And for applications seen on these forums, a yellowtop deep cycle battery wired to the car battery will SUFFICE MORE AND BETTER THAN ANY CAP.

                              Oh and caps are dangerous, cross the two points and BAM. Do that to a deepcycle... well you cant.

                              if you spent money on a nice car audio system, and a good carputer, take care of it. A cap wont do that. Not even supposed to do that, they are only there to MAKE SURE MILLISECONDALLY (mmmmmmm spelling) that the bass doesnt drop the voltage of your car and thusly DIM THE AUDIO, not only the lights. Keeps yer bass HITS from being pings
                              (All done)
                              iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

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