what was the question? =\
did you add your headlights? your rail lights... your horn?
I think this question is pointless...
I'm trying to see if I'm going to need to upgrade my alternator, so I am figuring out how much extra wattage I have for a system...
currently I have a 105 amp alternator.
I'm guessing my climate control takes up about 200watts.
my component amp takes up 460wrms
my carputer has a 150watt PSU
leaves me with 660w to work with. Is this how you can see how many watts you have to work with? I'm wanting to run a 1000watt amp, so I'm guessing I'll need an upgrade?
You need a lot more data. For instance, your car uses a big ol' chunk of power to provide spark for the sparkplugs. Electric fuel pump, electric windows, stereo (your stereo probably pulls 50-100 watts alone), ECU...
The question isn't pointless, it's just a lot more complicated to answer. Also, you need to account for inefficiencies. Your 460 watt RMS output amp doesn't put out 460 watts at 12 volts, for example. So you need more calculation.
Better yet, get everything running, the go to the local Autozone or car parts place of choice that offers free alternator checks. They'll hook up to your system and figure out what type of load your alternator has and whether it's charging, etc, then try and sell you a bigger one. The important part is, you won't have your car die in the middle of the freeway like if you try Never_stock's method.
I kid, I know N_S was suggesting to gauge the charge with equipment, but I can't resist poking fun. You see, I actually HAVE had a car die in the middle of driving because of electrical exhaustion. What many people don't realize is that an alternator uses electromagnets to control the charge rate, which means that for it to generate power, it needs to have a enough power to charge up the coils in the first place. This is why you can't push-start a totally dead car, the armature can spin as much as it wants, but if there isn't a charged field, it won't make power.
Consequently, my 1973 Toyota Celica that ran itself dry of power (the alternator lost effectiveness, then the engine ran off the battery until it was dead dead dead (like marley)) and then couldn't be push started, even thought I had turned off all the fans, stereo, lights, etc.
If you think it's pointless then don't reply. Actually, there is nothing pointless about the question. I purposely did not add my headlights because I just won't use all the power at night when my head lights are on. My horn? If I'm honking my horn, usually I don't have my system up all the way, or care about a minor dimming in my lights.Originally Posted by never_stock
well, your amplifiers will never draw full power, unless you're driving around playing sinewaves...Originally Posted by XxAndyxX
you're computer won't draw 150watts, unless you're completely hammering the harddrive, and CPU...
and you're climate control won't draw... whats climate control? =\ and why does it need 200watts? =\=\
I didn't pull the pumps into account because I thought it used mechanical energy from the engine. I didn't pull sparkplugs in accounts because I figured it took virtually no amount of watts to make a small spark. I didn't even know the alternator was involved with the spark plugs because on my motorcycle I don't have an alternator or a battery. I thought the only time the alternator was used on the engine was when it starts it pulls a massive amount of wattage (about 300+ watts) from the alternator to crank the pistons.
A/COriginally Posted by never_stock
not going to take 200watts... 100 maybe.. the AC compressor is driven by the engine... some cars have an extra fan in the engine bay that comes on with the AC I believe... apart from that, there's a fan in the car, and thats about it.Originally Posted by XxAndyxX