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Thread: Right size capacitor??

  1. #1
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    Question Right size capacitor??

    Hi i just purchased this setup:

    a pair of 12" Sony Explod 1200W XS-L121PS subwoofers
    2-Channel Kenwood 800W KAC-7201 Amplifier

    I am wondering when i get it installed at Circuit City, if i will need to buy a capacitor also. If so, what size? I have a 1993 Dodge Dynasty and it has a new battery thats pretty big but im guessing that that doesnt matter, its all about the alternator. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate mushin's Avatar
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    Wait and see if you need it. To test, point your headlights at a wall and turn your music up to the maximum you're going to be listening at (not the maximum that it will go ). If the headlights dim to the beat, you could use a cap.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate silveralt's Avatar
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    The rule is for every 1 thousand watts, you need 1 farad. So since you're pullin' 800. You can go with a 1 farad cap.

  4. #4
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    you guys are spreading mis-information. There are many different options that you should try before wasting money on a cap. First of all, you can upgrade what is called you magic three which will allow more power to flow through to stock power cables(get more amps from your alternator) and your second option is to get a new alternator that supplies more amps. Lastly, another option is to get a extra battery. Allof these things are much better options then a cap. A cap is considered a band-aid and most people that understand this realize that a cap should not be used.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate silveralt's Avatar
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    A cap will fix the headlight problem. I'm sure there are a few ways to fix it, but I'm sure a cap would be cheaper than a new alternator and battery.

  6. #6
    Newbie getonerd's Avatar
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    get a battery first or what is cheaper for you

  7. #7
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    Just because a cap is a 'band-aid' solution doesn't mean it's horrible and nobody should do it. I put a cap in my car because I didn't have the money at the time to upgrade everything else. A cap will do fine to keep things from 'dimming'.

    Later, start replacing stock wiring with better stuff, and get a better battery (in terms of cost), getting a better alternator is fairly pricey, and it's usually a bit of a pain to add a second battery for a beginner.

    Saying that using a cap is 'Mis-information' is kinda weak. You can use a cap if all you want to do is have some extra sound and not destroy your electrical system, especially if you don't want to start throwing money at the car.

  8. #8
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    Saying that using a cap is 'Mis-information' is kinda weak. You can use a cap if all you want to do is have some extra sound and not destroy your electrical system, especially if you don't want to start throwing money at the car.
    Caps are (IMO) a waste of space - they actually put more load on your electrical system because there's yet another thing to keep charged up, and tests have shown that they don't noticably improve SPL or SQ. They're very heavily marketed because manufacturers (and indirectly, the magazines that review their products) make a huge profit on them, more than most other ICE equipment (a 1F cap can be bought for 20, badged up as PG, RF etc, and sold for ~100). Serious SPL competitors don't use caps for a reason

    Upgrading your stock cabling under the bonnet is cheaper than a cap, not difficult, and actually does something useful! Failing that, an uprated (or even second) battery is the way to go, but in "Emerica2843"s case, 1 800w (probably peak watts) amp won't need anything like this - a decent power cable to it should be sufficient, without changing anything else under the bonnet.

    If you're interested, post 8 in the link below (which itself was borrowed from carsound.com) will give you all the physics behind why caps are just a useless tin can - http://www.talkaudio.co.uk/vbb/thread82678.html

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    But caps will keep his lights from dimming to the beat. And I would like to see your source that says that caps put and large load on the electrical system.
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate grimor2000's Avatar
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    I always hate these cap debates by people who for the most part either don't understand how the cap works, or just vomit up stuff they have read other places on the internet by other stupid people.

    A cap is not a band-aid, but it will not solve all problems.

    If your electrical system can not keep up with the demand of the system, a cap will HURT you more than it helps. Remember, your alt rating is not for idle, it is at peak (usualy ~1500-2500 RPM) so just because you have a 100 amp alt, doesn't mean you are getting 100 amps while you're sitting in a parking lot running your engine. Make sure your electrical system can keep up.

    If you have checked and you are producing enough power, a cap may help you if you have brief dimming or "pulsing light" problems. Your battery is not designed for instant discharges, there is a slight delay from the demand and the supply. And while your car is running, almost all of the power is coming from the Alt. Once again, there is a delay from the demand till your alt has time to respond to the increased draw. The cap stores electricity to rapidly discharge in the short delay from demand to supply.

    A cap is also a good idea to help clean up your cars power to a carputer. Most people don't think about it but it does assist in eliminating some of the brief dips and peaks.
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