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Thread: Second battery and isolater questions.

  1. #1
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Second battery and isolater questions.

    Well my install has become so huge and only getting bigger, that I may have to look into adding a second battery and isolator. Currently I have a OPUS 320, AMD Turion 64 x2, a Kino 690S1, 5 motor cycle amps, 4 screens, two 9V VGA splitters, and tons more. Basically when I start my car sometimes the PC will not turn on. I have to hold the gas so that the car has a medium REV and then the PC will turn on. I am thinking that my battery is not charging like it should because the PC is draining the battery faster then the car can recharge it. Forget about about having the PC run with no engine on, that will result in a battery drain in about 10 to 15 minutes. I am planning on upgrading my setup to a 8 screen setup and upgrading the 15 inch to a 19 inch and eventually getting a SUB. This all will strain my battery so badly.

    When shopping for a isolator and battery, what should I look for? I do not have room in my interior for a battery so I have to check and see if another can fit in the engine compartment. What are your recommendations on isolators? I see so many.
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  2. #2
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    have you thought about running a second battery and alternator

  3. #3
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
    have you thought about running a second battery and alternator
    I want to run a second battery, but a second alternator? Is that possible? I dont think it can be done with my engine, and if it can I wonder if it will affect performance?
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    I have seen two battery and alternator setups. It would boost the output amps you produce. Though not sure about your vehicle though

  5. #5
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    If you have to rev your engine to start your system, your system is already pulling more than your alternator can handle. Adding a second battery will add even more strain on the alternator and can lead to premature failure. Perhaps you should look into either a higher power alternator, or as someone mentioned above, a second alternator.

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    When the car is on, if the alternator is having trouble powering your system... it is also having trouble recharging your battery. Adding another battery to this, will just suck more current from the alternator. It looks like in your setup you need to either go greener or get another alternator.

    Technically it's possible to add a second alternator to any car with a bit of modification. Alternators aren't cheap though.

    Min. Alternator Continuous Duty Output Amps
    (At your planned operating speed)

    =

    Maximum Vehicle Electrical Load
    (for vehicles, typically, 40% of max stock alternator output amps.)

    +

    50% of Total Battery Bank Capacity
    (in Amp-Hours -- NOT cold cranking amps)

    +

    Average Current Required to Supply Non-Stock Loads


    That's the formula for calculating how big your alternator needs to be. Typically a stock alternator is 80-120 amps.

    Adding another alternator or switching to a different alternator does not change your fuel economy much. What changes it is the load put on the alternator by the devices. So if you need two alternators to output enough power for your setup, either way your fuel economy will suck.

    You could also do what I'm planning on doing. I bought a pretty serious battery... 85AH which is there to keep my computer running all the time. The alternator will not be able to charge the battery very much during a 15 minute drive through a city, so the battery will definitely keep getting lower. So at night, I'm setting it up so that I can just plug my car into one of my home power outlets and that would charge my battery overnight so every morning the battery will be fully charged.
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  7. #7
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcom2073 View Post
    If you have to rev your engine to start your system, your system is already pulling more than your alternator can handle. Adding a second battery will add even more strain on the alternator and can lead to premature failure. Perhaps you should look into either a higher power alternator, or as someone mentioned above, a second alternator.
    To add the second alternator is too pricey and not easy to do. I thought my truck had a HO Alternator, but it doesn't look like it does. With all the stuff I have, I estimate I am pulling about 2,000 watts. Right now I think my alternator is 136 Amps. The HO is 160 Amps, will that make much of a difference or is there a higher output alternator?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
    When the car is on, if the alternator is having trouble powering your system... it is also having trouble recharging your battery. Adding another battery to this, will just suck more current from the alternator. It looks like in your setup you need to either go greener or get another alternator.

    Technically it's possible to add a second alternator to any car with a bit of modification. Alternators aren't cheap though.

    Min. Alternator Continuous Duty Output Amps
    (At your planned operating speed)

    =

    Maximum Vehicle Electrical Load
    (for vehicles, typically, 40% of max stock alternator output amps.)

    +

    50% of Total Battery Bank Capacity
    (in Amp-Hours -- NOT cold cranking amps)

    +

    Average Current Required to Supply Non-Stock Loads


    That's the formula for calculating how big your alternator needs to be. Typically a stock alternator is 80-120 amps.

    Adding another alternator or switching to a different alternator does not change your fuel economy much. What changes it is the load put on the alternator by the devices. So if you need two alternators to output enough power for your setup, either way your fuel economy will suck.

    You could also do what I'm planning on doing. I bought a pretty serious battery... 85AH which is there to keep my computer running all the time. The alternator will not be able to charge the battery very much during a 15 minute drive through a city, so the battery will definitely keep getting lower. So at night, I'm setting it up so that I can just plug my car into one of my home power outlets and that would charge my battery overnight so every morning the battery will be fully charged.
    UM, did I mention I hate math, lol..... You are right though, I notice that when going on short trips I seem to have the issue. When i go on long trips, which I usually drive very fast, I have no issues at all. Right now my setup has a new battery, but it is a standard battery. As mentioned before the HO Alternator I am finding is at 160 Amps, the one I have now is 136 Amps, will the 24 extra Amps be worth it?
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  8. #8
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    UM, did I mention I hate math, lol..... You are right though, I notice that when going on short trips I seem to have the issue. When i go on long trips, which I usually drive very fast, I have no issues at all. Right now my setup has a new battery, but it is a standard battery. As mentioned before the HO Alternator I am finding is at 160 Amps, the one I have now is 136 Amps, will the 24 extra Amps be worth it?
    Theres no chance you're drawing 2,000 watts. 2000 watts in a car is 166 amps. When driving at full speed you would still be sucking 30 amps from the battery. This would drain your battery in less than an hour and your car wouldn't be able to start.

    I'm going to make the assumption that you're using about 1000 watts.

    Haha that's easy math.
    I'm going to go with some averages and do it for you...
    40 + 15 + 85 = 140

    In reality, if you're using 1000 watts at a given time and your car is pretty normal, you only need at 140 amp alternator. I doubt it's a consistent 1000 watts too, so you should be fine with your stock alternator when driving at a pretty good speed.

    If you really are pulling 2000 watts, I would love to see that sound system.

    I suggest you get a clamp on ammeter and check out how much current you're actually pulling before you take those numbers as law though.

    A bigger battery will probably be the best option for you.
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  9. #9
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
    Theres no chance you're drawing 2,000 watts. 2000 watts in a car is 166 amps. When driving at full speed you would still be sucking 30 amps from the battery. This would drain your battery in less than an hour and your car wouldn't be able to start.

    I'm going to make the assumption that you're using about 1000 watts.

    Haha that's easy math.
    I'm going to go with some averages and do it for you...
    40 + 15 + 85 = 140

    In reality, if you're using 1000 watts at a given time and your car is pretty normal, you only need at 140 amp alternator. I doubt it's a consistent 1000 watts too, so you should be fine with your stock alternator when driving at a pretty good speed.

    If you really are pulling 2000 watts, I would love to see that sound system.

    I suggest you get a clamp on ammeter and check out how much current you're actually pulling before you take those numbers as law though.

    A bigger battery will probably be the best option for you.
    LOL, I could be wrong, I am simply adding all the devices together:

    650 watt Sub Amp = 650
    Four 150 watt amps = 600
    320 watt OPUS = 320
    8 7" inch screens (currently running 3 but will be upgrading) = 56
    19" = 15
    then all the little devices like cameras and what not about= 70

    So thats about 1,711 watts. Now mind you I am not using that total all the time, the 1,711 is just the max that the system is rated to use. It may use less.
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  10. #10
    FLAC
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    The amps will only be using their stated watts if the gain is all the way up. The 320 watt OPUS is probably drawing nowhere near 320 watts.
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