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Thread: Orderin wiring...

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    Orderin wiring...

    I am curious what are your thoughts about putting a capasitor on the main power line for the computer and maybe for the monitor? Has anyone done it? Any recomendations on picking one? Do they cause any issues with draining the battery?

  2. #2
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoPCGuy View Post
    I am curious what are your thoughts about putting a capasitor on the main power line for the computer and maybe for the monitor? Has anyone done it? Any recomendations on picking one? Do they cause any issues with draining the battery?

    My thoughts? Unnecessary.
    Has anyone done it? Probably, you can always find someone to sell snake oil to.
    Don't buy one, that's my recommendation.
    No they won't drain the battery... Who told you that? And while we're at it, who gave you the idea that you would possibly need one?


    Capacitors are a bandaid to fix a broken system that will otherwise fail at some point anyway. If you're not having issues, you have nothing to fix, and therefore nothing to put a bandaid on in the first place.
    Last edited by malcom2073; 04-23-2012 at 02:41 PM.
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  3. #3
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i have recently spent a lot of time pondering this-- why is it ok to have a capacitor in a heavy load device like your home a/c unit, but bad for your car?

    the simple answer comes down to the power supply. at home, you cannot fix poor power problems coming into the house, so if your a/c unit is causing dimming issues, the capacitor is your only option.

    in the car, you have complete control over the power delivery system and the devices that are installed.

    capacitors have their use, but not in a situation that can be fixed by a correctly-implemented power system.

    also, you will not need a capacitor, higher capacity battery, or different alternator if you are only installing a carpc. from what i've seen, you typically need to be above 1,000watts rms before serious power system upgrades become a absolute requirement.

  4. #4
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    no one told me it would drain my battery I was just curious. I as far as I have seen no problem with my power in my car...just wanting input on the matter.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    I will eventually have 2 amps, screen and pc installed

  6. #6
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    How much power (RMS) are you planning on the amps being? It wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the "big 3" (http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/...TID~73496~PN~1), especially if you are trying to run higher load amplifiers.

    Do you have a work log yet?
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  7. #7
    Raw Wave
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    And house AC appliances do not have whopping big batteries attached.


    A car battery is the equivalent of millions (or billions?) of Farads.

    Hence why loads that need "clean" power are often taken direct from the battery.

    A cap would only be added near the load to remove line noise and reduce voltage dips for SMALL loads due to limited wire size.

    The proper way to eliminate voltage dips cause by wire resistance is fatter wires. Then there is no need for the cap. (Bu if you do use one, the rest of the car uses it too - just like most spike suppressors in houses proeect nearby neighbors too.)


    A cap will only drain the battery if it is faulty. They may have a leakage current, but that should be much smaller than the battery's own self leakage.



    PS - I'd argue separate feeds for amp & PC. But that depends on the amp & burp size and resulting voltage drops.
    And big amps should have their own local battery (ie, a BIG cap) which has an automated "battery isolator" to prevent draining the main battery - else a low voltage cutout so that there is enough cranking power left.
    Caps would only be desirable for BIG amps on nearby AGM batteries (eg, >~3kW with only 100AH AGM etc).
    Last edited by OldSpark; 04-23-2012 at 09:01 PM. Reason: PS...

  8. #8
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSpark View Post
    A car battery is the equivalent of millions (or billions?) of Farads.

    12V 62Ah battery is 12,600 farads. Scary to think there are actually 10kF+ caps out there, but they're 2-5 volts and have really high ESR so they're no better than a battery.

    But yes, everything else OldSpark said :P
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  9. #9
    Raw Wave
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    Hmmm - I thought is was more, but I'm "picturing" someone's quote...
    I was gonna calculate it myself, but that would involve searching for a simple formula.


    And it wouldn't surprise me if the other figure included the "farads" below 12.4V or 11.6V etc... Oh hangon, they do that with caps anyhow... LOL! (IE, you may have a 10F cap, but it only "discharges" down to the battery/supply voltage).
    I think I'm confusing my battery surface charge capacitance calcs. (If a battery has a surface charge of ~13.6V and it takes headlights several minuted to remove that to get to ~12.7V, how many Farads is that? (Heaps!) That also reduces a cap's usefulness since it's only useful discharge if from the alternator voltage of ~14.4V (if that), hence they are only good for a 0.8V discharge.)
    But let's not confuse me... I mean, those capsters any more...


    But thanks malcom!
    The point is it doesn't take a big battery to swap the effect of a BIG cap.

    Or would you suggest I use 1,260 10F caps instead of a battery?
    After all, caps don't have the 30% inefficiency of a battery, so I might save some petrol....
    And think of my improved acceleration (ignoring the wind resistance of the tonne of caps...)

  10. #10
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    I am trying to compile a list of parts to order next week…I am using crutchfield just for research…I haven’t decided where to get everything yet.

    Starting with the battery – currently I have a battery with a top post being used for my car but also has the side post holes. So I am thinking - http://www.crutchfield.com/p_211BASM...L.html?tp=2681

    I was planning on using a stretch of 2 gauge to go to the rear of the van from the battery. The entire length of the van is just about 16 feet (bumper to bumper) and it is 6 feet wide. At most I would need 22 feet and that’s probably over kill. Most kits are 15-19 feet on Crutchfield. Maybe if I got a 18 foot kit that had 2 gauge and added the rest from a piece cut from a spoll? IN this I will need 1 fuse. So I might be able to get a kit and then a small section of 2 gauge to make the full length I want.

    Now the next part I was thinking is this - http://www.crutchfield.com/p_211DBX4...4.html?tp=3001 – I have heard people say on other sites that going down in gauges can cause problems is this true at all? I have done it before on just amp installs and never had problems that I know of but maybe I am wrong.

    Now this gets me to the rear of the van. Only thing really missing is the fuse from the battery to the power splitter. What gauge ground wire should I make my ground. I always used the rule of the ground should be the same size as the power line. Maybe a 2 gauge fron the ground to a splitter then 4 gauge to each device?

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