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Old 04-19-2004, 03:10 AM   #1
///M PWR 00
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Should I change my batter or get a capaciter?

Here is the setup I have in my car

(1) JL Audio 10W7 Subwoofer
(1) JL Audio 500.1 Amp

When I have the system up high, my DDE's and interior white lights dim out when the bass hits. Nothing else dims, not the speedo, none of the orange lights anywhere on the dashboard or anything. It's only the passenger side DDE's and my white interior lights.

A few places told me to get a cap, while others told me to look into a more powerful battery. I will do either one as long as it will def. cure the problem I am having. Which would you guys recommend? Please help me out I don't want to have dimming DDE's when my system is on during the upcoming car shows. Thanks
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:14 PM   #2
ca1242
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Short version:
Step 1: Get capacitor (1 farad should be enough).
Step 2: If step 1 does not help, get a battery
Step 3: Upgrade alternator with higher output one.

If you want more information, go to my website, I have an article on this:
http://home.comcast.net/~customcarstereo/ go to the "reference" section, then click on "electrical Upgrades:.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1242
Short version:
Step 1: Get capacitor (1 farad should be enough).
Step 2: If step 1 does not help, get a battery
Step 3: Upgrade alternator with higher output one.

If you want more information, go to my website, I have an article on this:
http://home.comcast.net/~customcarstereo/ go to the "reference" section, then click on "electrical Upgrades:.

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Old 04-21-2004, 12:32 AM   #4
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Cap may solve the problem if large enough

Hi,

The problem is that your lights respond the quickest to the change in voltage from your battery. How do you have your stereo hooked up? Is it on the same circuit as your lights? ...... If it's all hooked up in series (same circuit) then when your amp pulls alot of current from your battery for that split second there is a big voltage drop across the amp portion of the circuit. The total voltage around the circuit must add up to 12V. So, more drop across the amp leaves less less voltage for your lights. The lights therefore dim for that second. ..... If the amp is hooked up on a separate circuit than your lights AND you have a weak battery, the instant your amp pulls high power from your battery the battery voltage could instantly dip a little below 12V, causing your lights to dim. The dash lights may have its own voltage regulator which will protect and prevent dips in the voltage that powers them. Having said that, what kind of amp do you have??? I mean... the starter on the car draws like 60 Amps from the battery. Your alternator is also running and that is supplying power as well. If your amp draws that kind of current... you must have one really weak battery and crappy alternator or you can support an outdoor rock concert. Does your car start off your battery with no problem? If so, I'd say it's not your battery. The capacitor may prove the above situation. The cap just stores a charge. When you hook it up across your supply (12V) and the power dips because of the amp, the capacitor will discharge a little current to maintain the constant 12V. If you need to discharge alot of current (power) to maintain the 12V then you will need a large capacitor (which holds more charge). Don't hook the capacitor up backwards. If it's an electrolytic capacitor it will explode. Put + on the red positive battery terminal and - on chassis or negative black battery terminal.

Last edited by bearing01; 04-21-2004 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearing01
Hi,

The problem is that your lights respond the quickest to the change in voltage from your battery. How do you have your stereo hooked up? Is it on the same circuit as your lights? ...... If it's all hooked up in series (same circuit) then when your amp pulls alot of current from your battery for that split second there is a big voltage drop across the amp portion of the circuit. The total voltage around the circuit must add up to 12V. So, more drop across the amp leaves less less voltage for your lights. The lights therefore dim for that second. ..... If the amp is hooked up on a separate circuit than your lights AND you have a weak battery, the instant your amp pulls high power from your battery the battery voltage could instantly dip a little below 12V, causing your lights to dim. The dash lights may have its own voltage regulator which will protect and prevent dips in the voltage that powers them. Having said that, what kind of amp do you have??? I mean... the starter on the car draws like 60 Amps from the battery. Your alternator is also running and that is supplying power as well. If your amp draws that kind of current... you must have one really weak battery and crappy alternator or you can support an outdoor rock concert. Does your car start off your battery with no problem? If so, I'd say it's not your battery. The capacitor may prove the above situation. The cap just stores a charge. When you hook it up across your supply (12V) and the power dips because of the amp, the capacitor will discharge a little current to maintain the constant 12V. If you need to discharge alot of current (power) to maintain the 12V then you will need a large capacitor (which holds more charge). Don't hook the capacitor up backwards. If it's an electrolytic capacitor it will explode. Put + on the red positive battery terminal and - on chassis or negative black battery terminal.
Maybe an M3s electrical system draws more current which leaves less for accessories. It is a high performance sports car that is rated at 333 hp.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976
Maybe an M3s electrical system draws more current which leaves less for accessories. It is a high performance sports car that is rated at 333 hp.
The hp comes from the engine, not the electrical system. As far as total current draw, the biggest loads are accessories (AC, radio, wipers, power seats, etc) and lighting. Electrical loads for a 325, 330 or M3 should be similar.

A capacitor will most likely fix the problem. The main issue is that the electical system can't provide enough "instantaneous" power for the amplifier at peak loads (loud bass notes).
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:58 AM   #7
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Locate the capacitor with the amplifier

Hi,

If I were you I would locate the capacitor nearest to the stereo amplifier as possible. Connect the capacitor leads directly to the positive / negative power terminals on the amplifier. When the amplifier draws the extra instantaneous power from the system the capacitor will deliver the extra jolt of current to the amplifier and therefore won't have to pull it through the system or push it back into the chassis/ground. Also, Voltage or Current spikes to the system power supply or ground (car battery / alternator / chassis) is not a good thing for the other electronics in the car. Will be bad for both noise and distortion. Sounds like the capacitor idea is a must for most all big car stereo systems.
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