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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 inch sub in my 05 accent GSI. Ever since that I had it installed when I use it and I turn the sub up high my dash and headlights go(pulse) to the beat of the sub. Out of the cars I have owned I've never had this issue, is it going to cause any damage? A friend of mine told me that I should use a farad cap(i think thats what its called). It seems like its taking too much power from the battery, will it cause damage to the altenator?

Any help would be great, thanks guys.
 

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First you can try to upgrade your battery ground and alternator to battery charge cables, that may help. Then you may need a capacitor and/or upgraded alternator. How many watts RMS are you running?
 

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your system is drawing alot of power and your alt is trying to keep up, get a cap for it and add some ground wires, clean you batt terminals and upgrade your batt, optima or something like that
 

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a cap is a great idea<note the sarcasm>

why would you want to add somthing else to drain more power? im just asking.

you need a better battery, maybe some new ground wires.
 

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Do you not understand how a capacitor works on an audio system KrazyMikey? Or are you being sarcastic differently than I think???

The only reason your lights dim is because of the momentary load required for a hard bass hit. A capacitor doesn't drain more power, it just stores power and releases the power more quickly to the amp and recharges itself without putting a huge momentary load on the electrical system.

If your electrical system is grossly undersized then a capacitor won't fix it, but if you can run 85% of full power hits without dimming at idle a capacitor will generally fix things quite nicely.

Plus, a good competition battery will set you back more than a decent 1.0 Farad cap will.
 

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i know what a cap does. i used to be into stereos more then you can imagine. ive helped build and design 3 slap national cars. and mine will soon be at nationals for s1. but as far as a cap. if hes already having an issue, a cap will not help. if the battery and everything are functioning properly(there not if hes getting dimming) then id say a cap. i run my system with no cap, and have very few dimming issues. also note the size of what i have. no kids **** here. and im still on the stock alternator, and battery. but wheni compete i used an optima and a stinger setup
 

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I've built plenty of systems myself and if you're only getting dimming at idle a cap will fix it just fine and it does not "drain more power" it evens out the power requirements.
 

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i can't imagine that with only 1-12" sub that you are drawing that much power...it sounds to me like a ground issue. are you using quality wires? correct gauge? and do you have a good ground point? a little more infor might help...especially some specs on the sub & amp setup.
 

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Actually, what KrazyMike is saying is correct, he's just not taking the time to explain it very well, and chose to do it in a manner that shouldn't be done when someone is asking for help, IMO.

Many people use a cap as a means to cure voltage problems, this is not the correct way to use a cap. A cap is used to provide a stable power source, but it should only be added to an electrical system that is adequate enough to power your system. If you're dimming, somethings not adequate, could be you need to clean/upgrade some wires, could be a weak battery, could be the alternator or a combonation of any of these.

The first piece of advice 187sks gave is correct, look to your charging system first. As already mentioned, clean your contacts. Consider upgrading the wire from the alterntor to the battery, from the battery to ground, from the frame to the engine block. This would be cheap and easy, and there's really no reason not to do it. You can knock it out in an hour or two for a few bucks and it would be beneficial regardless. If that doesn't do it, upgrade the battery, Optima is definitely the way to go. Cure the problem before you add the cap. Then the cap will be in there to provide the amp with a clean, even source of power, not to act as a crutch for your charging system. This is the ideal method in a ideal world that some of us don't have the budget for. An Optima battery isn't cheap.

Now, speaking in reality (when I say reality, I mean on a poor mans budget like most of us are), if all you're getting is some very minor dimming at idle with hard, cranked bass and the wire upgrade doesn't work, a good quality cap will suffice if you're on a tight budget. It will charge rapidly enough between bass beats to supply the amp with enough power without loading the system down. If you're getting it while driving, this is not the way to go.

If you got a couple of hundred to spend (probaby slightly more depending on how good of a deal you can score), do both and you'll know you've done it right and won't have any worries down the road.
 

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its very simple. turn off you car. crank it up. and do you have the problem?

step two. turn your car on. crank it up. and do you still have the problem?

this will give a better idea where to look.

unless you are really pushing some serious watts, upgrading your battery might be avoidable.

i have the optima ultralight deep cycle battery (green top with side terminals) and it does a pretty good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah I want to thank all the guys that have posted what I should do. I had a friend of mine say change the cap too, I wasn't too sure. I'm going to change the battery since that the oem batteries are crap. It doesn't matter if the car is running or not the dash lights dim/flicker/pulse etc.
 

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mine dims a little, but i'm pushing 3000 watts rms on stock battery, alternator, and 8ga wires. they said for my setup i should be running 0ga.
 

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i know what a cap does. i used to be into stereos more then you can imagine. ive helped build and design 3 slap national cars. and mine will soon be at nationals for s1. but as far as a cap. if hes already having an issue, a cap will not help. if the battery and everything are functioning properly(there not if hes getting dimming) then id say a cap. i run my system with no cap, and have very few dimming issues. also note the size of what i have. no kids **** here. and im still on the stock alternator, and battery. but wheni compete i used an optima and a stinger setup
Clearly you have little idea of what you speak of.

A battery can and does provide the power requirements that the OP's sytem requires when under heavy load. It cannot however, recharge fast enough once sufficient stores are taken from the battery to provide to the system, and to the vehicle operations as well.

Remember, batteries take minutes and hours to recharge. Large volume power capacitors take milliseconds.

A power capacitor will store and release power and recharge in hundredths of the time of a battery straight up. A power capacitor does not have a "load" and therefore cannot drain your battery, unless it has secondary electronics built into it, and they are wired improperly and do not turn off when indicated.

To the OP - a power capacitor will solve short term duration issues with your power supply and your dimming issues. Regardless, when under long duration audio playback, eventually your battery will drain to a level too low and the dimming issue will return. This may take much time to occur under uninterupted heavy load, but it may occur. It is recommended to do some simple maintenance to your vehicle's electrical system. Clean both battery terminals, check and clean main ground, and possibly upgrade your stereo systems wiring to heavier gauge. Verify your battery's strength, or upgrade it to a newer slightly larger cca battery, or go the whole 9 yards and upgrade to a deep cycle battery or Gel battery like Optima.

For Power cap sizes, under 500 watt RMS, one is not required. 500 watt to 1000 watt RMS, a .5 farad or 1.0 farad equivalent to RMS power respectively.
ie: 500 watt = .5 farad
750 watt = a .75 farad (if available) or a 1.0 farad
1000 watt = 1.0 farad
1500 watt = 1.5 farad or 2.0 farad
2000 watt+ = Capacitor cell block or grouping of power caps.
 

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mine dims a little, but i'm pushing 3000 watts rms on stock battery, alternator, and 8ga wires. they said for my setup i should be running 0ga.

At 3000 watts (Max output or RMS)? I am surprised you see only slight dimming. I bet its 3000 watt "max", but actual draw is far less.
 
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