battery gage doing the river dance | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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battery gage doing the river dance

riverst

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Joined
July 5, 2003
Messages
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City, State
Hampton, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer Sport
My battery gage jumps when the bass hits. ive tried everything i can think of, but no solution.

I have:
sony deck (CDX-C5000x-HU)
Blaupunkt (5x7) in the doors
Rockford punch amp (X200.4) for the door speakers.
Rockford CAP 1/2 farad 16vDC
Sony amp (XM 2150GSX)-380wx1, 150wx2 2 channel for my sub's
I only have 150 w to the subs.
2 JL Audio W3's in a sealed box

I dont wanna play the guessing game and start spending unecessary money on things I dont need. ex. Battery, alternator...etc.

Please help.
 



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I am sorry I can not help you, but I love the title of this thread. :)
 






if it is the original alternator it may be time for a change but sounds like you need capaciators
 






you can do a couple of things to fix the problem. i had the same problem with my ranger before i recked it and took the subs out. u can either put a heavy duty alternator on, run a seperate battery for the amp or get a capaciator. in my opion i would do all three incase u decide to upgrade later down the road you will already have it setup
 






Run thicker wire. Add another ground to your battery from your engine block AND another point on your body.

Run thicker wire from stock alternator.
If all else fails:
Alternator alternator alternator alternator.

Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Capacitance, unless you have an excessive amount, wont do jack.
 






no the voltage gauge doing the jumping around is not due to a lack of output to the system it is due to the fact that the voltage regulator can't compensate fast enough. you need capaciators
 






Billy177 said:
no the voltage gauge doing the jumping around is not due to a lack of output to the system it is due to the fact that the voltage regulator can't compensate fast enough. you need capaciators
I'll put money down the difference he is seeing is between 12.5v (battery) and 13.4-13.6v (alternator).

His alt cannot supply the necessary amperage so his voltage drops till the battery is being drawn from. The alternator is going to compensate for the load almost instantenously.

Capacitors are a marketing scheme, nothing more, unless you have farad #s in the double digits.

He needs a strong charging system, not a stronger dishcharge system. There are very few situations where capacitence is necessary, and this is not one of them.
 






For an amplifier to be able to produce power, it must consume power. In the case of the car audio system, we are limited to about 12V (up to 14.4V in some vehicles). Given even the most efficient Class-D amplifiers, operating at over 80% efficiency, we need about one-Amp of current for every 10W being produced. So, a 1,000W amp requires about 100-Amps of current. Remember, this is an approximation and depends greatly on the efficiency of your amplifier.

Ohms law states that for every Amp of current flowing through an Ohm of resistance, one Volt will be dropped across the load. If we double the current, we get more voltage drop. Conventional lead-acid batteries have somewhat high internal resistances, which is why the output voltage drops as the current draw increases. If you put an analog voltmeter on your car’s battery as you start it, you will see the voltage drop from 13.6V down to the mid 11s while the starter motor is running. It’s also the same reason why our headlights and dash lights dim when a stereo is drawing large amounts of current from the electrical system.

A capacitor is similar to a battery in that it can store an electrical charge. However, its internal resistance is much lower than that of a battery, so the voltage drop when large amounts of current are drawn from it are much smaller, almost negligible.

The other problem with batteries is that there is a limit to how much current can be drawn instantaneously. Batteries are slow-motion devices; meant to store a charge for a long time. A capacitor is the opposite. It can completely discharge itself almost instantaneously, given the correct load conditions.

So what does this do for us? A capacitor is installed in parallel with the battery, preferably as close as possible to your amplifier. When the amplifier requires a great deal of instantaneous current (more than the battery can supply), the capacitor supplies it. This helps improve the transient (dynamic) response of the amp, but doesn’t help in long-term (more than a second) power delivery.

the rest is here http://www.pasmag.com/news/get.asp?ID=457&tsectionkey=
since it only drops for a second when the base hits and the base is only drawing 12.5 amps this is all you need. an example of this is if you turn your lights on the battery gauge will drop for a second then come back up, this is the voltage regulator telling the alternator to put out more juice
 






Alright, fine, don't listen to me, what do I know... I have only installed countless stereos between 500w and 2500w...

His system is producing 100w into the doors and 300w into the subs (lets assume his gain is set properly to reference)
Now, he is using class a/b amps on everything, so lets assume 50% efficiency.
We're up to 800w draw. His voltage is dropping. Lets assume its running at 13.5v.
When his system hits and his highs are going, he is drawing 59.26 amps. Now, his voltage drops on the hit, lets say down to 12.5v, so now he draws 64 amps to produce the same power.

Whats the explorer's stock alternator? 110a? My best guess is that on a nice hot day at idle with the A/C etc going you are using 75 amps. Now the alternator is hot, so it isn't going to produce full power.... so we'll say it can produce 100a. Good. Now lets do some simple math.
His Bass hits.... 59.26+75 = 134.26
His alternator reacts, but can only pump out 100a.
Now the current draw surges to 139 because of the voltage drop.
So, now the battery is supplying 39 amps. Not a good situation.

And if you think the alternator cannot respond to bass passages like those in outkast's elevators, or something of that nature, you are out of your mind.

I think I have made my point, his charging system is probably insufficient and he should upgrade his alt if everything else wiring wise is up to par.
 






http://audioforum.termpro.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=22;t=002833

and:


Why caps are advantageous....

1. They discharge and recharge very quickly allowing for greater stability in voltage.

2. They can fit where a battery cannot. And may offer some amount of help to the charging system.

3. They can make a shop and salesman allot of money because mark up is usually 100%

4. They will not vent hazardous gasses

Why caps are a disadvantagous.

1. They cannot store enough energy to keep up with the demands of the bass notes in today's music. Eg. rap. techno etc.

2. Once the small amount of energy in them has been depleted they only become a greater load on the electrical system, this also happens when the amplifier is drawing large amounts of current, making the matter even worse.

3. They are not by any means cost effective, they are expensive.

4. They do hurt SPL as they become discharged and a drain on the electrical system within the first few milli-seconds of the "burp" before the meter actually reads the SPL.
 






Get an optima redtop battery and possibly a capacitor. or, to fix things all together get a larger alternator, something around 180-200
 






maybe you'll listen to me-

CAPACITORS will only be a crappy band-aid on this problem. they may stabilize things just a bit- but the alternator will still have to work just as hard and will wear out. The amount of charge stored in even a 5 farad cap isn't enough to relieve the alt of the task at hand.

I too have installed COUNTLESS stereos- and besides promoting caps would be an easy way for me to make more money (since the mark-up on them is huge) so its not like i have motivation to be anti-capacitor.

also- as for batteries in the vehicle instead of caps... I run two svr 80-12 batteries in the rear isolated from the front by a PAC 200 amp isolator. they work wonderfully, i can play my system at reasonable levels for 4-5 hours watching movies at shows with the truck off, and at the same time they respond very quickly to the demands placed on them by my 6 amps (3000 rms total) in the course of playing music. the response is in real time and is never "slow" or delayed. the amps are provided with the continuous power they need to play entire songs at obscene sound levels/amp draws.


The solution to your problem is going to be an upgraded alternator and/or a better starting battery or possible an auxiliary battery. If the starter battery in your truck is old and is questionable i'd start there. If it is a newer battery i'd upgrade the alt first. I have my stock 130 amp alternator i'd sell for dirt cheap (assuming you have the smaller one factory) and it might just be enough to fix your problem (i know i ran 1800 rms with it for a few months with no dimming or voltage fluctuation)
 






Although, a new alternator, a better starting battery, AND a *batcap* wouldn't hurt :)
 






on that topic i have a used batcap 300 laying around too i'd sell for cheap
 






whats a bat cap? i got the same problem and am thinking about a new alternator and aux. battery. I dont want to stick a battery inside cause my whole system is stealth thus far and i dont want to ruin it by doing that. would love to do another under the hood but dont know where i could squeeze one in :( expo, would the stock 5.0 one work on mine? i have the ohv...
 






my understanding is that it will fit in the ohv, however i'm not absolutely certain. I have access to a ohv 95 though and i could test fit. or we can ask around on here.
 






that would be cool. ill look around and see what i can find. i see that they are pretty cheap on ebay like $20...would that make a big difference for me?
 






nweibley said:
Although, a new alternator, a better starting battery, AND a *batcap* wouldn't hurt :)

I was thinking of getting a BatCap... the guy recomended the 800 model of what he had for the power output i was doing (3000+/- rms).
The only problem i saw was that the BatCap costed just as much, if not more, than a new battery, so im going to try to get me a Optima Yellow Top D31A and if that doesnt fix the problem then im going to a BatCap... Then an alternator (180amps or more) if that still doesnt fix it

My problem is that i cant go past 4 bars on my Sony deck without the battery meter dropping (bass boost is pointing directly left, so im guessing 1/3 boost?). thats really low, some CD's i need to get to atleast 6 bars to hear the vocals clearly (may be another reason to swap out to aftermarket door speakers, but the factory premium JBL's are fine thus far).

So far I've regrounded the battery with 4 guage wire (made the stereo work a little bit better, I was actualy able to get to the 5th bar without boost and no dimming so i altered the HU's built in EQ to get a little more out),ran 0 guage for my sub amp and 8 guage for my doors amp (i think i need to change out my doors amp, i think its over rated and sucks a crap load of power. When i first installed it the deck would cut out because of the draw on that amp on its own, could of been the remote wire as i found that to be a problem later on, but i still blame the amp)
 






Fish Man said:
whats a bat cap? i got the same problem and am thinking about a new alternator and aux. battery. I dont want to stick a battery inside cause my whole system is stealth thus far and i dont want to ruin it by doing that. would love to do another under the hood but dont know where i could squeeze one in :( expo, would the stock 5.0 one work on mine? i have the ohv...


a BatCap is like a battery capacitor... stores a charge like a battery but uses it like a capacitor. plus its smaller than a battery and can be mounted anywhere like a capacitor.

well just check out this link and read for yourself... $170 gets you a 100farad capacitor/ 300amp battery (batcap)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4950&item=5722709026&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
 



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I agree fully with this:
dom said:
If I were to upgrade an electrical system....I would take these steps and see just how far you need to go in order to take care of the problem.

1. Upgrade positive from the alt to battery.
2. Upgrade negative from the alt to frame.
3. Upgrade negative from the battery to frame.
4. Upgrade the alternator
5. Upgrade batterie(s)
6. Get big cap.
7. If all this fails......try turning the volume knob down a little

he knows a thing or two ;)

I have a mag article too, that tested a 50f alumapro cap, added to a system, and well, the results weren't to great in the caps favor.... :eek:
 






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