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Thread: Big Three?

  1. #1
    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    Question Big Three?

    I've got a teensy problem with the ICE I've got installed....even with only the subwoofer amplified (amp rated 240W RMS), when I crank the stereo up, the headlights dim in time with the music.

    I know I need to upgrade the 'big three' wiring under the bonnet: alternator +ve to battery +ve, alt -ve to earth and battery -ve to earth.

    Here's the problem.....I have no idea where any of those wires are so if someone could help by describing, or even better, take pictures, I'd be very grateful.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    earth from the battery
    earth to the engine
    better earth to the amps

    but the headlight dimming is nothing to do with the earths you need to use a better battery and install a power cap """ power factor correction unit ""
    somthing like this http://caraudiosecurity.com/shop/pro...s_id/2463.html the more powerful the better

    you amp will pull about 50amp at full power plus everything in the car that is running so you just need to beaf up what you have
    Last edited by chrisgettings; 3rd January 2008 at 05:21.

  3. #3
    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    power caps are an urban myth...absolutely no proof they do anything useful at all. And the amp earth is fine

    i'll happily consider upgrading the battery or the alt if either of them aren't up to the job though

    Edit: My mistake in the original post - cables to do are alt + to batt +, batt - to ground and engne to ground.
    Last edited by parapaul; 3rd January 2008 at 06:45.

  4. #4
    Regular Member stuart bigboy's Avatar
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    just up the battery to a larger amp one that will sort the prob

  5. #5
    Ex-Staff Full Member Ian T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
    I've got a teensy problem with the ICE I've got installed....even with only the subwoofer amplified (amp rated 240W RMS), when I crank the stereo up, the headlights dim in time with the music.

    I know I need to upgrade the 'big three' wiring under the bonnet: alternator +ve to battery +ve, alt -ve to earth and battery -ve to earth.

    Here's the problem.....I have no idea where any of those wires are so if someone could help by describing, or even better, take pictures, I'd be very grateful.

    Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
    power caps are an urban myth...absolutely no proof they do anything useful at all. And the amp earth is fine

    i'll happily consider upgrading the battery or the alt if either of them aren't up to the job though

    Edit: My mistake in the original post - cables to do are alt + to batt +, batt - to ground and engne to ground.

    Paul, I had a problem with the lights dimming to the music as well, I fitted a capacitor & it sorted the problem. See here:

    http://forum.vectra-c.com/showthread.php?t=23240

    I didn't change any cables, only put in the new thicker cable to feed the capacitor. When the car is running, the readout on the capacitor shows around 14.5 volts. With a good bass track (something like Prodigy ) the readout only drops a small amount.

  6. #6
    Ex-Staff Full Member Ian T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
    power caps are an urban myth...absolutely no proof they do anything useful at all.
    Worked for me, it's worth a try.

    The capacitor stores power, ready for the sudden need of the sub / amp.
    Plus, it is installed close to the amp.
    Without one, the alternator / battery cannot cope with the demands of all electrical items, that's why the lights dim.

    You should only really need upgrade the battery if you didn't want to fit a capacitor. But you may also end up needing to upgrade to a higher output alternator.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Karl's Avatar
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    I have to wonder how much you are draining for your box. Mine is amp'd, decent setup and I get no dimming of the lights. The only time I have ever had any dimming was with the car idling with heated screen, air con, lights, int lights blowers and stereo on.

    In the past I would have said uprate the alternator and battery, but with the price of alts nowadays........

    power caps aren't a myth if used correctly. They allow you to store charge in the system to help with peaks and troughs, I used to fit two in series for silly power systems and never had any problems. I know one system I had would cause the car to stall if the caps weren't there, so they must have done something.

  8. #8
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    there is no need to worry to much about what you think may be wrong with how you have fitted

    it's the battery and how this discharges the power that will dim the lights .

    your amps will want the power as fast as it can get it witch is m/sec and the car battery just dosnt work that fast but your alternator does as its pushing the power out

    the power cap is like a battery but when your car is running you car charges the power cap to the same voltage as the alternator voltage 14 volts.

    the power cap will backup the alternators 14 volts,, thats why you light are brighter with the engine running,, its all running at 14 volts not 12 as you think it is

    a fully charged battery has only 12.8 volt stored within the battery the rest of the voltage is comming from the alternator 14.4 volts.
    when the alternator has no more power to give the voltages drop to 12.8 or lower and there is a lose of 10% of your power,, droping your votlage to 12volts and your light dim for a sec

    what the cap will do ,,it just backs up the 14-volts from your alternator its not a battery and the bigger the cap the longer it can backup the 14-volts.

  9. #9
    Regular Member mushy2007's Avatar
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    Power Cap all the way.

    That will keep the bass bouncein and the engine sound

  10. #10
    Regular Member Whippy's Avatar
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    Power caps are only usefull as paperweights.

    they'll cause more problmes longterm.


    where is tha amp grounded?
    what size cabling are you using?
    what amp?
    what sub?

    it could be your amp /sub is mis-configured so putting extra strain on the system.

    as a simple start, upgrade the battery Neg- to chassis lead.
    maybe get a bigger battery.
    whats the Amphours of the one you have?

    i'm running close to 1800w RMS without flashing lights!


    if you want to get really indepth:
    what's your HU output voltages?
    what are your gains set to?
    what's your LPF / HPF set to?
    what's your cutoff frequency set to?
    Last edited by Whippy; 3rd January 2008 at 17:09.

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