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soundnsecurity 
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Location: Louisiana, United States
Posted: May 11, 2013 at 10:36 PM / IP Logged  
had a gentleman seeking my assistance today because he was having a problem with his amps cutting in and out, he described the problem like the sound would suddenly shift from front to back. he said he recently replaced the fuse under the hood and thats when the problems seemed to start so i figure that's as good as any place to start looking for a problem.
i look at the fuse inside the fuse holder and it appears to be an AGU fuse but something's not right, the fuse is actually glowing red hot and pulsating with the beat of the music. ive never seen a glowing fuse before so i look a little close and it hits me, someone replaced the under hood fuse with a dome light bulb! one of the things i like most about this particular industry is that just when i start to think that ive seen all of the worst ways someone can hook up a system, just when i think ive seen every possible way to rig something up, i am suddenly surprised with something i never knew was even possible.
i was actually more surprised that the amp worked at all. it must have been getting just enough current to turn on and play at low volume. the light bulb would even get brighter and dimmer as the music played, it was kind of cool in a way.
i kept it inside me until the customer left because i was pretty sure he had done this himself and i didnt want to offend. i told him it was a light bulb and he kept asking me if i was sure, and made sure to proclaim that he couldnt believe "somebody" used a light bulb as a fuse, so i figured he had something to do with it.
i guess i cant be too harsh because i can see where someone could make that mistake seeing as how the bulb and the fuse look almost alike, the only real difference was that the light bulb has a small spring filament inside instead of a solid line of metal between the ends.
z03mz03m 
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Joined: January 09, 2010
Location: Delaware, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM / IP Logged  
"Like"
Dodge Magnum in progress:
Pioneer DEH-80PRS - PPI Amps - Dayton Subwoofer(s) - Exodus Anarchy's - Vifa Tweeters - Kinetik Battery
soundnsecurity 
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Location: Louisiana, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM / IP Logged  
i think the next best one, and sadly ive seen this more than once, is people using the cardboard box that a sub woofer comes in, cutting a circle in it, and using it as the enclosure. perhaps another honest mistake because those boxes come with a perforated cut out so you can use it to draw the right sized hole on the box you make.
also the dash kit made out of a shirt was a good one too.
DYohn 
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Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM / IP Logged  
Great story. Must have been a small amp to not draw enough current to burn out the bulb right away.
The subwoofer box story is one reason why I have a pet peeve about calling an enclosure a "box." Some shall we say "less experienced" people take that literally. It is NOT a friggin box, it is a carefully constructed loudspeaker enclosure.
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i am an idiot 
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Joined: September 21, 2006
Location: Louisiana, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM / IP Logged  

No matter how big the amp, the lamp should last forever.  

DYohn 
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Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM / IP Logged  
i am an idiot wrote:

No matter how big the amp, the lamp should last forever.  

Really? Wow, I would think drawing sufficient current through the filament would blow it. But maybe not. Thanks for the info and now I have an experiment to run! (I love doing smoke-tests) something hilarious -- posted image.
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i am an idiot 
Platinum - Posts: 13,597
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Location: Louisiana, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM / IP Logged  
The bulb is a current limiting device. With 12volts on one side and ground on the other, it will only allow that current through the device. No matter how much current the amp TRIES to pull, there can be no more than 12volts across the lamp.
DYohn 
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Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 2:04 PM / IP Logged  
i am an idiot wrote:
The bulb is a current limiting device. With 12volts on one side and ground on the other, it will only allow that current through the device. No matter how much current the amp TRIES to pull, there can be no more than 12volts across the lamp.
Ah, gotcha. I never knew how light bulbs worked, to be honest. But I suppose they are just resisters, eh? So placing a resister in series with the amp power supply... yes, now I get it.
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soundnsecurity 
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Location: Louisiana, United States
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM / IP Logged  
the bulb didnt light up very bright with the system on, it really just looked like a piece of hot metal that was glowing red instead of a bright light like it should be.

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