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Debate, Stiffening Capacitors


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tdsteele 
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Posted: April 05, 2007 at 8:35 PM / IP Logged  
I don't know, suppose it's a possibility, but with the mark-ups they put on everything else plus labor fees, seems like they could make more on installing an alt versus a cap.
sparky3489 
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Posted: May 09, 2007 at 8:56 AM / IP Logged  

You see, nobody can give you a straight answer because there is no straight answer. It all depends on the situation, as I've ALWAYS said, to determine if a cap is useful.

A cap is only good so far as the audio system isn't trying to pull too much from the alternator.

A cap puts just about as much of a strain as a 5 watt bulb and that's only during it's initial charge. During normal operation, it consumes even less power. For comparison, your headlights consume 55 watts, each!

A capacitor is like an electronic fuel tank that holds a charge provided by the electrical system for sudden demands for short bursts until it can charge back up.
There is something called a "charge time constant" in a capacitor. This signifies how fast a capacitor can recharge after a discharge. Since a large capacitor (0.5 Farad or higher) doesn't fully discharge, it's re-charge time is pretty quick. Overall it's a 100 times faster than that of a battery.
Adding a cap to a severely demanding system won't make any improvements.

haemphyst wrote:
Oh, and for the record, batteries DO create power using chemical reactions....

Hmmm...seems I'm right again.

wormy 
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Posted: May 09, 2007 at 10:37 AM / IP Logged  

It seems to me that sparky3489 spent some time practicing law.  sparky3489, just make sure that you understand that batteries do not create power forever.  That's the real world!

I agree that so long as the ESR rating is at the correct point, then the capacitor will prove useful when the alternator can keep up with the demand.  Other than that,  I wouldn't consider using a capacitor for anything more than engine noise and alternator whine reduction.  I think I might look into a group of capacitors for my SPL system, but not my daily driver.  The difference between the first hit and second hit from my subs will be covered up by the fact that the bass drummer couldn't make that same intensity hit everytime or that the bass guitar player couldn't strum the string with identical strength everytime.  That's the real world!

...typically, I just run whatever I randomly pick up off the floor.
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wormy 
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Posted: May 09, 2007 at 10:44 AM / IP Logged  

One other thing I failed to mention, I do believe that haemphyst is capable of presenting you with an answer if you would present him with a situation.  Actually, I think he and several others have already presented an answer to the capacitor issue.  In general, I do believe what they are getting at is that there are more important pieces of equipment to invest your money in and that in the long run, a capacitor is an expense that can be done without when the rest of the electrical system is up to par.

...typically, I just run whatever I randomly pick up off the floor.
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jmelton86 
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Posted: May 09, 2007 at 6:33 PM / IP Logged  

sparky3489 wrote: 'A cap is only good so far as the audio system isn't trying to pull too much from the alternator.'

So you agree that the Big3 and HO alt. should be done before adding a cap? Well, alright!

wormy wrote: 'there are more important pieces of equipment to invest your money in...'

Like i've told you before in previous discussions, sparky3489; if you want to tell people to spend money on something that should be considered being done AFTER the Big3 and HO alt., then fine. -I have noticed recently on Yahoo!Answers is that you've been telling people of the importance of the Big3 and HO before recommending a cap. Hmm...

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sparky3489 
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Posted: May 13, 2007 at 10:18 PM / IP Logged  

wormy wrote:
sparky3489, just make sure that you understand that batteries do not create power forever. 

Since you don't know the whole debate, I'll let you in on it.

It was proposed that a battery DOESN'T create power by chemical reaction, AT ALL, by Jmelton86. That somehow electricity was magically being created with no explanation. He and I went round and round about this on another forum until he finally posted that question here - and got totally schooled on it.

[QUOATE=wormy]In general, I do believe what they are getting at is that there are more important pieces of equipment to invest your money in ...[/QUOTE]

Where to begin...this could be said about anything, wheels on a car, fuzzy dice from the mirror, etc.

A. It's not about an investment as it's NOT an investment. Debate, Stiffening Capacitors - Page 3 -- posted image. Where do people get this?!?!?

B. There are those rare and special occasions where a cap is actually useful.

jmelton86 wrote:
I have noticed recently on Yahoo!Answers is that you've been telling people of the importance of the Big3 and HO before recommending a cap.

Hmm indeed. I've been stating this LOOOOONG before you ever hit the scene. It all depends on the situation whether I recommend the ALT. and Big 3 or a CAP.

If it's very clear an asker has a high powered system, I recommend the ALT and Big 3.

If it's very clear an asker has a system that doesn't require an ALT upgrade and they would like a bit better stability on the power side of things, I'll recommend a CAP.

audiocableguy 
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Posted: May 14, 2007 at 2:09 PM / IP Logged  
Caps are storage devices. The voltage comming in is the same going out. They can't increase potential. Stiffening Capacitor, the name says is all.
The fact the guy on Yahoo claimed a +4 Volt gain due to caps should be a dead give away. If this is accurate, and he has 12 volts at the battery, his amps are seeing 16V ? Check me if I'm wrong but very few car electronics will work at this voltage. Then usually only competing. Also his voltage would be 18.4V with the Alternator running.
sparky3489 
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Posted: May 15, 2007 at 1:35 PM / IP Logged  
Here's your misunderstanding. I got a 4 volt gain WITH the cap as opposed to NOT having it during a significant bass track test tone. My system was dropping 4 volts without the cap.
aznboi3644 
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Posted: May 15, 2007 at 4:01 PM / IP Logged  
that wouldn't be a 4 volt GAIN. It would be your normal voltage not dropping so low
hellbass212 
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Posted: May 15, 2007 at 4:11 PM / IP Logged  
This is the final answer. Caps WILL make a significant improvement on a high output system if you had say hundreds or even thousands of farads to play with. It charges FIRST and FASTER (than a battery) and discharges first and faster. It maintains the alternator voltage as long as it is not 'empty'. But this happens very quickly.This puts FULL strain on the alternator UNLESS you have 'enough' batteries (do the math) to aid the alternator. You need ALOT of capacitance to make any good bit of a difference. A very small percentage of people would benefit practically from a 'stiffening' capacitor unless they had several batteries or alternator power to charge the cap/s. So.... it is not practical to buy thousands of dollars of capacitance when you could just spentd the money on an HO alternaotr. Which is what some of these other guys have said for years. So stiff that. But really, it's basic electronics.
Clarion DXZ665mp,Lanzar 2000D,2 Powerbase Extreme 12",Pioneer 5.25" - TS-C503
JL Audio e4300,Fosgate Power 6x9,5 Farad Cap,2 Optima Yellow,205 Amp Alt
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