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Debate, Stiffening Capacitors


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Big Dog 
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Joined: May 02, 2002
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posted: May 22, 2007 at 7:40 AM / IP Logged  

1) I agree with what haemphyst said 'cause it's what I stated earlier. If it does some "work" then add it otherwise throw it in the recycle bin for next time - it aint complicated.

2) This is my last post on this thread. I'm too busy to talk in circles - I've got to solve the chicken and the egg theory before noon.

3) I have a new idea for debate: Is a ground an input or output?

Prepare your future. It wasn't the lack of stones that killed the stone age.
haemphyst 
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Platinum spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Electrical Theory. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Mobile Audio and Video. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: January 19, 2003
Location: Michigan, Bouvet Island
Posted: May 22, 2007 at 8:45 AM / IP Logged  
It depends on the theory you are dealing with. In MY opinion, it is the input, the side with the EXCESS of electrons, and the positive lead is the actual electron return.
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."
sparky3489 
Member - Posts: 26
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Joined: August 26, 2003
Posted: May 22, 2007 at 9:57 AM / IP Logged  

Big Dog wrote:
Is a ground an input or output?

It is neither without opposition. Debate, Stiffening Capacitors - Page 6 -- posted image.

That' my final answer.

Big Dog 
Gold - Posts: 1,265
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Joined: May 02, 2002
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posted: May 22, 2007 at 10:22 AM / IP Logged  

Guys......I was jus kiddin'

I wouldn't do that here.

Maybe in a new thread Debate, Stiffening Capacitors - Page 6 -- posted image.

Prepare your future. It wasn't the lack of stones that killed the stone age.
sparky3489 
Member - Posts: 26
Member spacespace
Joined: August 26, 2003
Posted: May 23, 2007 at 9:14 AM / IP Logged  

Back to it then...

I quote from someone else on another forum,,,

wrote:
First of all, reducing dimming lights isn't really what a capacitor is for. The purpose of a power supply capacitor is to provide a stable voltage supply for an amplifier during musical peaks, thus improving headroom. If it helps with dimming lights, that's a bonus; but if the dimming is what you're trying to fix, you'd be much better off connecting the cap to the headlight wires. (In fact, there are people who've successfully done exactly that, using much smaller capacitors).
The power demands of an audio amplifier are unlike anything else in the vehicle. Most vehicle electrical systems have a relatively steady current draw that only changes when you switch them on or off. The amplifier's current draw when playing music is always changing. On average, the alternator may easily be capable of handling the demand of the audio system, but alternators aren't designed to handle sudden spikes in current draw. The voltage regulator may not be able to adjust quickly enough, or the alternator may just be overloaded very briefly, which leads to a voltage drop. This doesn't necessarily mean you need a new alternator.
The capacitor can store a voltage at nearly the level of the alternator's output. It's not limited to 12.8 volts like a battery. During brief musical peaks the capacitor can provide current for the amplifier. Of course the cap then needs to be recharged, so the load on the alternator isn't reduced--but by that time the musical peak is over and any voltage drop won't have an effect on the sound. During quieter passages, the amplifier can produce music without distortion even if it doesn't have 14.4 volts to work with. Note that we're talking about very short periods of time, here; it doesn't take long to discharge a cap, and it doesn't take long to charge it again, so it's ready to go for the next musical peak (in theory).
The "caps are useless" idea has come about mostly because people have been misinformed about what a capacitor can do.
--They won't help prevent alternator failure.
--They can't store very much charge, so they don't help with longer musical peaks, like sustained bass notes.
--They don't make the bass louder: higher voltage isn't the same as higher gain.
--They don't help if an alternator is just too small, and is continuously overloaded.
--They won't necessarily reduce dimming much, because they still need to be recharged.
--High-farad capacitors typically have a high internal resistance which makes them useless. In general, it's better to have five 1-farad capacitors than one 5-farad capacitor.

When Javin (Jmelton86) pulls out his Richard Clark "caps are useless" forum link, the discussion is about high-farad capacitors (although it's been used out of context to make it look like he's talking about all capacitors).

Anyway, "stiffening" capacitors do have a useful place in car audio; but you have to know what they can do, what they can't do, and in what situations they'll be useful, or you're likely to be disappointed in the result.

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

 

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