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Power Usage

Old 02-04-2009, 08:01 PM
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Power Usage

tried searching and couldn't find anything..

say in two identical systems, one using the deck to power the speakers and the other with a 4ch amp. at the same volume level in both systems, should they not use approximately the same amount of current? also, if the deck's internal amp is not connected to any speakers, will it still use power or does it become inactive?

the reason i'm asking is because i'm wondering how the power requirements of my system will change after i amp my speakers externally. my car has a very small alternator and even with big3, etc, the subs are still dimming the dash lights somewhat. i've tried upgrading the alt, but all of the shops in town say they can't do anything because the alt is in such a tight spot that they can't fit anything bigger into the car. i've pretty much given up on that route, plus i'm generally happy with my system and don't feel the need to go any bigger (except for the speaker amp that is).

Last edited by ryannow; 02-04-2009 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:06 PM
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Adding a 4chanel amp and listening to music at the same level will increase current draw by the amplifiers "idle current" which usually 1.2-1.5 amps.
The head units mosfet chip (amp) will still draw extremely minimal amounts of current but it wouldn't be a tangible factor in dimming.

Now for your Clarion amp, if you allready did the big 3 (and made your grounds to clean sheet metal and not the painted factory boltholes) I'd suggest grounding it to the thickest spot of sheetmatal you can safely put a bolt through and sand that small spot to bare metal and either paint or grease it after. Alot of people drop almost 1 volt due to using painted screws/bolts in painted holes.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:18 PM
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perfect, that's the answer i've been looking for. i've moved my ground before, and always used bare metal to bolt it to, but its always been in a bolt hole that i've found in the trunk. maybe its time to actually drill a really good one. i'll look into it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ryannow View Post
perfect, that's the answer i've been looking for. i've moved my ground before, and always used bare metal to bolt it to, but its always been in a bolt hole that i've found in the trunk. maybe its time to actually drill a really good one. i'll look into it.
Get the drill out buddy LOL. I have 2 amps that total almost 700watts with 90a of fusing, no big3, and 4ga from battery to trunk. No dimming whatsoever. The ground is drilled through the metal in behind the rear seat. I have not checked it with a DMM yet though. Will be doing some rewiring this weekend 0/1ga going in and will check it before I pull it out and post it up. To the OP what size power wire is in there. This same gear in a 2000 Neon turned the headlights into strobes with an 8ga power wire. What car is this in? Can you not just get your factory alt rewound to put out more? It would still be the same outer dimensions that way.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:37 PM
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i'm not sure if the shops around here are just retarded or what, but they say they can't rewind the alt. my headlights aren't a problem whatsoever cuz i've got HIDs. they don't require as much power, and don't flicker

i'm thinking part of the problem could also be that i've still got my 8ga wire in there from when i was using my 4ch on the subs. i've got some bigger wire, i've just been far too lazy this winter to run it lol. that was going to go in with the 4ch and just swap the 4ga onto the sub amp and use the 8ga for the 4ch.

i think the worst part of this damn winter is that its so cold and i've been aching to get this thing installed. the front driver speaker stopped working, and i've narrowed it down to a wire continuity problem, so i'm just gonna run some new speaker wire with the amp and be done with it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:39 PM
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What car you have?. there's quite a few cars tha can't have the alts rewound becauseof the regulator setup or are actually computer controlled. But alot can be replaced entirely wit some custom bracketry.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:45 PM
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its a 99' acura EL. You can find HO alts online (although they're really rare) for my car, but i'm concerned with reliability and i'm not too keen on shelling out that kind of money until i've explored all other avenues. i wouldn't want to spend hundreds on an alt when i could get away with just redoing the ground(s).
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:57 PM
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Had the same issue with my 2001 Civic and the 2007 Fit I have now.. with my civic I got a local alternator shop to pull the regulator and rewind the alternator and used an external Marine regulator which was adjustable . got [email protected] 14.8volts out of it.

Excessive Amperage - High output alternators by C.S.A.

This company according to 2004(last I checked) made a drop in alternator. But you have to run your own fusing from alternator to battery. You conenct the OEM wire to the fuse box..and piggy back your own wire direct to the battery, but it must be fused
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:12 PM
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Don't buy anything until you put the 4ga in. Like I said similar setup to yours with 8ga and bigger newer alt, strobe headlights. More power now with smaller alt and 4ga none at all. Get the 4ga in there for now and see what happens.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:55 AM
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i'm actually quite curious to see what kind of a difference the bigger wire and better ground is going to make. damn you winter, why won't you go away sooner?

oh, and also, do you think i should use a single grounding point for both amps? i'm pretty sure u can get some nasty noise invading your system if you do it this way, if my memory is right. am i better to do 2 separate ones, say on opposite sides of the car? or will one suffice?
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