Lights dim with the bass cranked...

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by FrigginAnT, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. FrigginAnT

    FrigginAnT Humanity is like a train wreck....its fun to watch

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    42,838
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
    Pretty basic system, an alpine amp going to 2 12" JL subs..

    someone told me a 1.5F cap is all i would need to eliminate the dimming..true?

    sorry about the lack of details..i was lazy and had it put in for me
     
  2. bigboostdsm

    bigboostdsm New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Top, TN
    Yes, a cap will help. It's a pretty common problem.
     
  3. jjski78

    jjski78 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Right Here, aka You're Mom's House
    No, a cap won't help. Do the Big-3.
     
  4. MaximaDrvr

    MaximaDrvr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    A cap won't do anything.
    Do the "big three" upgrade, upgrade your ground wire, make sure you ground is clean, and possibly upgrade your battery.
     
  5. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    .
     
  6. tjamz

    tjamz New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, do the "big 3" it will help more than a cap ever could.

    Of course....always make sure you are running large enough power cable for the amp you are running as well. This includes the ground cable as well (ground cable should be same size as power cable and grounded to a solid part of the body or run back to the battery.)

    To do the "Big 3" you need to upgrade the following wires with at least the same size wire as you have running to your amp(s):

    Power wire from alternator to battery
    Ground wire from battery to chassis
    Ground wire from battery to engine
    (some people also upgrade the wire from engine to chassis, though it may not be necessary)
     
  7. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    7,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN FTW
    minus whale. it adds 10 hp anyway :p
     
  8. darealfukindeal

    darealfukindeal OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    4,583
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    CA
    get a bigger alternator
     
  9. YourMomOnRyeBun

    YourMomOnRyeBun New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Barry's turf... :-(
    People bash caps and they really don't need to. Caps work for what they were designed to do.

    Basically what is happening...since you wouldn't have asked if you didn't know...is that the electrical system in your vehicle cannot handle the voltage (and consequently the current) spikes that occur when the bass hits, therefore your lights dim. This is also raising hell with the other electronics in your car, such as the car's computer, but you don't see the telltale signs (sort term) as you do when the lights dim.

    In order of expense

    FIRST, insure that all the wiring that you are using is the proper gage. Install places like to cut corners and use larger gage (thinner wire) to cut down on costs. They figure if you are having THEM do the work, you probably won't know the difference. If all this is in order, then move on...

    The "big 3" is the easiest and cheapest upgrade. I would do this regardless.

    Still have dimming lights? Install a cap PROPERLY

    Now we are getting into the more serious/costly upgrades
    You can but a larger battery or install a second battery...or you can upgrade your alternator. Another possibility, if you have an older car, is that your alternator is not functioning at top efficiency...as is the case as they age. The car may run fine, but the added load of the audio system is too much.


    In the end, it doesn't sound like your system is all the "power hungry" so you should be okay with some of the more simplier upgrades. I probably have twice the power demand in my system and I don't see even the slightest flicker in the headlights.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    A cap is a band-aid. If lights are dimming AND the idle is dropping, you need a cap to store spike power -- otherwise, it's a problem of not being able to get the power from the alternator to the amp fast enough.
     
  11. MaximaDrvr

    MaximaDrvr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    A "PROPERLY" installed cap won't help.
     
  12. YourMomOnRyeBun

    YourMomOnRyeBun New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Barry's turf... :-(
    Depends on how power starved the system is... With a properly functioning battery and alternator and cap can make all the difference in the world for a moderately sized system. It may still be a "band-aid" but when you are working on a tight budget and you are looking for a fix vs a major project, it might be just what you need.
     
  13. tjamz

    tjamz New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gonna have to disagree. We stopped using caps years ago for any system (as have most competitors...unless used for eye-candy only.) Get a decent, low ESR battery and you'll be far better off than with a cap....for about the same money. Or add a second AGM battery in the trunk (I prefer Kinetik, but other companies make decent batteries as well)
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    That just reflects the recent improvements in battery technology. Batteries will never be able to provide 100% of their stored current instantaneously, though. And recent advances in capacitor technology threaten to make chemical batteries obsolete -- which would be nice, because capacitors don't lose their ability to store current as time goes on.
     

Share This Page