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Old 02-22-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System


i was just reading this on db drive's website and i thought it might be usefull to someone who is new to car audio or may not know exactly how to calculate the amp draw from your electrical system on the car. if this is already been posted or theres a sticky on it or something i missed just delete this lol



Determining the current capabilities of your vehicle.

Before installing a power amplifier in your system you should take into consideration the vehicle’s ability to provide adequate current to the amplifier. In most vehicles, the alternator is only capable of supplying a little over the requirements for the standard electrical system (i.e. headlights, air conditioning, etc.).

How you play your system will determine the amount of current you will need. For example if you listen to your system at low listening levels, then you’ll probably use less than one-third the rated current draw. If you play your system loud, then you will use most of the rated current of the amplifier.

Most alternators have about a 40 percent reserve capability. In order to determine how many in amperes of current you will have for your system; you will need to find out alternator rating. If you’re not sure of the total amperage of your alternator, a good place to look is on the alternator itself. Most alternators have a metal tag stating the total average available. If you can’t find the tag, check with the manufacture to find out the rated amperage. Once rated current of the alternator is determined, you need to multiply this number by .40 in order to determine the reserve current available for use with your power amplifier.

For Example:

Alternator = 80 Amps 80 x .40 = 32 Amps

Please keep in mind this is an estimate only and not exact science. It is best to get your electrical system tested by a professional to determine the electrical system's true capabilities.

Calculating Amplifier Current Demands

By using the fuse value of the amplifier you can get a rough idea of the amount of current draw that will be used under full output power. Although the full output rating is good to determine the total amperage draw in the system, it does not represent the true continuous or averaged amperage draw in the system. Listed below is a simple way to determine the approximate continuous current draw of your amplifier.

1.) Determine fuse value of the amplifier.

2.) Divide the RMS power Rating by the Peak power rating.

Example:

50Watts RMS Divided by 100 Watts Peak Power = .50 (50%)

Once you figure the percentage of RMS vs. Peak power, you multiply the fuse value of the amplifier by the RMS percentage.

Example:

If the amplifiers fuse value was 30A, then 30A multiplied by 50% would be 15A of continuous current draw.

Upgrading your Electrical System

Depending on systems current requirements vs. your electrical systemss capabilities, you may need to upgrade your electrical system. For example, if you find that your headlights dim when you have your system cranked up at night, this is a sign you should upgrade your electrical system.

There are several different ways to accomplish this. One way is to upgrade the alternator so that it has higher amperage output. Another way is to purchase a Capacitor. We recommend that you consult your Car Audio Retailer to determine what is best for your system.
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Old 02-22-2006   #2 (permalink)
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i thought this might help someone also

Amplifier Power Cable Requirements

http://www.dbdrive.net/eng/tech/wiresize.html
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Old 02-22-2006   #3 (permalink)
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Good post!
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Old 02-22-2006   #4 (permalink)
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i would upgrade battery before ever considering a capacitor though ...if anything it strains your electrical system
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Old 02-22-2006   #5 (permalink)
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Cool info.
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Old 02-23-2006   #6 (permalink)
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ya i know theres better things to run then a cap but i thought this would help people know what there amps are pulling of the system, even if its just a close est.
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Old 02-23-2006   #7 (permalink)
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My Alternator for my Nissan Sentra was Bench Tested and Actually Gave a Sheet on it... its Rated at 70 amps but at 2800 RMS it produces 78 Amps which is decent running a Stock alt and and a Autocraft TItanium Under the Hood and a Optima yellow top in the back My BX1500D doesnt see less Than a Volt Drop on most days...
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Old 02-23-2006   #8 (permalink)
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maybe this should be a sticky
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Old 02-27-2006   #9 (permalink)
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or maybe not
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Old 02-27-2006   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vc4life
ya i know theres better things to run then a cap but i thought this would help people know what there amps are pulling of the system, even if its just a close est.
x2, like the big 3 upgrade.
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Old 02-27-2006   #11 (permalink)
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hey shon can i get sticky
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Old 02-27-2006   #12 (permalink)
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stickied
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Old 02-27-2006   #13 (permalink)
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haaaay happy days i got a sticky
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Old 05-13-2006   #14 (permalink)
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to find the actual max power you take the rms and divid by .707
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Old 03-04-2007   #15 (permalink)
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Wait, what if we don't know our amps max output? For example: RF T2001bd.

edit; the link in your sig doesnt work mr. vc4life.
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Old 01-12-2008   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gone_blow_it_up View Post
Wait, what if we don't know our amps max output? For example: RF T2001bd.

edit; the link in your sig doesnt work mr. vc4life.

I had a thought about what you mention there. Not all amp tell you the peak power but i'm guessing that you have to check out the amp website to know more detail about the peak power. By the way, yest the link doesn't exist anymore.
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Old 05-12-2008   #17 (permalink)
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Sometime i think you're planning to upgarde your electrical you can still have light dimming but different is that you have sufficient power to support the amp because i notice if you using the factory battery, alternator, and wire you don't get much power out of it and the amp over heat and sometime cut off and come back. This's my opinion O.K. I'm not saying it fact. I think that if you upgrade your electrical you will put less power strain on your amp and Car audio system. If your electrical start from 14 Volt and drop below 13 then i think that problem. I don't know what will be the solution to that but you might have to do some research on electrical such wire, Alternator, belt, battery, and etc.
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Old 08-10-2008   #18 (permalink)
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thank's good post
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Old 12-04-2010   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System

Probably a questions for the No question is dumb section,

Can your alternator put out too much amps?
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Old 12-04-2010   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666WMD View Post
Probably a questions for the No question is dumb section,

Can your alternator put out too much amps?

if there's something wrong with it.

your alternator only puts out as much amperage it needs to maintain the voltage its set to, which in most cases is 14.4v. if the alt puts out too much amperage the voltage will rise accordingly.

if an alternator put out full tilt all the time it would fry all the electrical system in your vehicle.
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Old 12-04-2010   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System

What I meant to ask is can you have an alternator too big for the car? ie: Do I need to know exactly how much 9000w of amplifiers are going to draw or can I just get a new 300amp alt even tho it might be more than I need and the factory one is only 140amp?
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Old 12-04-2010   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System

nope, can't get too big of an alt.
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Old 12-04-2010   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Determine Amperage Draw of Your Electrical System


Nice. My philosophy is "If your gonna do it, do it to the best". (Until it comes to the fine detailing, then I get impatient )
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