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Capacitors - What's the REAL story?


256 replies to this topic

#221
kl0wn

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If you watch his previous videos it gives answer to your questions.

 

There's a distortion in the signal that triggers the DD-1, but it's not clipping!

I never said anything about clipping.

 

Guys watch Tony D'Amore's other videos to see why the distortion light is on. The Jeep has an issue with the headunit doing some stupidly low distortion at medium to high volume. But the distortion wouldn't effect the runs because every run was done exactly the same, so if it threw off one run it would do every run.

Gotcha.  I didn't expect it to affect the results since it happened every single time, was just wondering what was up with the distortion light always coming on.


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#222
snafu

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In summary:

 

1.  Quality capacitors DO work - and a few companies continue to offer them.  Hint:  if it's chrome, comes in a blue felt lined box, has a volt meter, and you can get it for $49 - PASS.

2.  In order to achieve the best results, locate the capacitor as close to the amplifier as possible, preferably within 18 inches.

 

Consider that there are actually TWO voltages available in a vehicle:

 

1.  The output voltage of the alternator (13.8 - 14.4 Volts typically)

2.  The nominal voltage of the battery (12.6 - 12.7 Volts typically)

 

Since capacitors store charge and oppose changes in voltage, here's actually what's going on:

 

- The capacitor, when connected and charged, stores charge at the nominal voltage of the battery

- As the vehicle is started and runs, the capacitor INSTANTLY is able to store charge at the output voltage of the alternator

- As your amplifier draws current, it takes it from the place of least resistance - in order, that is:

1.  From the capacitor (closest source of voltage, and highest voltage potential)

2.  From the alternator (highest voltage potential)

3.  From the battery (lower voltage potential)

 

Look at it like this - it's the DELTA between 14.4 and 12.6 Volts that is the deal.  Why waste that 1.8 Volts of goodness when you can USE it?  Keep in mind that amplifiers "gulp" current based on the frequency at which the power supply operates.  This is typically 30,000 to 40,000 times per second.

 

Since 1986* I have personally used capacitors in my own audio systems and for good reason.  I fully expected to see positive results from the addition of a capacitor.  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much bang one gets from the 1 Farad capacitor.  Honestly, there is simply no reason I can think of NOT to use one.

 

Companies that have elected to sell inferior (IE - CRAP) capacitors have given the word capacitor a black eye.  That, along with plenty of mis-information on this topic by keyboard experts, has conspired to paint a non-factual picture of the true purpose of the capacitor in car audio applications.  Now that the AD-1 has proven that capacitors do indeed have their place, it's up to you to spread the word.

 

And FWIW, although I did not mention it in the video, the capacitors in the RF 100 Farad capacitor I showed are carbon based "supercaps" - a technology that was borrowed from the power generation industry.  To the best of my knowledge, they were the first of their kind available in the car audio industry.  Now, they are but a distant memory.

 

* Yes, 1986 - that is no misprint or exaggeration!  Only Wayne Harris beat me to it and I had no idea who he even was then.



#223
Hellbilly429

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Dang Snafu, appreciate the knowledge very much!


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#224
alaskanzx5

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ill pass this on as much as I can. I personally have been using a 10farad Rockford cap for a while now and I can hear a difference with and with out it. not to mention a good amount more voltage drop with out the cap.


2000 ford focus zx3 hatchback

Rockford build

2 t2d415

2 punch pro 6.5

2 punch pro tweets

1 t1500.1bdcp

1 t400.4

250amp singer alt

10 farad Rockford carbon cap

pioneer deh-80prs

still to get

1 t1500.1bdcp

batteries

more wire

external regulator

power series comp set

might sell the t400.4 to buy 2 t400x4ab

box and fiberglassing material


#225
SnowDrifter

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Well after seeing the results of this I'm going to build myself an 850 farad cap bank and see what sort of results I get.

 

Tony C, Tony D, Juan, Steve: If you want to do some testing with it let me know. I'd be curious to see what sort of results you'd get on the dyno going with something even bigger 


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#226
__d_a_v_i_d__

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Okay. Can we now get that same test, but instead of cap and no cap test....

 

now cap (parallel with front batt) ___VS___  same price/value battery test. (parallel with front bat)

 

I dont think legit builders rule out caps cause their crap, they rule them out cause batts cost less and are better in their bigger builds (5K+)

 

10 farad fosgate = $453 .   vs xs power xp 3000 = $489

These are prices directly from their sites...

 

Now as a secondary power reserve. wouldnt the XS 3000 be more effective than a 10 farad cap ? and they cost near the same...



#227
alaskanzx5

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Okay. Can we now get that same test, but instead of cap and no cap test....

 

now cap (parallel with front batt) ___VS___  same price/value battery test. (parallel with front bat)

 

I dont think legit builders rule out caps cause their crap, they rule them out cause batts cost less and are better in their bigger builds (5K+)

 

10 farad fosgate = $453 .   vs xs power xp 3000 = $489

These are prices directly from their sites...

 

Now as a secondary power reserve. wouldnt the XS 3000 be more effective than a 10 farad cap ? and they cost near the same...

 

 

you have to remember cost of shipping to. that cap is way less in weight and shipping will be a good amount cheaper. plus the amount of room the caps take up compared to the batts.

 

then in snafu's last post he said

- As your amplifier draws current, it takes it from the place of least resistance - in order, that is:

1.  From the capacitor (closest source of voltage, and highest voltage potential)

2.  From the alternator (highest voltage potential)

3.  From the battery (lower voltage potential)

 

now isn't it a plus to get your power from something only 18" or less from you amp compared to the alt at the front of the car? or the batts that have a lower voltage potential?

 

 

this thread isn't about caps vs batts. its about showing proof that caps do work and make a difference. the benefit of a cap like all audio installs is install dependent. the 1 farad per 1k watts is a general guideline, its not necessarily the golden rule to it.


2000 ford focus zx3 hatchback

Rockford build

2 t2d415

2 punch pro 6.5

2 punch pro tweets

1 t1500.1bdcp

1 t400.4

250amp singer alt

10 farad Rockford carbon cap

pioneer deh-80prs

still to get

1 t1500.1bdcp

batteries

more wire

external regulator

power series comp set

might sell the t400.4 to buy 2 t400x4ab

box and fiberglassing material


#228
SnowDrifter

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Why is 1F per 1k the guideline?


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#229
alaskanzx5

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Why is 1F per 1k the guideline?

 

 

I don't know, its just what 90% of people that use caps go buy. Im running a 1500.1bdcp and a 400.4 so no more then 2k rms and have a 10 farad cap. also have a 250 amp singer alt and ill have a small batt bank to.

 

going by the 1k watts per farad rule I have an extra 8 farads... I think that 1 farad per 500 watts would be a better guideline though.


Edited by alaskanzx5, 25 April 2013 - 09:48 AM.

2000 ford focus zx3 hatchback

Rockford build

2 t2d415

2 punch pro 6.5

2 punch pro tweets

1 t1500.1bdcp

1 t400.4

250amp singer alt

10 farad Rockford carbon cap

pioneer deh-80prs

still to get

1 t1500.1bdcp

batteries

more wire

external regulator

power series comp set

might sell the t400.4 to buy 2 t400x4ab

box and fiberglassing material


#230
snafu

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Well, the 1 Farad capacitor actually outperformed the 100 Farad capacitor in the tone bursts - that with a 2,500 Watt amp.



#231
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Why is 1F per 1k the guideline?

There's a calculation/formula to determine how much capacitance is needed to filter a certain amount of ripple voltage.

Key factors would be:

-Amount of ripple voltage (voltage drop)

-Amount of current going to the load (amplifier)

-Amount of capacitance needed to reduce the ripple voltage

 

I've seen formulas for much smaller scale circuits, but not when hundreds of amps of current are involved.


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#232
Wicks

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Well, the 1 Farad capacitor actually outperformed the 100 Farad capacitor in the tone bursts - that with a 2,500 Watt amp.

 

How does the ESR of both caps compare?


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#233
snafu

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Good question.  We deduced the 1F capacitor had lower ESR than the 100F based on the way it performed in the burst tests.  I'm sure Tony D' can actually measure that.



#234
CommonSyns

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Ia it true that caps actually shorten alternator life? That's what I've been told. Just want to know whats true before I purchase a cap.


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#235
SnowDrifter

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Ia it true that caps actually shorten alternator life? That's what I've been told. Just want to know whats true before I purchase a cap.

I think there is a yes and no answer to this. If your alt is too small for your system it will shorten your alt life anyway. A very large cap might make it worse. But it would be no different than the alt trying to recharge your batteries once they become drained


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#236
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Well, I'll just chalk that up to another internet rumor . . . 

 

Some of the early BIG capacitors were especially difficult loads when charging them, but they are no longer offered for sale.



#237
alaskanzx5

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from what I c in the tests is that a small cap bank is better for bursts while a large cap bank is better for music.

 

but is there a way to find out why a small cap did better on burst then a large cap? or would it be to install dependent to figure out a general rule of thumb?


2000 ford focus zx3 hatchback

Rockford build

2 t2d415

2 punch pro 6.5

2 punch pro tweets

1 t1500.1bdcp

1 t400.4

250amp singer alt

10 farad Rockford carbon cap

pioneer deh-80prs

still to get

1 t1500.1bdcp

batteries

more wire

external regulator

power series comp set

might sell the t400.4 to buy 2 t400x4ab

box and fiberglassing material


#238
SnowDrifter

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from what I c in the tests is that a small cap bank is better for bursts while a large cap bank is better for music.

 

but is there a way to find out why a small cap did better on burst then a large cap? or would it be to install dependent to figure out a general rule of thumb?

The smaller cap had a lower ESR than the larger one did. That's why you see the change.


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#239
alaskanzx5

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I know that, what I was thinking before though is even if you have a slightly higher esr but a much larger bank could be more beneficial. then again when doing bursts you don't need a large bank just quick power draw. ( just answered my own question )

 

so when adding caps to a system you need to figure out if your doing burst or long periods of playing. longer periods of playing will need a large bank with as low of an esr as possible. while a small bank with an extremely low esr is better for bursts since you only need it for a quick 30 sec or less.

 

 

are there any tips you could give us when adding caps to our stereos? or maybe a formula that could be used to figure out how much capacitance would be needed ( im sure this would be dependent on the amount of draw and efficiency of the amps )? or tips on what to look for when buying caps ( besides the lack of chrome and flashing lights in a cool box ) ?


Edited by alaskanzx5, 26 April 2013 - 10:50 PM.

2000 ford focus zx3 hatchback

Rockford build

2 t2d415

2 punch pro 6.5

2 punch pro tweets

1 t1500.1bdcp

1 t400.4

250amp singer alt

10 farad Rockford carbon cap

pioneer deh-80prs

still to get

1 t1500.1bdcp

batteries

more wire

external regulator

power series comp set

might sell the t400.4 to buy 2 t400x4ab

box and fiberglassing material


#240
deathcards

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if you get time i would like to see the

100F ->1F->amp

and 100F\

..........1F/ into a dual input on an amp

to see the different results

 

think my second idea might not work


Edited by deathcards, 30 April 2013 - 05:15 AM.

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