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Discussion Starter #1
Before we get started on the different uses of batteries and capacitors please note that without providing acceptable power from the alternator any and all of these may not be a solution to your situation. Batteries and capacitors are for storing power and not a replacement for generating power.
Capacitors:
- Will act as a filter for AC ripple effect caused by the imperfect correction of the AC current produced by an alternator.
- Will only help to maintain the charging voltage for a very small fraction of a second under high current demand situations. They do a fine job of filling small drops in voltage and may help reduce your lights from dimming but they won't really solve your current supply problems if your alternator can't keep up.
- Will NOT retain reserve power for extended periods of time with the charging system off (vehicle not running).
- Will NOT increase the charging system's voltage. Just because a cap says that it is rated at 16V or more does not mean that it provides that amount of power, only that it is capable of handling up to that amount.
- Will NOT replace the need for a higher output alternator and/or a deep-cycle battery or batteries. This includes larger 10, 25, 50, etc. farad caps as they will NOT hold reserve power as long or as well as a battery, so please avoid these larger units.
- Will NOT make your system sound any better.
- Are NOT as cost effective as a single battery for the storing of power as many are priced equal to or higher than batteries.

While capacitors do have their uses, but are misused by many and have become more of a marketing ploy by manufacturing companies to have you purchase more of their products.

Battery(s):
- Will (as we all know) hold reserve power for an extended period of time for uses such as starting the vehicle or running the sound system while the vehicle is off
- Additional batteries dedicated to the sound system Will store additional reserve power for system peak draws. Deep cycle preferred as they will recharge faster.
- Additional batteries Will hold a larger reserve of amperes for an extended period of time when the system is not at full draw.
- Will NOT replace the need for a higher output alternator as a method of providing more power (remember batteries only store power, they don't produce it).
- Will NOT make your system sound better.

Ok well I hope this helps explain the differenses and uses for each and remember that there is NO replacement for generating power from the alternator through additional components such as capacitors and/ or batteries.
Also note that proper wiring is a MUST and without the proper wire sizes for adequate current flow and grounding you will NOT get the results from any part(s) of your charging system.
 

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Very nice, i get into arguments with people all the time about capacitors and they will not accept that the capacitor is a band-aid for a weak electrical system.

I recently installed a system in my friends monte carlo, 500 rms Autotek amp with the capacitor installed his lights dimmed like crazy. We removed the cap and now they hardly dim, hopefully the Big 3 im getting ready to do will take car of the rest of the light problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I get the arguements too, but normally not as bad since I've been doing this for a very long time, so most realize I know what I'm talking about.

As it says in the FAQ, Caps do have their place and are great used as a filter to equal out voltage when you are still within your power requirements, but so many make this mistake thinking that they don't need more power or reserve and that all they need is a cap to solve their problems... These people would be WRONG :D
 

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Good post. I did forget about the filtering issues of a cap, but that would be the only benefit I would see and in most cases unneeded. I agree about the cap are useless as fixes for bigger electrical issues. In the past, with proper wiring and a big enough battery, I have had enough juice out of stock alternator, even when running over 1200W! A Mazda Protege5 nonetheless too.
 

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A cap WILL NOT make your system sound better, if it does its mostly a placebo effect. The cap is an additional strain on your power system, it does not relieve strain. Like i have said it is a band-aid for a bigger problem.
 

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A cap WILL NOT make your system sound better, if it does its mostly a placebo effect. The cap is an additional strain on your power system, it does not relieve strain. Like i have said it is a band-aid for a bigger problem.
A cap CAN make your system sound better. :raspberry

It is only a bandaid if you use it like a bandaid.
 

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A cap CAN make your system sound better. :raspberry

It is only a bandaid if you use it like a bandaid.
How it has nothing involving the sound processing side of a system. It is on the power side, it has no effect either way on your sound. It might help with light dimming issues but like i said it is a band-aid for an electrical system that is being overdrawn, it is not a fix for anything but a bigger problem which can lead to either you needing a new alternator, or a new battery or failure of other electrical components.

Now please read some of these so you can understand better what a cap actually does. If you dont understand a few things dont be scared to ask.

http://forum.realmofexcursion.com/showthread.php?t=17970

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/4/4556.html

http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?TID=84033&KW=capacitors

Its some reading but it helps explain what we have been saying, and if yo search any audio forum its the same thing, if you dont believe that they cant help, then hey send your money on one, il use mine towards a bigger alternator.
 

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How it has nothing involving the sound processing side of a system. It is on the power side, it has no effect either way on your sound. It might help with light dimming issues but like i said it is a band-aid for an electrical system that is being overdrawn, it is not a fix for anything but a bigger problem which can lead to either you needing a new alternator, or a new battery or failure of other electrical components.

Now please read some of these so you can understand better what a cap actually does. If you dont understand a few things dont be scared to ask.
Do not talk down to me like I am an idiot. I am not new to car stereo and I am certainly not new to audio.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

I never said anything about the processing side of audio and caps.

Batteries applied in car building have rather high energy storage, but electrochemical reactions which take place on the electrodes with the limited speed cause slow reaction to powerful short-termed loads emerging during amplifier's operation. Their internal resistance does not let apply resulting discharge currents. During amplifier operating with a standard battery, on-board voltage drops immediately, that influences quality of audio program reproduction: distortion of low frequencies, non-stable volume of reproduction.

If you think that having reserve power next to the amp that replinishes faster than a battery does not benefit your amp, then I disagree with you.

Once again, I never said it was the best bang for the buck or to replace a battery. IF you have a well designed system with properly designed electrical, a cap can help your overall system. I just do not see why someone would not spend $100 more on a $5000 system to ensure maximum performance.

I stand by what I said and you can stand by what you said. To each their own.
 

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That reserve powr lasts miliseconds, and takes longer to recharge than to discharge. Where does the cap get its power, a battery which will disharge slower than a cap, a lot slower. You might see a voltage drop, a slow one at that, but in the case of a deep cycle battery it can hold that charge for hours depending on the reserve. The reason your dont see SPL guys using hundreds of caps instead of batteries is becuase the cap is used to store energy, and quickly discharge. A couple of examples look at the old disposable cameras with the flash it would take ten or more seconds to charge a capacitor that uses its energy in less than a second, not very efficient in terms of energy storage. Another example in one of the links a person compared charging a cap to filling a cup up with water then dumping the water out all at once, so depending on the size of the cup will depend on fill time. Same goes with a cap like i said it takes milisecons to discharge while it may take several seconds to recharge, doesnt sounds like a long time but when we are talking about music you could discharge the cap several times a second.

Sorry if you felt i was talking to you like an idiot, i talk to someone about car audio at least every day at work and some of the things i hear are insane. In fact i have on kid who swears sony makes the best subs cause they where 300 each from BB.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A cap CAN make your system sound better. :raspberry

It is only a bandaid if you use it like a bandaid.
False & True
1st) A capacitor will NOT make your system sound any better as blazinlow89 said "it has nothing involving the sound processing side of a system".
It may if properly used help maintain the voltage to your amplifier making it seem as though you are getting a cleaner sound.

2nd) As I stated in the FAQ... Most use as a bandaid for lack of proper power and this will only shorten the life span of your stock charging (alternator) and reserve (battery)... As the alt is working harder and the battery is now receiving a proper charge.

I am in no way trying to talk down to anyone (so please don't take it as such), but instead trying to educate those who don't know. I have been dealing with car audio since it became aftermarket... longer than most of you have been alive and would only like to see people learn from my experience, mistakes, and the many mistakes I seen :thumbsup:
 

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False & True
1st) A capacitor will NOT make your system sound any better as blazinlow89 said "it has nothing involving the sound processing side of a system".
It may if properly used help maintain the voltage to your amplifier making it seem as though you are getting a cleaner sound.
Something does not have to involve sound processing side of a system to make a system sound better. Giving an amplifier the juice it needs when it needs it will make it sound better than an amplifier that is starved.

I am not going to change your opinion and you are mine. That is what makes America great.

:grouphug:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Something does not have to involve sound processing side of a system to make a system sound better. Giving an amplifier the juice it needs when it needs it will make it sound better than an amplifier that is starved.I am not going to change your opinion and you are mine. That is what makes America great.
:grouphug:
I have no arguement with you there brother... which is exactly why I said:
"It may if properly used help maintain the voltage to your amplifier making it seem as though you are getting a cleaner sound."
For the simple point of fact as I previously stated that they do a good job for equalizing voltage. So see we are on the same page :thumbsup:

I just don't want people to get confused with all of the mis-uses of caps as many do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There are actually 2 different ways of wiring secondary (or more) batteries.
The first is with an isolator(s) which is preffered by many as you can leave your system run with the vehicle turned off and never worry about draining the starting battery.
There are 2 types of isolators.
1st) Diode Type Isolator
2nd) Solenoid Type Isolators

The second option is to wire the batteries in parallel (fused)

All of the aboved mentioned can be found here with diagrams and detailed description:
http://www.bcae1.com/battiso.htm
 

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Anything can be added when not needed, but capacitors DO perform a valid function and ARE useful in audio amplification, in a car or elsewhere. In fact, the are almost always found INSIDE the amplifiers themselves as a critical element of design to help current supply issues. The advantage of capacitors over batteries is reaction time. And it is a misnomer to say that they "discharge in miliseconds". Yeah, they CAN, but can also only partially discharge and also do so over longer times. It all depends on the over all circuit design and operation. What is for sure true, is that batteries cannot be sped up, but capacitors can be slowed down.

The bottom line is that many people do buy them to fufill a role that isn;t needed, but they still have a place that no other component can exactly match.
 

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I see you guys covered batteries and capacitors, but what about the power cell things made from soundstream ect. I admit i dont know as much as you guys, but I've seen a capacitor do wonders. I'm not arguing I'm just wondering wheres the line of it being a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I see you guys covered batteries and capacitors, but what about the power cell things made from soundstream ect. I admit i dont know as much as you guys, but I've seen a capacitor do wonders. I'm not arguing I'm just wondering wheres the line of it being a bad idea.
The Powercell/ Capcells that you are referring to are nothing more than a deep cell battery with a capacitor attached to the top of it.

Again, capacitors do serve a purpose... basically where it crosses the line is when you are using a capacitor(s) as an alternate to creating more power... basically using as a band aid... Supercaps such as 20, 30, 50 farad were only created because people started using caps in a wrong manner and thus the companies saw a market and profit potential.
 

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The Powercell/ Capcells that you are referring to are nothing more than a deep cell battery with a capacitor attached to the top of it.

Again, capacitors do serve a purpose... basically where it crosses the line is when you are using a capacitor(s) as an alternate to creating more power... basically using as a band aid... Supercaps such as 20, 30, 50 farad were only created because people started using caps in a wrong manner and thus the companies saw a market and profit potential.
I know I'm late but I have this problem that is bugging me well I bought the Yellow top Duralast and hook up 4ch hifonics amp and 1 12" pioneer premier and the 4 power acoustik 6 1/2 on the door panels. So one day while I was finish cleaning my throttle body and when I was thightning my negative cable to the battery my socket wrench hit the middle cable on the delphi fuse panel in front of the battery and now my lights dimm everytime the bass kicks in. what can I do to fix this problem?. Any help is appreciated.
 
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