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Old 04-29-2006, 02:32 PM   #81
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could explain "pinched" and expland a bit more on the power wire?
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:49 PM   #82
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If the power wire is "pinched" under a seat frame or some other spot enough to slice the jacket, it's grounding out. If the setup worked before, that's probably not it.

If the system powers up, but pops the fuse as soon as the amp plays, regarding of volume, it's most likely a blown amplifier.

If it plays OK at lower volume but pops when you get louder, it could be the amp, but is more likely a fried voicecoil on a woofer.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:49 PM   #83
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Are you using an 80amp barrel fuse? If so i would say thats your problem. Consider the heat the fuse takes in the engine bay plus all the power the kicker amp pulls i would say upgrade to a 200 watt waffer fuse and waffer fuse holder. I used to have a kicker 360 and those amps are little monsters try this out and let me know.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:06 PM   #84
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thanks everyone, tommorow im going to look into it at further detail so hopefully i can come back with some results with some subtance.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:11 PM   #85
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sorry, i also failed to mettion that earlier when it happened the first time, when we popped the trunk to check the sub's there was smoke coming out of the port holes, but they still work quite fine, this im quite stumped about.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:31 AM   #86
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What kind of woofers? I've plugged a 15w3 into the wall until the smoke alarms in the room went off, left it playing and smoking for 10 solid minuters, and it wouldn't freeze. It was definately fried, but it wouldn't die!

If there was smoke, your subs coils are certainly done, whether it still plays or not. That means they're showing your amp a lower load (if not a short) and it's drawing more power because of it - assuming it hasn't burnt an output! So - there's your fuse problem. Replace the woofers, hopefully the amp isn't gone too.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:31 PM   #87
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extacly as you said ami, we replaced the woofers with some audiobahns, and now everything is working perfectly, only now is to ajust the gain etc etc thanks everyone for all your help. Oh yeah the dimming has stopped and im pretty sure the capactior is now working,
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:51 AM   #88
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I had to stop reading

Ok, this is my first post on this forum, and I am a new GA owner.. maybe I shouldn't start on this forum by posting this, but I had to after reading this thread.

Ok, first of all.. a bit of backround on me... I have been in the car audio industry for about 6 years... I did a bit of installing (I rather suck at it because I get lazy).. I am MECP certified, and I sold car audio equipment for the rest of the time. (For everyone who knows what they are talking about.. yes.. MECP is bull****, and doesn't mean anything.. but for those who don't know what you are talking about.. it means that I do know what I am talking about)

There is A LOT of bad information even in this thread that is supposed to be giving clarity. I had to stop reading on page three, so I jumped here.

I am going to explain very simply about diming lights in lamen terms so that everyone understands.. I wont even mention watts, volts, or anything have to do with Ohm's because it really doesn't matter. To a seasoned car pro, what I am saying you can easily pick apart, and say that is not how it works, but realise why I am explaining it like this.. Fundamentaly, this is EXACTLY how it works... for the purpose of explaining it without using any technical terms... this explains it just fine.

Very simply, your lights are diming because something in your electrical system is using more power than it should be, without putting in back into the system, and is making other devices starve. Your cars electricity is basically like a large loop. Every device in your vehicle that uses electricity, takes just as much as it needs, and then spits it back out to the rest of your system.

Think of this like a buffet table. Everyone is eating, and the chefs keep bringing out food. Well, then some big fat kid comes in, and eats all the food, farting real loud just like your stereo is. Well, now everyone else is starving for food, and they are getting weaker.

How do you fix this? Well a cap is def not the answer, just like the first post mentioned in this thread... and for the exact reason that was mentioned...

Do you get a bigger battery and alternator as the next step? No... no you don't.

Most installers out there will tell you I am full of **** right now, because if you do the math, a stock alternator can power your massive stereo.. that may be true.. but for 90% of you that have diming lights, that is not the case. You can go waste money on your new stuff, but that might not even fix the problem, and it is definately not necessary.

If you are running a massive 150-160 db system.. ignore this post.. but if you have an average stereo system... 2 10" Alpine type R's... 2 12" jl 12w3v2's... then I would not jump to the idea you need to replace your battery and alternator right away.

That being said.. of course make sure they are in good working order... if they are ... then try this.

MOST systems will have diming lights because the AMP is using such a large amount of electricity (like the fat kid) but is not dispursing it back in to the system allowing other devices to use it as well. Now this creates 2 problems. The amp can't just, not let electricity pass through it. It needs to dispurse it somewhere. It does so in two ways... of course through the ground, and through heat energy. It is good that is passes it through the ground, it is bad that is keeping it in the amp and dispursing it as heat.

To fix this, check your f'ing wiring. After 6 years of almost daily showing 16 year old kids why they shouldn't install their own stuff, grounds are the most common reason why people have diming lights.

"Well i cleaned the ground spot very good with a wire brush"... thats great.. glad you did that... too bad your ground is 20 feet long and 8 gauge... or.. too bad your gounding it to tin flasing that is glued on to the inside of your trunk...

There is no definate answer to where is the best place to ground your stereo. Every system is different, and every car is different. I can almost guarantee you though, that it is the reason for your diming.

My most common answers when asked why lights were diming was

1. Check your ground, make sure it is clean, tight, not open to the elements, and attached to a major groundable support structure. I have even noticed that adding a grounding strap between certain panels in the vehicle hace stopped lights from diming.

2. Check your power, and ground. Make sure that your power wire can handle your needs, and if it is barely handling what you need, step up the ground, or shorten it if you can. There is no problem is running an 8 gauge power, and a 4 gauge ground. Some installers say this will cause noise, and sometimes it can... however, that is rare, and if causes noise, then try something else.. but if it stops your diming without causing noise.. guess what... you are a genious.

3. Don't be stupid.. if you are running a 400w amp on a JL 13w7... you obviously have the damn thing cranked and it isnt working to its potential, and is causing a lot of problems. Run things how they are supposed to be ran. If you can't afford to run it properly, then don't buy it. GAIN IS NOT A VOLUME CONTROL!!!! .. I can not stress that enough.. I wont bother explaining what gain actually is, but it IS NOT VOLUME!!! yes i realise it makes things louder when you turn it up, but it also adds that distortion that loves to heat up voice coils and turn your ports into fog machines.

If all of that fails, then.. and only then.. look in to beefing up the cables on your alternator. This rarely does anything, but has worked in the past.. If that still fails then get a new alternator/battery.. or add another battery.. or whatever. If you add another batter, make sure you do it properly and use a kit / relay system. Don't just run it in series, or parallel like I think someone was mentioning early.. that is retarded.

If all of that fails... TURN IT DOWN!!!

Now welcome me to the forum
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:40 AM   #89
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Im gonna go ahead and be the first to disagree with some of what you are saying... I don't know the SPL my system pushed but i know it isn't 150-160, i have two amps, one for my coaxials and one for my subs. The coax is a RF P2002, the other amp is a kenwood KAC 9102 which is rated at 850 W RMS per channel the way i have it wired. The subs are a pair of Power Acoustik FUBAR 12's, rated at 900 W RMS each. My power and ground are Stinger 1/0 gauge with patinum terminals, grounded to the chassis. With all of this, when i first got it all installed i had no dimming whatsoever, and i could blast it in teh parking lot. After about 2 weeks of doing that i started noticing a lot of whining coming through the speakers, so i spent some time trying to figure out why since i had rerun all wire very carefully, and hadn't had the problem until then. not being able to figure anything out, i sat in my car (car on of course) and started messing with the head unit etc. after a short while i started noticing my lights would dim quite a bit, which had yet to occur. leaving the volume up, they got worse and worse, and then the subs would cut off for a second or two then come back on, you would say that i had the gain set too loud or such, but i set them with a voltmeter very carefully with a 50 hz track recorded at 0 db. it wasn't until my head unit cut off for a split second that i realized what was happening. what you said about the closed system is true, and i agree with you. however it is a little more in depth than what you campared it to, the battery supplies the power. the alternator recharges the battery. in normal use the battery doesn't use a significant amount of the charge stored, so the alternator can charge the battery as fast as is discharges. when you begin adding in subs, amps, and other goodies, you start pulling more charge from the battery. the problems begin when you pull charge faster than the alternator can add, thus you begin to drain the battery. adding a higher output alternator (which can charge the battery faster) will certainly help, and adding a second battery to the system can too, however, if the second battery gets drained then both are just added resistances in the system and puts even more load of the alternator. so in your analogy a second battery is like adding another chef so they can bring more food, however, unless there are enough ovens to cook the food, the chefs can end up standing around...
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:17 PM   #90
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Well I don't really think you were disagreeing with me there, rather just continuing on from what I said.

Keep in mind, like I mentioned in the beginning, I was dumbing everything down a bit. And yes, there are loopholes in my analogy... but the base of what I am saying is the same as you.

When I mentioned the 150-160 db range, I was not being very exact. If you have ever heard 150 db, that is a pretty extreme stereo... not to mnetion 160...

Like I also said.. every system and every vehicle is different, and there is never a cut and dry reason why your lights are diming.

However, I could still argue with you.. because it is very rare that someones system is drawing that much, that the battery is no longer charging. Yes, a lot of systems, ie... yours... will do this, but it is not common. The reason is because U would have to be POUNDING yoru system more than not when the vehicle is running. The majority of the public with stereo's believe it or not, does not pound their system the entire time their car is driving. In fact, in my 6 years in the industry, I can only think of one specific time that a kid had that problem.

Also, the 9102 is a pretty hungry amp.. remember that it is meant to be strapped, not ran alone. or am i thinking of the 9152... bah well.. one of the two...

Just remember, how vague, and non specific I was being in my little rant
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:05 PM   #91
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i dim my lights with my subs, but only when i really really have it up loud. i have a pair of Boston Acoustic 12" G5s with a Boston GT-28 powering them. i have 2 4 gauge going into the + of the amp, and 2 1.5' 4 gauge grounded to the chassie. i have a optima red top and a ohio generater alternator, that is rated up to 190 amps. the boston amp is pushing out 450x2. not THAT much power. less then 1000 watts. i can still dim them like crazy. i dont know why. i also have a kicker 100x2 for the boston SL95s out back, and a Kenwood 25th Anniversary XXV-02A 4 channel amp for the Boston z6s in the front. which puts out 124x4. i dont get why i'm still dimming the lights. oh i also can drag my voltage down low enough to blow the fuses in my amp cause it cant get enough power. which if my Pioneer N2 volt meter is right, is about 11 volts flat. give or take 0.3 volts either way. 4 25 amp fuses. any help with this would be great. i have no clue.
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:18 PM   #92
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Double check all the wiring and connections, and REALLY pay attention to the ground wires and locations. If the OG is really putting out 190 (probably less at idle, though) and you have a redtop, you shouldn't have issues. Also, what resistance are the voicecoils on those woofers, and how are they wired with the amp? If it's running under it's rated load, it'll be drawing more current than it should.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:19 AM   #93
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both ground wires are not on paint within a few inchs of each other.

thats what i thought

there 2 ohms. the nice thing about boston is that you dont have to d*ck around with the voice coils. you can either run the woofer at 2 ohms for 8. there are 2 fuses on the woofer. if you want 2 ohms keep both in. but if you want 8 ohms, then take one out. here the manual to the subs. i have the 12-44, the DVC's.

http://bostonacoustics.com/manuals/G5_GTR_Man.pdf

heres how i have the subs wired to the amp. this link is of the amps manual. you have to scroll down quite a ways before you get to what you need to look at. your looking for example C. that is how i have them wired.

http://bostonacoustics.com/manuals/GT28_24Man.pdf

if you see anything i did wrong, or have any questions, let me know. and thanks for the help bud
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:39 AM   #94
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Soooo - you have them set for 2 ohms, and you wired them like example C?

If that is correct, you are running your amp mono into a 1 ohm nominal load. And that handily explains why it's acting like it is. Leave them wired to the amp like "C", but switch the connections on the woofers for 8 ohms. You'll be runnin mono into a 4 ohm load, making 900 watts. Believe me, you won't notice the tiny dip in power (the amps power supply is cutting way back anyway right now, you're probably making LESS than 900, not the 1350 they claim for mono 2 ohm operation), and 450 watts split between two woofers at peak power when they're already seeing over 400 each won't make an audible difference. Your amp will run much cooler, your lights won't dim much if at all, the bass will be cleaner and punchier, and you won't blow any fuses.

:tup:
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:37 AM   #95
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hmmm. . . what if i wired them like example B? would that fix it? the only reason i ask is cause i've damn near stripped the holes on one of the woofers from pulling it out so much. i think its on its last leg, so i'd rather not pull the sub out, if thats possible.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:08 PM   #96
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Are they in a common-chamber in the box, or seperate chambers? If they're in a common chamber, I wouldn't recommend anything other than what I said. If they're in seperate chambers and have seperate connections on the box, you can wire them in series outside the box. Simply disconnect the + from one side and the - from the other (doesn't matter which is which), so you only have two wires running to the amp, a + from one speaker and a - from the other. Then cut a short length of wire and connect the now empty + from one side to the now empty - on the other. You should now have a + wire from the amp to one woofer, a - wire from the amp to the other woofer, and a 3rd wire connecting the other + and - terminals on the box. Voila' - 4 ohm load, amp satys bridged, everything's happy.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:27 AM   #97
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i did what you said, and it works great. no more dimming. now i get to see just how loud my subs are. thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:26 AM   #98
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That's why we're here, man - you are most welcome. Enjoy!
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:37 PM   #99
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Hello all,

This is a back to basics rant for anyone who is interested.

Maybe this is a dumb question but when you installed the capacitor did it come with a safety drain resistor connected across the terminals and if so, ... did you remove the resistor?

That resistor can put a significant load on your electrics and is supposed to be removed once everything is hooked up, BEFORE you turn the sound equipment on.

Have you cleaned your battery posts (screw jacks sorry) and connectors lately?

I recently replaced both my positive and negative battery cables, they looked OK until I removed them and found corrosion at the engine block and fuse block ends, the battery end connectors "seemed" OK as well until I saw that the lead was starting to look dark, (the old battery was sulfating like and old Ford)

Changed the battery a week before the cables, BIG improvement when the cables were replaced.

North American cars built in the last 15 years or so have been notorious for bad grounding issues, "Ground Loops" occur when the electrical resistance varies between the negative battery post and the engine block, the frame in multiple places and anywhere that you might expect to connect your amp's ground wire to on the body.

I've seen as much as a 1.5 volts drop between the battery and the floor of the trunk in a modern American made car, (to be fair the imports are only marginally better these days)

This problem is caused by the relatively low grade metals used in the body, the lack of an end to end steel frame and the tendency of many manufacturers to use wire and cable in the factory harnesses that is just barely a large enough gauge to handle the current running through it under normal circumstances.

Tis they way of the world I'm afraid and nothing will be done to correct these issues by the manufacturers.

I've found that running some nice welding cable (Ought 2 is nice and heavy) from the battery to the back of the car and connecting it to the body as a supplemental ground has worked very well.


CHeers from the old Electronics guy.

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