what size alternator do i need for car audio This is a topic that many people are looking for. newyorkcityvoices.org is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, newyorkcityvoices.org would like to introduce to you How to plan car audio ELECTRICAL system wiring – Is the alternator big enough?. Following along are instructions in the video below:
” s one of my friends welcome to car audio fabrication. I recently started working on on a new car audio install in a jeep grand cherokee. Now this install is to feature three different amplifiers and a separate digital signal processor. Which means i have a lot of wiring that i need to do so how can we plan for the wiring stage of an install and how do we determine what we need gonna be taking you guys along for the ride.
As i do so on this project. I ve got an ipad here you don t need an ipad you can do this with pencil and paper. But that way you guys can follow along and see what i m doing let s get on into it so the first thing we re going to do here is we re gonna hop into this app that i like to use this is called notability there s a million different apps. Out there that you could use i like using this one.
The reason that i like to use something like an ipad is it makes it really easy to be more visual in this example you can see that i have a browser on the side here and i can pull in my different amplifiers. I m gonna be using the llc six point 1200. What i m able to do is i can bring this picture open and i can actually click and just drag it right in to this application. And this is just gonna make things a little bit more visual and easy to understand alright.
So i ve got all the amplifiers added in here the next thing that i need to add is i also have to bring in my digital signal processor. This is going to control the signal that comes from the vehicle turn it into rca outputs for the different amplifiers. So we ve got that in there. Now i m going to add some generic things into this drawing as well i m going to start with adding a battery for the battery.
We re just gonna use our stylist. A pen tool and we re actually going to just draw it in like so and we re going to label one side as being the ground or the negative and then we re going to change colors here and we re going to label the other side as the positive lead with our basic layout here. I m going to move down the dsp just so it s a little bit out of the way for now. But we can start actually drawing in our wires.
So we know that we re going to come out of the battery and then of course. We need a fuse so i m going to leave a space there and then we will come out of the fuse and we re gonna go down. And i need to somehow divide this wire up so we re going to have a distribution block. So i m going to leave another space there and then out of the distribution block.
We re going to go into each of the three different amplifiers with our power. Now don t forget that we also have things like the dsp. We might also have some lights. Some other stuff so i want a power feed for that stuff as well in order to have a power feed for those we re going to have another wire coming out of our distribution block.
That s going to go over here. And i m going to leave a space in that location right here. I m gonna leave that space for a smaller fuse distribution block now we also need to connect the negative or the ground wire for each of these amplifiers and devices. So.
Let s say that we have a separate large ground distribution block in this area right here. So we re going to come out of that amplifier and go to it will come out of this amplifier and go to it. And then finally will come out of this amplifier and go to it so up until now we ve just been leaving spaces for the distribution blocks and fuses and the different things that we re going to use let s actually pick some out and get them added in so. I m here on the new concept site.
Right now oh check that out car audio fabrication review right there on a previous video. But we re going to go to fuse blocks. Now we re gonna get down into the details and determine what size each of these wires needs to be but obviously we re going to be using a large wire in this location here feeding our amplifiers and our main inline fuse block. So let s go to the inline fuse holders.
Here i know that i need a zero gauge. Inline. We don t need anything crazy let s go with this guy right here the basic zero gauge. An l.
Inline fuse holder. So here we have it right here. We will click and we will drag and drop. It in resize.
It a little bit so the next thing. We need is a distribution block. The distribution block goes from one wire into multiple different wires out. And i ve already kind of looked and i know that i want a four way because i have four different wires coming out here.
So i m going to go with this guy right here. This four way distribution block. And this is what s nice about working on an ipad. I can actually easily zoom into things if i need to just to get a little bit more resolution out of this screen.
So now that i have the positive distribution block in here. We need to also have a negative distribution block in this location. Here s a negative distribution block right here. They call.
It a six way ground block. So we ll open that up and click and drag it in as well finally for all the small stuff that i m gonna add to this install including the dsp. I m going to be using this blue c systems split fuse block. This is a nice small fuse block that i can use for the smaller pieces of equipment.
If you guys want to see a review video that i did on that you can check it out up in the corner of the screen. So let s draw in a couple. More details here. I know that of course.
There s going to be a ground coming off this smaller fuse block. I have the positive going into that one part there. But i m also going to have a relay that will allow me to have a switched side since this is two different parts of the distribution block. So the relay will run to that side.
And it ll be fed from power off a fuse here. So that way i ll have a constant that s always coming off the top that can feed my dsp. But i m also going to have a switched source that will come off of that as well and tell the dsp to turn on and off. We can also have the dsp connect to the ground side so now we get to the fun part now we need to start doing some calculations.
I need to determine the total system power. What wire size. We re going to be using and get an idea how much total current that vehicle is going to need to be able to provide before we get into those steps. Though.
I do want to take a quick second to say thank you to our new monthly channel sponsor. New concepts. As you can see here on the new concepts website they offer amplifier kits battery terminals fuse blocks all sorts of different stuff but one of the things i want to focus on right now that we re gonna be talking about in this video is power wire for this particular project. I plan to use this stuff right here this is the colossus flex cable.
Which is an oxygen free copper cable. Which as you can see on the screen here is a high strand count. 9999. Percent purity tinned oxygen free copper cable.
This is the real deal you can see that they actually have four ott gauge. They have zero gauge 4 gauge. 8 gauge. So tons of different options here and the other thing is awesome that they have these options here for the candy colors you can see this light blue.
This like lime green neon orange and purple tons of different options for color coding or matching your install to learn more about the colossus wire. And new concepts. You can check out the link down in the video description. The first step of our calculations.
Here is we need to determine how much actual amplifier power. We re going to be using let s start with taking a look at this amplifier here the lc 6 point 1200. I m gonna pull up the specs for this amplifier on the left side of the screen here now. Although.
This amplifier has the capability of being wired down to a 2 ohm load. And therefore providing 200 watts per channel. I m only going to be using a 4 ohm load on each of the channels. It s only going to be 6 times 125 watts or 750.
For the small micro amplifier. It s the same case. I m going to be using 4 times 50 watts. So in other words 200.
Watts. Total finally for the subwoofer. I ll be using the 2 ohm loads. So the full power of this amplifier 1 times 800 watts.
Which equals obviously 800. So for our total system power. We re going to have 200. Plus.
750. Plus. 800. Which equals 1750.
So we know that we have 750 watts of total system power that we re going to be using. So i need to provide at that full amount of current through this wire in this location. Here. So we re gonna start with sizing that main power feed now keep in mind that whatever size the main power lead is in this location.
Here. That will also need to be the same size wire in this location for our main ground. So now we need to calculate our current to get our current. I we re going to divide power by the system voltage so to get current.
We re going to have 750 divided by if the vehicle is off. We ll call it twelve point eight volts. This equals. Approximately 137 amps that means that these amplifiers would pull 137 amps of current.
If they were a hundred percent efficient and that s of course at full volume. Now obviously amplifiers aren t a hundred percent efficient. We lose some of that efficiency. So these amplifiers are all d class.
Amplifiers. Let s just take an estimate. And say that they re about 80 efficient. If we take 137 amps and divide by the fact that they re 80.
If we will get the fact that they re going to need about a hundred and seventy one amps of current. So what does this all mean well this is kind of the worst case scenario of how much current we could possibly be pulling from our system. Now here s what s interesting. I actually looked up the rating of the stock alternator on this vehicle and found that it had a rating of only a hundred and sixty amps now if worst case scenario.
I need a hundred and seventy one amps. How could i ever possibly have enough with only having 160 amps from the alternator that a hundred and seventy one value that we came up with that is if we are absolutely playing your system to the absolute max volume. And i know what a lot of you guys are thinking. Oh man.
Mark. I want to play my system to the max volume. What i mean by the absolute max output is if you were cranking a like 40 hertz test tone through the subwoofer amplifier. And then something like that a thousand hertz test tone simultaneously through the other amplifiers.
If you are absolutely just blasting assigned wave. That would be the only time that you would ever possibly pull this much current from the system. The point. I m trying to get at here is if you re creating a competition sound system.
Where the only thing you re ever going to do is just play one note one sine wave frequency then yes obviously you need to upgrade the stock. Alternator but for 999 of the system s out there you re not interested in just playing a sine wave. If you want to play music. And even if you re somebody that really really loves bass.
You re only pulling that max amount of base from the subwoofer amplifier. Not pulling all that max current from your total system at all times. So here s the deal so we are going to use that 171 amps value. We re going to use that to determine our wire size as you can see on the chart on the left side of the screen here if i go to the zero gauge size for this colossus wire.
I can see that here 375 amps. It can handle that much current the max load at twenty feet. So that is what i m going to want to use because 150 amps is too small at the four gauge so back on my chart here. I know that this wire.
Here that s going to be zero gauge. That s going to be zero gauge and then if you did that same formula as before you would find that each of them is under a hundred and fifty amps. So we could use four gauge here here here i m going to use four gauge there even though it s going to be plenty large enough we ll use zero gauge of course here because it matches that and then these will all be four gauge as well so we use that 170 m value to determine our max wire size right. But how can we use that value to determine what we will actually be using and if our stock alternator is large enough well unfortunately without doing a ton of testing and basically always listening to the exact same music.
There s no clear cut answer for this well you have to understand about music. And what s honestly pretty obvious is that the volume is constantly changing so we re gonna have different power requirements at different times during the song. So what this means is the power requirement is going to be different from song to song. And it s also going to be very different from listener to listener if i m the type of guy.
That s listening to rock music. But i m listening to it at normal moderate volume. All the time my power requirements are a lot different than somebody that is just absolutely cranking the system all the time and only listening to rap where honestly the baseline a lot of the times is much like a sine wave so this is just my opinion. This is not an exact science and again there s no way to having an exact answer for this unless.
You re literally going to take every single song and figure out what kind of power requirement. That song has this is just my approximation. If you are a bass heavy listener you are going to use a value of 50 for the equation that i m about to show you and then we have more of the average listener in my opinion. The average listener is somebody that likes to crank it up from time to time.
And enjoy it but for the most part they re just gonna be driving around kind of listening to everything at a moderate volume. And they have a wide range of musical interests for this average listener. I m going to use a value of 25. So to come up with an approximation of how much current you re actually going to be using you re going to take this value here and multiply.
It by whatever factor you re going to use so in my approximation here. A bass. Heavy listener will use about 86 amps and an average listener will use about forty three amps. So.
If you are a bass heavy listener. You know what you re probably going to have to consider upgrading that stock alternator. But if you re an average listener. You re probably gonna get by with that honestly.
Quite. Large 160 amps stock alternator again. It really boils down to the stock alternator size in your vehicle. As it changes from small vehicle to large vehicle.
And what type of listener you are in this case. I should be good to go. But i did do a little bit of research and found that there is a 240 amp. Alternator.
Available for this particular vehicle. If need be it would give me another. Nice 80 amps to work with and again that s why it s really critical if you consider yourself a bass heavy listener you should definitely consider also upgrading the electrical system so now that i ve made a rough overview of my system electrical plan. I know what fuse blocks.
I need to get distribution blocks that kind of thing along with what size wires. I need to get so now really. The only thing i need to do is go on out to the vehicle and actually just take some measurements. That s easy enough.
I just use a string and a tape measure to approximate the distances. If you are planning out a new system and you re in need of the electrical components definitely check out new concepts. Comm and as always a special thanks goes out to john brian alleys. Steve emanuel and jerry and the rest of the patreon membership team a big thing said those guys for helping with the making of these videos you can check out a couple of my other videos here on screen.
I really appreciate you guys being here and checking out these videos as always my friends i ll catch you guys in the next one thank you for ” ..
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