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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Wife and I have a '11 Sonata. Was researching options for aftermarket amplifier installation, and therefore charging system limitations. I saw in a review that the alternator only charges while the engine is decelerating, to reduce drag on the engine and subsequently increasing fuel mileage. That's great and all, but if you have amplifiers that have a combined fuse rating of 160 amps like mine do, then not being able to charge the battery continuously would be a major problem. Does anyone know of any way to bypass this alternator control circuit? :whistling:
 

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No system should be added to a car without a (CAP) Capacitor. You will not need to worry about the alternator if you wire in at least a 1 fared CAP inline with the amp.

The CAP stores power and doesn't allow the AMP to pull juice from the alternator.

Hope this helps....and ALWAYS add a CAP.
 

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OSN,

I would be very careful here on what your trying to run. IMHO, I would first talk to my dealer/serviice manager and tell them what you want to do, then off to your
local vehicle/sound system business that specializes in this type of work, keeping in mind the battery charge/discharge method Hyundai is using. Make sure dealer and sound folks agree on the install especially if its a project your going to do yourself.
Capacitors are used to block DC voltages so putting the cap inline (in series with the +12VDC) to me will not work, unless of course I misunderstood the post by Hyundaidealer and the method of which he was describing and I can certainly stand to be corrected.

Lots of high end electronics in these new vehicles.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (w9nwrwi @ Apr 19 2010, 12:29 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314585
OSN,

I would be very careful here on what your trying to run. IMHO, I would first talk to my dealer/serviice manager and tell them what you want to do, then off to your
local vehicle/sound system business that specializes in this type of work, keeping in mind the battery charge/discharge method Hyundai is using. Make sure dealer and sound folks agree on the install especially if its a project your going to do yourself.
Capacitors are used to block DC voltages so putting the cap inline (in series with the +12VDC) to me will not work, unless of course I misunderstood the post by Hyundaidealer and the method of which he was describing and I can certainly stand to be corrected.

Lots of high end electronics in these new vehicles.

Chuck
Thanks for the replies. I would rather adress the issue of charging current then use a band-aid (caps)that only works for MILLISECONDS AT A TIME in SOME SITUATIONS. So I'm drawing 100 amps, the alternator is not in charging mode, and the amplifier would see no voltage dips with an inline capacitor? Voltage dips are due to lack of available alternator current. If an alternator puts out 14+V and a battery puts out 12.5-12.8V with the car off and 14+V with the car on...what makes someone think a capacitor would give the amplifiers 14+V without the alternator? If I am pulling more current from the battery than the alternator can charge, the voltage would dip below 14V, the amplifiers would make less power, and likely the headlights would dim from seeing a lower system voltage. I am just trying to get some respectable alternator current. I already know what a dealer would say- leave the system alone. I already know what audio experts say- I talk to them on a regular basis. So I really do mean to ask the question- how do I bypass the alternator control circuit? THAT is what limits charging abilities in the car, not the lack of a VERY TEMPORARY storage device/AC voltage filter. The capacitors in my amplifier do a good enough job filtering...and they don't turn into hand grenades.

I'm just sayin.... :innocent:
 

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QUOTE (OSN @ Apr 19 2010, 01:41 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314600
Thanks for the replies. I would rather adress the issue of charging current then use a band-aid (caps)that only works for MILLISECONDS AT A TIME in SOME SITUATIONS. So I'm drawing 100 amps, the alternator is not in charging mode, and the amplifier would see no voltage dips with an inline capacitor? Voltage dips are due to lack of available alternator current. If an alternator puts out 14+V and a battery puts out 12.5-12.8V with the car off and 14+V with the car on...what makes someone think a capacitor would give the amplifiers 14+V without the alternator? If I am pulling more current from the battery than the alternator can charge, the voltage would dip below 14V, the amplifiers would make less power, and likely the headlights would dim from seeing a lower system voltage. I am just trying to get some respectable alternator current. I already know what a dealer would say- leave the system alone. I already know what audio experts say- I talk to them on a regular basis. So I really do mean to ask the question- how do I bypass the alternator control circuit? THAT is what limits charging abilities in the car, not the lack of a VERY TEMPORARY storage device/AC voltage filter. The capacitors in my amplifier do a good enough job filtering...and they don't turn into hand grenades.

I'm just sayin.... :innocent:
I don't think that Hyundai disengages the Alternator except during deceleration. You would have a lot of cars with issues. Probably what is really the case - and car manufacturers have been doing this for a while is that the alternator disengages at certain throttle positions. Like my GTO the compressor and the alternator dis-engaged at WOT.

You can get a cap that will handle 100 amps without voltage dips. You just might have to use multiple and/or bigger ones. Caps are specifically to prevent voltage dips. You are right though Caps are useless if they are truly disengaging the alternator for long periods.
 

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I don't think you understand what I was trying to say. All high end audio systems and ever DIY systems should use a CAP. You will not find a High end audio setup without one, nor will I ever install a system in my car without one. It helps prevent voltage spikes from hitting the battery or your cars charging system..

Good luck.
 

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QUOTE (HyundaiDealer @ Apr 19 2010, 02:01 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314608
I don't think you understand what I was trying to say. All high end audio systems and ever DIY systems should use a CAP. You will not find a High end audio setup without one, nor will I ever install a system in my car without one. It helps prevent voltage spikes from hitting the battery or your cars charging system..

Good luck.
A cap is not a surge protector. Your amp doesn't generate "spikes" of voltage.

Here's a writeup I found a few years back about this subject. It's a good read.

QUOTE
A capacitor makes a huge dent in your wallet, with minimal positive impact on your car's electrical system. Think of a capacitor as a small power surplus storage device. All it really does is catch a little overflow of current from the alternator, if there is any, and stores a limited amount of power internally. Considering that even a small cap can cost you over $100 plus install, they really don't offer much. If your audio system is higher in continuous wattage (lets say for example 1000 W RMS total), you'd probably be told by an electronics retailer to purchase a 1 to 5 FARAD capacitor. A normal price for a 1 to 2 Farad cap can range from $150 to $300.

Lets look at it from another perspective. You can get a decent deep cycle battery for around $150 to $200. These hold a much larger charge, and connected with a battery isolator ($25 on ebay), will give you a stand alone power supply for your sound system pulling minimal to nothing over the top of your vehicle's normal power consumption. So, your car's electrical charging system will last longer (likely longer than stock), your equipment will not affect essential functions like headlights at all, and wow, look at that, it costs less than a cap and does more for you. Aside from that, a cap will create more power draw on your car's recharging system if it is emptied. How can it be said to help relieve power draw, when it DRAWS POWER? If coupled with extra batteries and such, a capacitor can and will help in situations of extremely high current draw, but used as the sole solution to help with heavy power draws, they are not the best idea.
 

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QUOTE (HyundaiDealer @ Apr 19 2010, 01:01 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314608
I don't think you understand what I was trying to say. All high end audio systems and ever DIY systems should use a CAP. You will not find a High end audio setup without one, nor will I ever install a system in my car without one. It helps prevent voltage spikes from hitting the battery or your cars charging system..

Good luck.
I disagree. You won't find COMPETITION audio systems without a cap, because a cap allows very temporary spikes in volume, usually for bass in SPL competitions. For everyday users, caps are complete crap. Most drivers want sound quality (SQ) over peak volume, and play music that constantly draws power, which makes a cap useless. Your best system build will develop enough power to cover whatever sound level and quality you want. As mentioned, this could mean an additional battery, wiring upgrades like the Big 3, or even a customer alternator rewound for more power.
 

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Okay maybe I can help in this matter. I used to work for Crutchfield.com and I was with the compnay for 8 years moving around in different positions.

When you start your car, it first uses the battery to start the alternator, then the alternator basically takes over and supplies the power for the car.
When you add a capacitor, the capacitor needs to be charged prior to connecting inline with your amplifier.
When your unit draws too much current when the base hits, it pulls the current from the capacitor instead of the alternator, then slowly gets charge back up till it's full.
The need for capacitor depends on how much wattage your amp/sub setup is. Don't look at the peak power of the system because they are useless. What you want to look at is the RMS values because that is what their power will range during operation.

Now when do you know if you need to add a capacitor or not?

If your lights seems to dim everytime the base hits, you may need a cap. What it basically means is that the current draw from your amp everytime your base hits is more than what your alternator can supply.
If your amplifier requires a 8 gauge wire (typically your amp/sub rating will not be any higher than 300W RMS), you will be safe without a cap
If you start pulling more than that and it requires a 4 gauge wire, you may either need a .5 farad cap or 1 farad cap. Rule of thumb....if it is no larger than 500W, a .5 farad cap will do. Anything higher I suggest a 1 farad.

The gauge wire also matters because using small gauge wire than what is recommended causes a bottle neck and may lead to future problems.

Power matching your amp/sub is highly recommended. too much or too little power can blow your amp or subs.
For example. my current amplifier is 1 ohm stable delivering 1000W RMS. In order for me to make use of all 1000W, I bought 2 4 ohm dual voice coil subwoofers rated at 500W RMS at 2 ohms. I wired each voice coil in parallel to get it to 2 ohms then I wired the 2 subs in parallel to achieve 1 ohm. The 1000W then gets split between the 2 subs to attain 100% power match. I also added a 1 farad cap in line to the amp. Result in my car? The base hits so much that your hair sticks up everytime it hits and you can feel the base in your heart pounding.

I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (jfulcher @ Apr 19 2010, 01:57 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314606
I don't think that Hyundai disengages the Alternator except during deceleration. You would have a lot of cars with issues. Probably what is really the case - and car manufacturers have been doing this for a while is that the alternator disengages at certain throttle positions. Like my GTO the compressor and the alternator dis-engaged at WOT.

You can get a cap that will handle 100 amps without voltage dips. You just might have to use multiple and/or bigger ones. Caps are specifically to prevent voltage dips. You are right though Caps are useless if they are truly disengaging the alternator for long periods.
I first saw this mentioned here:
http://www.examiner.com/x-572-Auto-Review-...-Sonata-Limited
and then here:
http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/22/2011-hy...-sonata-review/
and then here:
http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/live/artic...ay-to-save-fuel

This being the case, the car would go long enough periods of time with the alternator at low voltage, or charging at 12.5V, just enough to not deplete the battery.
This is also the case with my Honda Civic, however, I located a technical paper that specified when the Electric Load Detector Circuit engaged.
-between 1000 and 3000 rpm
-between 15 and 35 mph
-intake temperature above 66 degrees F
-A/C switch is disengaged
-main fuse box is drawing 10 or less amps

The one difference I know already is that the Sonata senses the battery, to ensure it is being sufficiently charged, or it will charge on acceleration as well.
I just don't know what voltage it will engage this. This may not be an issue. The Honda ELD works by sensing the main fuse box. I am not one to wire aftermarket
audio systems through the main fuse box, and I am not going to risk it to try getting around a fuel savings initiative.

QUOTE (HyundaiDealer @ Apr 19 2010, 02:01 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314608
I don't think you understand what I was trying to say. All high end audio systems and ever DIY systems should use a CAP. You will not find a High end audio setup without one, nor will I ever install a system in my car without one. It helps prevent voltage spikes from hitting the battery or your cars charging system..

Good luck.
Voltage spikes to the battery and charging system? The charging system IS the voltage source. I was with you before, but now I don't get it.
If your alternator is producing more than 15V spikes, I think your audio system would be the least of your worries. I see MANY high-end and
DIY systems without caps. It's an overwhelming majority of people who do not use caps. Most of these people, and people who compete, would
address their alternator current, low ESR battery with high amperage, and minimize voltage drops through connections. Low ESR batteries allow
a very quick release of current, making a capacitor obsolete.


QUOTE (mostholycerebus @ Apr 19 2010, 03:14 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314619
I disagree. You won't find COMPETITION audio systems without a cap, because a cap allows very temporary spikes in volume, usually for bass in SPL competitions. For everyday users, caps are complete crap. Most drivers want sound quality (SQ) over peak volume, and play music that constantly draws power, which makes a cap useless. Your best system build will develop enough power to cover whatever sound level and quality you want. As mentioned, this could mean an additional battery, wiring upgrades like the Big 3, or even a customer alternator rewound for more power.
Yes, you will see lots of competition cars without caps, and I do. In fact, most of the people that I talk to would laugh at someone for falling for the marketing BS that is 'stiffening caps' in a car. One thing a cap is NOT though- a load. Caps don't dissipate power or heat up, they store and release. It's a matter of timing- between large draws of current, it will charge to ensure higher voltage at the VERY BEGINNING of the next large current draw. If you minimize the resistance of current flow through proper gauge wire, with proper, low-loss connections, with a low ESR battery, with an ample supply of alternator current, like most people who compete, a capacitor is merely an unnecessary liability. I also don't think a big 3 will do much of anything for you until you get into upgrading your alternator significantly beyond the stock charge rates. We are talking a 0.1V gain, and the factory wires are sized for the alternator's current capacity- increasing wire gauge is not going to give you any more current.

QUOTE (SilverNitrate @ Apr 19 2010, 03:54 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314632
If your lights seems to dim everytime the base hits, you may need a cap. What it basically means is that the current draw from your amp everytime your base hits is more than what your alternator can supply.
If your amplifier requires a 8 gauge wire (typically your amp/sub rating will not be any higher than 300W RMS), you will be safe without a cap
If you start pulling more than that and it requires a 4 gauge wire, you may either need a .5 farad cap or 1 farad cap. Rule of thumb....if it is no larger than 500W, a .5 farad cap will do. Anything higher I suggest a 1 farad.

The gauge wire also matters because using small gauge wire than what is recommended causes a bottle neck and may lead to future problems.

Power matching your amp/sub is highly recommended. too much or too little power can blow your amp or subs.
For example. my current amplifier is 1 ohm stable delivering 1000W RMS. In order for me to make use of all 1000W, I bought 2 4 ohm dual voice coil subwoofers rated at 500W RMS at 2 ohms. I wired each voice coil in parallel to get it to 2 ohms then I wired the 2 subs in parallel to achieve 1 ohm. The 1000W then gets split between the 2 subs to attain 100% power match. I also added a 1 farad cap in line to the amp. Result in my car? The base hits so much that your hair sticks up everytime it hits and you can feel the base in your heart pounding.

I hope that helps.
You can't blow a driver by underpowering it, or you would be blowing drivers listening at low volume levels. It's overheating a coil, from too much power, that will do it.
I also think the power match idea is a little overrated. Amplifiers are not very good at accurately stating the power that they produce, and drivers aren't very good at
accurately stating the power they can handle. I understand why you're doing it, I just think it's difficult without testing everything on a bench.
 

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QUOTE (OSN @ Apr 19 2010, 05:11 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314683
You can't blow a driver by underpowering it, or you would be blowing drivers listening at low volume levels. It's overheating a coil, from too much power, that will do it. ...
Actually you absolutely can blow a driver by under powering it. Especially tweeters. When the amp is underpowered, and played to the point of distortion, the waveform is "clipped" to a square wave. That can severely damage a speaker. That said, over driving a speaker and burning or bottoming out a voice coil is also a problem.
 

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QUOTE (jsmit86 @ Apr 19 2010, 06:42 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314694
Actually you absolutely can blow a driver by under powering it. Especially tweeters. When the amp is underpowered, and played to the point of distortion, the waveform is "clipped" to a square wave. That can severely damage a speaker. That said, over driving a speaker and burning or bottoming out a voice coil is also a problem.


Thank you. That is very true. The biggest misconception about blowing a driver is by overpowering it, but the reality is you can blow them by underpowering them as well. I've worked enough years in the car audio/video industry and I've had plenty of training from vendors and have taken certifications to know what I am talking about.
 

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QUOTE (jsmit86 @ Apr 19 2010, 06:42 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314694
Actually you absolutely can blow a driver by under powering it. Especially tweeters. When the amp is underpowered, and played to the point of distortion, the waveform is "clipped" to a square wave. That can severely damage a speaker. That said, over driving a speaker and burning or bottoming out a voice coil is also a problem.


Are you aware of what the average power becomes of a square wave? Yes, you can overpower a driver with less rated watts, but qualifying the argument with square waves that you refer to still falls under overpowered. I would like to think you can hear a square wave going to your tweeters!

Technical explanation:

If you take a given amplifier, let's say 100 watts and operate it just below clipping with music material, the "Crest Factor" of the amplifier's output is equivalent to the "Crest Factor" of the program material.

"Crest Factor" is the difference between the average level of the signal and its peak level. For example, a pure sine wave has a "crest factor" of 3dB, meaning that it's peak level is 3dB higher than its average level. We all know that 3dB represents a power factor of 2, so another way to look at it is that the peak power of the signal is twice that of its average level. So, if we play a sine wave on our 100 watt amplifier, just below its clipping level, the average power (over time) the speaker is needing to dissipate is 50 watts.

A true square wave, by comparison, has a crest factor of 0db, so it has equal average and peak power. Our 100 watt amplifier, playing a square wave, unclipped, into our speaker requires that the speaker dissipates 100 watts of power (twice the heat as a sine wave).

Music has a significantly higher crest factor than sine waves or square waves. A highly dynamic recording (Sheffield Lab, Chesky, etc.) typically has a crest factor of 20dB or more, meaning that its average power is 100 times lower than its peak power. So, if we play our 100 watt amplifier just below clipping with the typical audiophile recording our speaker is only needing to dissipate 1 watt of average power over time.

Modern commercial recordings typically exhibit crest factors of around 10dB, meaning that the average power is 10 times lower than the peak power. So, our 100 watt amp just below clipping would deliver an average power over time of 10 watts that the speaker has to dissipate.

Okay, so what happens when we clip the amplifier (which we all do at times). When the amplifier enters into clipping, the peak power no longer increases, but here's the KEY... THE AVERAGE POWER CONTINUES TO INCREASE. We can often tolerate a fair amount of clipping... as much as 10 dB or more above clipping with a reasonably dynamic recording... a bit less with a compressed commercial recording.

So, if we turn the volume up 10dB higher than the clipping level with our Sheffield Lab recording, we have now reduced the crest factor of the signal reaching the speakers by 10dB... so instead of needing to dissipate 1 watt average, we are asking the speaker to dissipate 10 watts average, and we're probably ok.

If we turn up the volume 6dB past clipping on a compressed commercial recording (or bass music recording), we have taken the crest factor of the signal from a starting point of 10dB to only 4dB, asking the speaker to dissipate an average power of 40 watts instead of 10 watts... that's FOUR TIMES the average power, which generates four times the heat.

SO, in most cases, the reason clipping can damage a speaker really has nothing to do with anything other than an increase in average power over time. It's really not the shape of the wave or distortion... it's simply more power over time.

When someone plays Bass Mekanik clean (unclipped) on a 1000 watt amplifier the average power is 100 watts (10dB crest factor). You can also make 100 watts average with Bass Mekanik by heavily clipping a 200 watt amplifier.

If someone is blowing a woofer with 200 watts of power due to a lack of restraint with the volume control... they will blow it even faster with a 1000 watt amplifier because they will probably turn it up even more and now they have more power to play with... this is the recipe for aroma of voice coil.

When woofers are rated for power, an unclipped signal is assumed. We use test signal with a crest factor of 6dB for power testing and can run a speaker at its rated power for hours and hours on end without thermal or mechanical failure. For example, a W1v2 can dissipate 150 watts average power for eight hours or more with signal peaks of 600 watts. So, we rate the speaker for 150W continuous power. This way, when a customer needs to choose an amp for it, they will hopefully choose one that can make about 150 W clean power... Even if they clip the bejeezus out of that amplifier, it is unlikely that the speaker will fail thermally. This is a conservative method, but it needs to account for the high cabin temperatures in a car (think Arizona in the summer) which significantly impacts heat dissipation in the speaker. A top plate that starts at 150 degrees F is not as effective at removing heat as one that starts at 72 degrees F in the lab... and this affects the ramp up of heat in the coil.

DISCLAIMER: The frequency components of clipping can affect tweeters due to their low inductance and lack of low-pass filtering. Clipping essentially raises the average power of high frequencies to a point that can damage tweeters... Woofers and midranges couldn't care less about these high frequency components because their filtering and/or inherent inductance knocks that stuff out of the picture.

Best regards,

Manville Smith

(VP Marketing, JL Audio)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (Swingman @ Apr 19 2010, 10:43 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=314782
What I've learned from this thread is that I will be more than happy keeping the radio that comes with the car :liebe011:
Hehe- I may have answered my own question here- since the computer monitors battery voltage and ensures it is
being charged properly above fuel savings, it may turn out to be a non-factor. I had a knee-jerk reaction because
of the way the Honda charging system works. I was actually looking at keeping the OEM source unit in tact, and
taking the output to a line driver (signal voltage booster) and on to 3 Zapco DC Reference amps, that have digital
sound processing built in. That leg room makes for a nice opportunity for kick panels. With the features that come
standard in the Sonata, I wouldn't even want to mess with the dash.
 
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