Everything to Know About Fuses

Don’t Refuse the Fuse!

ATC Fuse

ATC Fuse

We’ve all heard of them but few people actually understand how they work.  Fuses are an absolutely essential part of any car audio system.  You can think of them as pawns in a chess game since they act as sacrificial tools in order to protect your amplifier or battery (your King and Queen).  They are low resistance and provide over current protection.  Basically inside a fuse, there is a thin metal strip and depending on the fuse rating it will be thinner or thicker.  If there is excessive current the fuse will blow the metal strip and interrupt the electrical circuit in order to prevent overheating or catching on fire. 

ANL Fuse

ANL Fuse

AGU Fuse

AGU Fuse

There are many different type of fuses but some are more popular than others.  The first to mention is ANL/AFS fuses.  Mini ANL and AFS are basically the same thing with their wafer style design.  These fuses are used in fuse holders and are run in-line between the battery and the amplifier.  Depending on the RMS wattage of your amplifier, you will require a different fuse rating.  Failure to use the right sized fuse will have dire consequences!  ANL fuses are larger and range from 100 to 300 amps while AFS fuses are smaller ranging from 40 to 125.  Remember that ANL fuses have the highest capacity of any fuse type so these are ideal for high wattage systems.  Another type is ATC and ATM fuses which are used for your vehicles fuse box for applications such as your interior dome lights or headlights.

Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are an alternative to fuses

Then there are MAXI fuses which are essentially a larger version of the ATC fuse.  Last but not least is the AGU fuses which are glass tubes instead of bladed like all of the other ones listed.  AGU fuses are used for small to medium sized amps which range from 30 to 100 amps and are included with numerous amp kits.  Another alternative is using a circuit breaker which is unlike a fuse in that it does not need to be replaced.  Circuit breakers are simply reset either manually or automatically in order to continue normal operations.

Don’t be the person that decides to connect their amplifier straight to the battery without at fuse.  Not only will you destroy your system, but you’ll look like a noob!

About Jason Theroux

Jason has had a passion for electronics for as long as he can remember. From his adolescent years as a musician to his employment selling home theater equipment, Jason has always been surrounded and submerged in electronics. Once employed at Sonic Electronix, Jason gained the knowledge needed to be a car audio connoisseur. He is an avid snowboarder and wakeboarder and goes to school for business.
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