Tag: battery

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!

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How To Choose A Car Battery

Choosing a car battery can be a daunting task.  Last week I wrote a blog on understanding car batteries.  It would appear that you folks want an instructional on how to choose a battery as well.  Look no further.  We are here to feed your blog cravings and put a rest to all the confusion! If you have an audio system that is roughly 800 watts or more, than you will most likely need a battery.  Sit back, relax and get ready to receive some priceless knowledge to your cranium!

Watts

Kinetik HC1400

1500 Amp 12V Power Cell

The RMS wattage of your system is capable of will determine how big of a battery you will require.  All you need to do is take the CA (Cranking Amps) and match it to at least the amount of total watts your system is pushing.  For example, if you have a 1400 watt system, you will need at least 1400 cranking amps.  It doesn’t hurt to go a little above to say 1800 cranking amps.  Simple right? The Kinetic HC1400 would be the perfect choice for said system.

 

Dimensions

You might at first be hesitant to choose a battery because you are not sure if it will fit in the stock location under the hood.  There are two steps to ensure the dimensions are compatible with your vehicle.  First, measure the overall height including the posts of your current battery.  You want to make sure that your replacement battery does not protrude or surpass the battery posts of the stock battery.  In some cases, the aftermarket battery posts can be taller than the stock battery and still fit in the location.  Also, keep into consideration the post configuration to ensure you do not incorrectly connect the positive and negative terminals.   You must really use your own discretion because every vehicle is going to be different.  Second, check the length and width of the aftermarket battery to make sure it fits in the stock battery housing.  Once these two steps are completed, then you can compare your dimensions to the dimensions listed on our website.

 

Starter Versus Secondary Battery

Stinger SGP32

200 Amp Battery Isolator

A lot of people are under the misconception that just adding a secondary battery instead of replacing the starter battery is the best way to go.  If you add a secondary battery but keep the stock starter battery, than you will still have an inefficient lead-acid battery eating up all your alternator power.  There are a lot of advantages to replacing the starter battery first.  Your vehicles entire electrical system will be more efficient, your headlights be brighter, and you won’t have to deal with corrosion.  The typical reasons for which you should add a secondary battery are if your system is extremely high wattage, or if you are a pretty serious SPL competitor. If you must add a second battery, then a battery isolator will only be necessary if you want to run your system with your vehicle off for extended periods of time.  The isolator will ensure that the secondary battery is the dedicated battery for your audio system and will make sure that the starter battery is not drained.  It would be wise to choose a deep cycle battery for your secondary battery, if you’re using an isloator, as it will possibly be drained multiple times.  It never hurts to do the big 3 upgrade, too!  Attached is a knowledge base article to show you how:  “Big 3 Upgrade

There you have it.  Hopefully this clears up a lot of questions and has set you on the right path to choosing a battery that is right for you. Upgrading your battery will cause your sound system to be great success, very nice!

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Understanding Car Batteries

Battery Up

XS Power D680

XS Power 12-Volt Deep Cycle AGM Power Cell

Ah, yes batteries.  To most a mystery and to some an essential car audio component.  To know exactly what sets a standard battery apart from a performance battery can mean the difference between a light dimming, inefficient system and a head turning, top-notch system.  Follow us as we explore batteries and find out exactly what you should look for in a good battery for your sound system.  Who knows, you might actually learn something too!

Cranking Amps: This specification is absolutely important when looking at batteries.  Basically, the cranking amps tells you how much current a battery can produce for 30 seconds at a temperature of 32° F and not have the voltage of any of the individual cells drop below 1.2 volts. This may also be known as MCA or marine cranking amps.

Kinetik HC800

Kinetik HC800 Power Cell

Cold Cranking Amps: This is similar to cranking amps but is tested at 0° F instead of 32° F.  This is particularly important for vehicles that must preform and operate in very cold climates.  Since the chemical reaction which produces electrical current in a battery decreases as the temperature drops, the battery will produce less current at colder temperatures (below freezing, especially).  When comparing the current of two batteries, make sure there are standards to qualify the current ratings.  If there is no CA or CCA, you do not know how the battery was tested and the current rating will be fundamentally useless.

Reserve Capacity: The reserve capacity will tell you the time it takes a battery to produce 25 amps at 80° F before the individual cell voltage drops below 1.75 volts.

Stinger SPV44

Stinger SPV44 660 Amp Power Series Dry Cell Battery

Deep Cycle vs Standard Battery: A normal lead-acid battery will be damaged if it is completely drained even one time.  A deep cycled battery is designed to withstand draining multiple times. Deep cycle batteries have more reserve capacity but less cranking amps for a given size.  This makes them ideal for seasonal vehicles such as boats.

Amp Hours: This is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries.  This is a unit of measurement for battery capacity.  It is obtained by multiplying a current flow in amperes by the time of discharge in hours.

Remember that a battery is like a piggy bank: If you keep withdrawing and never depositing, you will eventually have nothing.  Not only will a battery be a great compliment to your sound system, but will charge more efficiently allowing you to have more reserve capacity. These high performance batteries will not leak or corrode.  Which means you can go as far as park your car upside down and still be thumping!

 

 

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