Don’t Refuse the 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.
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 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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By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist
Protecting an investment is an important part of our lives. We have car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, and many other types of insurance to protect us and out assets. Those that live in California like many of the Sonic Electronix employees and their customers, there is a good chance that they have earthquake insurance. Losing something that we have spent our hard-earned money on is always a difficult thing. For this reason we take precautions when installing a car audio systems. While there are many ways to ensure that a system is installed properly, one extremely important part of system protection is power protection. Specifically in this blog we will discuss fuses, circuit breakers, and why you might choose one over the other.
Fuse Block and Fuses
Fuses are the most common when it comes to car audio electrical protection. A fuse is a piece of metal that bridges two cables or wires together. When excessive current is traveling through these cables, the fuse will “blow” and stop the current from continuing to travel through the cable. The fuse will then need to be replaced in order for the connection to be made again. Fuses are placed in a fuse holder for a proper and secure fit. Fuse holders will secure the cable running to and from the fuse, as well as allow the fuse to be properly connected. Fuses will ensure that your amplifier is not receiving too much power from the car’s electrical system. While fuses are relatively inexpensive, a blown fuse must be replaced in order to enjoy your audio system again.
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Circuit breakers are similar to fuses in that they provide in-line protection against excessive current. The main difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that circuit breakers can be “reset”. On the top of most circuit breakers is a lever that can be moved. When too much power goes through the breaker, it will snap and interrupt the current flow. The user then simply moves the lever and will reset the circuit breaker to enjoy the music again. There is no need to buy extra fuses or parts since everything is enclosed inside the case of the circuit breaker.