Tag: Power Cells

When to Upgrade Your Vehicle’s Electrical System

Your vehicle’s electrical system is crucial to your vehicle’s audio system and how it sounds and performs. Wiring, your car’s alternator, as well as your car’s batteries are all important factors when it comes to your vehicle’s electrical system. In this blog article, we will go over some guidelines to follow when it comes to how and when to upgrade your vehicle’s electrical system. If ya’ll still have questions regarding your vehicle’s electrical system, feel free to comment in the section below this article and we will do our best to help you upgrade your electrical system.

1Upgrading Your Alternator

High Output Alternators

First of all, upgrading your alternator does depend on the type of vehicle you’re working with as well as how much wattage your car audio system needs. But, when it comes to upgrading the alternator, in our experts’ professional opinion, if you are dealing with a system that is anywhere over 1000 watts, it might be a good idea to upgrade your alternator- especially if you are adding more batteries to your car’s electrical system. The key takeaway is that its always better to have too much power than too little power. So, make sure you also have a sufficient amount of batteries to power your system.

2Upgrading Your Car Battery

Car Batteries at Sonic Electronix

It is important to your audio system that you have an adequate amount of batteries powering your system. If not, your system cannot run efficiently. It is recommended that if  you add an amplifier to your system,  you should add a secondary battery as well. And as you add more components to your car audio system, pay attention to how much power your system needs in order to run without failing and add a secondary battery or upgrade your battery accordingly.

3Using a Capacitor

A capacitor is a temporary storage tank for electricity, which charges and discharges electricity at a high speed. Although a capacitor won’t add any additional power to your car audio system, once the capacitor is charged up, it will help stabilize the voltage by providing quick bursts of electricity during peak power demands. Adding a capacitor can fix occasional headlight dimming or other electrical issues within your vehicle. However, their primary use is to help provide your amplifier with a consistent voltage for improved performance. Although capacitors can act as a quick fix solution to your electrical system’s power output, they are usually not recommended. Instead, our experts suggest recommend a secondary battery, as a battery holds power more permanently. However, if you are going to install a capacitor, make sure to get one that is well built, such as NVX’s XCAP1F.

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XS Power Batteries Now At Sonic Electronix

XS Power was established in 2005 by a group of automotive enthusiasts, their main focus and goal was to bring the highest performance car batteries & accessories to the mobile audio and street performance markets. XS Power has a strong commitment to product testing, which in turn leads to a technological edge over most similar competitors in today’s market. Their Car Batteries are constructed with the highest energy density chemistry found in AGM batteries, this is just one of the reasons that makes XS Power the battery of choice for competition car audio.

Here at Sonic Electronix, we have just started carrying some of the XS Power product line like battery terminals, battery terminal posts, and their high quality car batteries. We have their 12-Volt, 14-Volt, and 16-Volt models available in various different power configurations. Each one these XS Power power cells can be used as a replacement for your vehicles standard battery or as a secondary battery to power your high-performance sound system. They are manufactured with a leak-proof non-hazardous design with no external vents; this allows these batteries to be mounted anywhere and in any position with no leaks.

XS Power D3100

D3100 12-Volt AGM Battery

XS Power’s top of the line 12-Volt is battery is the D3100. This deep cycle AGM power cell is perfect for 4000W – 5000W high powered car audio systems and is 100% sealed in a reinforced ABS plastic case for extreme durability. This battery features 1360 cranking amps (enough power to crank the highest performance engines), a maximum output of 5000 amps, and 110 amp hours. It also includes M6 terminal hardware and will fit in almost any factory battery location.

XS Power D1400

D1400 14-Volt AGM Battery

The 14-Volt model we carry here at Sonic is the D1400. This power cell also features enough power to crank high performance engines. It puts out 675 cranking amps, 2400 amps max with 50 amp hours. Weighing in it a light and compact 43 lbs, the D1400 is very easy to install into your vehicle. This 14-Volt power cell should be used for car audio systems ranging from 1500-3000 watts of power and will resist extreme vibrations for ultimate performance.

XS Power XP1000

XP1000 16-Volt AGM Racing Battery

The XS Power XP1000 is the 16-Volt power cell we have available. This AGM racing battery features XS Power’s cutting-edge lead acid battery technology, this technology will produce high amounts of energy in small spaces. The XP1000 is great for racing, car audio, motorcycles, ATVs, and marine applications featuring 675 cranking amps, a max output of 2400 amps with 50 amp hours. It is 100% sealed and maintenance free and includes M10 terminal hardware for installation.


The Big 3 Upgrade – Improve your Car Audio Output up to 25%

When adding aftermarket audio equipment to your vehicle, it is extremely important to understand the limitations of your car’s electrical system. Stock batteries, stock alternators, and stock wires can only transfer so much power throughout the vehicle. By upgrading each of these three components in your car, it enables your vehicle to be able to safely have high-powered equipment installed. In this blog, we will outline the Big Three Upgrade. Installing an aftermarket alternator and a Car Battery are excellent choices, but not discussed here.

The Big 3 Upgrade is a fairly simple upgrade that involves replacing some of the factory wiring under the hood of the car. The following are the three wires that need to be replaced and installed in the car.

  1. Alternator Charging Wire: Replace the positive charging wire that connects the vehicles alternator to the positive car battery post.
  2. Engine Ground: Replace the cable that connects the engine ground to the vehicle’s chassis.
  3. Battery Negative: Replace the cable that travels from the negative car battery post to the vehicles’s chassis.

The important part of this upgrade is replacing the standard cable with thicker cable that is cable of higher currents. Typically, it is recommended to go straight for the thick 0/1 gauge wire to ensure compatibility with high-performance alternators and batteries. However, some systems with stock alternators and batteries can use 4 gauge just fine. Remember to use proper techniques when creating your new cables and grounding them. Be sure to keep the new power/ground cables away from anything under the hood that might melt, cut, or damage the newly installed cables. Be sure to make solid terminations with ring terminals at the end of each cable. Be sure to ground your cable to a proper surface cleaned of any dirt, debris, rust, or paint. A wire brush or some sandpaper will easily prepare the metal surface. After properly installing the Big Three Upgrade in your car, your audio system will receive more power, sound better, and your equipment will last longer. For more information on the Big 3 Upgrade, check out the following video by Mike Stiers from Maxxsonics.


Things to Look For When Buying a New Subwoofer

Kicker Comp Enclosure

Anyone is familiar with how music sounds in their own cars.  We’re used to it, and quite frankly it’s usually not good enough to meet any of our standards.  We want volume; we want to feel our music.  Luckily, we’re not alone in this feeling.  After hearing a fully tuned audio system, hearing your factory speakers just may not be strong enough to satisfy a craving that we’re all too familiar with.  That craving in question, is the yearning for bass.

So you’ve taken a spot in your vehicle and reserved it for your future subwoofer box and amplifier.  Now it’s time for you to decide on which specific products are going to go into your car.  This can be a mind-boggling decision, as there are so many options for awesome bass solutions in any car!

The first decision to make is how much bass are you looking for?  Are you the type who wants to compliment their audio system with a punchy style bass, or a booming bass that can shake the walls of your entire block?  Audio systems that can provide a punchy style bass are usually more affordable and require a smaller amplifier, which is why these are considered more of an “entry-level” system.  A great way to pursue this style of bass is with a loaded subwoofer enclosure like the Kicker DC122.

Let’s say you were more interested in the block shaking bass that can rattle picture frames off of the wall.  These types of systems can usually require larger amounts of amplification, which can draw a lot of energy from your car audio systems, so be prepared to equip your vehicle with an extra Power Cell or two, and maybe even a beefed up alternator.  High-powered subwoofer systems are loud, and can have you truly feeling your bass and music the way you may be looking for.  Subwoofers that can handle 1000 watts of continuous power are usually considered to be manufactured with Sound Pressure Level (SPL) in mind.  Take your time choosing the subwoofer that will be outputting bass in your vehicle, as each woofer is geared towards its own audience.


Car Audio Power Cells Vs. Capacitors

Kinetik HC 1400 Power Cell Car Battery vs Capacitor

By Ricky C. – Product Specialist

Finishing up a car audio system is a triumph in itself.  Making the last connections or crimping your last connector in place provides a unique feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.  Now it’s time to listen to your system, you turn the keys and queue up your favorite track and enjoy you’re newly put together audio system for the first time.  After a bit of fine tuning you’re sitting back in your seat enjoying audio that’s beyond anything your vehicle was ever thought capable of.  On your first trip around the town you notice a flickering light in front of you.  That flickering light is you my friend.  Your headlights are dimming.

This is a common issue in car audio.  Your vehicle’s factory electrical system has about 30-40% reserved for things like Power Windows, Door Locks, Cabin Lights, and other electrically driven components. This leaves about 65% of your electrical system open for aftermarket audio equipment.  These figures are a rough estimate but are true for most vehicles.  Now that you’re adding an audio system with 800 watts of RMS power, how will this affect your vehicles electrical system?  In a lot of cases, you won’t notice anything immediately.  Sometimes you’ll notice dimming headlights within a week.  What you’re not noticing is a lot more important than what you are seeing.

Your electrical system will sometimes just need a small bandage to help store the power closer to your amplifiers.  This is where a Car Audio Capacitor can help you the most.  Let’s hypothetically say you are running anywhere from 500-800 watts of RMS power in your system.  A Car Audio Capacitor will hold a charge. That’s it.  It doesn’t regenerate charges or stabilize voltage; however some capacitors may have an LED display that shows you the voltage at the capacitor.  How this helps is during bass heavy music or just loud music that requires a lot of power at once.  Your capacitor can quickly discharge this power to your amplifiers and pull more charge from your battery.  This can be efficient and you can even hear a difference after adding capacitors in some cases.

A Power Cell will store a charge and also regenerate itself.  In situations where alternators are extremely stressed by working hard to meet up with the demand of power you will want to consider a power cell with dry glass matt technologies, like the Kinetik HC1400.  These are different from the standard Optima Red Top and Yellow Top batteries you see which are found to have a higher cranking amp rating as opposed to “Amp Hour” rating.  A high amp hour rating is important because this is basically your energy pool you can work off of.  This allows for the power cell to hold a larger charge so your alternator doesn’t have to work as hard to provide constant power.  In a lot of situations, a Power Cell like the HC1400 is the best option to help bandage a “bleeding” audio system, or to even help revive an alternator that is slowly dying.  It’s important to consider your electrical system before buying aftermarket equipment.