I have a 5 farad capacitor for my audio system. im hearing that your are supposed to put the charging bulb in place of the fuse when you charge it.. after you charge it, what do you do? is it safe to just turn the car off, and then put the fuse back in and take the charging bulb out? without having a big spark / explosion..
Here's how to install a cap...
It has to be charged just before you supply power to it.
It's best to install it as close to the amp as possible. You may need to get addition power and ground wire the same size you have now. Otherwise, cut the ground and power wire leaving enough room to mount it. The overall length of the ground wire should as short as possible (18" or less if possible, not critical).
Remove the fuse at the battery. If you don't have one, you need one that is rated the same as the total fuses that are on the amp. It must be no more than 18" from the battery.
Connect the ground from the chassis to the cap then to the amp.
Connect the the power wire (from fuse by the battery) to the cap then to the amp.
To charge the cap, get a 12v light bulb with leads. Temporarily connect the power wire from the battery to one side of the bulb (at the fuse) and connect the other side of the bulb to the wire going to the cap. The bulb will light and over a period of time (10-20 seconds) it will get dimmer. When the bulb goes out, the cap is charged. Basically, your going to put the light bulb where the fuse was.
Now you can re-install the fuse.
IMPORTANT: Make/print a sign/note that states:
"WARNING: This vehicle employs a large electrolytic capacitor for the electrical/audio system. The capacitor holds a charge EVEN when disconnected. When changing the battery, remove this fuse. Take caution and charge the capacitor prior to replacing this fuse. SEVERE INJURY OR DAMAGE MAY RESULT IN FAILURE TO COMPLY!"
Have a big red arrow pointing to the fuse and one of those yellow triangles with the exclamation point in the center. Laminate this sign and place it near the fuse by the battery.
Something like this:
To those who say caps are useless...
In rare and circumstantial cases, a cap actually helps. I can say this with full confidence as I'm running one in my car an have seen a definite change using an oscilloscope to test the theory.
In my case, my electrical system had a 4 volt gain in the whole drop out when a significant bass track was played using a the cap as opposed to not using it.
alternator: 75 amps
audio system: 400 watts RMS (total)
cap: 1.5 Farad
current draw of accessories in car: 30 amps (total, everything on except audio system)
Somewhere in these numbers lies the truth to my success, I'm working on a formula to find this. The problem is no two cars are the same as I've added fog lights to my car which changes things from stock. So there can never be an "all-around" method to determine the usefulness of a cap. So the formula I come up with will be just for my car.
I'm also running a few experiments of my own to determine if a cap also increase the life expectancy of the audio equipment as well.
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