I have a small a$$ 125rms 8" Alpine powered by a 220rms/520 peak Power Acoustik amp.
I plan on an upgrade to a serious system but I noticed my lights are dimming when the sub hits in the above system. I know its my alternator, but I would rather not replace it yet, I just dont have the money.
Would I be able to run a single 200-300 rms sub off my current alternator without damaging it? Keep in mind the 8 is only 125w rms...
My car is pretty big, I wouldnt have thought my alternator would be so crappy.
damn, your alternator is weak man! but what i don't get is your car is big, but your alternator is soo small? plus, you are only running 220 rms. i'm running 800 rms in my car and it hardly dims, only if you really look at it. maybe the amp you have is not efficient. maybe looking at more efficient class d amps.
I have a 94 Olds Achieva, 2.4liter, 4 cylinder engine. I think 120 hp. It doesnt make sense for my lights to dim but from experience with the car so far, it is a complete P.O.S., so why shouldn't the alternator be too?
Question: Is the RMS that I am running now based on my sub which is 125w rms, or my amp which is 220rms. You said 220, so if you are right, I could probably run a 200-300w rms sub without too much of a problem right?
i think the rule of thumb was something like for every 100watts you pump out from you amplifier, it takes 10amps from your alternator. find out how many amps you alt is right now and that should be of some help
First, I would make sure your gains and everything is set right, not cranked all the way up. I first noticed a teeny bit of dim in my car, but I adjusted my gain, and the lights don't dim one bit now, and the sub sounds almost the same, just less distortion. Second, turning down the volume just a little makes a huge difference. If nothing works, then you do have a really bad alt.
Do you have a voltage(battery) gauge in the dash? If you do notice where the needle is at when the car is running a bit above idle with no a/c, lights, etc. Next turn on your headlights, a/c, etc. but not the system and note the gauge position. Now, crank your system for a while and see what your gauge is doing. A fluctuating voltage is fairly normal on brief heavy bass hits, but if that needle goes significantly lower and doesn't recover quickly you need a bigger alternator. If it goes far enough down to reach your battery voltage then you begin drawing power off your battery. Do that long enough and you could end up killing your alternator and/or running down/killing your battery.
If you don't have an in dash voltage gauge you could repeat the above test at night with your headlights pointed at a wall or something. Its ok if your lights dim momentarily, but if they stay dimmed or get worse you have a problem.
The reason I say this is because thats an awful small amp and shouldn't be a problem for a decent stock alternator, but that really depends on what car you have.
If your alternator passes the above tests and the light dimming is really bugging you a small 500 mFarad cap would probably help but its not gonna make your system louder or anything. It'll just help the dimming a bit and maybe quick transients like kick drums etc.
Even so I'd probably invest in an alternator before I'd mess with gettin a cap especially if you plan on adding more power later. If your alternator isn't able to provide your power needs an added cap just makes things worse.
Nah, I don't have a voltage gauge, but I'll do the headlights thing again. Yes, the lights only dim during heavy bass hits and not so much over long bass hits. It is not so much of an annoyance as it is kind of frustrating for it do be doing it in the first place with such a small amp and sub. I plan on installing a much larger system and I am hoping this won't mean I'll have problems in the future with power.
I will def look into turning down my gains because if I remember correctly, I have them cranked way up. I am not interested in buying a fancy cap, I will only use one if I can get one off a friend for nothing or close to free.