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  #1  
Old 06-30-2007
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Dimming

I had a question for all of you out there with moderate systems in your trucks:
In your experience, how many watts do you have to run on a stock electrical system before you get dimming of the lights?



Tonight I noticed for the first time my lights flickering when the bass hits. It is happening when the truck is in neutral. If I drop it into gear, the dimming gets worse as the rpm drop. I can even see the needle fluctuate on the factory voltage gauge.

I'm not real worried about the dimming because I rarely play my music that loud anyway. And my dimming condition only brings my voltage down to ~13v from ~14 according to my DMM. I've done the "Big 3".



So just curious, how many watts with you noticing dimming?
I'm sitting on somewhere around 1300w rms.
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Old 07-01-2007
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well, i just rewired everything in my truck last nite/today. and i cranked it up with only the head unit and 4 channel amp and it was even dimming, but then again, thats all on stock alt. and a pretty small battery. ohh, and the amp was 50 x 4 rms at 12.5 volts.
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Old 07-02-2007
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I'm running roughly 2000 w. rms and I have a 2.5 farad capacitor, helped some... But not as much as a second battery or alt. upgrade. You should be fine as I don't blast my stereo all the time either...
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Old 07-02-2007
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I had a 750watt RMS amp running on my stock alternator and battery w/ a 1 farad cap....it didn't pull the lights down any......
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2007
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When I had 600w I didn't notice any dimming either.

Maybe with the Ranger's stock electrical system, once you start getting over 1,000w dimming could become a possibility. What amp alternator comes stock on our trucks? Some sites list 130a and others list 95a. Mine must be the 95a because I just really didn't expect dimming with such as meager system.

I'd hate to put my system in my wife's Honda Accord. That car dims the lights when the A/C kicks on!
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2007
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My sub amp does 1300'watts and the front does 300rms and when its crank I get some pretty good dimming.

Thats with stock 95 amp alt and yellowtop but no big 3.
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2007
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My amp dims the lights at 1200W.


I stupidly haven't done the big 3 yet.
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2007
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I have 600 and 800 watt amps.. so 1400 and ive never had a problem of interior or exterior lights dimming; even when i am blasting the system at night with all the lights on...
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Old 07-03-2007
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980 watt peak amp.. dunno RMS

but they dimmed, i pulled the ground wire, sanded down the area to bare metal, and no more dimming
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2007
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I got a 400 watt rms alpine amp and a 60 x4 (27 rms) pioneer head unit and not a any dimming at all and it is pretty loud sometimes. and all on stock alt. with oringal battery from factory on a 99. best battery ever.
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2007
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anyone running over or close to 1000rms, even a low rms but a burp of 1000watts, should do Big 3 and optima/kinetic battery. problem will go away!
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Old 07-04-2007
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I've had my system for a few months, and I never noticed it pulling down the lights at night. But the other night, I pulled into my garage with just the parking lights on and the stereo cranked and saw the dimming against the garage wall. When I looked at the factory gauge, sure enough, it was going down when the music would hit peaks.


I have done the "Big 3", but I need to work on the engine-to-chassis ground some more. All I had left was some 8ga that I supplemented to the stock cable stuff.

I have the cheapest Wal-Mart Everstart battery they make in my truck right now, too. It is only a couple of years old, but I have been really hard on it. I've drained it down below 6v several times playing the stereo with the engine off. I've been thinking of a Optima Yellow Top, but dropping $175 for a battery is tough.



1000w doesn't seem like that much power to me. Heck, most 12" subs these days need 500w just to get movin' real good. I've never considered myself a car audio guru by any means, but just 10 years ago a lot of guys ran around with 250w single voice coil subs that pounded. Remember the good 'ol Rockford Punch 45 & 75? Granted they were grossly underrated, but still those amps got the job done for a lot of subs...

Now, it takes 1000w to get a little bump goin' on.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2007
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The battery capacity is really irrelevant. When the engine is running, your alternator should be handling the full load. The only time should have an effect is if it is really shot and drawing a lot of extra power from the alternator to charge, which translates to less power for your system. If the battery is in good condition, all you need is an alternator that can supply the entire load and wiring to match. Dimming lights means your alternator is not powerful enough.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2007
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The wattage of your system's amps aren't going to exactly show much between all of the different people's equipment. Every amp has a different efficiency, class D amps being more efficient than an A/B. I have a quality Soundstream 800rms amp, but it can draw 130amps. I've seen some cheapo amps saying 1000 or 2000 watts but have two 20A fuses on it. It all depends on your equipment.

I have an 800rms sub amp and 200rms amp for my components. When playing at a 'loud' level I can drain my electrical system to 10v instantly when idleing. When driving it will get to 11 V and sometimes 10 depending on what lights are on and junk. I have the Big-3 done, 0g wiring to my cab to distribution block right by the amps, 5 farad cap, and a yellowtop. I've been running my system for over 2 years now and my truck never failed me. Go Ranger!
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