Question about Car Audio & Video
First you need to know how much amperage your system will draw (need).
Ohms law applies here so look that up, it's handy!
Lets say you have a 200 watt amp on a 12 volt system (13.8 technically, use 13 volts). Divide the 200 watts by the 13 volts to get amperage needed.
200/13=15.38 amps OK, now all amplifiers have loss (effieciency). So the 15.38 amps should be multiplied by...well about 1.4 (60% efficient is overkill but will be a safe tolerance). 15.38 X 1.4= 21.53 amps. So you will need a power wire capable of about 25 amps minimum. 12 gauge wire most often handles 20 amps. To get the extra you need, use at least 10 gauge. Connect this wire to your battery with a quality connector. Go cheap here and the power wont make it to the amp. Buy an inline fuse to connect within 12 inches of the battery. Since we are needing about 22 amps for the amplifier get a 30 amp fuse. I hate to say it but Walmart sells an inexpensive car audio fuse holder. If you have the $$ try your car audio places and get an name brand one. This allows max draw without blowing fuses constantly. If you have a short you want it to blow the fuse, not burn your car. Invest in some wire shroud (cover), looks like the black wire covering on the wires from the car manufacturer. Wrap this over the wire to protect it from unexpected impacts. Now snake the wire either under the car (easiest, just zippie tie it up and stay clear of wheel wells) or thru a firewall into the interior. If you go thru the firewall or any other metal wall, GET A GROMMET. It's a rubber wire protector the goes in the hole in the metal you drilled (or went thru) and keeps the wire cover (insulation) from getting cut and shorting the line. Get the wire to your amp, strip the insulation and connect it up. Most amps also require a Remote Power wire. This comes from the stereo and tells the amp to turn on when the strereo turns on. If you cant locate this output from your stereo you can always jump from the Positive (+) power wire at the amp input over to the remote but if you do this the amp is on all the time. You could run a double wire up to the dash and install a switch up front to turn on the amp (kind of a hassle but if you have no choice!). Always be careful when running power wires. Do not run them thru door jams! Any pinch of a power wire is a short (fire) waiting to happen. Good luck and thump thump. We just tossed 2 12" M.A.'s in a trunk for a friend. I think his rear view mirror is going to rattle loose!
Posted on Sep 29, 2009
Hey dennis if you have a standard car amplifier all you need to do is run a wire from the battery post straight from the battery to amp batt+ post, then negative side can also be run straight from battery negative, than the remote post on your amp. you can either utilize the power antenae circuit coming out of the stereo unit or an ignition power from your ignition power fuse box so you don't draw battery power when key is off, please reply back if your stereo unit has rca output and does your amp. have rca connection(rca connections are red and white audio cable style connection).
Posted on Sep 29, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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Feb 19, 2013 | Car Audio & Video
Choose where to put your new amp. If you are installing subwoofers it's usually best to put the amplifier in the trunk next to or attached to your subwoofer enclosure. If you are going to power your main car speakers with the amplifier then it may be better to put the amp under the passenger's seat.
Purchase the following wiring for the amp: A thick power cable (the thickness required depends on the total wattage of your amp, ask a sales rep or consult your amplifier's manual for the proper gauge) that will have to reach from your battery to the amp (the power cable should also have an inline fuse to protect the amplifier); 3 feet of ground cable of equal thickness as the power cable; an RCA signal cable to carry the left and right signals from your head unit to the amp; a "remote on" wire which can be any thin wire (20 to 24 gauge) that will also run from the head unit to the amp; speaker wire (if you are powering subwoofers you should only need about 3 feet of 12-gauge wire per sub, if you're going to power your main speakers you will need enough 16-gauge wire to reach each speaker from the amp, 12 feet per speaker is usually safe).
Gather the following tools: Screwdrivers, wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, a utility knife, sandpaper, masking tape with a pen for labeling, 2 crimp-on o-ring ends for the power and ground cables. If you're hooking the amp to your speakers, you'll also need 2 crimp-on female spade connectors for each speaker.
Find a manual with instructions on taking off the dash of your car (not the whole dash--just the head unit, in order to hook wires to the back), and also to get at your car's speakers if you are hooking the amp to them.
Disconnect the ground (negative) cable from your battery. Never work on the electrical system of your car with this connected.
Attach the side with the fuse of the thick positive (+/red) power cable to the connector on the positive terminal of your battery; the o-ring can be sandwiched in the bolt on the connector that connects your car to the battery. Now put the fuse in the fuse holder.
Run the power cable through the firewall of your car (there is usually an opening on the driver's side) and to your amplifier. If your amp is in the back it is usually best to run this wire under the plastic molding that goes along the bottom edge of your car. Be careful where you run the wire because the power cables should never be near the signal or speaker wires.
Find a metal bolt or screw on the metal of your car near the amp to connect the ground cable to. This should be as close to the amp as possible, never more than 3 feet. Unscrew it and clean the metal surface with sandpaper. Attach the ground to it with the o-ring and screw it back down firmly.
Remove your head unit and run the signal and remote on wires from behind the head unit to your amp. Connect the RCA connectors and the remote on wire to the back of your head unit.
(If you are installing subwoofers and not running your normal speakers off the amplifier skip to step 7.) Run the 16-gauge wire from each one of your speakers to the amplifier. On the amp side use the masking tape to label each wire so you know which speaker it is. On the speaker end-strip a 1/4 inch off the ends of the wires and crimp on the female spade connectors with your pliers. Connect the spade connectors to your speakers making sure to match the positive (+/red or white) with the positive terminal and the negative (-/black) with the negative one.
Connect everything to your amplifier. Only strip off as much as you need off the end of each wire to make a solid connection, you don't want any exposed wire hanging out. If you have subs, attach them to the amp with the 12-gauge speaker wire.
Secure your amp to something. If it is in the back you can screw it directly to your subwoofer enclosure. If it is under a seat you may just want to get some straps that hold it down.
Reconnect your car's negative cable to the battery. Test your system and make sure everything works, going around to see that every speaker is on before you put everything back together
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