Hooking up an amplifier

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by JD Z, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. JD Z

    JD Z Veteran Member

    my pioneer amp manual says to run 8 gauge wire directly from the battery for power. Since this is a car with little drive time, won’t the battery run down? It will sit for a month or more often? I’m Leary of hooking up direct or does the amp not draw current if the radio isn’t on?

    Sorry if there is no section for audio, yet I suspect many have been down this road. Thank you!
     
  2. Troy72Camaro

    Troy72Camaro New Member

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    Feb 20, 2017
    Maine
    Mine has an amp with Monster power cable (about 3/4" dia.) If i sit for a month in the winter I put my battery tender on it or it won't start. I have the red top Optima. Not a big deal if you start every couple weeks.
     
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  3. Jim Streib

    Jim Streib https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/albums

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    Apr 6, 2004
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The amplifier although wired directly to the battery for power should not pull any power off of the battery unless the turn-on terminal on that amplifier is connected to power. When the turn-on terminal on the amplifier see's power, then the amplifier internally connects to the main power wire to the battery and then starts drawing power. When power is removed from the amplifier's turn-on terminal, then the amplifier ceases to draw power off of the battery.
    Now, when you go to install the amplifier, you may get an initial spark connecting the power wire to the battery if that is your last connection but not to worry as this is just to charge up storage capacitors inside the amplifier. Just make sure the battery has not been on a charger to where there may be fumes around it that could ignite from this spark.
    Now I don't know how much you have read in the manual but you need to fuse this main power wire off of the battery with the fuse as close as you can to the battery so that in the event of a short on that wire, the fuse will blow and not cause major issues such as an electrical fire which can then lead to a vehicle fire.
    All of the Pioneer amplifier's I have installed in the last 30 years do not come with power wire so even though they state using an 8 gauge power wire, make sure it is an 8 gauge copper wire and not the inferior 8 gauge copper clad aluminum wire (normally the better wire will cost more BUT you also get a better wire). You would think, 8 gauge copper is the same as 8 gauge copper clad aluminum but it is not. Physically the overall wire diameters are the same BUT the copper clad aluminum wire handles less amperage than the copper.
    Also too when you get the 8 gauge power wire, if it is in a kit with RCA's and such, make sure the fuse for the power cable is the same or larger than the one on the amplifier. In other words, if the kit has a 30A fuse but the amplifier has a 40A, then this is wrong. If the amplifier has 60A of fusing then the main power wire fuse at the battery needs to be 80A.
    Jim
     
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  4. Blown Camaro

    Blown Camaro American by birth, drag racer by choice

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Deltona, FL
    ^^^ Great info and I have little to add to this besides making sure you use a grommet where the power wire enters the cabin. Keep it away from anything hot or sharp. I have 2 amps in the trunk of my Camaro and my battery is just fine after a month of sitting. Connect the antenna turn on lead from the head unit to the amplifier turn on terminal. Some RCA cables have a small gauge wire in the middle that can be used for this purpose.
     
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  5. JD Z

    JD Z Veteran Member

    Well said guys and Thanks. I did pick up solid copper 8 gauge from Lowes. I haven’t figured out what fuse and where to get one. The manual says to use a 100 amp fuse.

    Any good recommendations for where to find one?
     
  6. Jim Streib

    Jim Streib https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/albums

    265
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    Apr 6, 2004
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    You should have some car stereo shops locally or you can buy one online but depending on the fuse, maybe buy a second fuse itself just to have.
    Being you need to fuse at 100A, you may want to look for the ANL style fuse and holder. Some of these take a stripped wire end into the holder and hold the wire in place with small allen set screws (and if you opt for that style, come back a month or two later to check the tightness of the screws in the holder as some times I have seen them back out or not be tight enough initially). Other ANL holders are made with threaded studs and then these require crimped on ring terminal ends for the wire.
    Jim
     
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  7. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mar 27, 2016
    NY
    are you could get that circuit breaker style , then if you are worried about draw down, just trip the circuit when you are not going to drive for extended periods
     
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