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Old 12th December 2008, 07:54 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Capacitor pre charge every time?

I have a system where the power is disconnected between uses.
I just bought a capacitor and it say it must be pre charged before use. Am I going to have to precharge it everytime I use the stereo, or will it holds its charge for a few weeks?

I wish I had bought a soft start capacitor instead.
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Old 12th December 2008, 08:49 PM   #2
grjr is offline grjr  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Depends on the capacitor. If the capacitor has a lot of leakage then yes you will have to charge it. If it does not have a lot of leakage then you probably won't have to. If you leave the capacitor connected to the amplifier it will likely discharge over time.

If you don't first charge the capacitor through a resistor when you first connect it, the capacitor will draw a lot of current very quickly and you will get a large electrical arc at the connection point which will melt the metal at the connection point.

I'm not talking about the connection melting down in your hand, I mean a small localized area of metal will melt where the arc occurs.

You can measure the voltage at the capacitor with a volt meter to determine how much of a charge the capacitor has on it before changing connections.
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