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Old 15th June 2011, 02:58 PM   #1
Dr Zeus is offline Dr Zeus  United States
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Default Powerbass competition amp modification

Ive got one customer who like most is above all else in terms of extremity and the absolute limits of car audio. He has a PowerBass amp which he said is custom built not like th emainstream ones. I am working on getting a picture of this amp to post here, but have some 'upgrade' what-ifs and questions.

Supposedly this amp will run ~5000w at ~1ohm. The customer will be pushing 6x 15" subs with this amp for what I believe is for a 200A competition. He is asking me if there is any way to help monitor/maintain or even upgrade this amp for this type of use. First I told him was; any modifications throws warantee right out the window; which he was OK with that. Any experiments done would be for the satisfaction of the hobby for the both of us.

My thing about this amp and this type of competition focuses around voltage drop. Any voltage drop and amperage will rise; causing his 200A limit to blow and lose the competition. Voltage drop, most easily measured at the amp's power terminals is easy to monitor via a metered cap, and beefed up with batteries and whatnot. The owner wants to get ~2x ~14-16v batteries and alternator for what he is trying to do; which I believe is a good starting point and best way to move forward, but I have a different idea in mind for him and his amp...

My starting suggestion would be for him to monitor voltage drop not only at power terminals, but also the internal voltage at the rails with the idea behind voltage drop monitoring being done internally to the amplifier. With batteries and voltage staying high and constant into the amplifier, the next thing to monitor could definately be the power supply of the amplifier in the form of rail-voltage performance. From there, other options to keep things in tip-top condition and performance minded could be explored.

Has anyone tried doing anything like this?
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Old 15th June 2011, 06:31 PM   #2
Cr@sh is offline Cr@sh  United States
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I'm assuming this is the amp? powerbass XTA 5000! (gut pics)

If so is it a db drag rule that he can't go above 200a?
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:53 PM   #3
Dr Zeus is offline Dr Zeus  United States
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Its actually a Powerbass XTA 4000 which the owner says may already be modified.

New Powerbass xta-4000d power tests.

I was also way-way off with his fuse rating and spl class. He is not using 200A; he is using a 350A fuse but can use a second 350A. After talking with him more, he just goes to novice DB competitions and car shows at the moment so he actually does not do any DB dragging. He has a ~250A alternator and a single 14.4v battery (looking to get a second battery). I just thought I'd try doing some voodoo magic inside the amp if given the chance.
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Old 15th June 2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr@sh View Post
I'm assuming this is the amp? powerbass XTA 5000! (gut pics)

[B]If so is it a db drag rule that he can't go above 200a?[/B]

Well the amp draw limit part is easy to get around...and it was done almost 20 years ago now. The trick is doing it so no one knows what your doing, and doing it correctly so all the extra horsepower does not take out the final stage of the monster amp.
This is akin to playing with dynamite Dr Zeus. If you do it wrong the amp won't survive very long at all, most probably less then one song play. But you don't have to worry about thermal roll-back this way lol.. right ?

The owner you speak of is thinking Max power and not max common sense and most probably lacks any formal education in electronics engineering and amplifier design. Think of a car amp like you would the rubber band in a rubber band toy. You wind it up and it goes, You wind it too tight and bang no more rubber band, and no more go either...

Re-designing and engineering a commercial product is top dollar work requiring that level of commitment and effort and is full of pitfalls and unexpected disasters to those lacking formal education in electronics design.
Remember everyone wants more then his money is worth...Always have, and always will. And unless he has bottomless pit pockets for wasted gear then your most likely going to have a short relationship with this client.
As for DB Drag people well I used to run a V-8 Vega 35 years ago, and it took every last free dime I had to support that thing. This is why I stopped dragging myself long ago. It akin to the picture i once saw of a Fancy dressed man in a tux walking down the wharf to his boat and just throwing bucket loads of money onto its deck as it fell out of his pockets... "If you want to do it, this is what its gonna cost. Can you handle that much financial dedication ? lol...

It can be done, is he ready to pay the price for what he asks. Oh and wait a minute while I warranty my Nascar ride I blew last week trying to do 225 going left all day long...lol.lol.lol...
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Old 15th June 2011, 10:26 PM   #5
Cr@sh is offline Cr@sh  United States
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Well this idea has been covered a million times on termpro and other well known db drag sites. He'd be better off buying some T4000.1bd amps used and have Rockford modify them for 18v input. I had four of these and when I was going to compete I called Rockford and they said they can modify them for 18v operation no problem for about 125 per amp. Then he can get a added alternator with a voltage regulator for 12v - 18v operation (Keep in mind this would only charge 18v batteries) then get a bank of 18v batteries for the rear separate from the rest of the car's electrical.
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Old 15th June 2011, 11:21 PM   #6
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Sounds good..Saves a many a tech long and tedious hours at the bench, And RF has the $24.00 replacement service boards to support such activities...
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Old 16th June 2011, 01:15 AM   #7
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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Sucks they limit the current usage but won't limit voltage, lol imagine that. All it takes is money to get around it so the guys with the most money have the first obvious advantage.

First people used electrical and box and tuning design knowledge to win. Then came the cheater amps and people with more money gained an advantage. Now they change the rules to allow wealthier competitors another advantage. Sad trend
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Old 16th June 2011, 01:50 AM   #8
Cr@sh is offline Cr@sh  United States
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Yep, nothing much has changed since the early nineties except maybe Wayne Harris's bank account
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Old 16th June 2011, 01:53 AM   #9
Cr@sh is offline Cr@sh  United States
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The one way to do really well in car audio comps is to stay in the lower power and speaker classes or go sq and learn how to eloquently design and keep to the rule book. They do have many easier to win classes now.
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Old 16th June 2011, 06:31 AM   #10
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There have always been classes of competition that most of us couldn't afford. In general, the people who race at local tracks on the weekends can't afford to own an Indy car. Should we stop all forms of competition that those with the lowest incomes can't afford to participate in?
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