The Role of a Pre-Amplifier in a Car Audio System

Car audio systems are becoming more and more popular as time passes, simply because technology has provided people with a way to listen to their music the car with tremendous power and quality. Most people will install a power amplifier into their subwoofer speaker system. However, if you are a bass freak who love superior sound quality, another good element to have is the pre-amplifier.

Many car owners are relying on a pre-amplifier to improve the quality and power boost of sound emanating from their car’s subwoofer speaker system. It is not always necessary but is becoming increasingly popular in car stereo systems. The pre-amplifier is great when you want to add a clearer bass that has a lower level of distortion.

What is a pre-amplifier and what does it do?

The pre-amplifier’s main function in the subwoofer speaker system is to prepare the power amplifier’s signal. There are various types of pre amps, such as USB, tube, and phono pre-amplifiers. However, the pre-amplifier you would use in your car’s subwoofer speaker system would be a stereo pre-amplifier.

The pre-amplifier is used to improve the overall quality of sound in a car’s audio system. A key thing to keep in mind is that the pre-amplifier supplies voltage only, not a current. The power amplifier is the component that provides the current, so therefore you cannot have one without the other. Think of it as a team where the pre-amplifier throws the ball to the power amplifier, and the power amplifier shoots the goal.

In your car’s stereo system the pre amp is the “middle man” for the audio input “stereo” and the power amplifier. When you turn your stereo on it sends an audio signal to your pre amplifier. The pre amplifier then takes that signal and levels it out if it is too low. It then sends the level signal to the power amplifier and the power amplifier will add the boost or power needed to get the best signal to your loud speakers.

Some stereo systems are coming equipped with both a pre-amplifier and a power amplifier integrated together. There is a debate on the quality of this method among serious audiophiles. It is safe to say if you have the power amplifier and the pre-amplifier in separate areas of your car audio system you will not have to make as many compromises on sound quality. The pre-amplifier in your car’s subwoofer speaker system will also be like a control panel. From here you can control connections, levels, volume, etc.

Pre-amplifiers are a great piece to have when installing a subwoofer speaker system into your car. They will add to the overall quality, power, and sound to your car’s audio system. Some people choose to leave out the pre-amplifier altogether, but if you want the best quality you will want to be sure to include it.


Mobile Audio Video

Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Problems and Suggested Solutions

Hybrid battery reconditioning has made things easier in more ways than one. There is a reason that people consider it to be a revolutionary idea. Before proceeding to shed some light on the various aspects associated with reconditioning, let us first provide you with information on how you can recognize if your battery is in need of some work.

Symptoms of Decrease in Hybrid Battery Reconditioning:

One of the most prominent symptoms which should alert you that there is something wrong with your battery is that there is a noticeable decrease in the acceleration power of the vehicle while the fuel consumption increases. In addition to this, you will notice that your battery charges and discharges all too soon. The ICE engine will also turn on more than usual. The hybrid battery that is deteriorating will not trigger the malfunction indicator lamp in the early stages. This will happen only when the battery is on its last legs.

Further Points of Hybrid Battery Reconditioning:

Hybrid batteries need proper level of care if you want to make it certain that they last for a long time. Excessive heat generation can lead to a decrease in their lifespans. If you go on long drives with a hybrid battery that is not functioning optimally, damage can also incur to other hybrid parts including the likes of inverters and converters which can prove to be rather costly.

A hybrid battery is an integral part of the hybrid system. If it is not functioning in an optimal manner, other hybrid components would inadvertently be affected and, thus, this is something that needs to be given attention immediately, lest the problem gets bigger.

The Perfect Solution:

It is hybrid battery reconditioning that can save you from a lot of trouble. It has a lot to offer, more of which we will discuss shortly. It is prudent to first provide you with a brief overview of what battery reconditioning is all about.

  • Procedure of Reconditioning:

The process essentially consists of two elements, which include charging the battery pack and deep discharging it. The process involves combining the charging process with a deep discharging one multiple times, thereby leading to the reconditioning of the battery. It leads to the breakdown of the crystal formations or the voltage depressions within the battery, which restores the usable battery capacity that was lost. The cell voltage levels are equalized with each other as a result. In the end, what you get is a battery that is capable of providing more usable capacity to the vehicle that can be taken advantage of to its full potential.

For the process of reconditioning, you will need to get your hands on a reconditioning pack that would provide you with quality results.

The Steps Involved:

Let us now proceed to provide you with the steps that you need to go through for the purpose of reconditioning your battery. Before you commence with the process, it is advisable to disconnect the AUX battery so as to make it certain that it is not discharged accidentally via the interior lights while you are going through the reconditioning process.

Steps:

  • The first thing that you need to do is charge the battery. You will have to charge the battery till the voltage ceases to rise. Full balancing is also recommended, but it is not something that you are required to do at this junction.
  • Once the charging is done, you need to discharge the battery. The voltage should reach at least 0.8V per cell.
  • Repeat the process of charging till the voltage stops rising and then discharge the battery to 0.5V per cell. Once again, charging needs to be done till the voltage reaches its maximum level and then the battery needs to be discharged to a level of 0.1V per cell.
  • Repeat the process for the last time by charging and balancing the battery. The charger should now be allowed to run for a minimum of 4 hours after the voltage ceases to rise. This ensures that the pack is indeed fully balanced.
  • You can now disconnect the charger following which the battery should be allowed to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. It is a good idea to allow it to rest for one hour before you make an attempt to start the vehicle.
  • We have provided you with a complete battery reconditioning treatment that you can go through. However, if you do not have that much time, you can also opt for two discharging cycles instead of going for the full three. Two-cycle reconditioning treatment tends to take over a single weekend, thereby ensuring that your work does not have to suffer owing to it.
  • While the reconditioning treatment has shown to be successful in restoring optimal battery performance in most of the cases, sometimes, it is not enough. This depends on the condition of the battery as well as the extent of degradation that it had faced when the reconditioning treatment was commenced. In case you do not get the desired results from the reconditioning treatment and instead get the failure errors, you should take the hint that one or more modules inside the battery have suffered a severe failure, which would take more than reconditioning to solve it. Physical replacement would need to be done in this case.

More About Hybrid Reconditioning Batteries:

  1. In some cases, even a replacement would not work. For instance, when we talk about the Honda hybrid battery, you will find that replacing a single stick to match the capacity to the remaining battery is extremely difficult. Thus, it is not advisable to endeavor to opt for a replacement in this case. You would, instead, be better off with a full battery replacement.
  2. In contrast, when it is the Toyota hybrid batteries that we talk about, it has been seen that replacing failed modules has yielded successful results. To determine which of the modules have failed in a Toyota battery, you need to conduct a load test of each module. You would come across reliable battery module load testers on the market, which would make things easier for you. They are not very expensive, so money is not something that you will need to worry about either.
  3. Once you have replaced the failed modules, you ought to perfect the battery reconditioning treatment a second time. This will ensure that the new module equalizes with the rest of the battery pack. After you have replaced the failed modules, you should make sure that you perform regular maintenance of the battery so as to make it certain that additional modules do not suffer the same fate.

The Effects of Reconditioning:

There is no denying that hybrid vehicles have a lot of benefits to offer you. However, they also have some drawbacks. This is especially so when you think about the loss of battery power, energy, and capacity that occurs over the course of time. This is a natural process which is found in all hybrid vehicles. The battery performance is bound to decrease over time. The only question to ponder upon is, when will the inevitable occur?

In such a situation, hybrid battery reconditioning is just the thing you need. Since this treatment is capable of restoring the battery performance to as much as 95%, you would not be disappointed with the results that it has to offer you. Essentially, there are two main benefits that you stand to get if you recondition your batteries.

The first main advantage is that you save quite a bit of money. You would not have to pay thousands of dollars to replace the damaged battery that is not providing you with optimal performance. By reconditioning your battery, you can save an enormous amount of money. Most of the times untrained technicians along with car dealerships advice people to replace batteries since they charge quite a bit for it. You ought to ensure that their talks do not lure you.

The reason that most people opt for hybrid vehicles is that they want to do what is good for the environment. However, the purpose is somewhat lost when hybrid batteries are thrown away as they, then, gain entrance into the waste stream. With the help of reconditioning, you can ensure that the batteries are not wasted and do not find their way into the environment. The best thing about reconditioning is that you can do it as many times as required, which leads to the batteries attaining a longer lifespan.

Final Verdict:

There is no doubt that reconditioning batteries is capable of providing you with impressive results. However, the one thing that you will need to ensure is that you make use of quality equipment. You should use the right charger and discharger if you want to make sure that the reconditioning treatment is successful. Therefore, get your hands on equipment that is profound in quality and can be relied on before you contemplate going ahead with the hybrid battery reconditioning.


Hybrid Energy Efficient

Skills You Need to Restore a Classic Car

Restoring a classic car can be a scary topic for some people. There are a lot of different types of work that goes into a classic car restoration and most people are not skilled at all of them. When you break the process down into the types of repairs that go into your classic car restoration, it’s easier to come to grips with what you really can or can’t do yourself.

An accounting of your skills can help you decide how much work you can do yourself, and how much of the restoration work you should get done by a professional.

Your classic car restoration can be broken down into a few repair categories.

  • Knowing your car,
  • Mechanical repairs
  • Electrical repairs
  • Interior or upholstery work
  • Sheet metal or rust repair
  • Surface preparation and refinishing
  • Auto body and painting
  • Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Some of these categories are self explanatory. Allow me to clarify the ones that aren’t so obvious.

Knowing your car

Cars have always been available with options like sport trim packages, air conditioning, V8, 6 cylinder, or 4 cylinder engines, and the list goes on. As the car gets on in years, some of these options get removed from the vehicle, replaced with something substandard, or never replaced at all. Option codes and shop manuals are generally available for most American classic cars that detail this information.

Mechanical repairs

This covers a lot of what makes up a car and would be most of the moving parts. You’ll find the engine and transmission will need rebuilding, as well as all the regular maintenance repairs like brakes and suspension, and rebuilding components parts like starters, water pumps, and generators. Other components that rarely get considered are the under dash parts like heater or vent controls, window parts inside the doors, hinges, and latches. I’m only touching on the subject, but you get the idea.

Electrical repairs

Electrical can be the scariest of them all. On an old vehicle the sheathing on the wiring can be dry rotted, and cracked and brittle creating the risk of an electrical short. Switches wear out and even fall apart. On some vehicle where these parts are impossible to find, you’ll need to be creative and improvise by using parts from another vehicle make.

Interior or upholstery work

Cloth, vinyl, leather, threading, and stuffing or padding materials all dry rot over time and need to be replaced. Colors fade really bad as well.

Sheet metal or rust repair

Any metal made with iron will rust, even aluminum will oxidize and even disintegrate under the right conditions. The body sheet metal will need to be replaced or patched. This means knowing how to work with sheet metal, how to weld, and even how to shape metal.

Surface preparation and refinishing

Other than the exterior of the car body, there is a lot of sheet metal surface that will need to be stripped of old paint and surface rust, then prepared so it won’t rust anymore, then painted again. This includes the car frame, suspension parts, differential, fasteners and more.

Auto body and painting

Aside from the sheet metal work the exterior of the car body will need to be smoothed and painted. This is an enormous amount of work which is why it can be so expensive.

Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Classic car trim and molding was made mostly from metals. There are steel chrome plated parts, chrome plated pot metal parts, aluminum, stainless steel and even brass or copper. until recently, some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated, pot metal is on of those. In extreme cases, you’ll need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings, grind and sand them down, polish them and get them ready for re-plating.

That’s a lot to know how to do.

Luckily there are some really good how-to DVD’s available that cover all these topics. Even still you might want to specialize in only 2 or 3 of these skills, and get a professional to do the others.

Learning how to do something like this can be entertaining. Even you if you don’t plan on doing some of this work yourself, you’ll want to know how the work is done so you can recognize a job well done.


Classic Cars

Generators for Mobile Auto Detailing and Car Washing Considered

Every small business needs equipment of some type to operate and a mobile auto detailing and/or car washing business is no different. In fact, since you are going to the customer’s car, you have to bring all your supplies with you, actually everything, including your own source of power and water. Not long ago a mobile detailer, well actually a future mobile detailer asked me:

“Do you use generators for the electrical tools?”

Indeed, we do use generators, generally Honda, due to their quiet, low-maintenance and reliability attributes. You need a minimum of 2500 watts, I recommend 3000 because a 5-6 hp. shop vac is really killer for vacuuming and sucking up waste water and pumping it into a holding tank or shrubbery, as you cannot allow it to enter the storm drain or water ways.

Also with 3000 watt you can go to an electric pressure washer, saving you from having two motors on-board or you can go 2200 -2500 watt and get a 5.5 hp pressure washer. But if you are going to clean big fleets, you’ll need to go with hot water (Landa – type skid unit, check the various brands out) and 2500-3000 PSI. I’d skip the big bad buffer syndrome, way over rated, if you are going to do that, stay with auto detailing, keep prices high, go for only high-end big ticket customers. That is a totally different business, this is why we separated them out for instance;

  • CarWashGuys.com
  • DetailGuys.com

You see, once you determine the way in which you want to run your business and the type of equipment you’ll need, well then you can determine the size generator you’ll use. So, think on this.


Car Detailing Customization

Government Auto Auctions – The Disadvantages

At government auto auctions you will find great deals on hundreds of cars. The cars include those owned and no longer used by government agencies as well as those cars seized under certain forfeiture and seizure laws. Every week hundreds of cars with starting prices of $200 are available including models from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Cadillac, BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Lexus and others.

The government’s eagerness to quickly sell off its car inventory is an advantage that cannot (or at least should not) be overlooked by any serious car buyer looking for a great deal. Fortunately for buyers, the goal of the government is to dispose of the vehicles it no longer needs as quickly as possible at almost any price. Anything is better than storage and maintenance expenses. Like most things in life, however, when buying a car at a government auto auction, there are disadvantages as well as advantages. Below are some of the disadvantages.

1. Selling Terms – Auctioned cars are all sold “as is.” After buying one, there is no opportunity to complain about its condition, to exchange it or to ask for a refund. Therefore, as when buying any used car, take the time to inspect the vehicle’s condition as much as possible and learn as much about the vehicles that you are interested in before you go to the auction.

2. Intimidating – When you attend your first government vehicle auction, it may seem intimidating, However, as with most endeavors, those feelings diminish with each additional visit. It may be worthwhile to attend one or two practice auctions to become comfortable with the process. You may also pick up valuable information concerning price and condition before attending by keeping track of on-line car auctions.

3. Time – Searching for the government car auction in your area, registration, preliminary checking, attendance, and getting all the necessary paperwork done after purchase may take up to a few weeks. Again a practice run or two may help streamline things for you.

4. Pressure – Unlike buying a car through a private party or dealer, there is not a lot of time to consider all the facets of the deal. You must often fly by the seat of your pants, make quick decisions and hope for the best. Gathering as much information as possible in advance concerning the auction process and the cars that you are interested in bidding on is key.

5. Vehicle Inspection – While most government auctions provide an opportunity to make a visual inspection of the cars for sale, you are not going to have an opportunity to take it to your mechanic for a comprehensive inspection of the mechanical parts. You can offset some of this concern by (a) bringing a knowledgeable mechanic with you or (b) having someone available at home who can get a history report of the car using its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

As always, the more information you have the better. Arm yourself with good information before you head out to the auctions and you’ll find lots of good deals at government auto auctions.


Buying Selling Auctions

The Proven Health Benefits of Riding an ATV or Off-Road Motorcycle

Good news! The “first ever comprehensive probe of the fitness and health benefits of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-road motorcycle (ORM) recreational riding” proves riding is as good as it feels.

The study

Conducted over several years by the York University Faculty of Health, co-supported by the Government of Nova Scotia and 3 riding associations, the study began with a meticulous countrywide survey to determine the ‘typical’ rider.

That was the entire first phase of this huge experiment.

Then researchers observed 128 riders, divided into 6 groups: 3 age classifications, male and female. After modifying these riders’ equipment, they could measure physical effects: heart rate; oxygen consumption; muscle fatigue and exertion, etc.

The findings

Riding an off-road vehicle requires genuine and serious physical effort. According to Canadian government fitness standards, it should positively affect your health.

While riding, riders’ use of oxygen increased by 3.5 to 6 times their level at rest. That’s 600% more! And according to standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine, that constitutes moderately intense physical activity.

That same moderate intensity taxes the heart and fatigues the muscles. How much? About the same amount as those other individual sports you take at your own pace, like skiing, golf or climbing.

A typical ATV ride was 2-3 hours; ORM was 1-2 hours. The amount of work required in the upper body and arms, if practiced regularly, was enough to increase muscle and skeletal fitness. And how regularly did they need to ride to begin realizing that increase? Just once or twice a week!

The biggie

Researchers also noticed the emotional high that fit people always talk about: “enhanced quality of life and stress reduction”. This surprised no riders.


ATV