400 volt car audio system, your thoughts ?


Fishchris

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Oh, and it only uses one battery :) lol Granted, it's a pretty beefy battery. But any of us can have one, starting about $3K

I get that it could be very dangerous for anyone who did not know what they were doing, and if this were to catch on, probably 20 guys would be killed in the first year, and next it would be outlawed..... but I don’t get the danger once it has been properly designed and setup ? I mean, any more so than driving an electric car with a 400 volt electrical system is to begin with....
Now, cost wise, that 116 Kwt RMS amplifier is only $800 ! TarAmps also makes one that puts out 160 Kwts, on I believe, 240 volts, also only about $800. That many watts from a bunch of big class D amps would probably run you $20-30K or more. I’d bet the rest of this system didn’t cost that awfully much (relatively speaking, when compared to other 100+Kwt systems)
I was thinking too, a person would not have to have a super expensive, all electric car to do this. Just a 400 volt electric car battery, and the quick charger to go with it. Those can be had from aftermarket companies starting at like $3K.

I know this is a really extreme system, but then many of the systems talked about and shown here are also extreme. Honestly, I'm sure it would be a lot "different" to set up a system like this, so maybe it would be "harder" in some respects, but a lot easier in others. {when I worked in the fish store, I used to tell people about saltwater tanks.... "It's like trigonometry... It's easy if you know how to do it" :) } Just think how much easier it would be, to run one medium sized amp and making 100+Kwts, vs. 6 or 8 big freaking monster amps, and all the O gage cable, batteries, multiple alternators, etc, to make that much power with only 12 volts ?

So here are a few videos for you to see. The first one is all about how this guy designed and set up this system and the electrical. The second vid shows the setup inside the car. Very clean build. And here’s the thing.... this is a tiny car ! So I think one could put such a system in the rear section of pretty much any SUV, and still have front buckets and a rear bench (if you needed the extra seats) Third video is a demo.



 

metalheadjoe

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This is quite an about-face from your last thread! I like that you are thinking outside the box. This forum quickly gets old when all I see is "which sub/amp should I buy?" threads.

I don't know anything about electric vehicles, so I'll assume you are correct that they have a 400v battery. In that application, I could see this working, because it already has the means to step-down voltage to the 12v that many components require. Again, I know nothing about electric vehicles, so for all I know their electronics take 400v supply power, but I doubt it due to the dangers of running 400v everywhere.

It would be difficult to integrate with a typical 12v system because that is a lot of power to transform. Your options for voltage reduction are limited with dc circuits, and the "norm" for higher power circuits is to invert it, step down via transformer, then convert it. I know there are other options like zener diodes and voltage dividers, but those aren't realistic for high-power circuits. At the same time, you'd have to do the opposite to the alternator output power to charge your 400v battery.

As they say, anything is possible with enough time, money, and motivation. I certainly agree with you that if this caught on there would be countless deaths and endless liability, especially in today's world where gun manufacturers are somehow responsible for murderers and drug dealers get charged when someone overdoses. I don't know if there are currently any required certifications to work on automotive electrical systems, but I bet if 400v systems became popular, the NEC and the electrical board would be all over it.

- Joe
 

Fishchris

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This is quite an about-face from your last thread! I like that you are thinking outside the box. This forum quickly gets old when all I see is "which sub/amp should I buy?" threads.

I don't know anything about electric vehicles, so I'll assume you are correct that they have a 400v battery. In that application, I could see this working, because it already has the means to step-down voltage to the 12v that many components require. Again, I know nothing about electric vehicles, so for all I know their electronics take 400v supply power, but I doubt it due to the dangers of running 400v everywhere.

It would be difficult to integrate with a typical 12v system because that is a lot of power to transform. Your options for voltage reduction are limited with dc circuits, and the "norm" for higher power circuits is to invert it, step down via transformer, then convert it. I know there are other options like zener diodes and voltage dividers, but those aren't realistic for high-power circuits. At the same time, you'd have to do the opposite to the alternator output power to charge your 400v battery.

As they say, anything is possible with enough time, money, and motivation. I certainly agree with you that if this caught on there would be countless deaths and endless liability, especially in today's world where gun manufacturers are somehow responsible for murderers and drug dealers get charged when someone overdoses. I don't know if there are currently any required certifications to work on automotive electrical systems, but I bet if 400v systems became popular, the NEC and the electrical board would be all over it.

- Joe
I don't know much about high voltage stuff either. I just feel like if this guy actually did it, then it must be doable :) Oh hey, I just saw a thing about the new all electric Porsche SUV, and it uses an 800 volt battery ! Pretty sure even that kind of battery could power a 240 volt car audio amplifier though. Either way, I think one would need to use transformers and converters ? But I'm the first to admit, Im completely ignorant about this stuff....

Oh but hey, I don't think getting 400 volts reduced to 12 volts, for the 12 volt side of your system should be that difficult ? They do it in every hybrid car on the market. My Prius has a 350 volt battery, no alternator, just a converter, and I love how solid the 12 volt side is for my modest little 900 wt, 5 ch amp :) I don't have a voltage gage on it, but I don't think it drops "at all" from 14.5 volts, stereo on or not.... But now Im curious. Need to check this...
 

Popwarhomie

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My team mate ran Taramps HV amps years ago. I was nervous wiring up the batteries but it wasn't too bad. Just have to hook up the HV charger every few days depending on how large your battery bank is.

I'll have to hook up my hard drive and get some old pictures uploaded.
 
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hispls

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a 400 volt electrical system
29160


You would NOT catch me playing with 400V DC. But a couple guys have used those super cheap 100,000W Brazilian amps to do builds. Perhaps people with good access to EV charging stations could make use of these to re-fill their audio battery banks and get some mileage out of those high voltage amps, if you don't mind stopping to fill up and limited "range". Also haven't really looked into the cost, size or weight of EV battery packs, can't imagine they're convenient or easy to obtain new and if a lot of federal pork is thrown at a big fleet of all the G-cars going electric and similar we are going to see a big spike in price on silver, copper, lithium, and many of the other associated materials.

Finally, AFAIK there is no competition org that allows over 18V in the lanes. If that rule changed you would probably see a lot of 3 second burp builds using those amps and high voltage, but until then it seems a novelty.
 

Fishchris

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My team mate ran Taramps HV amps years ago. I was nervous wiring up the batteries but it wasn't too bad. Just have to hook up the HV charger every few days depending on how large your battery bank is.

I'll have to hook up my hard drive and get some old pictures uploaded.
Yea, so there is a guy who goes by Sencheezy, who did the whole 240 volts thing, by wiring a twenty 12 volt batts in series.... Which on the one hand, seems like it would be a lot less technical, and in reality, I think this is what the manufacturers expect folks to do when they are buying one of these HV amps.
But SO stinking heavy, and expensive.
Just out of curiosity, i looked into those big, high voltage EV batteries. They start at about $3k. Actually, the one for my Prius is only like $1900.... But then my Prius is not a straight EV, but rather, a hybrid, so the batt is probably not that strong. The longer range battery for a Tesla Model S, is about $12K.
 

Fishchris

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View attachment 29160

You would NOT catch me playing with 400V DC. But a couple guys have used those super cheap 100,000W Brazilian amps to do builds. Perhaps people with good access to EV charging stations could make use of these to re-fill their audio battery banks and get some mileage out of those high voltage amps, if you don't mind stopping to fill up and limited "range". Also haven't really looked into the cost, size or weight of EV battery packs, can't imagine they're convenient or easy to obtain new and if a lot of federal pork is thrown at a big fleet of all the G-cars going electric and similar we are going to see a big spike in price on silver, copper, lithium, and many of the other associated materials.

Finally, AFAIK there is no competition org that allows over 18V in the lanes. If that rule changed you would probably see a lot of 3 second burp builds using those amps and high voltage, but until then it seems a novelty.
Yea, I considered that one of those batts could be filled at a charging station, and cut the cost of a fast charger at home. We have those stations all over the place near me..

I figured anybody with the $ could buy one, but sure, their could be restrictions... Especially in Cali !

Even if I could afford to build such a system, I wouldn't compete with it, but that's just because I'm probably the least competitive guy on the planet.
Still, I thought most big car audio shows had an unlimited class, where pretty much anything goes. No ?
 

Popwarhomie

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Yea, so there is a guy who goes by Sencheezy, who did the whole 240 volts thing, by wiring a twenty 12 volt batts in series.... Which on the one hand, seems like it would be a lot less technical, and in reality, I think this is what the manufacturers expect folks to do when they are buying one of these HV amps.
Yeah I knew Senchez. Haven't heard from him in years though.

Screenshot 2021-02-20 164433.jpg
 

Buck

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Yeah I knew Senchez. Haven't heard from him in years though.

View attachment 29171
I worked some on that Explorer back in the day, helped him wire up some stuff, very minor lol, I think it's when he put some horn tweeters in. Sanchez used to stop by our shop off Trinity in Nashville. We always got along, wouldn't mind seeing him again.
 
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hispls

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Still, I thought most big car audio shows had an unlimited class, where pretty much anything goes. No ?
From the dB Drag rulebook:
"The maximum voltage of the vehicle's electrical system shall not exceed 15.0 volts DC in the Stock division or 18.0 volts DC in the Super Street and Extreme divisions at any time during the 30-second SPL metering process."

They're typically the standard from which other orgs take their playbook so I don't think anything but possibly small/regional clubs would allow such a thing and if you're talking about doing a 20,000$+ build I can't imagine why you would want to put yourself in a spot where you couldn't roll into a competition and throw down.

Quick Google search shows people paying well over 10 grand for new battery packs for Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Volt, and the physical size and shape of those seem awkward. I wonder what additional accessories one would need to just plug their bank into a roadside charging station?
 

Fishchris

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From the dB Drag rulebook:
"The maximum voltage of the vehicle's electrical system shall not exceed 15.0 volts DC in the Stock division or 18.0 volts DC in the Super Street and Extreme divisions at any time during the 30-second SPL metering process."

They're typically the standard from which other orgs take their playbook so I don't think anything but possibly small/regional clubs would allow such a thing and if you're talking about doing a 20,000$+ build I can't imagine why you would want to put yourself in a spot where you couldn't roll into a competition and throw down.

Quick Google search shows people paying well over 10 grand for new battery packs for Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Volt, and the physical size and shape of those seem awkward. I wonder what additional accessories one would need to just plug their bank into a roadside charging station?
Thank you for that info.
Just a couple thoughts. 1) as I have said, I'm the least competitive guy on the planet in the first place. I'd love to have a crazy, one off rediculous 400 volt system, and "not" being allowed to compete with it, would be the perfect excuse 🙂
Personally speaking, I'd love to have a crazy "show system", but couldn't care less about a "competition system".
I think their are several rediculous systems out there,(SMD's Tahoe, and JP's NEO Hoe come to mind) who are not competing with these systems.

Yea, I looked at the cost of those batts, and they run from $3k dollars to probably like $20k. But the cost of running 20 lead acid batteries + a bunch of huge, 12 volt amplifiers, this shouldn't be out of the question.

Btw, although heavy (the big Tesla bank is 1200 lbs) this still might be the lighter option too, compared with 20 big, lead acid batteries + several big crazy 12 volts amplifiers.

Ya' know, I actually have 3 different rediculous big "day dream" systems I often contemplate (only one of which I will likely ever build) 2 of these would not be "legal" for competition, and the one I'm most likely to build, would be the least likely to win a competition 🙂 lol Oh well.
 
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hispls

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they run from $3k dollars to probably like $20k.
That's the """range""" I got from Google search as well, but I didn't find any actual links where I could plunk down money and have anything shipped to my door which is rather suspicious.

The reason e-celebrity meme-builds don't go on the meter (publicly) is probably because they're not great numbers for the money/power/cone area they use.
 

Fishchris

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That's the """range""" I got from Google search as well, but I didn't find any actual links where I could plunk down money and have anything shipped to my door which is rather suspicious.

The reason e-celebrity meme-builds don't go on the meter (publicly) is probably because they're not great numbers for the money/power/cone area they use.
Okay, so I don't know "why" this is yet... I'm still looking. But I even found a place in the UK which is doing battery swaps, of the old Nissan Leafs, and even this reputable company said they are getting there "new batteries" from new model, crashed Nissan Leafs.... They didn't even talk about "brand new" replacement batteries as an option ???

Hybrid batteries are a different story.... Here's one for a Prius. Less than $2K. I think these are 350 volts..... But Im sure they are considerably less amp hours, as these cars still have an ICE. https://greenbeanbattery.com/product/prius-hybrid-battery-2004-2009?gclid=Cj0KCQjwna2FBhDPARIsACAEc_XfpE9QYdGmbB7g1ENozKvqvq5hIHW3J2UZtaA1UEwlE4F8H1YXDhMaAlTPEALw_wcB

In any case, I'm really anxious to own an all electric car, and I really hope high voltage stereo systems become a LOT more common in the future. I think they will.
 

SlugButter

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Has anyone looked into the cost effectiveness of making your own battery packs using single 18650 or 26650 lithium’s wired together in series/parallel configuration? I’ve thought about trying it, but I haven’t yet put the work in to add up amp hours, voltage, cost comparison, parts list, etc.
 

hispls

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"new batteries" from new model, crashed Nissan Leafs
I have also seen this. I believe a lot of the cells some folks are getting for DIY audio banks have been salvaged from wrecked EVs and hybrids. Not sure how far I'd trust them if I didn't personally know the guy in the bone-yard who was pulling them. Then again, if the price is low enough they may be worth a gamble.

Here's one for a Prius. Less than $2K.
Zero specs as far as c rating, voltage, discharge graphs, or capacity. Probably fine if you wanted to replace your clown car battery but I'd throw 2 grand into cells and DIY a bank and probably wind up better off.
 

hispls

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Has anyone looked into the cost effectiveness of making your own battery packs using single 18650 or 26650 lithium’s wired together in series/parallel configuration?
Yes. Max C rating of 3 and cycle life rating at 0.2C makes them very poor choice for what we are doing. Also affixing several hundred of those to a busing system that will carry the sort of current we need to high powered car audio would be a big challenge. I would be wary of anything which doesn't have threads or bolts for attaching some beefy bus bars with the possible exception of the tab style terminals on some of the pouch style cells for which I think you could rig up some decent DIY options if you had some metalworking tools.
 
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Fishchris

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So I just got off the phone with the place I got my alternator from, and I think the guy had some pretty good advice. First off, because I did the Big 3 SO freaking long ago (13 yrs) he suggested that I check all of those connections and make sure everything was solid (honestly, I think my mechanic already has... but anyway) and here's the big one.... That little lightweight plug that clips into the alternator.... Mine is 13 yo. He said those can wear out and get loose with time. Easy, and cheap to replace. Think I'm going to try this soon, as see if that helps....
 

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