Amplifiers

How to Figure Watts on Car Amplifier?

How to Figure Watts on Car Amplifier?

Cars get close to our hearts when we have a beautiful set of speakers and a sound system in it. Some people love base while some love to listen to high-quality music but not with a bass tube.

There are several factors when the speakers cannot provide bass even when they are capable of it. Installing a non-compatible amplifier is one of the main reasons when the speakers cannot offer enough of themselves. So, it is essential to understand the basic concepts of amplifier power output.

The power output is determined by the number of watts produced by the amplifier when it is plugged in. The RMS output of the amp determines the unit of power, and its unit is Watt. So, there are several ways to determine the output wattage of an amplifier, but we will go with the easiest ones.

The proposed procedure is universal and can be performed to determine the output wattage on any car amplifier.

Step1: Connect the subwoofer to the amplifier
Step2: Connect the multimeter to the amplifier
Step3: Clamp the clamp meter with the wire of subwoofer
Step4: Play a bass test sound with the mp3 player
Step5: Measure the wattage
Step6: Increase the output volume and measure again
Step7: Calculate the maximum wattage

To select an amplifier with a proper RMS output wattage for your subwoofers, you must determine what the maximum output that your subwoofer can take is. If it is a 400-watt subwoofer, then your amplifier should be above that limit. If you have a 1000-watt subwoofer, then you must have an 1100 or a 1200-watt amp.

How to Figure Watts on Car Amplifier?

This is a step-by-step guide that explains best and proven methods to figure watts on your car amplifier.

So, if you are buying an amplifier that has a value of watts written on it, then you will be able to detect the correct amount by the procedure that we will state further.

If you have a speaker of some watt and an old amplifier whose output wattage is not known to you, then you can get aware of the wattage, ampere, and volts by the help of the process.

So, what tools do you need to determine the watts on the car amplifier? List of tools are as follows:

  • Multimeter
  • Clamp meter
  • Subwoofer
  • Amplifier
  • Mp3 player
  • Screwdriver

So, all these tools and equipment are necessary if you are about to calculate the wattage of the car amplifier.

Now, you must be wondering why are all these tools necessary. Well, we have a brief and straightforward answer to this question. We need to find out the output wattage of the car amplifier. So, for this purpose, we must find out the output amp rating and the volt rating of the amplifier.

A multimeter will be used to find the AC voltage rating of the amplifier, whereas the Clamp meter will be used to determine the output amperage of the car amplifier. The subwoofer will be used to test the output power accordingly, and all the process can only be done if we have a car amplifier. The last one is the mp3 player which will be used to play a test sound on the amplifier.

So, let us get started with the steps:

Step1: Connect the subwoofer to the amplifier

To begin measuring the wattage of the amplifier, you should connect the subwoofer to the amplifier first. The subwoofer that you are using must have two wires which are always connected at the output ports of the amplifier.

You will join the positive wire of the subwoofer to the positive output terminal, whereas the negative wire with the negative terminal.

The wires of the subwoofers are often in red and black. The red wire will go to the positive port, and the black wire will go to the negative port of the amplifier. Before connecting the amplifier to the subwoofer. You must check that the amplifier is turned off to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

Insert the red wire in the positive port of the amplifier after disconnecting the amplifier from the power source and then tighten the screws of the port. Do the same for the black wire, and the subwoofer is connected to the amplifier.

Step2: Connect the multimeter to the amplifier

When the wires of the subwoofer are connected to the amplifier then you must connect the wires of the multimeter to the amplifier. To do so, you will see that two wires come out of the multimeter; one is positive, and the other one is negative. These wires have a terminal or a clip at their ends. The controller of the multimeter will be set to default straight.

You will have to connect these ends with the output ports of the amplifier. The positive wire will go to the positive port of the amplifier, and the negative one will go to the negative port of the amplifier. After inserting the cables, you will have to tighten the screws of these output ports slightly. After when the screws are tightened to their limit, you will move to the next step.

Step3: Clamp the clamp meter with the wire of subwoofer

Now, the clamp meter has a clamp that will be connected to the amplifier by clamping to the wire of the subwoofer. Now, the question is how to clamp and which wires should be clamped with the clamp meter?

Well, the answer to the question is straightforward. You will have to clamp the wire of the subwoofer that is connected to the positive output port of the amplifier. The positive wire is selected only because the level of ampere provided by the amplifier will only be appropriately measured in the positive terminal of the amplifier.

So, you will only put the positive wire in the clamp that is connected with the amplifier. This step is must to figure watts on car amplifier.

Step4: Play a bass test sound with an mp3 player

When everything is connected to the amplifier, it is time to join the mp3 player with the input RCA or auxiliary port of the amplifier. After connecting the mp3 player, make sure that the amplifier is powered.

When everything is set to play a soundtrack to test the output wattage of the amplifier, you will have to play the bass test sound on the mp3 player. You will notice that the subwoofer is working, and the meters that you connected before are showing some values.

When you play a bass test sound, the subwoofer will work, and a sound will be generated. This sound is the minimal sound because we have not told you to increase the bass output.

Step5: Measure the wattage

When the values are showing, you will have to take these values on the paper. These values will help you calculate the watts of the amplifier that is being running through the wires. Now, the question is, how will you calculate the watts with the values of ampere and volt.

The answer is quite simple. You will have to multiply the values of ampere and volts to get the benefit of watts. This is how you will get the amount of wattage. But the value that you calculated right now is not the value that you require because you have to calculate the maximum output RMS of the amplifier.

Let us move to the next step.

Step6: Increase the output volume and measure again

Now, you know how to measure the output watts of the amplifier. These steps will help you estimate the maximum output that the amp can give. So, find the volume button of the amplifier. This volume button is usually a screw that needs to be tightened and loosened when you want to increase or decrease the volume.

You will have to increase the output volume of the amplifier to get most of it. To increase the volume of the amplifier, take the screw and tighten it more and more until you achieve the full strength of your amplifier.

Step7: Calculate the maximum wattage

After increasing the volume of the amplifier to its maximum capacity, you will see the subwoofer creating the sound of the bass repeatedly. The movement of the subwoofer is according to the test track that you have been playing on it.

You will see that the readings of voltage and amperage are increased on the multimeter and clamp meter. Note down these readings and multiply them with each other. The value that you will have after multiplying the amount of voltage and amperage is the maximum watts that the amplifier can produce.

In this way, you can select the required subwoofers or vice versa.

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