Electrical wire

brownmat

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Hello

May I ask what wire would be suggested for:

r/c electronics (receivers etc)
r/c battery connections
general wiring around the railway

I had no idea there was so much choice!

Thanks.
 

Greg Elmassian

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That is a tall order.

You need to consider the current being used, thinner gauge for low current, heavier gauge more current,

Also distance plays into it. Since I am in the USA, I am most comfortable with wire gauge, but you really need "metric" recommendations.

Greg

p.s. when in doubt, go one gauge higher larger.
 
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Paul M

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As Greg says, you need to think about the current you'll be using, and any volt drop. Personally for track power I'd use at least 2.5mm or larger if you're running long cables. I think some of the folks here use cooker cable as their layouts are quite large. Remember to ensure the connections are as weather proof as possible. As for the electronic side, I'll let the experts answer
 

dunnyrail

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I would say for Battery Conversions 2mm wire by size is more than adequate.

For outside I have used speaker cable though admittedly this can be a bit of a problem for some with tarnishing making changes an issue as the wire cannot then be resoldered easily or relied upon for twisted loop connection.

A friend of mine uses lighting standard mains wire but this looks horrible where it is connected to tha rails due to the white or grey these days colour of the outer casing and the newer colours for the individual cable EEC compatible colours. Even worse in his case as he uses old red and black. looks really horrible where that is connected to the rail. I would solder up short connections of black to connect to the rail his g the light colours in a building or in my case electrical trunking disguised as concrete cable trough ing.

Using mains wire for low voltage is not the best of practices for the home electrician! Also causes lots of issues when you get back to a control panel due to the size of the stuff.
 

Rhinochugger

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For 12v - 20v internals (locos and other uses ;);) ) I use 7/0.2mm wire - that's 7 strand, 0.2mm - available on evilbay in a variety of colours
 

JimmyB

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For 12v - 20v internals (locos and other uses ;);) ) I use 7/0.2mm wire - that's 7 strand, 0.2mm - available on evilbay in a variety of colours
Good for 1.4 amps according to the paperwork :cool:
 

Greg Elmassian

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That is a bit lightweight for larger locos. Also be careful on reading the "amp rating" of wire, many of them are calculated at higher voltages.

I've had this discussion with a person who was very insistant, but the table he was looking at was at US household voltages, 110v.... so while the wire was rated to the current he wanted, it lost 2-4 volts...

Well, 2-4 volts lost out of 110 is nothing, BUT 2-4 volts lost out of 12 volts is a BIG deal.

Greg
 

PhilP

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7 strands of 0.2mm diameter tinned copper wire with coloured PVC insulation. Typical sheath diameter 1.2m. Current rating is officially 2A at 25oC continuous. Higher currents will produce voltage drop over distance (approx 0.1V/m per 1A) and cause a rise in temperature.

From the catalogues.. Nominal 1.4A rating at 100V AC and 24V DC. - Adequate for lights, signal/control wiring, and (most) single motor loco's..

I would probably use something heavier for battery connections, on two-motor loco's, and possibly silicon insulated..

PhilP.
 

brownmat

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Again, thank you all for your help with this one - I knew it would get rather complex! So, to go a little heavier, with what I have learnt today would 16/.02 or 24/.02 be more suitable?
 

Greg Elmassian

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So in US wire gauge, 18 gauge for motor wires would be good, as well as track pickups.
lighting maybe 20-22 gauge, and of course really fine wires leading to LEDs if you need to hide the wires.

There's tables to translate this. the number of strands is really an issue of flexibility, basically the more, the more flexible. I don't worry too much about that except on leads that will flex a lot, since I am track powered, that consideration would be given to wires that go to the motor blocks/trucks for example.

Greg
 
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brownmat

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Thank you. Really clear and I've placed an order. Committed now so no going back! Thank you all.
 

Paul M

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Just think, in a few years wired will be redundant, it'll be quicker to use Amazon!
 

jfasolas

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Hello

May I ask what wire would be suggested for:

r/c electronics (receivers etc)
r/c battery connections
general wiring around the railway

I had no idea there was so much choice!

Thanks.
I have purchased a 100 foot roll of trailer Hitch wire for around $70. It is weather proof, Has four conductors attached in a ribbon wire
and it may have an extra conductor or two for powering track but the spare conductors could be utilized for lights or switches.

 

dunnyrail

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I just found this add via You Tube, from George Shoo that appear to list lots of innovative things. These connectors look like a good bet for outside with no soldering required. I have not got or tried any so if someone feels brave enough to try some let us know how you got along please.

 

PhilP

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They are OK on NEW wire..

If you are trying to do a repair, then you will find the wire strands will probably have tarnished, and these may not get warm enough for any flux-component to 'burn-off' the oxidation.

PhilP.
 

JimmyB

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They are OK on NEW wire..

If you are trying to do a repair, then you will find the wire strands will probably have tarnished, and these may not get warm enough for any flux-component to 'burn-off' the oxidation.

PhilP.
I would assume in these cases a quick tinning of the wires would aid a good waterproof connection.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I agree with Jimmy and Phil.

Even though I could solder at age 5 (my father taught me), I really did not learn about soldering until I was in Junior High school, and our neighbor, who worked for a company that made rocket ships that went into space and the moon taught me.

Clearly he was an engineer, and I learned a lot about cleanliness, fluxes, where the heat goes, how to visually confirm a good solder joint, etc.

One thing I learned is that solder is a very weak metal, and it cracks and fractures easily, it cannot handle flexing, so the mantra was to make a mechanically secure connection first, and then solder.

This connector violates that principal, and as has been mentioned already, no guarantee of a good electrical connection.

Everything I do on my railroad is with the idea that it's done once, and the best way I can do, since when I started, I had read forums for years and all the complaints on maintaining good electrical connectivity, connections, corrosion, the pain of debugging electrical connections.

So, by doing all things this was, indeed maintenance, and repairs have been to a minimum.

In our hobby, with this stuff outside, the mechanical integrity of the connection is paramount, and I would not recommend these.

crimp and solder, and even if you get some external corrosion/oxidation, the connection will last years.

Greg