SUPER FLEX L.E.D. Hook Up Wire We can now offer you the most incredible hook up wire for L.E.D.'s you have ever used. 100% better than magnet wire. SILICON COATED, COPPER, STRANDED 32AWG WIRE. We are offering this NEW WIRE in ten (10) foot rolls for only $10.00 per roll while our supplier can keep it in stock (includes shipping in CONUS). Stronger than magnet wire as it is stranded and insulation doesn't scrape off so easily when going through a metal aperture. If you are into using L.E.D.'s...
On a small layout where no more than ten feet tops, of wire is needed to hook up accessories and track, does it really make a difference if the wire is stranded or solid. I'm talking about 20 gauge wire. For one thing, solid wire lends itself more to traditional accessories.
I am interested in hearing what members use to connect an original TMCC Command base to the track. What gauge? Stranded or solid? Any optimal length? Will any wire do? Does the type of wire or length affect the signal? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks, Rick
The only advantage for stranded wire is that it is more resistant to damage from frequent flexing. Solid wire is generally cheaper, and entirely satisfactory for your purpose. I recall once talking to a store clerk about solid vs. stranded wire of the same gauge for automotive applications. He said stranded wire was better because electricity travels on the surface of the wire, and stranded wire has lots more surface area. That's total BS !!!
Actually it isn't total BS, it just only applies to very high frequency currents. The effect is meaningless to anything in model trains or general household use, but it does exist. As far as layout wiring goes, use whichever you prefer. Solid is probably easier to get a clean strip and to attach to things, where as stranded is easier to fish through to the location. JGL
Actually it's partially true. But not in this case. It's the omissions of details that were left out. Higher frequency current does travel on the surface of the wire. It's called skin effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect In the case of ordinary stranded wire, the surface area does not increase much since the wires are all shorted together. Stranded Litz wire does have a reduced resistance to higher frequency ac current because all the strands are insulated from each other.
Whoa Nelly, 16 gauge, really ? The wires that are supplied with almost all accessories can't be more than 22 gauge. The longest wire lead won't be any more than ten feet, and that's if I run from one end to the other, which is very unlikely.
People always say "it's a personal preference," but that's silly. Because all my power drops are OGR stranded 14 AWG and had a bad experience with some old brittle solid 22AWG wire, I purposely stuck to stranded for everything. But, I realized brittle old solid isn't a good test case. And, as I've recently discovered, when working with fine wire, like 22AWG and finer, solid is much easier to work with because it doesn't fray or require tinning.
there is one thing about solid wire which you have to watch out for. when you strip the end, make sure you do not nick (even slightly) the wire itself. if you do, it will only a few bends and the single conductor will snap off. for very thin wires (< 26 ga), i use No-Nik strippers exclusively... cheers...gary
There is no fixed rule for what gauge of wire to use for track power or accessory power. It all depends on the length of wire and how many amps it will carry. A voltage drop calculator (Google it) can be used to figure adequate wire gauge for a specific application.
i often sit back and smile at these conversations, and i won't offer any counter argument, but if you actually did some practical research on this, 20 ga. wire in open air (how most train layouts are wired), will easily pass 5-6 amps which is a lot more power than any of my trains draw. AWG tables are hugely conservative for maximum power transmission (i.e. usually calculated as bundled wires over km distances) and even pushed to its maximum capacity 20 ga solid copper wire will drop less...
Good point. When you look at the charts, multiply the resistance listed by the expected amps on the wire and determine if you can stand the voltage drop. The voltage drop for our low 18 vac circuits are more critical than the 120 vac some of the charts' recommend gauges. In other words, a 2 vac drop on an 18 vac circuit is more significant than a 2 vac drop on a 120 vac circuit.
Unless you have very long runs, I'd think that #16 would be sufficient. UL thinks it's good enough to plug into 15A branch circuits for extension cords! Obviously, if you run larger wire, you get less voltage drops.
For my track power I did use 14 gauge stranded wire. But for everything else, 14 gauge is too bulky to work with. I did check with the seller on the tinned wire. He assures me that it is tin coated copper. The reason I asked him is that $49.95 for 600 feet of 20 gauge copper wire on six rolls, each a different color, seems like a very good price.
Tin coating is used as a corrosion inhibitor, Even copper when subject to weather and moisture will form oxides and most likely sulfates, blue/green colors, which adds resistance to terminations. Automotive wiring subject to salts and corrosives, would do well to be tin plated, IMO. There are also additives, pastes, that can be use to increase/protect terminations in addition to the plating. Some crimp connectors will have the paste include as part of the connector. A 500 ft roll of single...
My LHS use 18 for everything so I followed suit. Solid wire is definitely much easier to hook up to accessories. I think 20 should also be fine. This comes from working with BOTH...... (stranded and solid)
I've tinned 24 awg stranded and, because of how thin it is / how few strands there are, I found that it snaps easily. Hence, why I now prefer solid for thin wire needs. Regarding Fleabay - every seller is obviously different, but I bought wire twice from 2 different sellers and in both cases it was old or poorly stored, brittle and crumbly. Caveat emptor. Peter
Any time you tin stranded wire, it is prone to breaking. The auto industry never tins or solders connectors for this reason. They crimp connections. One exception I found were BMW motorcycle harnesses. They bond multiple connection wires of the same circuit together inside a harness but only in a straight run. I think anytime there is movement or vibration, a soldered connector or wire end will tend to break.
Uhh... NO. You can probably argue the "Stronger than magnet wire", but the " and being stranded it carries electricity much better " is indefensible. At low frequencies or DC, a solid wire of the same core diameter will be better than stranded for carrying current. As frequency rises, a point will come where stranded wire will be better; it will be able to take a higher current than a solid core of the same diameter. However, the so-called "skin effect" is only for insulated strands, plain...
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