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Any recommendations for what brand of wire to buy ?. Thinking of 16ga. stranded copper wire from what I have able to learn so far. It will be for accessories and to connect track.

The track itself is Fastrack and intended to solder connections between the sections.
I use 2 of the 72 watt, 18v, 4 amp Lionel power supplies on the track for my two Lionchief Locomotives. Works fine.

The accessories are going to be powdered by a separate Lionel LW 125.

I have read that "CCA" is not good ?

Any recommendations for what brand wire to buy . Thanks guys.

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The big box stores in my area carry reasonably priced 16 ga. dual stranded wire rolls in different lengths with one side striped.

I like stranded and no - CCA is not good.

Unless your layout is very small, I wouldn't waste the time soldering all the FT connectors together. I'd wait and see if there are any continuity issues once you get it laid out and you can then solder if you want.

I also use Del City for wire and terminal blocks, but I assume you are using FT terminal sections for your connections.

I used #14 for main power feeds, #18 for track drops, and #22 for accessories and wiring individual whisker tracks on my turntable.  I got the #14 at Home Depot #18 and #22 on the Internet.  As others have stated, make SURE you get pure copper wire, none of that Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) crap!

I used these lever nuts for all my power connections, easy to use, and reconfigurable without any mess.

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@KKNAPPER posted:

Any recommendations for what brand of wire to buy ?. Thinking of 16ga. stranded copper wire from what I have able to learn so far. It will be for accessories and to connect track.

The track itself is Fastrack and intended to solder connections between the sections.
I use 2 of the 72 watt, 18v, 4 amp Lionel power supplies on the track for my two Lionchief Locomotives. Works fine.

The accessories are going to be powdered by a separate Lionel LW 125.

I have read that "CCA" is not good ?

Any recommendations for what brand wire to buy . Thanks guys.

Yes, avoid CCA ( Copper-clad Aluminum), mainly because aluminum is difficult to solder, brittle, and less conductive than copper.  IMO, brand doesn't really matter as much as a higher number of strands, compared to what you might find in wire intended for higher voltage applications.  Usually if it's intended for 12V DC automotive, it'll be good for model train wiring too.

It might be more than you want for now, but... 500ft. rolls of 16Ga. 26 strand can be found for ~$40 or less online in at least 13 different colors.  Could be worth it in the long run (no pun intended) if you expect to use more wire in the future.

Having different colors of wire under the table makes it easier to keep track of different circuits without labeling as much.  For the Common Buss wire, I'd suggest you consider using 14 gauge or bigger (assuming you to plan to interconnect all 3 transformers' Common/Negative) and may choose to upgrade your power sources in the future.

Thanks for all suggestions guys.

I am thinking the 16 Guage is universal enough to do my accessory loop around my layout. It an 9x10 with an 8ft center section.

I'm just using the Lionel 72 watt power supplies for the track. I thought I would solder connections underneath to reduce any power loss. The 8 amps from these two supplies seem to do the job. Plus I have weird angles and some 1/4, 3/8 pieces.

I am wiring the accessories separate from the track on a Lionel LW 125.

That's where I will be using most of the wire. Maybe I don't need 16 ga ? For that part.

And soldering underneath the fast track is 16 too rigid ?

Someone mentioned stranded is harder to solder with ?

Higher strand count wire is more flexible than the same gauge solid wire.  Stranded wire literally sucks in solder when properly heated and is easy to solder.

Solid wire's main advantages are when wrapping it around a post or pushing the end into a connector or wire nut , it stays put better.  It's downsides, it will break faster with constant flexing, doesn't solder as easily as stranded and has more resistance.

@KKNAPPER posted:

Thanks for all suggestions guys.

I am thinking the 16 Guage is universal enough to do my accessory loop around my layout. It an 9x10 with an 8ft center section.

I'm just using the Lionel 72 watt power supplies for the track. I thought I would solder connections underneath to reduce any power loss. The 8 amps from these two supplies seem to do the job. Plus I have weird angles and some 1/4, 3/8 pieces.

I think most people solder FT sections together because of connectivity issues, not power loss, per se. Soldering basically assures that the connections are tight but, if assembled correctly, that should not be an issue.

You can "jumper" the underneath connections from the terminal sections to other, different areas of the layout for more power drops rather than solder every piece of FT. You could also cut the plugs off the wall warts and connect them to distribution blocks like the one shown and then run power drops to different sections of the layout to insure good power all around - if you do that, polarity is important, especially because you are using DC. You could also purchase a small AC transformer like the MTH Z 1000 connected to the same distribution block and out to the track with as many power drops as you need (up to 12) - the Z 1000 also has at least one 14 volt accessory port from which you can power your accessories and maybe eliminate the LW.

I am wiring the accessories separate from the track on a Lionel LW 125.

That's where I will be using most of the wire. Maybe I don't need 16 ga ? For that part.

And soldering underneath the fast track is 16 too rigid ?

Someone mentioned stranded is harder to solder with ? - Not IMHO.

MTH 12 PORT

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I use 14 gauge stranded for track power and drops.  I used 18 gauge solid for everything else except hinged control panels where I use 22 gauge stranded for flexibility.   I make interconnects using barrier strips and fork lugs.    I buy the 14 gauge stranded from Home Depot.  I buy the18 gauge solid from Allied Electronics/Newark based on price.  22 gauge stranded I buy from Amazon.  The barrier strips are 28 position from Allied and I cut them to length.

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