Hi`, i`m wiring my accessories to my lay out and would like to use bus and feeder wires, what gauge wire would be best for these, any help is greatly apreiciated, thank you so much, Phil

Original Post

You select wire gauge based upon amperage and distance - so what is the amperage and distances involved?


Rules of thumb: 14 Gauge for track, 18 Gauge for accessories/lamps

Last edited by bmoran4

I used 14 gauge stranded wire for my layout and it worked well.


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I used speaker wire because cheap and because aluminum I went with 12ga for the track power buss plus common ground and 18ga doubled for accessories.



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Hi`, thank you everyone, Bmoran4, not sure of amperage, as for distance, my layout is in a spare bed room, 12 x 10 and the layout is an L shape, 12 x 8 one side, 4 x 8 on the other side, thank you so much, Phil

Oversized wire=safety from wires burning, and good amp delivery, low voltage drop.  (the only con is cost for 98% of our applications. (There are some frequency concern  with size and strand counts in sound reproduction and serial signal delivery) 

We under use fuses and breakers in general. With good fusing oversized wire looses a great deal of safety value, but still helps voltage drop.

AWG gauge selector tools/charts are online.

Voltage maxs are seldom our concern when choosing train wire,Amp delivery is.  Wire size is chosen by amps delivered and how far.

What is the max amps your power supplies can output? Go larger than that and fuse smaller, barely over the expected max amp load. (even though the fuse narrows and may be nearer the supply,the large wire still has less resistance so less voltage drop per/ft)

90w to 275w I use 10-12g buses in a 15x18 room/ceiling shelf (lots of brown/white extension cord used)...so, 2 30ft 12g legs( plus the branch) and 10g for 10-12ft .to waist level power supplies. The 10g uses the ac multi outlet as a splice point for a 12g 3 way star. (a warning lable for the male plugs might be more prudent; or a lockout case) Accessories use another 12g line both hots with dual voltage.   Should I get silly and use a 20a industrial power supply I need to beef the common bus to equal the two acc lines , but my overkill on the main bus means I'm all set to be sloppy and yet safe.

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Last edited by Adriatic

Accessories need different voltages so a bus wire may not be the best way to go.l used to try and group accessories that would operate best on the same voltage. Now I use the AMC it works much better. You can adjust the voltage for each accessorie with the legacy system 


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