Gd Evening Forumites:

I’m getting ready to run feeder wires from my terminal block to Atlas O track.  I’m running 14 gauge from the block to track and I’m wondering can i splice the Atlas track terminal joiners (the pair of Red and Black wires soldered to the track connectors) to the 14 gauge wire. At the moment I attempted to solder 14 gauge wire to the track connectors and my soldering skills are rusty at best so I was wondering could I splice the two wires together without any adverse reaction. I didn’t want the wire once spliced together to overheat. 

GREG

TCA 15-71035

U.S. ARMY RETIRED PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER

RETIRED COMPUTER/NETWORK TECHNICIAN

CEO, COO and any other combination of O's @ MARSHELANGELO'S UNDERGROUND MODEL RAILROAD

 

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Clifford, thanks a million, as a computer tech, when I ran CAT 3,4,5, and 6, I never had to worry about overheating wire to the computers or Switches but dealing with stranded gauge wire, my wires caught on fire once when running trains with my CW80 on my carpet central layout. Okay, so now it’s full steam ahead. Thanks again - MARSHELANGELO

GREG

TCA 15-71035

U.S. ARMY RETIRED PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER

RETIRED COMPUTER/NETWORK TECHNICIAN

CEO, COO and any other combination of O's @ MARSHELANGELO'S UNDERGROUND MODEL RAILROAD

 

 Greg, I have dozens and dozens of these connections, and they were made to the very early Atlas rail joiners which were poorly made from "soft" material and troublesome, and I have had no issues! Best of luck to your railroad empire. Regards,Clifford

Early(circa 2000) Atlas joiners would spread easily, they did not have the reinforcing dimple and the more rigid spring tension to retain there shape. many joints would come loose.  I have ballasted all track work and bonded it to the top. when I removed all screws, the track doesn't move and electrical contact has been suffice. But the newer redesigned joiners are superior!

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John - I had the same problem with wires catching fire on a carpet layout.  When I re-started with trains last year using my old set from 1954, I tried to add 1950's equipment (except Fastrack), including a bigger 1950's rebuilt transformer from a local hobby shop.  The short was on the 10" straight section I used as a terminal.  I first tested it in the garage with no problem, did not try to reproduce the problem on carpet.  Went to new, modern transformers and have had no problems on my carpet layout.  I returned the rebuilt transformer and do not remember what it was.

The equipment didn't burn the wires, the setup did.  Im just gonna spit some facts for some to keep in mind as you go.

The issue with burnt wires points to too small of wire gauge for the power supply or bad thermal breaker. While less likely because new electronic breakers function differently, overheating wire can still happen.

Oversized wire stays cooler per amp and is mostly a good thing for power delivery, maybe not SOME signal delivery (seldom for us)  Splices compound the heat issue if the wire choice is boarderline for amps as the splices do add a bit of resistance.

Longer wires need to be fatter than shorter wires carrying x amps

Of interest with joiners, splices, and contacts as a general subject, more pressure causes there to be MUCH less resistance to electric flow between surfaces. (why weak brush springs DO effect running too)

The transformers breakers are designed to protect the transformer, not the wires/trains.(they do protect somewhat, but not why they are there...thats your job)

Choose wire to exceed the max amp a transformer puts out and or fuse the wire to protect the wire. Especially if it is smaller wire than the amps available.

On tbe longest one I run a Z & KW,  10g and 12g track bus, 25ft; drops are 12g-14g. Lights and acc get a fused 14g bus.

  Because there are two transformers sharing the common rail, all common busses are TWO strands of 10g for common.  Can't "cheat" and loose  half its its common ability misgaugeing that as ok either 😉

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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