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I've been buying two conductor 16 and 18 ga stranded wire lately for the layout.  The strands are tin coated copper.

When I receive it, it says that it is "silicone" wire, which I assume means the jackets around the wire.

This stuff is super "floppy" though, very very different from the wire I am used to.  It has no body or shape-holding ability.

Should I be using this stuff?   Is it safe for the amps/voltage etc. in an O gauge layout?

Thanks,

Mannyrock

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18-gauge seems a little light as the main power feed for a layout.  If you're using that as "pig-tails" or drop-downs to a main buss it might be ok.  Personally I would recommend a 14-gauge buss and 16 gauge feeders.  Save the 18-gauge for wiring internal to cars and locos where it will need to swivel.  My $.02.

Gunnrunner,

Yes, this must be super-flex wire that I have.   Lots of thin strands.  Problem is, unlike regular stranded wire,  when you try to twist the bare wire into a tight spiral, so that you can connect it to a pole, it won't stay together.  It wants to unwind itself and "fray" on the end like a cheap sweater.

And, I know that this sounds weird, but the wire has a very "greasy" feel to it.  It is unlike any other wire I have used.  :-O



Ted, thanks but my entire 85 feet of track is powered every 6 feet with two direct drop-down power lines of 18 AWG copper (running uninterrupted back to my power blocks switches in the control box)  and the engines run so fast they are in danger of plunging off of  the layout.  :-)

I know that this is not the normal way of wiring for power, but it is extremely easy wiring to do, and each set of drop down lines only took me about 15 minutes to complete.  Alot of wires coming out the side of the table to the control box, but they all come out of the same rectangular-cut  slot, and are firmly held together into a single cable by simple cable ties.  Very sturdy, with 5 feet of extra length before they enter into the control box, so I can move that box around with ease.

Thanks,

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

Gunnrunner,

Yes, this must be super-flex wire that I have.   Lots of thin strands.  Problem is, unlike regular stranded wire,  when you try to twist the bare wire into a tight spiral, so that you can connect it to a pole, it won't stay together.  It wants to unwind itself and "fray" on the end like a cheap sweater.

And, I know that this sounds weird, but the wire has a very "greasy" feel to it.  It is unlike any other wire I have used.  :-O

If you're talking about the insulation, it does have a totally different feel, you're 100% correct.  It's somewhat unique wire, it's also more resistant to soldering with all the fine strands.  It's the one wire type that I sometimes dip in the extra flux before soldering, most wire types I just count on the flux in the solder.  It's somewhat specialized in the intended use, but it's nice to have around.

BTW, your wiring sounds like it's perfect for DCS operation with home runs from every drop.

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