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Straight scoop on buss wiring

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  • Member since
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Straight scoop on buss wiring
Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:57 AM
I am in the process of building a new layout and finally made the jump to DCC. I have seen where some people insist on using solid copper either #14 or #12 as buss wiring. Why wouldn't you or why can't you use just AWg 14 or AWG 12 stranded copper wire? I would tend to think that stranded wire would be a better choice as it's more flexable easier to solder or use crimp connectors etc. and would more then be sufficant to handle the load. Am I correct in thinking that using #14 house wire is just extreme overkill?
Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
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Posted by CSX Robert on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:53 AM
There is no reason you can not use stranded wire instead of solid.
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  • From: Vail, AZ
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Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:57 AM

Stranded or solid, it really makes no difference, other than how it is to work with.  One benefit of house wiring is that it is readily available and cheap.

 

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

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Posted by modelmaker51 on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:54 PM
 Vail and Southwestern RR wrote:

Stranded or solid, it really makes no difference, other than how it is to work with.  One benefit of house wiring is that it is readily available and cheap.

Sign - Ditto [#ditto]

14 or 12 Awg is not overkill for the buss.

Jay 

C-415 Build: https://imageshack.com/a/tShC/1 

Other builds: https://imageshack.com/my/albums 

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Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:59 PM
 modelmaker51 wrote:
 Vail and Southwestern RR wrote:

Stranded or solid, it really makes no difference, other than how it is to work with.  One benefit of house wiring is that it is readily available and cheap.

Sign - Ditto [#ditto]

14 or 12 Awg is not overkill for the buss.

This is absolutely correct.  For the tiny additional cost, it is one thing that you will never have to worry about.  Some like to argue about it, I would just do it!

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

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  • From: Ulster Co. NY
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Posted by larak on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:27 PM

 Allegheny2-6-6-6 wrote:
Why wouldn't you or why can't you use just AWg 14 or AWG 12 stranded copper wire? I would tend to think that stranded wire would be a better choice as it's more flexable easier to solder or use crimp connectors etc. and would more then be sufficant to handle the load. Am I correct in thinking that using #14 house wire is just extreme overkill?

Stranded is fine and in my opionion has some advantages in installation. Also better for high frequencies (which is not an issue here).

How large is your layout going to be? 14 ga. is likely overkill for a 4 x 8 but maybe not for something with fifty foot runs (out and back) of bus. Most of us seem to use larger wire than needed. I did too. Whistling [:-^]

I did it for two reasons 1) Plan ahead, you don't know what additional loads will come about in the future. It's cheaper and easier to go larger now  2) I had a few spare rolls of #12 - #16 THHN in the shop. On a 30 x 16 layout my busses are 12 and 14 gauge with some sub-busses 16 gauge.  They all passed a ten amp draw test.

Now you could go to a far extreme and use audiophile 8 gauge oxygen free litz wire with solid gold connectors. That would be just a bit of overkill. Shock [:O]

Karl 

 

The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it's open.  www.stremy.net

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Posted by ChrisNH on Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:55 AM

I use stranded for my bus for strength, flexibility, and cost. I also find that the strands do a nice job soaking in the solder and making a nice connection. I use solid for feeders so they are easier to thread through benchwork and solder to rails and are easy to wrap around my bus lines.

14 AWG is what I use for N-scale bus. 22AWG for feeders. 

Chris 

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