Shorten the wires

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by kf4jqd, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    With my 2'x4' N scale table. I can turn it on it's side to work on. For months, I laid on the floor to work on the wiring. Needless to say, I have some long runs that are coiled up. I had to guess how long the wires had to be. I rather have them too long than too short! But today I was able to turn over the table. I shorten up the wires. Why did I do this? Not to just be neat but also about voltage drop. Even though the longest run was 3 feet, there still is a drop in voltage. (Probbly about .0001 volt). This is very small for my layout.

    The reason why I am telling you this is. If you have a large layout. It plays an important role. When I had my large HO layout. I thought I could use telephone wire to control the remote switches. I was wrong! I had the replace the wire with a larger gauge wire. I used 12 or 14 gauge on my HO layout. I am getting away with telephone cable on my N scale layout!:thumb:

  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    What gauge should i use to control switches about 10' away on an ho layout?

  3. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    hiya andy - 18 gauge woould be more than good for this application for 10 feet - even 22 gauge - no problems at all....
    My experience. I install security systems part time, and some of the runs are spec'd out for a 18/2 copper twisted stranded pair cable to control a 12 volt / 1 amp maglock for a door. The maglock works very well at that distance of run. The 22 gauge solid copper at 10 feet ( similar to Cat 5 wire ) will work very well also. It will assist you in the terminations at the screws.
    My $0.02 - Hope i helped.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Slightly off topic: When we moved to a new office, it was wired for thr computers with coax cable (the one that looks like cable TV) and we had immense problems. One turned out to be that our cable runs were way longer than spec.
    When we got doen to tracing wires, we found that we had asked for the outlet boxes to be directly opposite in neighbouring offices, with a one or two-foot run through the partition. Instead, they'd been put on opposite sides of a stud, and we had an extra 20 feet of cable as the wire went up to the ceiling and back down again.
  5. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    You are right Hooknlad. 18 gauge would be fine. I do like alittle over kill though!:D I had 30 feet runs on my HO layout. Not only did I have a switch track to switch, but also Atlas's relays for signaling. I wanted the max currant to all of them. I used 12 gauge wire. It might have been over kill, but I never had a problem!:thumb:

    60103: I am a Ham Radio Operator. I understand the losses of coax. The higher in frequency you go, more the loss you have. The loss factor is: dB Loss per 100 feet by frequency. Here's an example. RG8x (50 Ohm) coax has low loss on 14MHz, but has a very high loss rate on 440MHz. Also note that materall type that the connectors are made of too plays an effect. Here's another example. I use cheap Radio Shack PL-259 connectors( RS cheap? yea RIGHT!) on my HF (High Frequency or shortwave) antennas. On my 146MHz/440MHz dual band verticle and 2 meter beam antennas. I use silver plated with a gold plated center conductor PL-259 connector.

    Here's a bit of history. Tesla and Westinghouse was fighting over what to use for electricity in NYC, AC or DC. They both built electric power stations at Niagra Falls. After 20 miles of DC, there wasn't any. The AC on the other hand had no problems. Besides that, you can step it up or step it down. The basic physics why this happen is DC is a push of electrons. AC is a wave, hence 60hz into you home and office. When electrons are pushed through a wire, it creates heat. It also weaks the charge. Since AC is a wave. It flows like a radio wave though a conductor.

    I hope you enjoyed your lesson in history and physics,

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