Very Flexible Hookup Wire

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Vic, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    The mouse on my computer died this morning so I had to go buy a new one:(

    I was about to toss the old one in the trash when I decided to strip off the wire just to see what was inside. "Lo and Behold":) four 8 foot strands of extremly fine insulated wire AND its as flexible as a wet noodle. This stuff would be ideal for hook ups inside a loco or for making working street/building lights. My wire gauge only goes to #32 and its smaller than that!!! :) suspect its probably about #34 or #36.

    So don't throw away that "dead" mouse:D :D ... use it for a "transplant":D :D

    Just thought I'd pass this on to my buddies on The Gauge:)

    PS: If its a PS2 Mouse So much the better....they have 5 strands of wire in them.

    Attached Files:

  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Nice idea Vic, now where can I get a mouse trap, so I can go and get me another mouse.

  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Shamus...Mouse Trap!!!

    Hi Shamus, Don't know about in the UK but we have yard sales and garage sales around here every Saturday. I see old computer mice (mouses mices???:D :D ) all the time for around 25 cents:) Think I'll go out tomorrow morning and get me a "stock"of them just for the wire:) :p Just for the fun of it I called the local hobby shop and asked if they had "flexwire"....They did....$3.99 a package which consists of a 3 foot piece.:eek: Looks like I may have "built a better mousetrap" already:D :D :D :D :D
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Nice going, Vic. My wife and I usually hit the garage sales on Saturdays too, I'll have to keep my eyes open.
  5. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    shit I got a couple of them around here I wonder if the keyboard is the same wire got one or two of them to will check on thaT ONE :eek: RICH
  6. MikeB

    MikeB New Member

    I'd never thought about this but now it has been mentioned, any computer cable has a large quantity of very fine, insulated wire in it, old printer and serial cables could give you 12 to 15 wires once you have stripped the old insulation off.

    Now I know what to do with the large collection of cables I have in the basement!
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    And if your lucky - like me, you will actually be given, 1000 Ft of 36 conductor, 22 gauge, color coded in pairs. I got this from work, in '84, we have been using it since then.. Still have some left.. :) :)

    We always manage to use some in all our platforms.. :)
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Vic, Have you tried this wire on a loco installation? Sounds too small to power a motor, but good for lights perhaps. Anyway, I'd sure be interested to know what you've found.

  9. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Mouse Wire

    Hi Gary, I haven't tried the "mouse wire" yet. I have wired some brass locos for sound and lights and can motors using #32 wire and haven't had any problems but these locos have less than .5amp draw under load. It would seem that unless the loco motor just went to dead short that there would not be a problem with the "mouse wire". Since most 12Vgow or 1.5V microlite bulbs and LEDS only draw 50 to 100 miliamps the "mouse wire" would be very suitable for lighting. I suspect that the "mouse wire" is probably best for lighting and sound and for motors with an extremly low current draw under load.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I picked up some spare computer/telephone wire from work -- Cat 5 for them as knows -- and couldn't strip it on my wire stripper ( the one with the separate holes for each size) as it wouldn't go fine enough. You can do it by filing a sharp edge on your thumb nail and peeling it off with that.:mad:
  11. billk

    billk Active Member

    Vic - What did you do with the rest of the mouse? Bet there's some bits'n'pieces that with a sutable paint job would make good junk to having lying around on the layout.
  12. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    More In The Mouse

    Good Morning BillK, Now you know that I wasn't gonna bury the mouse until I performed an "autopsy" on it:D :D :D Inside was some neat metric size screws that may be of use for something someday:) , some little bity microswitches:D and 2 gears that look like the blade on a sawmill if they were painted a metal color:) I also kept the ball too....might take up marbles one day and looks like it would make a good "shooter":eek: :D :D :D

    PS: "Services" for the Mouse were held at 8:00AM this morning...
    the trashman hauled him away!!!:eek: :D :D :D
  13. Voice

    Voice Member


    I used to work on telephones....Cat 5 should about 18 ga, with a full twist every 1 1/2 inches. If its plenum wiring, its teflon insulated. It IS tough to strip, and its easy to burn your fingers with, from pulling on it!!!
    But, with all this, it does make some nice wire for under the layout, although its not quite flexible enough IMHO to use inside an engine.

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I agree about the non-flexibility of my stuff. I double it up for block wiring and sometimes switch wiring. Most of my wire collection is older stuff from Bell.
    I just retired and lost all my ready source. We had a tremendous disused terminal panel that was just aching to be removed. Still wouldn't be any use in a loco.

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