What gauge of wire for turnouts

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Mannix, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    I am ready to start wiring my turnouts. What gauge of wire is best to use for that procedure? I will be using a DC transformer for power.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Do you mean providing power to the rails in the turnout, or powering a switch machine?

  3. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    I will be wiring my switch machines.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    What kind of switch machines? What do the instructions say?

    In general, larger wire has less power loss per given distance, and heats up less.

  5. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    The switch machines are Atlas, and I don't have any instructions. Would #22 gauge be about right?
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    #22 gauge would be fine. One thing, be careful. You used the term, "DC transformer". That's a misnomer. A tranformer puts out AC, a power supply or power pack will put out DC. Atlas switch machines run on AC, usually 12 to 18 volts, and be sure that you do not use a sustained voltage on them, they burn up really quickly when you do. Use either a momentary switch closure or a capacitance discharge unit to provide a quick pulse.
  7. wickman

    wickman Member

    I used 22 guage solid wire myself without a problem both on my dc layout and dcc layout for feeders:wave:
  8. Relic

    Relic Member

    I don't know anything about gauges but I used telephone wire for mine, they only gotta carry power fo a nanosecond. (I also believe whatcha don'know wunt hurtcha)
  9. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    I was wondering about telephone wire for the switches also. I used 14 gauge for the main track bus and 22 gauge for the feeders. Everything works fine for the DCC.
    Thanks for the input from all of you.

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