Bus wire gauge suggestions for my layout?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by prodigy2k7, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    What would you guys suggest for bus gauges for this layout.
    its a 4x8 layout and how many feet should I get? Also what gauge should I get (i assume it depends on the length so im not sure)

    Also, since I have two adjacent tracks, should i use 2 buses for 2 tracks or 4 buses for 2 tracks. Meaning should I use 1 bus wire for 2 tracks or just one.
    Hope that made sense...
    [​IMG]
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Prodigy: are you talking about DCC bus? You just need one pair of wires for that. Once around the loops then into the middle for the sidings.
    I would use, for that size layout, either lamp cord (extension cord) or the wire for in the wall wiring, just because it's probably easiest to buy (or scrounge). 16 gauge or bigger.

    The only time you could get wire that's too big is if you got some from strettcar overhead or old electric powerline wire; it would probably cause your layout to sag.
  3. CarlFidy

    CarlFidy Member

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    Need more info

    What type of control are you going to use - DC or DCC?

    If DC - how many trains do you want to run at one time?
  4. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    DCC - I figured I would use a wire for the track... I cant explain it...basically run a wire directly under the track (one for each rail for each track) following its paths. I figured I would use a 2 pair (+ - + -) for a total of 4 wires under 2 tracks. I didnt know if the power would work right having 2 tracks from 1 wire. I was just wondering :p

    Since the tracks are so close to each other and I only need 1 pos and 1 neg wire for 2 tracks ill do that. thanks. :) What gauge do I get? and how long? 22AWG or 20AWG or something?
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I would go with at least 16 gauge for the bus. 22 would do for the feeders (bus to rail) as you want something small and there will be enough parallel connections to make up for the size.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I like to use romex. It is quite a bit bigger than necessary, but is very inexpensive and I like to use a solid wire for the main buss.
  7. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    parappel connections? What exactly do you mean. I know wher a series and parallel connection is when it comes to like wires and a light bulbs lol but I cant seem to get the picture when it comes to train wiring...

    Is this right? Run the buses under the track, at points along the bus, connect a wire from the bus through the wood into the track above right?
  8. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    Can I use Atlas layout wire for my turnouts?
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    When I said parallel connections, I meant that there would be a feeder from the bus to a piece of rail, then another feeder to a piece of rail a few feet away, and so on. The current would get divided among all the feeders so that they can be smaller wires than the bus.
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    ya. I knew that, just didnt understand what u meant... Thanks :)
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Your buss wires don't have to exactly follow your tracks, but your drop wires should never be more than 6 inches long. Ie-the drop wires will determine how long your buss wires need to be.
  12. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    drop wire = ?
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I believe Russ is referring to the feeder wires as in you drop them down from the track under the layout.
    Ralph
  14. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    =) Thanks... hehe
    What I dont get is...The feeders will determin how long my buses will be?
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Well, your bus wires have to go close enough to the track for the feeders to reach them. So they may wander under the layout a bit.
  16. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    oh ic...i understand now :p