Extending switch wire for remote

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by docknee, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. docknee

    docknee New Member

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    I am new to the hobby - have an around the wall layout and need to run the wire from my switches about 25 to 40 feet to my control area. Do I just cut the black lead that comes with the Lionel Fastrack Switches and solder in extensions - what wire do I use? Best method. If answer is to long for forum - docknee@brmemc.net is great also.
    Thank you
    Richard
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think I would go to the local home improvement center and pick up some rolls of #18 rip cord, so called because it is a 2 conductor cord designed to be ripped in two to separate the wires (lamp cord wire). The #18 gauge wire will be bigger than the wire that comes with your Lionel switch machines, but since you are running it 25-40 feet, the larger wire will keep you from having voltage drops from your control panel to the switch machines. If there is an electrical supply wholesaler near you, I like to use the electricians alpha numeric marker tape to mark my wires and then a short piece of clear heat shrink to seal the markers on the wire. That makes it much easier to locate specific wires and know where they go if you need to trouble shoot a problem later on. Get some regular heat shrink tubing just big enough to fit the over one rip cord conductor ( probably 1/8-3/16 inch), then solder the wires from your Fastrack switches to the rip cord and use the heat shrink for an insulator afterwards. Use 40/60 rosin core electrical solder to make connections.
  3. docknee

    docknee New Member

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    extending switch wire

    Russ: Thanks so much! Since there are 4 wires in the black lead from the switch to the control I would use TWO pieces of rip to get the 4 conductors - then use marker tape to color code to match colors in current switch wire? Is it ok to just cut the exisiting control wire where convenient and then solder both ends?? appreciate the help
    Richard
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Yes, just make sure you leave enough wire at both ends to solder to. The main thing is to keep small thin wires down to around 6 inches max length at each end to control voltage drops.