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Author Topic: Wire gauge for switches  (Read 3299 times)
AHRJMR

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« on: February 05, 2007, 12:35:20 PM »

What gauge wire shuld I use for connecting remote switches to a switch?

Thanks,

Jim
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 01:35:59 PM »

Jim, you don't mention what kind of switches you want to switch.  If you are using stall motor switch machines like Tortoise, then fine wire, like telephone wire, will do.  But if you are using dual solenoid switch machines, like the ones built into Bachmann, Atlas and other switches, you should use a heavier wire, particularly if the distance is great.  Speaker wire, doorbell wire, and lamp cord will all work.  Twenty gauge doorbell wire is cheap, widely available and comes in both 2 and 3 conductors.  The 2 conductor is good for building lights etc. that require only 2 connections.  The 3 conductor is good for extending the wires on remote switches needing 3 wires.
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AHRJMR

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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 02:32:06 PM »

I am using an Atlas Remote Snap Switches. I have to run the wire about 5 feet.
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Jim Banner

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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 05:59:02 PM »

For that distance, just about any wire that you can get under the screws will work.  If you have to buy some wire, the bell wire is a good choice.
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ben_not_benny

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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 12:20:23 AM »

18-20 for HO scale should be good.
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AHRJMR

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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 02:22:48 PM »

Thanks for your help.

Jim
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ben_not_benny

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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 12:08:35 AM »

The size of wire also depends on how far away the turnout is. The longer the run, the more resistance.
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LD303
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 12:42:57 AM »

i use 4 or 6 wire phone line....color coded so you dont get mixed up as to which wire goes where....works great on my atlas switches.
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Seasaltchap

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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 05:51:50 AM »


With the old ringing bells in telephones, the voltage could jump to 80v on the line, don't know what amperage, must have been low for the gauge of wire.
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JerryB

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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2007, 10:39:46 AM »

The older telephone wire works quite well, but much of the 'new' telephone wire is a foil-like material that is impossible to solder to. Modern phone connections are usually crimped, so the wire can be made cheaper than the previously common small gauge copper.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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