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Old 8th March 2011, 23:26   #1
Flavio
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Default Wiring layout

I have been given quite a lot of telephone wire cable which is made up several solid wire each of which is enclosed in different colored insulation. Has anyone used this type of wire on their layout? I would appreciate any recommendations as to where it would be appropriate to use, i.e., lights, etc?
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Old 9th March 2011, 04:20   #2
BR60103
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Default Re: Wiring layout

I stripped out a couple of offices when I was working and still have lots of telephone wire.
I wired most of a station with it. But I worry about it carrying more than 1/2 amp (about one loco). If I were expecting anything with a load, I would either double up the wires or move to a larger size. I think it is quite suitable for jobs like frog wiring where the load will be small and brief.
I also had some surplus computer wiring -- Cat 5 cable and such. I found that this wire was so small that my strippers didn't wok on it so I discarded it.
Telephone wires are quite suitable for droppers from rail to bus bars or larger wires from control panels.
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:43   #3
Flavio
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Default Re: Wiring layout

David thanks for your reply. Doubling the wiring is a good idea and since I have so much of the wire I will try this and other suggestions.
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Old 10th March 2011, 04:28   #4
BR60103
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Default Re: Wiring layout

To expand a bit: A lot will depend on the load you put on it. If you're running a train with 4 powered diesels, you'll need a heavier wire. If you have a block with a bunch of feeders, you can run short, light feeders down to a heavier wire and the parallel feeders plus the rail will carry the current.
If you want to use it for switch machines, a single wire may work if you don't use it very often. A burst of current may not heat it much but you need to let it cool down between times. If you flick a switch back and forth a lot, the wire could heat up.

Digression: In Britain they seem to define wire by the current carrying capacity, much like fuses, although they also seem to measure it in square millimetres.
Interesting fact: Current capacity in amps is independent of voltage. A 3 amp fuse will carry 3 amps at 12v or 3 amps at 120v. Same with wire. (That's why the electric company likes to run long distances at 250,000V, not 12V.)
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