Author Topic: Flexible wires needed  (Read 1167 times)

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Iain

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Re: Flexible wires needed
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2020, 04:04:49 PM »
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Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

jeffstri

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Re: Flexible wires needed
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2020, 08:27:02 PM »
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usually the wires with more conductors [ and more flexible] do have a reduced amperage rating ..

Wire with more conductors (i.e., strands) for a given gauge (awg) has the same voltage/amperage rating as a solid single conductor wire. Stranded wire is thicker overall, mainly because of air space between the strands.

According to a calculator on the Engineering Toolbox site, a 36-gauge wire at 12v carrying 1 amp is good for 5 feet.  .24v drop at the 5-foot length.

I think you may have used the diameter rather than cross sectional area for 36awg wire. For 36awg at 12v/1amp, I calculate the voltage decrease to be 0.24v at about 7 inches; for 29awg at 12v/1am, a decrease of 0.24v occurs at 3.9 feet.

All "super"and "ultra" flexible wires are not the same. What's important for connecting a steam engine and tender is continuous flexibility, the ability to tolerate repeated back and forth bending. The more strands, the more flexible, but flexibility also depends on the insulation. The "super-flexible" wire Ngineering sells has silicone insulation and is as limp as a rubber band - much more flexible than any PVC insulated wire. I use the 29awg between steam engines and tenders with decoders, up to 6 wires between them with no problems on sharp curves.  I've found a number of other sources for the same wire (e.g., MacMaster-Carr, item 9564T2), but right now the Ngineering price per foot is better.

You can't strip silicone insulation with a hot soldering iron, which can be an advantage because you can't burn off too much insulation when you solder. You can use your fingernails, but I use an Ideal 45-125 stripper at the 26awg setting. I rarely lose a strand if I position the wire in the stripper under magnification.

peteski

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Re: Flexible wires needed
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2020, 09:08:17 PM »
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. . .
 The "super-flexible" wire Ngineering sells has silicone insulation and is as limp as a rubber band - much more flexible than any PVC insulated wire. I use the 29awg between steam engines and tenders with decoders, up to 6 wires between them with no problems on sharp curves.  I've found a number of other sources for the same wire (e.g., MacMaster-Carr, item 9564T2), but right now the Ngineering price per foot is better.

You can't strip silicone insulation with a hot soldering iron, which can be an advantage because you can't burn off too much insulation when you solder. You can use your fingernails, but I use an Ideal 45-125 stripper at the 26awg setting. I rarely lose a strand if I position the wire in the stripper under magnification.

Or if you have HOTWEEZERS stripper at your disposal, it gets hot enough for stripping  silicone insulation.  :)

I have 2 types of the flexible wires from N-gineering and I don't recall either having silicone insulation.  But I bought those about 10 years ago. I have to check them out again.
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jdcolombo

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Re: Flexible wires needed
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2020, 09:24:55 PM »
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@jeffstri

Yep,  you're right.  I was using diameter instead of cross-section.  Still, I've had no ill effects from using ESU's 36-gauge decoder wire as connection wire from boiler to tender.  I guess this is due to the fact that (1) wire runs are still very short, usually less than 3" one way (6” total circuit) and (2) we're not actually drawing anywhere close to 1 amp in a modern N scale engine.  The highest amperage draw I've measured on one of my N-scale engines at stall is about .6 amp (a Hallmark brass GP9), and in fact our engines never stall - they slip the drivers instead.  Normal current draw is 1/3 amp or less.

But I agree that the Ngineering superflex wire is excellent for boiler-tender connections.  I used some of it in one of my Berk installs, and it has zero adverse effects on that Berk on my narrowest (14" radius) curves.  I mostly gravitated to the ESU decoder wire because I have a lot of it for decoder installations.

John C.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 09:32:06 PM by jdcolombo »