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Bench work is just about done and I'm thinking about wiring.
The layout is 9'x11', double track main line, decent sized yard plus other Spurs and sidings. I'm also thinking of having feeders to every track section.

I'm thinking about 14 gauge bus wire and 20 gauge feeders. I use NCE Power Cab. Will 14 gauge fit in the PCP Panel or should I run feeders from the panel to the bus line? Given the information in the first paragraph, do the wire sizes sound right?

As always...thanks!
 

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I used 14 for the bus and 18 for the feeders so that I could use the blue suitcase connectors to simplify the connections under the bench work.

I dropped a feeder for every section of track and also used a feeder to connect the bus to the command station.

The command station bus bar on my zephyr probably wouldn't accommodate a tinned 14 gauge wire anyways. The resistance on the short length of smaller gauge wire would have been negligible.
 

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Thanks d. I was wondering about suitcase connectors, never used them before. They seem to be popular so I'm assuming they work well. If I want to use them do I need to go to 18 gauge feeders because they won't connect 14 and 20 gauge?
 

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I was at that stage back in March, I ended up using 16 gauge for the bus and 18 gauge for the feeders. I come from an automotive background and those suitcase connectors are bad news for me. I just made a LOT of jumpers for my bus. Of course right after I got done with the wiring I found these......which would have saved me close to 100 ring terminals :laugh:

You can see pics of my wiring in the link in my signature :thumbsup:
 

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For an 11x9 layout I think 16 gauge is fine for the bus and 20 is fine for 2' feeders. Especially since you can set the command station in the middle somewhere. Also I solder 2 3' sections together and only run a feeder to each 6' section. Search "Wago 222 Electrical Connectors" on ebay for a much more convenient way to connect the wires together, rather than screw terminals or suitcase connectors.
 

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I've heard people go as low as 12 bus and 16 feeders, but I think that's overkill. 16 and 20 should be fine.

My personal opinion is also that people use way too many feeders. IMO, one per 6-8 feet is fine. My son's 12x8 has only a single pair (his choice).
 

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I use 14 for the bus and 22 for the drops.
Yup. I have used 4' lengths of 22 gauge to feed an extension track to distant staging which had no feeders.. themselves. A pair of those feeders fed a total of 30' of staging track with multiple turnouts that were insulated at the frog (with factory installed jumpers under the frog). I never had a locomotive fail to start up and make sounds when I acquired its address on my DT400 throttles.

If all connections are sound and solid, and if you wire the tracks correctly to maintain voltage high enough to keep the DCC signal high, everything works reliably.
 

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Search "Wago 222 Electrical Connectors" on ebay for a much more convenient way to connect the wires together, rather than screw terminals or suitcase connectors.
:appl: Lemonhawk is complely correct. I ordered Wago 222-413 Lever Nuts. https://www.amazon.com/WAGO-222-413-LEVER-NUTS-Conductor-Connectors/dp/B017A19PV6/ref=asc_df_B000JJPA66/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=193984242218&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17981183276642511968&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocpThey cost $0.26 each in packs of 100. It would require 2 wire nuts to complete the connection and they cost about $0.08 each (or $0.16 for each connection) in quantities of 100. For $0.10 more for each connection they are really worth it to me. By the way, they are much easier to use than wire nuts and they make easy, completely solid, fully insulated and reusable connections. :smilie_daumenpos: :smilie_daumenpos:

Thank you Lemonhawk for bringing this to my attention.

LeRoy
 

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Way better than wire nuts! I'm also thinking of using their Luminare connecters to run the bus and feeders.
 

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I wouldn't trust a compression type connection for the long term. Soldering is the only for sure way.
 
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