Silicone wire.

Discussion in 'Power Houses' started by York Paul, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

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    I'm seriously considering using silicone wire on my loco build because of its flexible properties and lightness, so I ordered some as samples to experiment with and this morning it arrived by post. My first impressions were noticing just how springy it is and how easy it is to trim... I cut a ring into the insulation with a Stanley blade and it literally separated with ease, no need I'd say for wire trimmers and setting the depth of cut. Now I ordered 20AWG as what a calculated as being sufficient for maximum current draw on an O Gauge model using Mashima 1833 motors but please tell me if I can get away with using say 22AWG size or 24AWG which is telephone wire size. The reason I'm leaning towards silicone wire as against plastic coated wire in confined spaces is because I've experienced trouble with sprung pick ups not springing on my Hymek build, the pick up tips have worn and contact is lost so a flexible wire would help overcome this issue which has currently brought the D7044 build to a halt.



    As can be seen by comparison with the penny the wire does look quite thick but is similar diameter that came with the Big Jim F5 kit. Just for comparison again the last picture shows the teal coloured wire that came with the BR Standard 4 from Scorpio (Transport Age) reworked kit. Anyway all opinions / comment welcome please.

     
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  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    I don't have any experience with silicone wire at all but it will be interesting to see how you get on. :thumbs:
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    R/C cars use silicon wire again for its flexibility - the speed controllers can provide bursts of over 100A.

    This may help for current capacity of copper wire.

    https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

    20 SWG can take 11A, 22 SWG 7A and 24 SWG 3.5A

    As the description states these are conservative values, so you would probably get away with the 24 swg. One way to test it would be to short out your track with a piece of the wire twice the length of the wire length from the pickup to decoder and decoder to motor, plus a bit for good measure. If shorting the track trips the breaker instantly then you should be ok.

    Paul
     
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  4. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Although I've not used silicon wire personally, if you take a look at the wires on DCC decoders (which of course take your full motor current up to the decoders rating), then they're much thinner than your red and black samples Paul. "Decoder wire" is available from several model shops although it's not cheap, and personally I've normally used cores from 6 core burglar alarm wire, since I use the full 6 cores to connect my 'SEEP" PM1 point motors, 3 cores for common/each solenoid, the other 3 cores for the auxiliary contacts which I then use for signalling or switching latching relays. Last time I bought some, 6 core alarm wire was around £12 for 100 metres, so not expensive.
    Keith.
     
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  5. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

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    Thanks for the advice Paul, I did look at a size capacity table and think 22 gauge would be ok but then wasn't sure, I guess it is a matter of looking for guidance / confirmation from someone with the knowledge, I'll order some 24 gauge and do the test as you described.
     
  6. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

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    Thanks for the helpful advice Keith, I did wonder that 20 gauge looked a bit OTT and that I'd miscalculated, shall order some 24 gauge silicone wire instead and get back with an update. I like the flexibility this wire offers tho and nothing is ever wasted as the 20 gauge connectors will come in elsewhere.
     
  7. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    I hope that wasn't me you were listening to :avatar:

    Paul
     
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  8. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

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    'fraid so :avatar:
     
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