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!2 Ga Wire Choice

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  • !2 Ga Wire Choice

    I am thinking about using this wire as my main bus wire for my layout. Any and all comments are appreciated. Suggestions welcome.

    GS Power 100% Copper 12 AWG (American Wire Gauge) 100 Feet Flexible Stranded Red/Black 2 Conductor Bonded Zip Cord for Car Audio Amplifier 12V Automotive Dash Harness LED Light Wiring

    99.97% OFC stranded zip cables. 100' red and 100' black wires bonded together. Pulls apart easily

    True 12 Gauge wire (2 conductors, 67 Strands per conductor. 0.25 mm diameter per strand)

    Automotive Grade "GPT" PVC insulation. Oil & gas resistant. Temperature Range: -40 deg F to +176 deg F

    Perfect for Radio, Home Theatre, Stereo, Video, Robotics and R/C

    Unmarked PVC walls for a clean sharp Red / Black look.

    This is available on Amazon...Thanks, John


  • #2
    I’ve used solid copper 12 ga in separate rolls, red=hot, white=grnd(?), that allows me to use a stripper I have that displaces the insulation enough to wrap the track drops around it and solder in place. I’m not a fan of the displacement so called “suitcase” splicers, preferring to be sure my splices are secure, even if I bang my head and curse getting up off the floor now and then.

    Sure there are many opinions.
    Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

    Cedar Swamp
    SW of Manistique, MI

    Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022


    • #3
      You are correct karl'. I've had bad luck with suitcase splicers as well....... had to re-do many, in difficult areas.........with true connections...Not as pretty, but 100% reliable..



      • #4
        Well John, I clicked one time too many and lost my reasoning for using solid 12. Go to an electrical shop where contractors go, and buy you 12# in bulk, a heck of a lot cheaper than the Bigbox stores. Stranded wire sucks up solder and is hard tp strip cleanly. So now you have a consensus on solid wire. Here's another tip. Get some of these and put one about every 4' along the route of your bus wires. They can run side by side. These will keep your under layout wires neat and manageable. I did a 66'X32' layout several years back, and these are great! They allow you to drop a wire out to add a feeder, or other wires without cutting the bus. Remember to leave a little extra wire along that main bus if you decide to add blocks later on.

        Maybe available at an electrical store too.

        Take the red pill


        • #5
          Karl, Ted & Jim....thanks for your time and suggestions. I was thinking the stranded wire would be easier ( more flexible )to work with than the solid wire. I also am NOT a big fan of suitcase type connectors, and I had picked this item for wire taps: Posi-Tap (EX-255) Re-usable Wire tap 12-18 Awg. These are a simple screw on tap that can be moved if necessary without permanent damage to the wire. They work better with stranded wire. While a bit pricey, they work very, very well and no soldering under the table. I think the stranded wire will be fine with the Posi-Taps. Had it not have been for the choice of my taps, I certainly agree the solid wire would be a better choice. Sometimes I get ideas in my head only to find out later there was a cheaper and easier way. With that thought in mind, again, any more ideas or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks....John



          • #6
            I used solid 12GA house wire (Romex) for my power bus. Heavy solid copper is very difficult to get into screw terminals on things like block detectors and DCC circuit breakers. I cut the Romex everywhere I need to tap and use appropriately sized wire nuts to join the two bus ends and the local feeders. My local feeders use either 14GA stranded automotive zip cord (thinner than what you found) or 16GA stranded, depending on distance and how generous the connectors it's going to are. Few will handle solid 12GA, many have difficulty with 14GA stranded until I thin it down a bit by misusing a wire stripper.