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Equipment Wire

Introduction.
Equipment wire comes in two forms, Solid wire is composed of a single piece of metal wire, also known as a strand. Stranded wire is composed of many pieces of solid wire all bundled into one group. Stranded wire is much more flexible than solid wire of equal size. Conversely, solid wire is used when little or no movement is needed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The method of describing wire appears at first complicated, but in fact is very simple once you know. The first number refers to the number of strands, the second number refers to the diameter of each strand in millimetres. For example 16/0.2mm is 16 strands of 0.2mm wire, or 1/0.6mm is 1 strand of 0.6mm wire.  In general the more strands the wire has the higher the current carrying capability.
 
In a Model Rail system your individual pieces of equipment may all use the same voltage, but will probably all have different current requirements. This is why we concentrate on the current rating of the wire, and not so much the voltage. When you run 2 or more pieces of equipment you must add the current used by each piece  together and then check that the wire you will use can carry this amount of current.
 
Here is a list of the most commonly used wires with their current ratings.

1/0.254(0.02mm sq)                                                                                                                   500mA
Single strand wire it stays in its formed shape without cable ties                                                 Rolls:    CB700-CB709
Availability:           50m Roll or 4m Spool.                                                                                            Spools: CB720-CB729
Colours:                 See chart below
Rating:                    0.5 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       0.55 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.15 mm to MIL-W-81822/13; UL 1516 and 1523
Primary use:         Inside signals and Locomotive, anywhere space is at a premium.
 
1/0.6(0.02mm sq)                                                                                                                       1.8A
Single strand wire it stays in its formed shape without cable ties                                                Rolls:    CB058-CB065
Availability:           100m Roll or 10m Spool.                                                                                       Spools: CB070-CB078
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    1.8 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       1.2 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Individual points and signals.            
 
7/0.2(0.02mm sq)                                                                                                                        1.4A
Multistrand wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                 Rolls:    CB101-CB109
Availability:           100m Roll or 20m Spool.                                                                                       Spools: CB020-CB029
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    1.4 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       1.2 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Individual points and signals.
 
16/0.2(0.5mm sq)                                                                                                                        3.0A
Multistrand wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                 Rolls:    CB120-CB131
Availability:           100m Roll or 10m Spool.                                                                                       Spools: CB132-CB143
Colour:                   See Chart below
Rating:                    3.0 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       1.6 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Multiple points, Capacitor Discharge units
 
24/0.2(0.75mm sq)                                                                                                                     4.5A
Multistrand wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                 Rolls:    CB144-CB154
Availability:           100m Roll or 10m Spool.                                                                                       Spools: CB155-CB165
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    4.5 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       2.3 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.6 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Multiple points, Capacitor Discharge units, Bus bars.
 
 
32/0.2(1.0mm sq)                                                                                                                       6.0A
Multistrand wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                Rolls:    CB180-CB189
Availability:           100m Roll or 10m Spool.                                                                                      Spools: CB191-CB199b
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    6.0 A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D:                       2.6 mm nominal
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Bus Bars
 
7/0.2(0.02mm sq) Multicore Cable                                                                                1.4A per core
This cable is available in 4 core, 6 core, 8 core, 12 core, 18 core, 25 core.                                 Roll:     CB599-CB641
Multicore wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                    Metre: CB598-CB640
Availability:           100m Roll or by the metre.
Colour:                   See chart below  
Rating:                    1.4 A @ 1,000V RMS max per core
O/D:                       4c = 3.5mm, 6c =4.1mm, 8c = 4.6mm, 12c = 6.0mm, 18c = 7.3mm, 25c =8.7mm
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Individual points and signals, General data transfer.
 
16/0.2(0.5mm sq) Multicore Cable                                                                                3.0A per core
This cable is available in 3 core,                                                                                                          Roll:     CB650      
Multicore wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                     Metre: CB651
Availability:           100m Roll or by the metre.
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    3.0 A @ 1,000V RMS max per core
O/D:                       3c =5.3mm
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Individual points and signals, General data transfer.
 
7/0.2(0.02mm sq) Multicore Overall Screened Cable                                     1.2A per core
This cable is available in 4 core, 12 core.                                                                                          Roll:     CB637-640
Multicore wire, it requires cable ties to hold in place.                                                                    Metre: CB638-641
Availability:           100m Roll or by the metre.
Colour:                   See chart below
Rating:                    1.4 A @ 1,000V RMS max per core
O/D:                       6c = 6.0mm, 12c = 6.8mm
Wall cover:           PVC 0.3 mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Primary Use:         Used for data transfer and the screening will shield against RF interference.
1/0.254
1/0.6
7/0.2
16/0.2
24/0.2
32/0.2
Multicore
Multicore
Multicore
Why
Screened