Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
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CandO
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Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby CandO » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:34 pm

Can anybody help with a problem I'm encountering with the very fine wires you find on n gauge streetlights. I'm trying to connect them all in a sequence using connector blocks so that nine lights come on with one switch but the wires keep breaking with any movement of the wires made. Is there a foolproof way to achieve a good solid connection? Thanks in advance,

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stuartp
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby stuartp » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 pm

Screwing them down tight in the connector blocks will break wires, the rotary crushing motion of the screw on the wire shears bits off. Either tin the bare ends if the wire first or crimp them into a ferrule of some sort.

Anchor them before the connnector blocks (cable clip, blob of hot glue) to stop them flexing. Same applies if you are soldering them onto tag strips.
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Ironduke
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby Ironduke » Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:04 pm

What sort of wires are they?
Woodlands Scenic lights use hair-like enamelled wire which is a bugger to join together and if you twist two or more together and then screw them into a terminal block they tend to cut each other. "Spring" style terminal blocks, such as the ones sold by Woodland Scenics, are better because they don't crush the wires so much. I wish there was a better method for securing terminal blocks to the base board though. Most screws have heads that are too big to fit.
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Flashbang
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby Flashbang » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:22 am

Is it really just 5 terminals for £4.70 ? ebay has them from a UK supplier for 100 for £7.39 post free.
However, I doubt the fine wires being mentioned will grip in these sprung terminals on their own? It may mean twisting the fine wire from the lamp to a thicker wire such as 7/0.2mm etc then pushing the two twisted together into one side of the terminal.

I have used Hot Melt glue to secure terminal blocks - Works quite well. :D

I've started to use 5mm pitch PCB terminals soldered to a small piece of Strip board as these have a plate inside that clamps the wires, which is far better then the cheap grub screw terminal block where fine wire are concerned. Example https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-3-4-Pin-5-08mm-2-54mm-X-2-Pitch-PCB-Mount-Screw-Terminal-Block-Connector-UK/262607754486?hash=item3d24a454f6:g:DDAAAOSwDkBbwzb8 I buy 100 for £5.99 therefore they work out quite cheap at £0.6p per double terminal. :D
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Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

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CandO
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby CandO » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:01 pm

Thanks for the replies guys :D

I'm going to try joining two or three together, then tin them and then shrink sleeve them so they'll be a bit stronger THEN join them to a main lighting bus somehow.... At least that's the theory :lol:

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Mountain
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:29 pm

What you need is little N gauge people to solder them in for you? :lol:

Some of those wires are soo incredibly thin. Not easy. Makes one puzzle how current can fit through them. :lol:

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Ironduke
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby Ironduke » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:49 am

CandO wrote:I'm going to try joining two or three together, then tin them and then shrink sleeve them so they'll be a bit stronger THEN join them to a main lighting bus somehow...


you never confirmed if they were the Woodland Scenics "just-plug" style lights with the enamelled wires. These normally come with an adapter plug consisting of a sprung terminal block, similar to what Brian described, soldered to thicker wires with a series current limiting circuit of some kind (I havent stripped off the heatshrink to look) that connects to the justplug power supply/controller.
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Re: Lighting circuit - breaking fine wires

Postby Steve1414 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:15 pm

The small wires on those Chinese lights are very small. I now solder the wires to a larger more flexible wire before trying to fit them into any connectors. You can solder lots of those little wires to a length of something like 10/0.2 or 7/0.2 wire then heat shrink the join which will help protect the wires from breaking near the join. Then you have a sensible sized wire to fit into a connector. if using chockblock type connectors please do fit a ferrule to the end. It works loads better than tightening a screw down onto small wire strands.


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