Electronic, electrical & wire/cable supply sites & links

videobruce Nov 4, 2012

  1. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

    I just read a thread regarding where to get basic electrical items. It was cable & toggle switches. The source was Radio Shack. After shaking my head since that would be one of the last places I would go due to price and poor selection, I decided to provide a list of sites where one can get almost anything they need without paying through the nose.

    Working retail for a number of years many years ago, including RS, I can tell you that is not where to go. Neither is Home Depot (I shop there all the time, but not for any of this), Lowes or any other hardware like store. Yes, they are usually convenient, but you will pay for it.
    Have said that, I also have worked for an electronics manufacture and have dealt with many mail order companies purchasing components, wire, cable & special components over the years.

    What I look for, depending on my needs are companies that buy up overstock and discontinued items are a fraction of the original cost. This is usually a large savings, but the selection varies and is not intensive. The first group of links fits into this category;

    The next category is bulk wire. Copper is not cheap, cabling costs have risen considerable in the past 10 years. What I look for is stranded speaker wire with thinner, clear insulation for most wiring jobs unless I need single conductor and a specific color. I also like using 20 gauge, but it is harder to find. 18 & 22 are very coming, 20 is not. It';s a compromise between the two when you need more than 22 which is small and 18 which might be somewhat bulky depending on the application;

    Next are individual electronic components. Transistors, capacitors, diodes, IC's, etc. The two main players are Mouser & Digikey. Both are huge supply houses for just about anything electronic;

    Lastly, here are other sources that carry a assortment of items;

    Please note, many of these sites also carry other items that cross over into the other categories. I tried to group them together as best as possible. Also note, while some might be great at one line of products, they might be the opposite at another. If anyone can add to the list, please do so.
  2. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    A good source for bulk wire is www.powerwerx.com

    They also have Anderson Powerpoles and other wiring accessories.
  3. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

    I recognized the name, but after looking through the site I see two things:
    1. Very expensive,
    2. Higher quality for lab and/or bench applications.

    I would say overkill for this hobby.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
  4. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the links to these supply places. I am sure it will help many.
    One thing that I have trouble finding is small hook up wire for decoder (DCC) installs. The wire size I need is #30 AWG stranded. ( or smaller) Digitrax has a wire kit that has this size but I find the wire too stiff in most cases. TCS has wire in the 30, 32 and 36 wire sizes. The 36 is only available in black. The other (30 and 32) comes in several colors. The Tsunami decoders from SoundTraxx have a very nice wire but SoundTraxx does not offer it as a product that they sell. The TSU-750 series decoders us a very small wire. I would like to find a supplier for that wire.
  5. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

    Litchfield Station is where I get all this stuff from. They have the required #30 wire in the DCC colors used.
    Do a Google search for the place. I would rather not offend The Powers That Be here with a link.
    I have bought the DCC color code shrink tube from Traintek, LLC at a local train show. I use that for solder splicing two DCC wires together.
    I have read something about posting links for companies here.


  6. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

    allelectronics has wire in 20 AWG size in several colors as well as 6 wire flat telephone cable for loconet use.
  7. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

    The links are not model railroad related.
  8. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

    Yes they are. There are many items , electrical/electronic, that are used in model railroading if you know what you are looking for. I have ordered from some of those companies.

    Again, all the OP has to do is seach for Litchfield Station and Traintek LLC.

    There must be a dozen or more on line DCC suppliers for #30 wire as well as many more DCC items.

    For HO or N scale, #20 is much to large a diameter for DCC wiring in locos.
    Decoders come with #30 wire leads.

    The below fellow has a lot of good DCC info. Take time to carefully look though his site and save the link to Favorites.


  9. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

    Point is they don't sell model railroad equipment. Stating wire is model RR related, you might of add it's most everything else related.
    Drop the OT subject.
  10. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

    Videobruce, the link for the Powerpoles IS madel railroad related, at those are required by N-trak for connections between modules. Just because a site doesn't sell only Model RR items, doesn't mean it isn't a valuable site for finding things useful for the hobby.

  11. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

    Ok, lets remove the word "related" and substitute "stores".
    My point was the links are not model railroad shops in response to the statement about "not posting links here". That was the purpose of your statement wasn't it?

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