Re: Power Buss Wiring using Speaker Wire vs Individual Wires Twisted together for long runs

Steve Haas

“From everything I've heard, the twisted bus wires are just to get them close to each other- the twist itself doesn't actually do anything, so speaker wire or zip cord that's 14ga or larger is ideal for DCC bus runs. For modular applications, PowerWerx has red/black zip cord so it's easy to keep the "polarity" correct.”


While a benefit of twisting the wire pairs is to keep them organized, close, and not taking up any more real estate under the layout, the recommendation to twist them comes from experts and professionals who understand _all_ the ins and outs of power and data transmission, not only in model railroading, but out in the real world.


Those buses radiate a fair amount of energy, and when there is noise on the bus that too is radiated out.  Those rogue signals can corrupt other data signals.  Keeping the bus pair as close as possible actually cancels out this noise.  The closer the pair of wires are to each other the better they cancel each other out.


Using zip cord and speaker wire serves to keep wire _fairly_ close, but not as close as twisting the individual wires.  Twisting zip cord or speaker wire _is wasted effort_ as the distance between the two wires in the cord is defined by the cord itself – twisting doesn’t decrease that separation.


I used “noise” above because I’m _NOT_ a power or signal transmission specialist, and every time I try to be more specific than “noise” I get part of it wrong and get corrected by the Pros <GRIN>!


For better, accurate descriptions look at  A specific page where this is discussed is at: in the second paragraph. 


Another discussion on this topic can be located on Marcus Amman’s website: specifically at:


A Google search for “Power Transmission Radiation” or something similar would also yield good information.


Best regards,




Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA














On Sun, Apr 10, 2022 at 2:59 PM Bob Lessig <boblessig@...> wrote:

Are there any pros or cons for using Speaker Wire vs using individual wires twisted together, 3 turns per foot, for long runs of your power busses.  These would not be the Power Buss wires that track feeders attach to.  It would be the main power buss runs to get power to the actual power busses that run under the track that the track feeders really attach too.




Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex

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