Jump to content

Making a 14 Guage Wire that Can Plug into the DCS50K


Recommended Posts

So I am using a DCS50K (Kato Part No. 29-119) DCC system to run my Japanese train layout. I currently am using the standard wire connectors and splitters that come with Kato track (Item No. 24-825 & 24-827). However, I am having issues with power drop and poor DCC single pick up by some of my locomotives. These wires use 22 gauge wire which is considered thin for a standard DCC power bus. I am thinking of making my own power bus using 14 gauge wire. However I need to make a custom plug so I can connect the power bus to my DCS50K.


Does anyone know if you can purchase uncrimped versions of the plugs used by Kato so I can make my own power cables? If you can, what are the called and who makes them? Part number?


Thank you in advance for your suggestions and help.



Link to comment

Yes, true micro tamyia r/c connectors will work. But be aware most of the ones on ebay that are listed as mini Tamiya do not work with the Kato, they are jsut a tad off. I’ve tried 3 different ones on ebay and none yet work. One of the very few times I’ve gotten incompatible parts like this.


best source from a good hobby shop for true micro tamiya connectors, not “compatibles”. Best then even to just buy one and check to make sure or make sure you can return them. They are not cheap. 



Link to comment

I've been using 20ga and 22ga for DCC without issue.  What I do is run a 14ga "bus" form my command station or booster and then branch off several feeders from that so that the last foot or two feet is the 20-22ga and there are multiple feeders every couple track sections into the track.


My track is also broken up into "detection zones" so I have a 14ga bus (sometimes 16ga depending on what I have) for each zone.  Makes for lots of wire.  I used to run a single 14ga or 16ga feeder to each zone but the wires are fat and don't pass easily under the track and stuff for a table top layout like I currently have so I went to the thinner multiple-feeder wire based on others' experiences and suggestions.


Edited by chadbag
Link to comment

14 Gauge is over kill. I just completed a Lionel O Scale layout and used 16 awg on the bus 18awg on the feeds.

165ft track 8 zones Their power supplies are called Bricks 10 amps 18v. Remember our N Scale stuff like the DCS50K is 2.5 to 3 amps.


Like Chad stated the zones are the critical factor. If you increase the zones the load/amperage requirements decrease therefore the wire gauge can decrease (small diameter)

The position of the DS50 makes a difference. Centering it in the middle of the layout where all the feeds are equal lengths helps. 


Dropout are mostly derive from dirty track, wheels, track geometry, track jointers and feeders. If the track has been snapped together a number of times then thats the most

probable cause.


like Jeff said the connectors are expensive. Those connectors are for convenience.


If the layout is permanent use terminal blocks.




  • Like 2
Link to comment

Yeah 12 and 14 are usually for the big setups like ntrak that have a lot of connectors and track differences. I think many just move over to using that on home layouts then a fraction of the size. Terminal blocks are nice as usually very solid connection and flexible. I like the euro that have the nice curved plates that tighten around the wire.


plug style connectors actually end up with 3 connections per plug, 2 for the leads and one for the plug so more places for noise which effects dcc signals more.


you can also pop the pins and plugs out of a Kato connector with a flat head screw driver. You cna then uncrimp and recrimp and solder new wire on and pop the connector shell back on. They usually clip back in but if the pop out a little epoxy or uv glue (one Of the few locations uv glue works well) in the back end will Fix that.



Link to comment

I have just chopped up the original cables and used the ebay ones. As Jeff noted, they are different. But as long as you make a conversion cable, then it does matter what is in the middle cables.

Link to comment

For future reference you guys might want to try these Mini Tamiya connectors from Hobby King rather than the eBay variants (more chance of them fitting correctly?).







Edited by Costas
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Good price, have you ordered these from them? shipping is decent as well. Thanks.


I got a batch over 5 years back from an rc hobby shop that worked. I’ve only gotten 1 batch from ebay that worked, three not so no more there!



Link to comment

Hi Jeff,


I have not ordered those connectors from Hobby King but I have ordered many other items from them in the past with no issue.


One of my other hobbies is large RC helis so that is how I stumbled on these from them.


For the price - you can always just purchase some and give them a go...

Link to comment

Unfortunately you can’t tell by the look, I have gotten one good batch and 3 bad ones... all pretty much looked the same. Just have to buy and see if they work. The real tamiya ones usually do sell for more, but I’m guessing if it’s an rc shop they would probably make sure they would work with tamiya or have pissed off customers for larger sales. I will probably give them a try as the club is looking at using them for the new Ttrak buss instead of power poles that are expensive and clunky and most of our current modules have Kato connectors on them already.



Link to comment
21 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 I’m guessing if it’s an rc shop they would probably make sure they would work with tamiya or have pissed off customers for larger sales.



I was thinking along the same lines as you would think that customers would have picked up on this in their review comments for those connectors that Hobby King sells.

Link to comment

So I finally finished this project! Thanks for the information. Here is the video I made about the project on my YouTube channel.



  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...