Yep, Radio Shack is becoming less and less useful. They are giving up
stocking parts. PITA. See if there are any electronic surplus dealers
in your area. Sometimes they have parts, although most of 'em now just
carry junk computer stuff which is less useful for model railroads.
Try mail order. All Electronics is a good surplus place. Mouser and
Digikey are good sources for new parts.
I go sort of the same way Wolf does: A drill, lots of 8-32 machine
screws (various lengths) and lots and lots of 8-32 nuts. Quick,
convenient, flexible. Can control spacing for access. Don't know if it's
cheaper (although I suspect it is) but it sure makes life easier when
I'm hauling my 6'5" less than graceful frame around under the benchwork.
don't defend them - that's not what the thread is about... they
betrayed the radio community years ago and have become worse than
circuit city et al because they double prices on a lot of needed
items. Case in point - cell phone battery at radio shaft wikll run you
$49. At any other cell phone store $22. I know i used to work at
Here are some possibilities. I do not how prices and shipping compare
to Mouser or Digi-Key.
http://www.hosfelt.com/ Click on Terminal Strips
They are also called barrier strips. You can search the web for both.
Check shipping charges before you finalize the order.
A wood screw through a flat washer would work also. Wires under the
flat washer. It is a little crude but the wood will be a good
insulator at the low voltages.
If you have access to them, I'd suggest using "euro" strips rather than
They come in a variety of sizes, and the connection is completely
surrounded, reducing the
chance that a wire could "squeeze out" from under the screw of a regular strip.
The wires go in straight instead of being formed into a loop, making
that part simpler, too.
You can see these in use in our club's "Power Vault", connecting the
#12 feeders to the PM42s.:
Kewl. Those seem very much like the bonding connectors used inside power
distribution panels (aka "fuseboxes") here in the US. Those are a little
bigger, as they're made for large wire sizes, #14 and up, but
essentially the same idea: you loosen the screw, stich the bare end of
the wire into the hole, then tighten the screw which smushed down on the
wire. Simple and very effective. I'd think they'd work OK with the
smaller wire gauges used on a layout.
One may be able to buy those bonding strips separately from a good
electric supply house, if one were so inclined.
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