I have several questions regarding DCS TIU & AIU placement and wiring for a large layout now in the planning stage:
I am planning a new DCS controlled layout in the basement of my new home (under construction now). The main train room is 18' x 92' (it extends under the garage), and ultimately could extend laterally under the rest of the house another 40' x 44' away. I plan to have two or three Z-4000s with 2-3 TIUs to control the layout. With a DCS remote range of 50', I could put 2 TIUs together in the main train room centrally, perhaps close to the ceiling. Would it be better to separate the TIUs in the main train room and locate one closer to each end? If I ultimately have trains circling the entire basement, at least 1 TIU will be more than 50' from a DCS remote sending signals for a train which could enter a new TIU's block. What will happen when a train running off a TIU signal from the DCS remote enters a distant block and switches to another TIU which had not previously received the remote's signals? This returns to my initial question: For a train circling a large layout where at least 1 TIU will not receive a remote's signal at some time, will DCS still work well? In other words, do all TIUs on a layout need to communicate with the DCS remote at all times?
My other questions regard AIU placement: What is the maximum cable length for the wires from the TIU to the first AIU, then all subsequent AIUs connected sequentially to the TIU? Would the AIUs work well with a total of 29-36' of connection cable linking them?
Since the main train room is 92' long, I think the TIUs will work better if mounted high, ideally on the central ceiling (9 1/2' high) in the main train room. I would prefer to mount the AIUs under the train table, which would require the initial TIU-AIU connection cable to be 25-30' long. I would mount AIUs #2-5 next to AIU #1, so subsequent connection cables would only be 12-18" long. Would the AIUs work well with a total of 29-36' of connection cable linking them?