I want to use relays on my layout, and I'm hoping someone is willing to please help to get me started.
I'm building a ~ 1,500 sqft layout with about 1,200 lineal feet of track. I'll be using DCS and Legacy.
I own electronic copies of Barry B's books on how to build a layout for DCS and I'm following his guidelines. I have blocks made up of 10-12 pieces of track that will each have one pair of wires running to them via a terminal block fed from TIUs, all located to limit wire runs.
Relays: I have some blocks and sidings that are very far from the toggles that will control them. Running a pair of wires from the terminal block (located near the siding / block) all the way to the toggle and then back to the siding/block would make my wires runs too long for a good DCS signal.
I understand the concept of relays - separately powered via low voltage (like how you power switch machines) they would allow a toggle switch that is far from the block to power it on/off without having to run the wire from the terminal block to the toggle directly. Please correct me if I have any of this wrong.
What I need help with is knowing exactly what relay part to get (one that is easy to use) and instructions on how to wire it. The most info in Barry's book I found was that "in cases where toggles would make excessive runs of wires relays should be considered" but there is no info beyond that.
I've read several threads on the topic here (usually by people that know way more about electrical wiring that I do) but I find them confusing and I don't see the information I'm looking for.
Can anyone help? I'm powering my layout with a Lionel ZW-L if that matters.
Thanks in advance,
Rob in Rochester, NY