I have decided to upgrade my layout wiring to operate all my switches and uncouplers using the MTH AIU. I have also removed my switches from track power and will be running them from aux transformer power. I am also adding track detection blocks by isolating one of the outer rails. This will allow for realistic block signalling.
I have rewired 2/5ths of the layout and have used up 800ft of 4-wire phone cable so far.
In the pictures below, I have mounted my AIU's to a movable pannel (1/8" plywood) so I can do all the wiring on my lap while sitting in a chair. This only requires that the wire runs have an extra 3ft length so I can pull the AIU pannel out from under the layout for easy access. I have found this very practical, since there are about 100 wires to teminate for each AIU.
Isolated outside rail by cutting rails and removing track pins on Lionel Fastrack, to create a train detection circuit. this will allow for block signals
AIU with extended wires, so you can do all the wire connections while sitting comfortably in a chair.
Wire labels and color codes, created using excel spreadsheet, allows for easy tracking of wire connections. Each 4-wire phone cable is labeled, and the colour codes indicate where each strand color for the cable should be connected.
AIU is hanging on 2 screws, under the layout. this view is in a closet, so there is no scenery and skirt. The AIU's in the rest of the train room are hidden by a skirt that hides the under table mess. In my train room, there are bankers boxes under the layout that store all our "stuff". This demands that the train table be as large as possible in order to store the many bankers boxes.