Athearn Genesis F2A Decoder Installation featuring the GEN-MB1 Motherboard with Keep-Alive™, WOW121-Diesel Decoder, and UNIV-SH1-C Speaker Kit. Installation done by TCS

Important Soldering Tip:
Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. It will damage it. Use only Rosin core solder approved for electronics use.
We recommend to use only Kester "44" rosin core, SN63PB37, .015" diameter, part number 24-6337-0007.
This can be ordered from Techni-Tool under Techni-Tool part number 488SO157
This was performed by our friends from DCC Xpress installations.
They offer high quality WOWSound installations for a flat rate complete with free return shipping!
You can find them at:

These items are available in the WDK-ATH-3 which was used for this installation.
GEN-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder UNIV-SH1-C Speaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATH-3 and the rest of the WOWDiesel Kits line.

First, remove the coupler box screw and the coupler box from the front of the locomotive.

Then lift the shell off the engine starting from the back and working up to front of your locomotive.

Athearn F-Unit Note:
Athearn F-Units (F2, F3, F7, and F9) are available with sound pre-installed/sound-ready with a circle milled into the top of the rear of the frame for a speaker.

If you have the sound-ready frame (visible here in the Athearn F9A) use the WDK-ATH-9 WOWkit.

If you have the non-sound ready version (shown here in the Athearn F2A) use the WDK-ATH-3 WOWkit.

Next, remove the wires from the original lighting board and remove it from the motor clips.


Next, clip the motherboard onto the motor and wire the GEN-MB1 according to the wiring diagram in the motherboard manual. All the original 1.5volt bulbs supplied with the Athearn loco were used. The white wire solder pad is the forward 1.5v solder pad for the front lights. The solder pad marked "1.5V" is the common power source for the bulbs. This motherboard can be configured for LED operation as well, the mother board has built in current limit resistors for LED use. Consult the wiring diagram for LED use.

Lace the speaker wires into the included speaker enclosure and solder them to the speaker and the motherboard.
Press the speaker into enclosure (adding a small drop of glue at the corners if necessary to insure a snug fit).
Mount the speaker and housing in the rear of the engine with a bit of contact cement or your preferred metal/plastic glue.

With your GEN-MB1 installed you can plug in the WOW121-Diesel decoder, replace the shell, install the coupler and you are ready to run your WOWSound equipped engine.

Other solder tips: When stripping wire, only strip a tiny little bit of the insulation. Strip no more then a 1/64 of an inch. When the wire gets tinned with solder the insulation will shrink back more. Try to not expose any more wire then half the length of the solder pad at most. In no case should solder or exposed wire wire ever be outside the boundary of the the solder pad you are attaching a wire to.
Click here for important information on properly Stripping and Tinning wire

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