This installation is for s HO-Scale Athearn F7A using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, GEN-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™
and UNIV-SH1-C WOWSpeaker Kit by TCS.

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.

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

Athearn Genesis F7A prior to installation.

Start by removing the front coupler screw and coupler box as highlighted above in red. Next, spread the shell and lift it off of the engine.

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 wiring from the original lighting board.

Remove the original lighting board from the motor clips.

Attach the GEN-MB1 motherboard onto the motor just as the original lighting board had been attached.

Next, wire in the motor, track, and lights according to the included wiring diagram. For this installation the track leads were a bit too short to solder easily to the
GEN-MB1 so we spliced additional lengths of wire to each of the track pickups. We also spliced short leads leads of 30 gauge wire to the motor leads to make those large wires a bit more manageable for soldering to the GEN-MB1.

This mother board has a 1.5volt power supply to power all the original 1.5v bulbs that come with the Athearn locomotive. All the original 1.5volt bulbs supplied with the Athearn loco were used. The "FL" solder pad is the forward 1.5v solder pad for the front light. The Mars light was connected to the 1.5v solder pad for "F1".
It can be configured for LED operation as well.

We have found that LED light output is brightest when shinning directly into the end of the light tube, but in some circumstances they may be placed along the length
of the tube as well with satisfactory results. In doing so, white light LED output would be least affected, while non white LED output will be more affected by placement.

Insert your 35mm x 16mm speaker into the UNIV-SH1-C enclosure and mount this assembly to the frame behind the motherboard.
The speaker enclosure should friction fit well in the frame, but it may be a bit too tight and require slight filing.

To file the UNIV-SH1-C start by marking a cut line about halfway down the length of the 35mm side.

Mount the enclosure in a vise with just the side you are filing extending above the jaws of the vise.

Start by filing with the corner of the file to create a valley at the cut line and then (using that valley as a stop) file down the side by 10-20%.
Note: A double cut file is necessary for this process because a single cut file will constantly try to slide off the surface.

Your filed enclosure should look like the image below and fit perfectly in the frame.

If the fit is a little loose after filing use a bit of glue or double sided tape to hold the enclosure in the frame. When using glue around the speaker be sure not to get any on the cone as it will ruin the speaker.
*NOTE* The speaker orientation was tested as whether the sound was improved by facing it up or down and we found the most optimal sound quality
was with the speaker in the facing up orientation.
If your speaker enclosure installation covers the portholes on the enclosure, we recommend adding new port hole(s) similar to the original porting. Be sure that the new portholes are the same size and amount of the original and are vented freely into the locomotive We have found introducing a port of the correct size greatly increases the volume and sound quality of the installation. Too much or too little porting decreases the sound quality.

Attach the wires from the speaker to the motherboard in according to the included wiring diagram.

You can install the WOW121-Diesel decoder, replace the shell, and re-attach the front coupler.

Your WOWSound installation is complete and ready to run.

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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