This installation is for a HO-Scale Athearn Ready-to-Roll SD45 using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder and RTR-MB1. This install was performed 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-4 which was used for this installation.

RTR-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder 35mm x 16mm Speaker
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATH-4 and the rest of the WOWDiesel Kits line.

***Please Note***

The RTR-MB1 comes equipped with a motor clip already attached for a clean and easy install. This style clip was both used in Athearns present day line of Ready-To-Roll locomotives,

as well as the their older blue box locomotives. Please be aware that blue box locomotives will need their motors isolated from the chassis, unlike Ready-To-Roll models.

HO-Scale Athearn Ready-to-Roll SD45 prior to WOW121-Diesel Decoder and RTR-MB1 installation

HO-Scale Athearn Ready-to-Roll SD45 prior to WOW121-Diesel Decoder and RTR-MB1 installation

To start off this install, we must first remove the front and rear couplers and their housings. Once that is complete, the shell will lift off of the chassis.

Do this by holding the fuel tank with one hand and lifting the shell off by pressing up underneath the end platforms with your other hand.

With the shell off, we can now remove the factory light board. First remove all the black wire clips and disconnect the wires from the board.

The factory light board will then easily lift off.

Since we're installing sound in this locomotive, we need to remove the speaker housing weight. The two adjacent screws need to be removed to do so.

With everything removed, we can now snap in the RTR-MB1 and solder our pick-up wire leads. Next, fit a 35x16mm speaker and attach the speaker leads to the RTR-MB1.

To secure and seal the screw holes on the speaker, some hot glue worked well.

Next, solder the bottom motor lead to the RTR-MB1.

Though there are thru holes on the the tabs on the mother board for track power and motor power we do not recommend that you thread the wire though them. Please use the preferred method which is to tin the tab using rosin core solder only,  tin the wire, then solder the wire to the tab by aligning it laying it straight down. Make sure the wire is short so that it does not go beyond the boundary of the solder pad. Please carefully note how neat and cleanly the wires are soldered to the tabs in this photo.  There is no exposed wire off the edge of the the solder tabs. Never use flux for this solder work. Use only rosin core solder approved for electronics.

Lastly, we need to attach our headlight leads to the front and rear headlight pads on the RTR-MB1.

For the installers convenience, the forward and reverse headlight pads are already setup for 1.5v bulbs that Athearn uses.

If you require a 12v supply, please follow the RTR-MB1's instruction manual on how to do so.

With all three main components mounted, we can now close up the locomotive and reinstall the coupler assemblies.

You have now installed a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder and RTR-MB1 into your HO-Scale Athearn Ready-to-Roll SD45.

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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