This installation is for a HO-Scale Athearn 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.

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


To begin this installation, first remove the coupler box screws and coupler boxes as shown above. 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 removed, unclip the wire connections and then the original lighting board from the chassis. Clip the RTR-MB1 onto the chassis in it's place. Remove the rear weight to allow space for the new speaker housing. Trim, lengthen and tin the wires as neccessary.

Solder the track and motor leads to the RTR-MB1. Insert the speaker securely in to the housing and using the original weight screws, mount this onto the chassis as shown above. Solder the speaker wire leads to the motherboard.

Lastly, we need to attach our lighting 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 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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