Installation is for Athearn SD50 using TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, RTR-MB1 Motherboard with Keep-Alive™
and UNIV-SH1-C Speaker 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-5 which was used for this installation.

RTR-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder UNIV-SH1-C Speaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATH-5 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 SD50 shown with the shell on prior to installation.


First, remove the coupler box screws as highlighted in red above and the coupler boxes from both ends of the locomotive.

With the couplers removed the shell should lift right off the chassis. Shown with the shell off.

Next, remove all of the wires from the original lighting board.

Remove the original lighting board by lifting it from the back of the engine and off the motor.

Mount the RTR-MB1 on the motor by reversing the motion you used to remove the original lighting board and snapping the RTR-MB1 motor clip onto the motor.

Solder the track connections to the motherboard.

Solder in the lighting connections from the shell. 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 lights. The "RL" solder pad is the reverse 1.5v solder pad for the reverse lights. 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.

Next, mount your 35mm x 16mm WOWSpeaker into the UNIV-SH1-C enclosure. Glue the speaker housing, facing up, directly underneath the front most fan housing.
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.

Solder the speaker connections in place on the motherboard and plug in the WOW121-Diesel decoder.

Lastly, in order to keep the wires neat and prevent possible shorts, lace the wires into a bundle using lacing cord, which is a wax impregnated string 
used for wire bundling and making harnesses. There are many choices of lacing cord available from Digikey
We use part number 802534B BK032-ND

Finally, you can replace the shell (it should slide over the installation easily), and replace the couplers on the shell.
Your WOWSound equipped Athearn SD50 is now ready to run!

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