This installation is for a Athearn SDP45 using a WOW121-Diesel Decoder, GEN-MB1 Motherboard with Keep-Alive™
and 28mm WOWSpeaker.

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-1 which was used for this installation.
GEN-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder 28mm Speaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATH-1 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


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

Next, remove the fuel tank by removing the center screw highlighted in red above from the fuel tank shell.


Remove the two screws highlight above in red found under the fuel tank shell directly in front of and behind the fuel tank molding in the frame.
With the couplers and frame screws removed the shell should lift right off the chassis.

Remove the wires from the board tabs and the original lighting board from the chassis.

Take note of the wire functions and trim, tin or lengthen them as necessary.

Mount the GEN-MB1 motherboard to the top of the motor and solder the track and motor connections to the GEN-MB1.

To access the speaker mount in the frame we have to spin the chassis around so the next few images will be from the other side. Unscrew the the two
screws highlighted above in red holding the speaker mount plug in place. Save those screws because you may want to use them to hold the speaker in place.


Place the speaker, facing inwards, into the speaker mount with the green circuit board facing up towards the top of the frame.
Glue/ screw the speaker in place. Be careful to avoid getting glue on to the speaker cone. Glue on this surface with ultimately cause it to fail and produce no sound.

Next, solder the two violet speaker wires to the 28mm speaker.

Place the speaker wires over the speaker pads on the motherboard and trim the wires to length.

Solder the speaker wire leads to the GEN-MB1 motherboard.

Attach the light wires to the GEN-MB1 in accordance with the manual that came with your 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 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.

Plug the WOW121-Diesel decoder into the GEN-MB1 motherboard.

NOTE: We have found that using lacing cord is an excellent solution to taming "wild wires". Using lacing cord is a important step to neatly bundle and dress the wires which are prone to being pinched or cut by the shell (during closure) or tangled by the drive train. This simple addition makes a tremendous difference in keeping your installations neat and preventing accidental shorts from damaged wires.
Lacing cord 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), screw the shell in with the screws beneath the fuel tank, screw in the fuel tank cover, and replace the couplers on the shell.

Your WOWSound equipped Athearn SDP45 is now 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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