This installation is for a HO Scale Bachmann 2-8-0 and Vanderbilt medium tender using a TCS WOW121 Steam decoder, AS-MB2 NC Motherboard, KA4 Keep Alive®
and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker kit.

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-ATL-7 which was used for this installation.
AS-MB2-NC Motherboard WOW121-Diesel Decoder KA4 Keep-Alive™ UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATL-7 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

HO-Scale Bachmann 2-8-0 with a Vanderbilt medium tender shown prior to installation.


    To start off this install, we must first remove the two tender screws highlighted above.

With the screws removed, gently pull rearwards at the front of the tank, while carefully releasing the front of the coal bin. The shell should life straight up.
Take care to release the handrails as you lift off the shell so they don't break.
The following photos are of the completed installation, but with notes to guide the steps.


Using hot melt glue, secure the LED facing upwards into the original light mounting post as was the original 12v bulb.

TCS motherboards include on board current limit resistors for LED use. There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use. 

To mount the speaker, the rear shell support post located in front of the rear light bulb mount must be trimmed with clippers to create
a flat plane from the top of the weight stack rearward. The speaker and motherboard were mounted using double sided foam tape.
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.

In this installation, as the shell is tight and small, it was necessary to open the front mount hole on the motherboard very slightly to be sure to fit the tender roof mounting
post. Likewise, the motherboard needed to be cut as highlighted above in red at the rear for the same purpose. With this modification, the mount posts for the tender could
connect with the frame, securing the shell properly. In doing so though, LED pads for the rear and #1 do not function. As we only needed two light functions (front and rear),
we simply set those LEDs to remaining pads that were functional.

The completed installation.

To maximize the sound quality and volume, with a sealed shell such as this, it is necessary to port the coal bin with random holes.
We drilled small inconspicous holes at various angles to vent the sound out and minimize the visual presence of them.
In the finished installation, with the rough coal appearance itself, they are not noticeable.

You can now plug in your WOW121 decoder.Now you can close up the locomotive and reinstall the coupler assemblies.
Be sure to be mindful of wire routing and reassembly of the shell as to not damage or foul the installation.
Your Bachmann 2-8-0 with a Vanderbilt medium tender is now WOWSound equipped and ready to roll!

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

Like us on Facebook Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Join our newsletter
  Back To Top
Entire contents © Copyright Train Control Systems 2004-2018