This installation is for a HO Scale Kato EMD-SD45 using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, AK-MB1 Motherboard with built in Keep Alive®
and UNIV-SH1-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-3 which was used for this installation.
AK-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder UNIV-SH1-C Speaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATL-3 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 Kato EMD-SD45 shown prior to installation. In this installation, the interior frame and components and installation are the same as a SD40-2,
so for the purpose of these photographs, we utilized the same photos.


    To start off this install, we must first remove the front and rear coupler screws highlighted above and their housings.

With the couplers removed, while gently pulling outwards at each end and along each side of the frame, lift the shell off of the frame.
Take care to release the handrails as you lift off the shell so they don't break.

The KatoKato EMD-SD45 shown with the shell off. Remove the two screws highlighted above in red along with the wires from the original lighting board and remove it from the chassis.
Save these screws to install the new motherboard.

Remove the black plastic clip on top of the original lighting board.

Carefully bend up the motor connection tabs on the left and unsolder the track pick up leads on the right from the board.

Trim the motor connection tabs and lift off the lower plastic running board platform to gain direct access to the track pick ups. The track pick up tabs wil llift right out.

Solder new flat connection points to the left and right track pickups as well as the motor connection tabs.
Using small lengths of TCS 3/32" and 3/64" shrink tubing, insulate these solder leads.

Using the original lighting board screws, attach the AK-MB1 to the frame and solder the motor and track pickup wires to it according to the included wiring diagram.

With the 35mm X 16mm WOWSound speaker inserted into the UNI-SH1-C enclosure, using the same double sided foam tape, mount this assembly to the frame as shown
and solder the wire leads to the motherboard according to the included wiring diagram.

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.

Inside the top of the shell is a weight that must be removed to allow space for the WOWSound components. Remove the single screw highlighted above
in red and the weight will easily come out. Next, using a blade or similar trimmer, cut each light tube as shown above in blue.

Unclip the original LEDs from the lighting board for reuse.

Solder new wire leads to each of these LEDs as shown above. Insulate these connections with the above mentioned shrink tube.


Using a small amount of hot melt glue, carefully mount the front and rear LED to the end of each light tube as shown above.

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.

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

Solder these two lights to the AK-MB1 according to the included wiring diagram.

You can now plug in your WOW121 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

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 Kato EMD-SD45 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

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