This installation is for a HO-Scale Life Like Proto 2000 GP38-2.

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-2 which was used for this installation.
AK-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive™ WOW121-Diesel Decoder UNIV-SH4-C Speaker Kit
Click here for more information on the WDK-ATL-2 and the rest of the WOWDiesel Kits line.

With milling of the frame, they have been able to utilize a 
AK-MB1 motherboard, WOW121 diesel decoder and UNIV-SH4C WOWSound kit installation for the double front and rear bulb version.

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 Life Like Proto 2000 GP38-2 shown prior to installation.


    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 Life Like Proto 2000 GP38-2 shown with the shell off. Remove the wires from the original lighting board and remove it from the chassis.
Remove and discard the original 1.5 V bulbs as for in this installation, these will be replaced with a LEDs.

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

To allow a space for the motherboard and speaker, the frame must be milled as highlighted above to keep all the  components below the original top of the frame.

Shown with the frame properly milled to accept the installation.

With the frame prepared, trim, tin or lengthen the wires as necessary.

Using double sided foam tape, attach the AK-MB1 to the frame and solder the motor and track pickup wires according to the included wiring diagram.

Using the same tape, with the 25mm X 14mm WOWSound speaker inserted into the UNI-SH4-C enclosure, mount this assembly to the frame as shown
and solder the wiring leads to the AK-MB1 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.

NOTE: You must be very careful to avoid getting glue on the speaker cone. Glue on the speaker will ultimately cause it to produce no sound and fail.


In order to allow the sound to properly escape the shell for this installation, we decided to trim the rear roof top interior piece to expose the open fan.
Using a sharp blade and small screw driver, lift up and cut off the piece as shown above left. The open fans on this roof have loose fan blades,
so in order to prevent vibration which could compromise the sound quality, we recommend that you add a small drop of model glue to the
junction of the fan blades, spindle and in this case the other points highlighted to prevent movement and vibration.


As we replaced the original bulb lighting with LEDs, the front headlight and rear number board lights were left in their original locations, however the front headlight was soldered directly to the motherboard on the FWD and BLK pads as highlighted in red below. Using small lengths of TCS 3/32" shrink tubing, we insulated all of these solder leads. The front and rear top lights were mounted using a small dab of hot melt glue and shown in the two photos above. The front in between the lighting posts and the rear, tucked inside the lighting housing.

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.

The installation shown complete. In testing it afterwards, there was some front light bleed between the two front LEDs, so we added a small
piece of black electrical tape to cover the top light as shown below.

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 Life Like Proto 2000 GP38-2 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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