Athearn GP35 Decoder Installation featuring the RTR-MB1 Motherboard with Keep Alive®, WOW121-Diesel Decoder, and UNIV-SH1-O Speaker Kit by TCS.
First, remove the coupler box screws and the coupler boxes from both ends of the locomotive.
With the couplers removed the shell should lift right off the chassis.
Remove the wires from the original lighting board tabs.
Next, remove the original lighting board by lifting it from the rear of the engine.
Clip the RTR-MB1 onto the motor just like the original lighting board.
Next, wire up the RTR-MB1 according to the wiring diagram in your motherboard manual. This mother board has a 1.5volt power supply to power all the original 1.5v bulbs that come with the Athearn locomotive. It can be configured for LED operation as well, the mother board has built in current limit resistors for LED use. Consult the wiring diagram for LED use.
All the original 1.5volt bulbs supplied with the Athearn loco were used. The white wire solder pad is the forward 1.5v solder pad for the front lights. The yellow wire solder pad is the reverse 1.5v solder pad for the reverse lights. The solder pad marked "1.5V" is the common power source for the bulbs.
Though there are thru holes on the the tabs on the mother board for track power and motor power we do not recommend that you thread the wire though them. Please use the preferred method which is to tin the tab using rosin core solder only, tin the wire, then solder the wire to the tab by aligning it laying it straight down. Make sure the wire is short so that it does not go beyond the boundary of the solder pad. Please carefully note how neat and cleanly the wires are soldered to the tabs in this photo. There is no exposed wire off the edge of the the solder tabs. Never use flux for this solder work. Use only rosin core solder approved for electronics.
Solder the two violet wires to your 35mm x 16mm WOWSpeaker, glue the speaker into the UNIV-SH1-O (we used hot glue, but CA would work as well) speaker housing and mount it under the fan housing at the rear of the engine.
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.
Plug in the WOW121-Decoder to complete the installation.
Finally, you can replace the shell (it should slide over the installation easily) and replace the couplers on the engine.
Your WOWSound equipped engine is now ready to run!
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
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