SKU: 1605
$239.95 Buy Now

    The WOW501 is a universal, 5 Amp sound decoder for large-scale locomotives. The WOW501 includes Keep Alive® on-board for stutter-free operation. Function 5 and 6 may be programmed to control a smoke unit with a coil and fan. By programming CV58 with a value of 9, the smoke unit will react to the prime mover notch.

    For a complete list of available sounds, check out the "Sounds List" under the "Documents" tab.

  • CD-Quality Sound:
  • TCS' world-renowned CD-quality sound. 16 Bits of resolution at 44.1kHz sample rate.

  • Keep-Alive®:
  • Included on-board for smooth, stutter-free operation.

  • Back EMF Load Compensation:
  • Provides superior slow speed control and high performance under load.

  • Quiet Drive:
  • Super-quiet motor control for "buzz" free motor performance.

  • Variable Momentum:
  • Allows you to make custom acceleration and deceleration curves.

  • Incandescent Bulb Support:
  • This decoder can be used with 12 Volt bulbs.

  • Function Remapping:
  • Buttons 0 through 12 may be used to control the lighting functions of this decoder.

  • Programmable Lighting Effects:
  • Choose from 20 separate user-programmable lighting effects!

  • Dimmable Brightness:
  • Configure multiple different brightness levels for your LED's or incandescent bulbs.

  • Decoder Lock:
  • Feature which prevents accidental/unwanted programming while activated.

  • Airwire™ Compatible:
  • Fully compatible with Airwire™ operation.

  • Audio Assist®:
  • TCS exclusive auditory feedback programming system. Program your decoder without the need to memorize CV's!

  • User-Loadable Speed Tables:
  • Configure custom speed curves and set speed limits.

  • Throttle Modes:
  • Choose from multiple throttle modes to meet your operating needs.

  • Proto Notch™:
  • A WOWSound original feature which uses TCS’ exclusive auto-adjusting BEMF technology to automatically choose the active notch sound. Prototype Mode also offers dynamic sound volumes which accurately model the real-life equivalent. Also includes pre-programmed acceleration and deceleration values.

    Interface Type
    Dimensions (L x W x H): 3.004" x 1.413" x 0.551" or 76.3mm x 35.9mm x 14mm
    Scale: O Scale G Scale S Scale
    Continuous/Peak: 5/10 Amp
    Total Functions: 8
    Function Rating: 1A
    12V Outputs

    Speaker Selection

    • This decoder is optimized for 8 Ω speakers (not included).
    • This decoder uses and audio amplifier capable of supplying up to 2 Watts of power to an 8 Ohm load at maximum volume. An 8 Ohm speaker with a 1 Watt minimum power rating is recommended for use with this decoder as it comes out of the package. If you are using an 8 Ohm speaker with a power rating of 2 Watts or less, you must reduce your master volume to prevent speaker failure or amplifier stress.
    • The amplifier(s) on a WOWSound product can support speakers with impedance ratings as low as 4 Ohms. A reduction in impedance will require a higher power dissipation rating (more Watts) on said speaker. The minimum power requirement for a 4 Ohm speaker is 4 Watts. If you are using a 4 Ohm speaker with a power rating of 4 Watts or less, you must reduce your master volume to prevent speaker failure or amplifier stress.
    • Speaker enclosures greatly increase speaker performance in most cases - improving the apparent volume by more efficiently directing the flow of air and reducing or eliminating destructive interference.

    Decoder Literature

    Download WOW501-Diesel.pdf (691.89 KB)

    Programming Tools

    Comprehensive Guides

    Sounds List

    Decoder Calibration

    Important: For maximum enjoyment of the dynamic auto notching feature of this decoder we highly recommend that you calibrate the decoder using Audio Assist. This is one of the most important features of this decoder! You will love the results. See the video tutorial here.

    AUX Input Pad

    The AUX input pad can be used to trigger a sound effect.

    Use a reed switch or relay connected to the AUX input as a trigger.

    Use Audio Assist® to select a triggered sound to play.

    Video Tutorials

    Please view our library of instructional videos at for helpful information on using this product.

    Wiring Diagram

    One Year Goof Proof Warranty

    All decoders are covered by a one year goof proof warranty. Please return in a small box.
    You MUST register the failed decoder on our website at
    Follow the instructions on the website before returning any decoders to TCS.