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.
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 handrails from the rear of the coal bin. The shell should lift straight up.
Then the coal bin should lift up. Finally, the coal itself can be removed from the bin frame. Take care to release the handrails as you lift off the shell so they don't break.
The tender shown with the shell off. Remove the center screw from the original lighting board and clip off the wire leads. Remove this board from the tender.
With the lighting board removed, trim the two posts highlighted above in red flush with the weights to create a flat platform for the new components.
The tender shown ready for the installation.
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 coal load 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. Make these openings only as much as needed.
After the motherboard has been carefully modified, using foam double sided tape, secure it to the weight stack. Using a small amount of hot melt glue, secure the weight stack into the shell to prevent it from shifting. In this install, we replaced the original bulbs with Golden White LEDs. The tender light simply fits into the original mounting post. TCS motherboards include on board current limit resistors for LED use. There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use.
Using the same foam double sided tape, with the 25mm x 14mm WOWSound speaker inserted into the UNIV-SH4-C enclosure, mount this assembly the the weight stack. 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. Making sure of the proper order, solder the wire leads from the locomotive harness including the track, motor and front lighting leads. Solder the rear LED, the speaker and track pick ups as well.
Mount the KA4 Keep Alive° with the foam double sided tape in front of the speaker, keeping in mind to allow space for the tender mounting post. Solder these leads to the motherboard.
In doing the motherboard modifications, we found the front LED pads for do not function. As we only needed two light functions (front and rear), we simply reset those wire lead to rear pads that were functional. In this installation the front LED was wired to the rear and the rear tender light to pad #1. You can now plug in your WOW121 decoder.
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 inconspicuous holes at various angles to vent the sound out and minimize the visual presence of them. With this done, the coal bin can be reassembled. In the finished installation, with the rough coal appearance itself, from the outside, they are not noticeable.
As we were replacing the bulbs with LEDs, we need to open the locomotive shell to access the light. First, remove the drawbar screw and drawbar.
On the front of the boiler, release the ladder on either side by gently pulling the ladder away from the boiler at the top.
Next, on the right side of the locomotive (Engineer's Side), release this link by pulling straight outward.
Next, remove the frame screws and front wheel assembly so the drive assembly comes loose from the boiler assembly. DO NOT remove the screws which hold the drivers and gearing in place!
To release the shell, lift from the rear and slide the boiler slightly forward to remove it from the frame. Here is the frame shown with the shell removed. With the screws removed from the bottom, the boiler interior will also lift straight up.
Once you have separated the boiler assembly from the drive assembly, remove these three screws and the two half of this part will be released from each other. Carefully open them up to gain access to the motor and forward headlight.
Cut out the original light from its housing and splice in your new LED. Re-route the wires as shown here to prevent the wires from binding on the motor or being crushed between the two halves of the boiler weight.
Using hot glue, cover the LED and then insert it into the rear of the light tube. It is not necessary to remove the light tube, but it is shown here for demonstration. Once the new LED is spliced into place, reverse your steps to reassemble the locomotive. Close up the locomotive and tender reinstall the shell assemblies. Be mindful of wire routing and reassembly as to not crush any wires or foul the installation. Your Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation is now WOWSound equipped and ready to roll!
Important Soldering Tip
Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. Over time, the acidic properties of liquid or paste flux will begin eating away at the fiberglass PCB and will damage it. Use only Rosin-core solder or no-clean flux approved for electronics use.
TCS recommends the use of Kester "44" Sn63 Pb37, .015" diameter Rosin-core solder. Kester part number 24-6337-0007.
You can order this solder from the following retailers:
Digikey - PN:KE1110-ND
Techni-Tool - PN:488SO6775
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