This installation is for a HO-Scale Walthers Life Like EMD E8A using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, AK-MB1 Motherboard with built in Keep Alive™, motherboard mounting clip and 32mm WOWSpeaker. We have found there are two frames for this locomotive. This is the low frame version.
The high frame version with additional front lights can be found on our site at here
The Walthers Life Like EMD E8A with its shell on. To remove the shell, gently pull outwards along each side and lift the shell off of the frame being careful with the couplers.
Walthers Life Like EMD E8A with the shell off.
Remove the two screws highlighted above in red and this original volume adjustment board.
At the same time, remove the two screws highlighted above in blue and set them aside for later use.
Next, remove the eight screws highlighted above in red from the original decoder board and save them as you will reuse some of them later.
Clip off the connectors on the wires.
Show with the original decoder board removed. The plastic frame platform floor is shown on top of the speakers and covers the entire frame.
Remove the two screws highlighted in red above from the lighting board support that still is on the frame. Discard this piece and these screws.
Finally, remove the two screws highlighted above in red and lift out the cab interior. Save this and these screws for reinstallation.
Now you can remove the entire plastic frame platform floor from the top of the frame to get access to the speakers by carefully lifting it up.
With the plastic frame floor platform removed, remove the two speakers from the frame as we will not be reusing them for this installation.
However, do not discard the original rubber speaker gasket as this will be used for the WOWSpeaker installation.
Shown with the plastic platform floor frame and speakers removed. Trim, tin or lengthen the wire leads as necessary.
Install the new WOWSound 32mm speaker into the open frame, utilizing the original gasket underneath to seal and insulate it against the frame.
Reinstall the plastic floor frame and secure it with the original screws. Mount the motherboard mounting clip into the frame inside of the frame uprights and clip the AK-MB1 onto the motherboard mounting clip. Solder the motor track and speaker leads to the AK-MB1 motherboard according to the included wiring diagram.
In this installation, we found it necessary to add length to the front LED leads. Shown above are these wires which have been spliced in and insulated
with TCS part #1320 Black 3/64" heat shrink tubing. Solder these lighting leads to the AK-MB1 motherboard according to the included wiring diagram.
We attached the front headlight wire (shown in red to white) goes to the forward pad and the marker light lead (here as yellow to green) is to the #1 pad.
The brown to blue lead is to the blue pad. TCS motherboards include on board current limit resistors for LED use.
There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use.
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.
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 Walthers Life Like EMD E8A 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 than a 1/32 of an inch. When the wire gets tinned with solder, the insulation will shrink back more. Try to not expose any more wire than 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
In order to keep the wires neat and prevent possible shorts, we recommend lacing the wires into a bundle using lacing cord. Lacing cord is a wax impregnated string used for wire bundling and making harnesses. There are many choices of lacing cord available from Digikey www.digikey.com.
We use part number 802534B BK032-ND