This installation documentation is for the Mike's Train House 4-6-4 Hudson steam locomotive. This installation uses the WOW121-Steam decoder, and was performed by DCC Xpress Installs.
HO-Scale MTH 4-6-4 Hudson steam locomotive shown prior to installation.
To start off this install, we must first remove the front screw highlighted above in red located underneath the locomotive towards the front.
Next, remove the two screws located under the cab as highlighted above in red. With these removed, carefully lift the shell from the locomotive.
Shown with the shell partially removed. Unsolder the two front headlight bulbs wires from the chassis, unsolder the motor connections and pull the rear harness plug through the shell to release it. At this time, also unsolder the track pick up leads from the motor.
The shell shown removed.
The locomotive chassis shown with out the shell and ready for the install.
With the shell loose, there needs to be a appropriate place to feed the new DCC harness out of the locomotive. We drilled a small hole in the rear of the shell as shown above.
Next feed the new 6 pin harness into the hole that was just created.
Solder new wire leads to the motor and trim, tin or lengthen the track pick up wires as necessary.
In this install, we replaced the original front headlight bulb with a Golden White LED. These wire leads along with the motor and track leads were spliced into the harness. Be sure to note the location of each lead into the harness to mirror this arrangement on the tender install.
A close up of these leads. We chose to install small lengths of the correct color leads for clarity here.
The locomotive install complete. You can now reassemble and close the locomotive. This piece is complete.
Next, address the tender which is where the new components will be installed. To begin, remove the screw highlighted above in red at the front bottom of the tender.
Next, remove the single screw located above the rear truck assembly. Finally, release the two tabs at the rear of the shell and carefully life the shell.
The tender shown with the shell removed. Clip the original track pickup leads where they meet and remove the original 2 pin connector plug.
Using double sided foam tape, secure the motor mount to the frame and then the AK-MB1 motherboard to the mount. Solder the track pickups from the tender according to the included wiring diagram.
There are speaker mount posts already in place. These need to be minimally trimmed to receive the 32mm WOWSound diameter speaker. You can see the angled trim clearly on the right rearward post. This allows the speaker to 'snap' onto the posts nicely. Place the 32mm speaker onto these posts.
We also added a small dab of hot melt glue to secure the speaker in to place. Solder the speaker leads to the motherboard according to the included wiring diagram. 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.
With the speaker installed, pre-solder the LED wire leads to the AK-MB1to be able to splice them into the tender harness and rear LED.
To provide a secure mount for the new wire harness, we notched the original pin connector mount in a 'V' shape.
Following the order from the locomotive 6 pin connector, splice the tender harness to the wire leads from the motherboard. You can simply wire directly, rather than splice, but we chose to show the colored wire for instructional purposes.
Splice the rear LED to the lighting lead from the motherboard. TCS motherboards include on board current limit resistors for LED use. There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use. Using small lengths of TCS 3/32" and 3/64" shrink tubing, insulate these solder leads.
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 www.digikey.com. We use part number 802534B BK032-ND
Now you can close up the locomotive and reinstall the shell and screws. Be sure to be mindful of wire routing and reassembly of the shell as to not damage
or foul the installation. Your MTH 4-6-4 Hudson Steam locomotive 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