This installation documentation is for the HO-Scale Life Like EMD F7 Phase 1. This installation uses the WOW121-Diesel decoder, AK-MB1 Motherboard, and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker kit.
The Life Like EMD F7 Phase 1 shown with the shell on. To start the install, remove the couplers and pull out gently along the sides of the shell and lift up.
Shown with the shell off. Remove the wires from the original lighting board and then remove the board.
With the lighting board removed, trim or lengthen and then tin the wire leads as necessary. In this installation, the original headlights are left in place. To use them with this motherboard, it is necessary to bridge one of the resistors on the bottom of the motherboard. If replacing with new LED's, these steps are not necessary.
The resistor to be bridged shown highlighted above in blue. To bridge this, simply solder a small piece of wire across the two ends of the resistor.
The resistor shown properly bridged.
Using foam double-sided tape, mount the AK-MB1 to the top of the motor as shown. Solder the track, motor and lighting leads to it according to the wiring diagram.
A closer view of the motherboard soldered properly.
Using double sided foam tape, with the 25mm X 14mm WOWSound speaker inserted into the UNI-SH4-C enclosure, mount this assembly to the frame as shown and solder the wiring leads to the AK-MB1 according to the included wiring diagram. 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.
NOTE: In this installation, the open fans on the roof have loose fan blades. In order to prevent vibration which could compromise the sound quality, we recommend that you add a small drop of model glue to the junction of the fan blades and spindle to prevent this movement. After they were secured, cover both the top of the shell interior as well as the sides with electrical tape. This builds the air pressure inside of the shell, increasing the sound quality.
Lastly, in order to keep the wires neat and prevent possible shorts, lace the wires into a bundle using waxed 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 Life Like EMD F7 Phase 1 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