This installation documentation is for the Athearn RS3-L. This installation uses the WOW101-Diesel decoder, WAUX-KA4 Keep Alive®, and UNIV-SH4-C speaker housing, and was performed by TCS.
NOTE: This installation requires modification of certain parts of the engine. Ensure you have the proper tools to make these modifications in order to make your installation process clean and painless.
HO-Scale Athearn RS-3-L prior to installation.
To begin, remove the shell from the chassis by removing the two screws highlighted in red above, located underneath the trucks on either side of the
frame and then gently squeezing and lifting the shell.
HO-Scale Athearn RS-3-L with the shell removed.
Keeping the original lighting board in place, unplug the shorting plug, disconnect the wiring from the original circuit board, trim, tin or lengthen the
wires as necessary and re solder them to the board.
Working inside the shell, carefully stretch the cab to the left and right to remove the plastic tabs from the rest of the shell and lift the cab cover from the shell.
Here you can see the available space for the speaker assembly.
Using double sided foam tape, place the KA4 with Keep Alive® into the the top rear of the shell.
Carefully drill two .038mm holes through the shell (beneath the cab) to allow a path for the speaker leads.
Remove and trim the plastic tray in the front of the locomotive to accommodate the WOW101 decoder.
As with the front tray, remove and trim the back/upper half of the rear tray to allow space for the KA4
which was placed into the top of the shell above this location.
For this installation, we trimmed the UNIV-SH4-C Speaker Enclosure to ensure a tight fit under the upper cab and painted it
black to minimize its appearance inside the cab windows.
Insert the 25mm X 14mm speaker into the UNIV-SH4-C enclosure and mount this assembly utilizing double sided foam tape centered onto the chassis.
Wire the speaker leads into the rear WOWSound harness.
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.
Using hot melt glue, we added a small 'transmission' dab inside each headlight port and then added a LED into each end, facing out.
In this installation, as the voltage coming off of the original lighting board was insufficient with the large resistor already in place,
it was necessary prior to soldering the LEDs to the board to bypass this resistor and install a 1k ohm resistor inline to these LED's. See the highlighted resistor above.
In this step, plug the rear harness into the WOW101 Decoder and the decoder then into the lighting board.
Using double sided foam tape, securely mount the WOW101 Decoder in the plastic tray and then this assembly onto the chassis.
Reattach the shell back onto the chassis, reinserting the bottom screws and your Athearn RS-3-L WOWsound equipped locomotive is 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
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