This installation is for a HO-Scale Kato GE C44-9W using a TCS WOW121 Diesel Decoder, AK-MB1 Motherboard with built in Keep Alive®
and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker kit by TCS.
HO-Scale Kato GE C44-9W shown prior to installation.
To start off this install, we must first remove the front and rear coupler screws highlighted above and their housings.
With the couplers removed, while gently pulling outwards at each end and along each side of the frame, lift the shell off of the frame.
Take care to release the handrails as you lift off the shell so they don't break.
The Kato GE C44-9W shown with the shell off. Remove the wires and bend up the small metal clips from the original lighting board.
Remove the two screws highlighted above in red and remove it from the chassis. Save the screws for later use.
With the original lighting board removed, trim, tin or lengthen the wires as necessary.
Clip the two motor connection tabs to shorten them to a manageable length.
Solder new connection points to these tabs and solder the new motor leads to them.
Using small lengths of TCS 3/32" and 3/64" shrink tubing, insulate these solder leads.
Attach the AK-MB1 to the frame with the original screws and solder the motor and track pickup wires according to the included wiring diagram.
To allow a space for the speaker assembly, remove the rear light tube from the shell and using a small mitre saw,
trim it down to about 1/8" from the face as shown above. Reinsert this back into the shell.
Next, taking the original lighting board, clip the front and rear LEDs from the board. Solder new wire leads to these LEDs and insulate
them with TCS 3/64" shrink tubing.
Using a small dab of hot melt glue, secure the front LED back into the original position in the frame. Mount the rear LED against the rear face of the shell
facing upward into the light tube with a small dab of hot melt glue as shown above.
We have found that LED light output is brightest when shinning directly into the end of the light tube, but in some circumstances they may be placed along the length
of the tube as well with satisfactory results. In doing so, white light LED output would be least affected, while non white LED output will be more affected by placement.
With the 25mm X 14mm speaker inserted into the UNIV-SH4-C enclosure, using double sided foam tape, mount the assembly up into the rear top
of the shell as shown above. It should rest against the LED to ensure proper clearance upon reassembly for the rear weight.
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.
Wire the lighting and speaker leads to the AK-MB1 according to the included wiring diagram.
TCS motherboards include onboard current limit resistors for LED use. There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use.
Shown with the lighting and speaker leads wired to the AK-MB1 and ready for lacing.
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 Kato GE C44-9W 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
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