This installation is for a HO Scale Walthers Life Like GP7 using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, IB-MB1 NC Motherboard with built in Keep Alive®,
30mm WOWSpeaker with plug.
The upper picture shows the beautiful Walthers Life Like GP7 with its shell on.
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.
Walthers Life Like GP7 shown with the shell off.
To begin, remove the four screws highlighted above in red in the left photo and the one in the right. Disconnect the wiring from these boards and remove them from the frame. Save the two front screws for later use.
Remove the screw holding the speakers on either side of the frame as well as the one holding the metal clip in front of the speaker frame and remove these components.
With the original lighting board and other components removed, trim, tin or lengthen the wires as necessary.
Using small lengths of TCS 3/32" and 3/64" shrink tubing, insulate these wire leads if needed.
Attach the IB-MB1 NC to the frame using the original front screws and solder the motor and track pickup wires according to the included wiring diagram.
Shown as reverse orientation photo above left, you can see the provided speaker plug inserted into the right side of the locomotive.
Insert the 30mm speaker into the left side as shown and solder the wire leads to the motherboard according to the included wiring diagram.
It is important to use this plug as it greatly increases the volume and sound quality.
Using clippers, remove the front and rear LEDs from the original boards.
Solder new wire leads to these LEDs to be able to utilize them into the new installation.
Using a small amount of hot melt glue, secure the original front LED into the frame channel and the rear LED facing into the light tube in the top of the rear shell.
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.
TCS motherboards include onboard 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 GP7 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