This installation is for a HO Scale Athearn GP15-1 using a TCS WOW121 Diesel Decoder, GEN-MB1 Motherboard with built in Keep Alive® and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker kit.
HO-Scale Athearn GP15-1 shown prior to installation.
To start off this install, we must first remove the front and rear coupler screws highlighted above and their housings. Next, remove the screw shown below to release the shell from the frame. We temporarily removed the tank cover to gain better access to this screw.
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 Athearn GP15-1 shown with the shell off. Remove the wires from the original lighting board and remove it from the chassis.
Remove the two screws highlighted above in red along with the top front plastic piece to allow space to fit the GEN-MB1.
Replace the screws to reinstall the lower piece.
Remove the four screws highlighted above in red and remove the original speaker. Retain the screws for reinstallation.
Attach the GEN-MB1 to the frame and solder the motor and track pickup wires according to the included wiring diagram, using small lengths of TCS 3/32"
and 3/64" shrink tubing to insulate these solder leads if needed.
With the 25mm X 14mm WOWSound speaker inserted into the UNI-SH4-C enclosure, mount this assembly to the frame as shown with two of the original screws
and solder these wire leads to the motherboard 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.
Solder the existing lighting leads to the motherboard according to the included wiring diagram.
The GEN-MB1 has on board 1.5volt power supplies to conveniently power all the original 1.5volt bulbs that come with your Athearn locomotive. The front headlight and rear light pads are configured for 1.5volt use. Additional 1.5volt pads are available for other connections for ditch lights etc. If you prefer to use LED lighting as an option, there are LED solder connection pads. Current limit resistors are built into the board so no external resistor are needed 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 Athearn GP15-1 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 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