This installation documentation is for the HO-Scale Life Like Proto 2000 GP18. This installation uses the TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, AS-MB2 NC with KA4 Keep Alive® and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker Kit.
The Life Like Proto 2000 GP18 shown prior to installation.
To start the installation, remove the screws highlighted in red above and pull out both of the couplers.
Next, remove these two screws at each end of the chassis. These screws secure the shell and must be removed before the shell can be lifted off.
Finally, remove the fuel tank cover on the bottom of the locomotive and remove these two remaining screws. The shell will lift right off at this point. With the shell off, remove the original lighting board and other components to prepare it for installation.
With the lighting board removed, trim or lengthen, then tin the wire leads as necessary.
Using foam double-sided tape, mount the AS-MB2 NC motherboard to the locomotive as shown. Solder the track and motor wire leads to it in accordance with the wiring diagram.
Using the same foam double-sided tape, mount the KA4 to the front of the frame as shown and solder these wire leads to the motherboard.
Next, with the 25mm x 14mm speaker inserted into the UNIV-SH4-C speaker housing, use the same tape to mount it onto the frame as shown. If your speaker enclosure installation covers the portholes on the enclosure, we recommend adding new porthole(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.
In this installation, we reused the original LEDs. Using a small dab of hot melt glue, mount the rear LED as shown to the frame. Solder these new leads to the AS-MB2-NC according to the wiring diagram. TCS motherboards include on-board current limit resistors for LED use. There is no need to apply external resistors for LED use.
The frame shown complete.
Using a small amount of hot melt glue, secure the front LED to the shell roof interior as shown and solder these wire leads to the motherboard.
The motherboard for this installation shown properly wired.
You can now plug in the WOW121 Diesel 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 Life Like Proto 2000 GP18 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