A motherboard is currently under development for this locomotive to enable the installation of a WOWsound 121 decoder with Keep Alive ™ technology.
This installation is for a HO-Scale Athearn SW1500 using a TCS WOW121-Diesel Decoder, IB-MB1NC Motherboard with built in Keep Alive™
and UNIV-SH4-C WOWSpeaker kit by TCS.
Important Soldering Tip:
Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. It will damage it. Use only Rosin core solder approved for electronics use.
We recommend to use only Kester "44" rosin core, SN63PB37, .015" diameter, part number 24-6337-0007.
This can be ordered from Techni-Tool under Techni-Tool part number 488SO157 http://www.techni-tool.com
HO-Scale Athearn SW1500 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 Athearn SW1500 shown with the shell off. Remove the wires from the original lighting board and remove it from the chassis.
LIGHTINGBOARD REMOVED PHOTO
With the original lighting board removed, trim, tin or lengthen the wires as necessary.
MOTHERBOARD INSTALL AND WIRED PHOTO
Attach the IB-MB1 NC to the frame and solder the motor and track pickup wires according to the included wiring diagram.
SPEAKER INSTALLATION PHOTO
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.
NOTE: You must be very careful to avoid getting glue on the speaker cone. Glue on the speaker will ultimately cause it to produce no sound and fail.
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 on board 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, which 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
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 SW1500 is now WOWSound equipped and ready to roll!
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