Large Scale Central


I have just received some TCS WOW501 Steam decoders. They don’t come with a wiring diagram (TCS think a picture of their decoder is a wiring diagram). I don’t know which terminals to hook up the different light wires into. Can anyone help with a proper wiring diagram?

Hi Red, I looked up that decoder and the board is labeled if you know their abbreviations. See below. I am not a DCC guy but FOF is forward and FOR is probably rear light. The F functions keys are based on DCC defaults.

Did you download their complete guides found under documents for the WOW501-Steam?


Don: I have been having the same issue. I have downloaded every manual they have on their website to resolve this issue. I am not new o electronics and even built my own wireless DCC++ system for my Big Haulers. Logic tells me that the FOF and FOR are for the front and rear headlights on my Spectrum 2-8-0. and that the Positive led of the LED is connected to these terminals and the negative leg would go to the Ground terminal below F4. Thats how I wired it by removing one wire at a time from the PC board in the Spectrum Boiler. In the Spectrum engine, Terminal 1 had the white wire for the front headlight. Terminal 2 had the Yellow wire for the Backup light and Terminal 3 had the Ground wire.

After it was all switched over to the TCS 501 board per their layout shown above, I get nothing. I even used the audio assist to map what function button was used to turn the light on and this did not resolve the issue either. All other functions of the decoder are working fine.

Could it be that TCS uses a positive common and the negative legs to the LEDs go to FOF and FOR?
Dan Stuettgen?

Positive common to multiple sink.


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Dan - Based on Martin’s information, if you wired the LEDs direct, without a resistor or driver device you may have fried the LED. I would test them (with proper resistor), independent of the decoder.