Diesel Version 5:Audio Assist™

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Leave CV programming behind with Audio Assist®, the intuitive audio menu system that comes with every TCS WOWSound decoder! Never look up another programming manual or CV ever again thanks to the intuitive and easy to use Audio Assist® programming process! With Audio Assist®, your WOWSound decoder will literally talk you through common programming options. Follow the verbal commands to change horns and bells, calibrate chuffs, change sound volumes, remap sounds and lighting effects, and so much more using Audio Assist®. Program all of your sound functionality and most of your lighting functionality without ever touching a single CV or your programming track.

What is Audio Assist®?

Audio Assist® is an auditory feedback programming process, integrated into every WOWSound decoder manufactured. Audio Assist® has been included in every WOWSound decoder ever since Version 1! Audio Assist® works in a similar way to an automated telephone answering service. After entering the program, you can modify decoder settings by listening to the audio prompts, and then pressing the button or buttons corresponding to whatever option you would like to change or operation you would like to perform.

Using Audio Assist®

With your locomotive stopped on an operational track, rapidly press button 8 four times to activate the Audio Assist® guide. Follow the prompts to quickly set up and change the settings on your locomotives. Pressing button 9 at any time brings you to the previous menu, and pressing 0 will exit Audio Assist® altogether and return you to normal operation.

Many of the functions available in WOWSound decoders are adjustable through Audio Assist®. We recommend using the Audio Assist® functionality whenever possible, as it is typically much faster and easier to do programming in this way.

What is Audio Assist® Capable of Programming?

Sound Functions

Audio Assist® is most commonly use to set up sound functions in your WOWSound decoder. Examples include changing volume levels, changing sound button mappings, and changing your engine type (steam chuff set or diesel prime mover).

Light Functions

Audio Assist® can be used to configure your lighting outputs. You can set up lighting effects on an output, change the active direction, and change what button turns the light on and off.

Speed Matching

While in operation and running on your track, you can use Audio Assist® to speed match your locomotive in real-time! Take the guesswork out of programming CV's by using Audio Assist® to speed match your locomotive against other locomotives while running and get that speed matching just perfect.

User Presets

TCS Decoders are unique in offering 3 User Presets that can be set and saved. These allow you to save 3 versions of your own sound settings for easy resets to settings other than the factory default values. These can only be set up through Audio Assist®. Please consult the Programming Guide for your decoder version for more information on setting up and using User Presets.

And Much More!

Audio Assist® is featured on both WOWSteam and WOWDiesel decoders. We can't cover all of the details here, so please make sure to visit our Videos page for further information and demonstrations. For the complete Audio Assist® programming trees please click here: WOWSteam | WOWDiesel

Pro tip: Pressing 4 from the Audio Assist main menu will take you to the "Additional Options" sub-menu. TCS users have reported finding some interesting things while digging around in there. Wink wink.

Other Audio Assist® Features

The features listed below are considered to be expansions of Audio Assist® but are not literally within the Audio Assist® program itself.

WOWSound "Rotate" Feature

The rotate feature on a WOWSound decoder allows you to quickly cycle through all of the whistles, horns, or bells on the decoder. The number of whistles, horns, and bells on your decoder will vary based on the Version and type. (Steam/Diesel/OEM/etc.)

To use the Rotate feature, play a horn/whistle or bell sound, then press the Rotate button (default is 9) to begin cycling through the available sounds. When rotating horns/whistles, Audio Assist will announce the new selected horn/whistle set; Rotating bells will play a sample sound of the new bell. Once the rotate button is pressed, the new set is locked in automatically. The Rotate feature will change the entire set of horn/whistle sounds at the same time. (That includes the long, short, crossing quills, and directional quills.) The Rotate feature will rotate through the available sounds in alphabetical order. You may use the direction key on your throttle to change the order of the rotation. For example, setting the throttle to reverse will cause the rotate feature to begin cycling through the sounds in reverse alphabetical order. You may use this to "go back" if you found something you liked and do not want to go all the way around again, or if you want to go to one of the last options on the list more quickly. To watch our video demonstration of the Rotate feature, see below:

Light Mode & Sound Mode

Question: I hooked up my lights on my WOWSound decoder but I cannot turn them on. What gives?

NOTE: If you are looking for assistance or advice on wiring your locomotive, see the sections below for wiring LED's or incandescent lamps.

WOWSound decoders have two operational modes: Light Mode and Sound Mode. When first powering up a WOWSound decoder, it will default to Sound Mode. In order to access your light functions beyond F0, you must enter Light Mode. (Unless otherwise user-configured)

To toggle operational modes, you must press Button 8 on your controller twice in rapid succession. You will hear an announcement from Audio Assist® announcing the active mode. In order to change back, just press button 8 twice again. If you switch too fast, however, the decoder may register 4 presses and enter the Audio Assist® program.

In sound mode, you can use buttons 0-28 to control sound functions. In Light Mode, you can use buttons 0-12 to control lighting functions. Both modes can be remapped using Audio Assist or CV programming, but you should refer to your decoder literature for the default mappings. By default, Light Mode buttons will correspond directly to their numbered function output unless otherwise programmed. By default, ONLY function 0 will respond to commands in both Sound Mode and Light Mode. In order to use any other function button in both modes, that button must be "dual-enabled" using CV programming. For assistance on CV programming function buttons into dual-mode, visit the Guided Programmer for your decoder type:

Programming Tools


Question: Function 2 doesn't work?

Most likely, lighting Function 2 of your decoder is working. Some command stations and throttles (such as Digitrax) set Button 2 as a momentary function (not latching). You can confirm this by holding the button down to see if your light remains on.

Okay so how do I fix that?

The simple solution is to remap your light to another button. Otherwise, the instruction manual for your throttle or command station should tell you how to change the momentary function to a latching one.

To learn more and see a demonstration of Light Mode and Sound Mode, check out our video on WOWSound Operational Modes: