Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Outside Radio Cover

One of the frustrations of all Outlaw owners I repeatedly heard, and then experienced myself, was the tendency of the outside radio head to develop water in the display and then eventually stop working.  The marine style radio, which works well for the most part, was replaced three separate times on my unit (and four times on my neighbor) before we put our collective heads together for a solution.

What we came up with was a Lowes or Home Depot outdoor (plastic) electrical box cover (typically used on the exterior of a wall).  We used a small cutting tool to remove the back plastic piece, but leaving a small 1/8 strip to retain the integrity of the side walls, and to use later for mounting purposes.

We then removed the outside radio head by trimming the silicone seal around the unit.  Once trimmed the unit can be pulled straight out from the wall and the cables can be unplugged.  We then cleaned the exterior mounting area with a good cleaner to remove the residual glue and silicone and then glass cleaner.  Once prepped, we dry fitted all the pieces to ensure we had proper size and fittings and could still close the cover of the box with the radio head inside.  Small trimming was required due to the round "end piece" of the radio head, but that only took a few moments to complete.

We then mounted the new box using a bead silicone sealant on the rear trim of the box, and centered it over the original hole.  We used a small "c" clamp to hold it in place while it dried.

Once dry, we reattached the original cables and pushed the radio head back into the hole.  We used a bead of silicone around the interior of the box to help hold the radio head in place and to improve the likelihood of a good weather seal.  Then with the outer cover closed, a last bead of silicone was run all along the outside of the weather cover and the work was complete.

Total cost was about $10 bucks worth of cover and silicone.  Labor was maybe 2 hours tops.

The result?  The cover has been in place for over 16 months at this point and there has not been another leak or incident of water in the display since it was installed.

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