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Author Topic:   Pull out Chassis AM/FM radio
Whaler_bob posted 02-28-2007 02:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Whaler_bob  
[I plan] to get a AM/FM CD Player radio for my 21' Striper and I'd like to install a AM/FM CD Player radio in my Montauk, too. The Striper has a standard DIN automotive size hole already cut in the dash from the old dead AM/FM radio, and there's a good spot on the Montauk console for a in-dash style DIN size radio. I'd like to buy one slide out style AM/FM radio with two in-dash sleeves. One sleeve in the Montauk, and the other sleeve in the Striper. I can only use one boat at a time, so the radio will go in the boat we use that day, then taken out at night and stored in the house till needed again. It's an ideal solution as the radio wouldn't be subjected to the harsh marine/outdoor environment during layovers and off season storage, and I only invest in one radio. Does "Benzi Box" come to mind? Well, unfortunately it seems that pull out style AM/FM car radios have gone the way of such once famous 80's icons like Boy George and Frankie goes to Hollywood. Removable faceplates are the norm now, which doesn't work for my plan. Not only would I need two radios, but the bulk of the unit- sans the faceplate- would remain basically outdoors all year. The only pull out style (also known as "Anti-theft Pull out Chassis") radio's I could find still in production are made by that bastion of high quality products.. "Pyramid". They sell two models, the CDR22P and CDR25P. Both under $50 retail at Now I know that Pyramid is akin to Bayliner/Force in quality, but I haven't been able to find a quality company that produces "Anti-theft Pull out Chassis" AM/FM radios.


[Give me the name ] of a manufacturer besides Pyramid that makes pull out style AM/FM radios, or a indash style pull-out "Benzi Box" I could mount a DIN radio in? I can't use the sealed gimbal mount marine enclosures like the ones from Jensen- available at West Marine and online, because of the need to go with an in-dash style mount on my Striper with the in-dash hole already present. Sometimes you think your plans are soooooo simple.

bsmotril posted 02-28-2007 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Jensen Makes some nice ones with a removable control head. The chassis stays in the boat, but is pretty useless without the matched coded controls to operate the unit.
aja posted 03-01-2007 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for aja  Send Email to aja     
Car radios are cheap enough that it would seem to make more sense to just buy one for each boat and be done with it. Keeping them out of the weather on an open console boat is another problem altogether, but if a simple AM/FM and maybe CD player is all you're after then you will almost certainly do better buying two cheapie radios than trying to locate a removable unit with two chasis.

Whaler_bob posted 03-01-2007 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob    
I guess if I can't find a better manufacturer than Pyramid, I could just buy two of the CDR25P models for $45 each on Amazon. This way I'd have the two in-dash sleeves I need, and I'd actually have a spare radio too- all for around $100.
Still, I'd rather have a better brand than Pyramid, but if that's all there is as far as a pull out style radios, so be it.
where2 posted 03-01-2007 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
The last Pyramid car radio products I owned worked flawlessly for years. Even better, the thief left them when he ran off with the Kenwood amplifier (which had really lousy specs, 4x20w at 5%THD).

I would put a few extra coats of high quality paint on the slide-in bracket, and enjoy the pyramids. You might get more life out of it than my father seems to be getting with his Sony, and the marine grade unit from west marine that he just replaced. He gets roughly 24 months at best out of the removable face plate radios. Then the boards inside corrode to the point where they stop working. He disassembles them, determines their failure mode, and ultimately replaces them. He went with the ultra cheapy this time. I think it was still slightly more than the Pyramid you quoted, but they are all disposable for under $100. Keeping it inside the house when it's not being used will help greatly!! (Dads boat is always covered when not in use, and the radio has a waterproof snapping lid, but the humidity in the console seems to eat the circuit boards!)

Whaler_bob posted 03-02-2007 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob    
Looks like we share the same philosophy on marine electronics. The little research I've done seem to confirm your findings that I really can't expect to get more than 24 months out of a removable faceplate AM/FM radio (which is exactly the length of time my last removable faceplate Kenwood AM/FM radio lasted in my Striper). My boat(s) are always covered when not used, and I believe that contributes to the corrosion of the boards inside the radio. The so-called "Marine" grade AM/FM radios seem to be the exact same units as the automotive grade radios with the only difference being the faceplate is simply painted marine white. My brother in-law's AM/FM radio just died in his boat too- he got exactly two seasons out of it. It's a shame they can't make a good AM/FM marine radio like the marine VHF radio's that last forever.
On the subject of the in-dash sleeve, I'm planning to spray paint it with Galvex compound before installing it in the dash. I used a pull-out style radio in one of my boats some years ago, and had good results with the Galvex spray on the sleeve. Come to think of it, that cheap-o Radio Shack brand pull-out style radio lasted five years and went when I sold that boat (17 foot Sea Ox).

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