If you use a CoxBox, you've got to give it some love every once in a while. Caring for your CoxBox is straightforward but requires some special knowledge and the right tools to do it well. We sat down with Emma Overton, a CoxBox specialist at Nielsen-Kellerman, to get her thoughts on the most important things to do to make sure your CoxBox lasts for years. Here's what she had to say:
"One of the biggest things to watch for when using your CoxBox is to ensure you're pulling the charging wire and the wiring harness connector in the boat off the face of the CoxBox by the housing and not by the wires. Once or twice is alright, but thousands of times of pulling these out by the wires will cause a separation of the internal wiring, which will render the charging wire not to charge the 'Box and the wiring harness not to connect when in the boat because the wires have separated internally.
"When traveling, it's important to pack the headset and 'Box by loosely wrapping the microphone wire around the CoxBox (or leaving it in loose loops inside your bag). The audio cables are braided inside and if they kink and bend repeatedly, they'll fray and bulge out. Pack the parts separately. Unplug the microphone from the CoxBox and make sure the cable is spooled loosely. Try to remove any stress points on your CoxBox when transporting it to your next regatta.
"It's really important to keep your CoxBox clean. We recommend that you wash it every month with soapy water. If you cox in salt water, wash it every week or two. After every washing, rinse it off with clean water, pat it dry, clean out any debris from the holes in the connector posts and then coat each connector hole with just a dab of Nyogel (available in the CoxBox Maintenance Kit that NK sells). Use just a dab of Nyogel. The wire connectors rely on a vacuum seal in each of the holes, so be careful not to fill it with Nyogel - just a dab will work. This vacuum seal is also why keeping the connector ports free of debris is so important.
"Every month or so, take a peek at the battery connector (on the new style CoxBoxes that have the removeable battery packs). Remove the battery and, if the connector plates aren't very shiny, use a cotton swab and a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean off any corrosion.
"Keep it clean, clean out debris, take care of the wires and the battery connectors. That's it."