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Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360
A clear, loud and digital-savvy worksite radio/charger and power supply
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 4-5-2011
Remember when worksite radios had an AM/FM tuner, a battery charger and maybe an outlet or two? If your worksite radio was high-end for that period you might even have a CD player built in. The early worksite radio offerings from Bosch had those features and usually a couple more to lead the industry in features. They have upped the ante a bunch with their Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360. And they made it better by leaving out the CD player! Read on ye’ of little faith.
The Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 maintains the radio in a roll cage look from the original series but there is a load of updated technology being protected by that aluminum and composite framework. At 14-1/2”-deep by 13-1/2”-tall and 14”-wide the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is just a touch smaller than previous versions.
However, the 25-lb weight suggests that the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is densely packed with the electronic guts that make the features happen. I suspect that the five speakers contribute to the weight also.
The “360” part of the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 moniker comes from having a speaker in all four corners, angled upwards. Bosch also added a 5”-diameter subwoofer in the bottom of the case, pointed downward to make hollow cabinets that it might be set on assist in producing the bass tones. That speaker layout means that the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 sounds the same from anywhere in the room. And if you crank it up, maybe from rooms in the house next door as well.
While the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 appears capable of producing sound levels quite a bit louder than its predecessor and doing that with dramatically improved sound quality there will be some who will not agree. If you are looking for Marshall-stack-loud, use the output plug to run the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 through a Marshall stack. If you want loud for the workplace, you probably will not keep the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 turned up all the way for long. For a worksite radio the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 excels in clarity and volume over anything else I have heard.
Don’t Miss the CD
If you are still proud of yourself for getting over 8-tracks and leaping up to a CD-player you might need a teenager to explain some of the following to you. In place of a CD-drive the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 has something called a Media Bay. Behind that door are connections/ports for connecting MP3 Players, portable CD Players, SD/MMC Memory Cards and USB Thumb Drive Storage devices. You also will find Aux 1 IN, Aux 2 IN and Line OUT Ports though which you can hook up everything from many cell phones and perhaps even an antique “Walkman” or whatever that old fashioned technology was called. I just know that someone has one of those on his belt right now…... They even put a 12V DC Adapter that works like the old cigarette lighter sockets in cars as a place to charge your cell phones and power an array of mobile devices. The bay even has an integrated Sirius Satellite Radio-ready Universal Docking Capability for use with select Sirius devices. (This is pay radio that you have to subscribe to, not through Bosch)
Another bay on the back of the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 lets you charge many Bosch battery packs like BAT607, BAT609, BAT614 and BAT618. A graphical “charging” indicator on the front LED panel keeps you apprised of the charging progress.
If the power fails you can plug in a charged battery pack in the Charging Bay but now the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 will use that battery power to operate the radio and music systems. When AC power is restored it switches over to charging the battery pack that it was just running on. When the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is running on the battery the GFI and 12V sockets are not functional.
The Charging Bay also has a compartment for 2 AA batteries (included) that keep the digital clock running when the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is not plugged in.
The front and top of the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 are devoted to a large LCD display and an impressive array of audio and playback controls. The top has only two things, a carry handle and a real remote control that is set into the handle when it is not in use. The remote can be taken out and carried with you or clipped to a key chain so that you can mute your tunes when the boss calls to see if you are actually working. The remote is effective from up to 40 feet away. The remote lets you control most functions like turning the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 on and off, changing where it is getting the music from and how loud it is playing.
The backlit front control panel lets you do things like put your favorite 20 FM stations into memory. They even provide 10 memory slots just to humor people who continue to cling to AM radio. The Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 comes with a number of preset equalizer settings plus you can create your own Custom sound.
In the Shop
There isn’t much to say about playing a radio other than that the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 sounds great, is easy to operate and covers my two-car garage shop space with the music that I want. I like being able to put my favorite tunes on an SD card rather than CD’s because the SD card holds as many tunes as a bunch of CD’s and lives inside the Media Bay where I can’t hurt it with anything that I normally use in the shop. The CD’s that I used to store in a shop drawer appear to have perished amongst the clamps and pliers that live there also.
The remote is a great idea for any shop because you can mute the tunes when the phone rings without having to leave whatever machine you are working on. I also like being able to change between the radios preset stations or change to my SD card when commercial radio gets carried away with the commercials.
I am not using all of the Media Bay capabilities right now knowing that they are there keeps my music-bearing options open for when I take the next technological step into modern living. Besides I doubt that Bosch loaded up the Media Bay with expectations that everyone would use everything. They do have something for most everyone and when the rest of us find a teenager we can play as well. Suffice it to say that the Media Bay lets you put together the music you want so you can literally “tune out” the rest of the world when your mood requires the solitude.
I know that the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is not a “must have tool” for building projects but for many of us, having some good tunes in the shop just makes it a more relaxing place and that makes me a more enjoyable person to be around. The Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 you options for creating your own song lists to create the atmosphere you enjoy most. The extra GFI outlets are also nice to have, especially when I am using the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 and some tools outdoors.
With a street price of just $260.00 or so (4-4-2011) the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 is a good deal considering all of the things it does. I can get radios cheaper but they don’t charge my Bosch batteries or have GFI outlets that I can use. Besides, the Bosch PB360D Power Box™ 360 with its aluminum roll cage surrounding it just looks cool even when it’s not rocking my world.
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