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Recommendations for hand crank radios?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Translator, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Translator

    Translator Gorge Member

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    I was on Beprepared.com today and almost bought one of their Kaito Solarcrank 500 "Voyager" radios, but dropped it after reading some customer reviews on Amazon. The negative reviews said the cranks broke, reception was spotty, 2 min of cranking supplied sufficient power for 1.5 min of radio listening, and the solar cells did not charge the battery very well. One review said the Kaito 1103 has excellent reception, so the brand seems to be reliable, but the 1103 is battery-powered with no crank.
    Does anyone have experience with this radio, or another hand-cranked radio?
    I am in the market for a hand-cranked radio, with or without solar cells, that has dependable reception. Any comments are welcome.
     
  2. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    Hi, I saw some crank radios at Farm store outlet for 1/2 off wholesale price. Call David or Micheal to see if they still have them. 503-678-3276. Be well.
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have a old Heathkit Mohican communications reciever (think 1960's transistor shorthwave reciever) It operates on 8 C cells and will listen for hours a day for weeks off a set of batteries.

    I suggest you look for one of the newer small Shortwave receivers that is battery powered and rig up an external battery pack for it. Something designed to operate off a single 9V would run for a very long time off a battery pack made from D cells. Radioshack sells battery holders. And the little power jacks,.
     
  4. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    My only "dynamo" type emergency radio is a Freeplay Plus. I've had it for a number of years and would buy it again. None of these low cost emergency radios work anywhere near as well as a desk top communications receiver or even a true portable shortwave receiver... but they work well enough and the crank feature will work when your batteries are gone. Mine also works via built-in solar cells and will play all day if you set it out in the sun. In fact, when I'm working outside on a sunny day, I frequently take it out and listen to local AM stations on solar power.
     
  5. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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  6. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    All the recommendations have been good but are not for radios with similar capabilities. Understand the bands you want to receive and that some radios include an assortment of shortwave bands, NOAA weather, broadcast AM and FM etc. You generally pay more for more reception options. You can get by with less expense if you don't care about shortwave.
     
  7. Translator

    Translator Gorge Member

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    QM, the Freeplay Plus is no longer made, but it seems to have had a good reputation. I will keep the reception options<>price tradeoff in mind. Decker, that Eton FR360 looks interesting and I will check it out at Radio Shack, hopefully they will let me turn it on and check reception in the store. Another model that has some potential is the Midland Base Camp Radio, but the reviews for it are kind of spotty. At least they don't talk about the crank breaking off.
     
  8. sailorman2010

    sailorman2010 Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    There is a South African company that produces a nice hand crank radio, I just can't remember the name of it. Its stored away at a different location.

    Try typing in "South African Hand Crank Radio" in google.

    Sorry I couldn't be a better help.
     
  9. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Some of these crank radios let you re-charge your cel phone - anyone have experience doing this? The review for one of them (Eton 160?) said it fried the person's iPhone.
     
  10. Translator

    Translator Gorge Member

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    Thanks for the note. I found a ham radio bulletin board where they discussed it. That company produced the Freeplay Plus QM mentioned above.
    Dang, Sun195, I'll have to be cautious about trying to recharge my cell phone, not an iPhone, off whatever I buy then...
     
  11. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Well I just pulled the Eton 160 out of the drawer in the kitchen and plugged my Incredible-2 into the usb port and cranked on it for about 3 minutes (in both directions) and nothing zapped or fried... that said... I think it would take a hella lot of cranking to fully charge up a cell phone battery. But, if that's all ya got available I suppose it'll get the job done. =)

    -d
     
  12. 9mmD

    9mmD sw wa Member

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    I have this one, and must say i am very impressed with it. Everything works as prommissed and the added frms radio is a bonus. Lasts a long time on the AA batteries and phone charger works. The range on the frms seems bout the same as most little handhelds.

    Product Card
     
  13. Translator

    Translator Gorge Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation 9mm. I wish I could afford one in that category...
     
  14. Fuzzbling

    Fuzzbling Lane County OR Member

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    I have the Eton Scorpion, and extremely happy with it;

    Product Card

    I purchased mine via REI for about $50 a couple years ago.
     
  15. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested only if it has solar charging. It's sure nice to just set it in the sun and charge it.
     
  16. Fuzzbling

    Fuzzbling Lane County OR Member

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    You should check out the one I linked above. All of Eton's current product line are solar.
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I noticed. Nice. I was just making a comment in general... :)