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Thoughts on cheapo/import crank/solar radios

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John in WI

Feb 12, 2022
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Hello folks, I was going to put this in the radio/communication forum but it seems way to pedestrian to go there.
I've been revamping some BOBs. One thing the BOB never had was any kind of radio. My immediate thought was to get a cheap, small AA cell powered AM/FM radio. But obviously, that mean spare batteries, and more things to lose, go dead, or get lost.

I like the idea of hand crank/solar/battery powered radios but the only experience I have with them was a cheapo I got around Y2K. It worked, technically, but you were cranking virtually constantly.

Amazon has a number of radios in the $20 range that appear to be ok. It isn't clear how long they take to charge in the sun, or how long you'd need to crank to get an hour of radio play. Also, durability is an issue. If the crank is junky and breaks, or the generator itself grenades, it isn't much use.

Can anyone recommend a lower cost AM/FM/Weather radio? Or an alternative idea? I don't have a ton of resources (do any of us?) so I can't spend a bundle on a radio that hopefully will never be pushed into service.