Thoughts on cheapo/import crank/solar radios

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John in WI

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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.
 
that was my experience too. I got one at a y2k expo. It had some novelty value, but that was about it. Some good makers have them. Sangean, Grundig... but I can't shell out hundreds for it. I'm with you--if the cheapos are crap, then I need to just get a standard am/fm/wb radio.
 
We have both a crank radio and solar am/fm radio. We have tested both, even down in our cement underground storm cellar at out BOL and they both work fine. and reception is pretty decent for being as remoe as our BOL is. I think our two ran around $30 as my husband doesn't spring for pricey gear as a rule ;) . Sorry, don't off-hand know the brands of either one.
 
Grundig FR-200. AM/FM/SW. A shortwave band is of more use than a weather band post SHTF. I want to know what's going on outside my local bubble. I own two of these and are good performers on BCB as well as SW. You can find them all over E-bay for various prices. These were one of the models dropped in Afghanistan during the conflict to inform the general public of what was happening in their country.

1653581345124.png
 
Grundig FR-200. AM/FM/SW. A shortwave band is of more use than a weather band post SHTF. I want to know what's going on outside my local bubble. I own two of these and are good performers on BCB as well as SW. You can find them all over E-bay for various prices. These were one of the models dropped in Afghanistan during the conflict to inform the general public of what was happening in their country.

View attachment 16391
Wow--thanks for that. There are a number on Fleabay for well under $30. The new prices on Amazon is around $150--just outside the current budget. I'm glad I read this, I was about to pull the trigger on some cheaper Chinese imports. I had a Grundig Yatch Boy that I really loved. Lost in the move unfortunately.
 
Grundig FR-200. AM/FM/SW. A shortwave band is of more use than a weather band post SHTF. I want to know what's going on outside my local bubble. I own two of these and are good performers on BCB as well as SW. You can find them all over E-bay for various prices. These were one of the models dropped in Afghanistan during the conflict to inform the general public of what was happening in their country.

View attachment 16391
I found one of these on ebay and ordered. It arrived today!
 
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.
I picked up C Crane Solar Observers, it has performed very well and they have the reception that C Crane is known for. They have AM/FM/Weather. They use crank, solar, or 3 double A batteries to operate. It can also take a a universal AC adapter. They are small (not tiny), has a dial that lights up for (non covert) night use. They can take head phones and has a phone charging jack. I paid 30.00 for mine, but bought 5 so my kids could have one to use in the event of power/cell phone disruption. I also keep one in a faraday container, just as a back up. I have no regrets on mine.
 

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