Hand crank radio has changed the way the outdoor community and survivalists listen to important information via the shortwave or FM broadcast bands. Innovation has been swift, with new products looking nothing like the first generation of self powered radios and hosting features that help to power the other personal tech we rely on daily.
Eton in particular have taken to producing hand crank products at a high rate and listed below are 3 of these radios, all based around the hand turbine principal that makes small self powered radio possible.
Eton American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank Radio
FRX3 Quick Specs
The American Red Cross FRX3 has been one of Eton,s best success stories when it comes to self powered radios.
Its robust flat cube design adds the sort of structural strength needed and allows all the controls/output to be kept out of harms way. Any controls and outputs fitted on the front and back of the emergency radio are low profile in nature or protected by covers.
The radio itself can either be power from disposable batteries, from the built in NiMH rechargeable battery, the solar panel or energy produced by you and the hand turbine. Take the disposable batteries out of the equation and you’ve got a 3 way renewable power source selection that will keep the radio running indefinitely.
The internal battery is at the heart of the FRX3 and along with keeping the radio powered, provides a stable charge socket for media devices and smartphones. Keeping things simple this output is run through a standard USB lead to give maximum compatibility over many personal tech models.
As long as the built in NiMH battery is charged, topping up your phone is no different from using a mains power charger.
Powered from a set of AAA’s or the internal NiMH battery is a 3 L.E.D flashlight. The position of the flashlight in one end of the case means the light beam can be directed while being able to comfortable carry the FRX3.
The light section also contains the emergency light beacon which gives out the typical red flashing signal.
Apart from the ever useful inclusion of NOAA weather channels this radio has a glow in the dark strip mounted in the top panel. The placement does mean the radio has to be positioned a certain way to find it in the dark and maybe a strip all around the outside of the case would really bring this feature home.
What’s In The Box?
Dimensions : 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
Weight : 1.6 pounds
Eton FRX5 Hand Crank Emergency Radio
FRX5 Quick Specs
The FRX5 is a more up to date version of the first Eton radio above and although the basic principles are the same its a little slimmer. All the important aspects are there with the NOAA and S.A.M.E alert weather systems along with multiple renewable charging options.
Connections have been moved to the side panel in this version instead of hidden away on the back.The back plate is now one solid piece that covers up the holes the FRX3 had in the middle and somehow makes this model look more serious.
Eton NFR160WXR Microlink Self-Powered Radio with Flashlight
Microlink Quick Specs
Getting back to the more conventional wind up design is Eton’s “Microlink” radio. Meant to be handled more like a torch than the 2 Eton models above it does offer a much smaller overall case size.
Tuner is analogue and Eton have kept all the controls on a single slide switch, which can only make operation easier when using the Microlink at night.