Eton FR150 Angle View

Eton FR150 recharge­able flash­light / radio

UPDATE 2021:  Over the years, I have found emer­gency radios to be essen­tial lit­tle tools whether you need them in an emer­gency or not.  I used one dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Sandy to stay informed about the sur­round­ing met­ro­pol­i­tan area.  In addi­tion, pri­or to those lit­tle blue tooth bat­tery-pow­ered speak­ers, I used to take one of these emer­gency radios camp­ing because I did­n’t need to wor­ry about bat­ter­ies (typ­i­cal­ly) due to the small solar pan­el on top.

Since then, I have also added baofengs, short wave radios, etc as well for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and opsec.


So, this week I real­ized I did­n’t have a radio in my Bug-Out-Bag, or one that I could take camp­ing with me.  I set out to find some­thing that could be used in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, as well as every day if I want­ed to.  What I found was a small hand­held, solar recharge­able, crank charge­able radio with weath­er band as well as AM/FM.  What I found when it arrived was some­thing bet­ter than I had expect­ed.    It was small­er than I had expect­ed, and lit­er­al­ly almost fits in the palm of my hand, has sur­pris­ing­ly good recep­tion with the small anten­na, and the speak­er is much bet­ter than I had expect­ed.  The exte­ri­or top has a flash­light switch and a solar cell on it to recharge the bat­tery.  If you are in a low-light sit­u­a­tion, you can crank the han­dle to recharge the bat­ter­ies.  I find this to be an excel­lent lit­tle radio/survival device.

ETON is the man­u­fac­tur­er, how­ev­er, I had not heard of them before.  I decid­ed to pur­chase this any­way and found out that the Amer­i­can Red Cross endors­es this radio as well and sells it online too.

Basi­cal­ly, I pur­chased this to throw in my BoB or to throw in my car for camp­ing, hik­ing, etc.  It seems rugged, and well con­struct­ed for the $30.00 cost.  The bat­tery seems to last, although i real­ly have not put it through its paces yet, or have had to charge it via the solar cell.  It does have a USB port to charge it, so I can charge it with my iPod charg­er in the car, as well if need­ed.  Over­all, I think this is a good pur­chase because of its porta­bil­i­ty and qual­i­ty build.

UPDATE 2021: Pit­falls… The major pit­fall I have found with these radios, is the recharge­able bat­ter­ies, are typ­i­cal­ly aver­age at best, and when they even­tu­al­ly die, you may not want to toss your radio, but replace them.  It was dif­fi­cult to find the right bat­ter­ies to replace in the radios.  In one case I had a bat­tery store go out of busi­ness before they could get me the prop­er replace­ments.

Because of the bat­tery replace­ment issue, I have on more than one occa­sion had to toss a set of these radios, and replace them.  There are var­i­ous brands out there, and they all seem to come from Chi­na… I say replace the units as you need to, they’re not over­ly expen­sive or start build­ing your own pow­er plant to pow­er your small devices.  A post on this com­ing up soon

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