rimfirehunter's Emergency Radio's with small review.

Discussion in 'Survival Zone' started by rimfirehunter, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Everyone needs an emergency radio!

    I have a couple dedicated Emergency Radio's, and a couple that I use when I am out and about and have no access to electricity. Here's a pic of my radio's and a short description of each, along with my opinion based on personal expierence.

    rimfire's Emergency Radio's

    Coby CX-17 (Top Left): I purchased this radio to carry around in my GHB/Vehicle pack 24/7. It's small, light and cost a whopping $5 at Wal Mart or Fred's, forgot which store I purchased at. The radio is powered by 2 AA batteries, has ear phone jack, telescoping antenna, selectior switch for FM/TV1/WB and AM/TV2 bands, volume and ban selector dials.

    Pro's: Not much unless you like the price.

    Con's: Reception is very poor even on the FM band, it will only pick up the most powerful stations that are close by. Same goes with the AM and TV band. The WB is virtually useless on this radio. Dials are small and hard to use. Dont buy this radio unless you just want to blow $5 on something that has no use.

    Innovage Outdoor(Top Right): Picked this radio up a few years back during a power outage, think I got it from Dollar General for around $7. The radio has AM/FM and WB with a selector switch on the left side for each band. Also on the left side is a charging port, or you can operate the radio using the AC/DC adapter when you have electricity. The right side has a selector switch for using standard dry cell batteries or the rechargable battery and hand crank dynamo charger. Top of the radio you will find a small telescoping antenna, channel dial and volume/on/off dial. The radio is powered by an internal nimh battery pack, which is not accessable, or two AA batteries.

    Pro's: AM/FM reception is good either inside or outside the house. Price was good, AA battery life is good and the NiMH rechargables last a long time when fully charged by an AC/DC adapter.

    Con's: The WB reception on my radio is iffy at best and the unit is thick for a hand held radio. The dynamo crank handle is not secured in the radio very well, basically it just pop's in place and if you use a lot of force or dont have a good hold on the radio while cranking the handle will come off.

    Grundig FR200 (Bottom Left): This was a Christmas gift from the wife a few years back because she felt sorry for me when I was using the Innovage radio during a power outage and the handle kept falling off while charging. The FR200 comes packed with features, is very well made, handles and knobs are well placed and easy to use, tuning is pretty precise and the band/station window chart is easy to read. The radio is powered by a removable/replaceable NiMH battery pack, 3 standard AA batteries or can be ran on an AC/DC adapter, which can also be used to charge the NiMH battery pack. In the event you need to recharge the radio on the go Grundig has included a Dynamo hand crank charger. The hand crank is very well made and I have not had any issues with it at all.

    The FR200 has AM/FM and two SW bands, the band selector switch is a large recessed trun knob on the lower right front of the unit. The unit also has a small light and yes you can replace the bulk if needed. The flash light and power selector switch sit just above the band selector, both are very good switchs and in my opinion it was be kinda hard to accidentally turn one on. The power switch in a three position slide type and allows you to turn the radio off, use regular batteries or the dynamo, AC/DC adapter and NiMH pack.

    Reception is really good with the FR200 on all bands, but when you are outside a building the more distant, weaker, stations come in a lot better. The band tuning dial is great because it has an outside dial for general tuning and a inside dial for fine tuning. The fine tuner works great for bringing in weak stations and especially those on the SW bands.

    The unit has a nice sturdy carry handle, telescoping antenna, good quality nylon carry case and a good instruction booklet that also has good info on world wide SW stations.

    Pro's: Great little radio, durable and well made. Price was around $39 at Radio Shack. Makes a great camping/home/vehicle travel radio.

    Con's: This unit lacks the Weather Band and in my opinion that's one of the most important bands to have on any emergency radio. A bit too large to pack around in a GHB but would work great for a modular vehicle carried BOB.

    Midland NOAA Weather Radio (Lower Right): This is a desk/table Weather Radio using an AC power cord for primary power or 3 standard AA batteries for backup. The unit can be unplugged and carried to where ever you need it and run off the batteries. Every home, office and business should have a Weather Radio similar to this.

    I just purchased this radio a couple weeks ago, to replace a handheld unit I had that simply quit working, so I cant give a detailed review because I have not had time to tinker with it much. I can say that it has a nice LCD digital display that's easy to read, has backlight option, nice rubber coated push button selectors and has the ability to be preset with SAME codes and All Hazard Alerts. The unit has a RCA type external antenna jack, telescoping antenna, PC jack, external alert jack and an on/off switch in case you want to turn the unit off. The nearest NOAA station to me is about 25 miles away and in my house I get good reception provided I have the antenna extended.

    Pro's: Cost under $40 at Wal Mart and its a must have item for the home.

    Con's: Have not found any yet other than it has no AM/FM capabilities

    Other Radio's: I have tested a few raido's that were owned by other people of gave them a test run in the store. Here's some links to the ones I would either buy or will be buying later one.

    Midland ER-102 Emergency Crank Radio with Weather Channels: This will be my next radio and it retails at Radio Shack for $49.99. I have always had good luck with Midland brand products so if anyone has seen a bad review on this radio please post the link.

    Dynamo Emergency Crank Radio with AM/FM/SW/TV/NOAA Bands: This radio also comes with 2 USB cables and 5 Cell Phone adapter tips so you can charge a cell phone with the hand crank dynamo. The radio looked like it would be a good unit to have and it retails for $39.99 at Radio Shack.

    Eton American Red Cross FR300 Multi-Purpose Radio: Seems to be very similar to the Grundig radio's and from what I have seen they work very well. Price is $49.99 at Radio Shack.

    Grundig Mini 300 AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio: I want one of these as a replacement to my useless Coby pocket radio. These worked great in the store and I kinda like the more precise digital tuner and LCD screen. Wish it had WB though. Price is $29.99 at Radio Shack.

  2. wow, I know nada about radios - this serves as a great start to my search for one (or two). Thanks for taking the time to post!
  3. Z28Driver

    Z28Driver Member

    Rimfirehunter - thanks for the great post. I am going to get some kind of radio this week! This info is a great start!!

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    I have a copy of your Innovage Outdoor called Lifelong I got it at Wallgreens for about $10.00 I don't have any trouble with the handle at all as it stays on. I also have an earlyer version of your little grundig pocket job they are nice but ya I gotta agree on WX band. I also have the Rad Shack portable wx moniter it is nice [cat # 12-259] I can adjust it from 1 county to 10 counties and decide which alerts I want to block also has SAME technology

    A suggestion for anyone who gets a weather[WX] monitor get one that has SAME tech. as this will let you monitor just the areas you want to set it. If you get the older type without it yopur gonna be hearing alerts all the time from distant counties.
    SAME Tech works by giving each county in a state a code number. You program in this code for each county round you that you want to moniter for emergency inormation [not just weather related amymore] even Amber Aleets and poosibly later on Terror alerts affecting your area.

    I truly believe this is something everyone should have in homes and on you mine is run by 3 AA batteries or can run off a power pack 6 volts wich you can run off at home or in your vehicle has a sturdy clip that hooks on your belt and swivels around as well

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

  6. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Good post, RFH!!
    I never thought of that aspect of simple radio as of yet for my GHB/BOB...worrying mainly about the weight, what is truly needed/wanted at this point...

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Had to do some checking on my little Grundig it is a Grundig Mini 100 I got it in 1998 or 99 from a friend who runs a radio shop It has een my liitle friend for years now is in my BOB with spare batteries I have dropped it and banged it around a bit with normal everday carrying either in the pocket or with the belt clip.
    What ever radio you get my advise would be to try it out in diferent areas and keep an earphone with it I keep my earphone in a filmcanister right with it
  8. vallen

    vallen Member

    I have the Grundig- It's a great little radio. Runs off the dynamo (which you can have charged and ready with a wall wart) AA's, or crank to charge.

    Anyone have a police Scanner? I was doing some research on them, seems like you are stuck with lots of the NASCAR type scanners under $100. Most larger/newer equipped LE agencies are using 'trunked' frequencies- which add $$$. If i get a used non-trunking scanner will i be able to hear LE or No? I'm in a Medium sized market (closest to Austin, TX).

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    I've been a scanner buff for over 30 years http://www.radioreference.com/ will give you all the info you need
    Alot of citys and counties as well as state police are getting Homeland Security grants for communication. One of the requirements for them to get thi money is they have to change over to digital frequencies and 99% are also encrypting them so no scanner will pick them up. Some FD's are going along with it as well but some are not gonna be dictated to by the feds so they are still on analog also with PD yopu have FD EMS ans well as some city and towns chatting away as well as businesses and you can also monitot FRS GMRS as well as hams chatting. If you get a good scanner you can also here aircraft on the acircraft bands that is cool listening too as well as railroads and taxis and a whole slew of stuff.
    Just sit back do some research as to what you are really interested in listening to and get the right scanner for what you want to get I would recommend thou you consider a portable scanner anyway as it works even in a power failure on batteries and you can carry it with you Try to get one that runs on AA or AAA batteries as these are the easyist ones to keep batteries around for
  10. vallen

    vallen Member

    Any recommended models that are versatile and under $100-$200?
    Austin TX is a "digital trunking" city and all of the older scanners are useless to follow a conversation.
    (Since it's the Capitol, and we have lots of other Federales here)

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    http://www.radioreference.com/ might be able to help you I've been out of the scanner picture I just listen to what I can no money for the new ones :D