34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
Awesome little bit of kit.... Heavy made, uses a li-po battery. Crank is like something off an M1 Abrams main battle tank. Am reception is ok, FM reception is very good, wx reception is pretty good. Charges iPhone 4 no problem. Not crazy about the goofy ring to change bands/modes. And for such a heavy duty unit, it has a tiny fragile little telescopic whip.
One issue... All the text on the unit ("Volume" "Tuning" "AM FM WB1 etc" "Eton" "Rover") rubbed right off! I was holding it with one hand and cranking with the other and noticed one of the words was smudged... not thirty seconds later I had completely rubbed off EVERY bit of text on the unit as if it were never there. I know some people have some kind of harsh sweat that does this sort of thing but I have never had anything do this before. I don't really mind, I know what the controls do and I actually think it looks better this way but it all just rubbed right off!! Like it was written with dry erase marker!! I know this will cause a problem with some users at the worst possible time.
59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
The device charges my HTC Evo phone via USB. I think it is one of the only hand crank flashlights on the market that can charge smartphones. I assume it would charge the iPhone 4 as well. Out of the box I plugged it into my phone with an extended battery it went from 50% to 60% charge before the battery on the flashlight was completely dead. It could be useful to charge your phone to get you by in a pinch however if your main goal is to have a self powered way to charge your smartphone without connecting to the grid you may want to reconsider. A cheaper external battery pack that can fully charge your phone may be a better option even if you have to recharge the battery pack via AC or DC power.
Around 30 seconds of hand cranking gave me over 30 minutes of LED lighting. That was pretty impressive. The flashlight is pretty bright and covers a wide area. The beam is fairly focused as well. However because this unit is quite large it would be pretty hard to use as your everyday flashlight.
The unit is built fairly solid and looks great but I can tell a drop from a few feet onto a hard surface would probably cause some damage. Luckily it comes with a strap so you can attach it around your wrist to reduce the chance of an accidental drop. It would be nice if there was a hand grip but their isn't.
In the San Francisco Bay Area I was barely able to receive any radio stations indoors. There were a few AM stations that came in but FM was all static. My cheap alarm radio without an external antenna can pick up pretty much any station whereas this device can't. There are several weather stations that are preprogrammed on the dial. All of those come in clear.
Overall this is good product but kind of expensive for what you get. In retrospect I would have been better off getting a small flashlight, radio, and external cellphone battery pack for a emergency kit.
Update: After having this thing for a month I realized the dial that switches between AM/FM/Weather radio is loose. If I hold the dial with a solid grip the radio stations come in clear however as soon as I release it pure static. Most likely I got a radio with a manufacturing defect. Hopefully others that order this product wont have the same problem and have to deal with returning it to amazon. Even if everything worked perfectly I still would only give this 3 stars based on the cost/value.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2011
This unit is convenient, well designed and handy. It is lighter, smaller and in some ways more capable than its more expensive Axis brother and the FR series units. More advanced battery (Li-Poly). Greater charge in less crank time. Fully chargeable using a USB cord attached to an AC adapter. When fully charged, the radio can run for hours. Can charge cellphones when you are NOT cranking unlike other units. Analogue tuning allows use both in the United States and overseas. Digital units do not have that capability.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2011
Just arrived, had it out of the box for an hour so far. Ill update this comment with cell phone charging tests and longevity battery life. So far so good..... At first I didnt like the way the flash light button depressed. It felt squishy but then I realized its good to go and also you dont have to fully depress the button so you can kind of use it like a strobe function. Button just needed a little breaking in. Picked up some FM stations, tested the weather, cranked it a few times. Flash light came bright out of the box, its enough to light up a dark room thats for sure. This is no piece of junk, I cant wait to put it to the cell phone test, after about 2 hours of research this is the self powered radio I chose. Prettyyyyyyyyy cool. Little expensive but worth it. Going in my bug out bag, already found a little hershey kisses tin to keep it in to protect it from weather and crunches.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
It is compact while providing a lot of options. I like the fact that it contains a flashlight, a radio (including emergency channels) and can charge a USB device. It is very sturdy and the crank does not feel like it would easily break. Overall, a good item to have especially when living in San Francisco where we expect the 'big one' anytime soon!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
I bought this as a christmas present for my boyfriend. He absolutely LOVES it and actually uses it just to listen to the radio all the time because he's having so much fun with it (I may have to buy us a second one for legit camping trips :p)
I can't go too much into detail because it stays with him, but I can say it is well made, employs beautiful design, and is efficient. He said he only cranked it for a few seconds as a test and was able to listen to the radio for some ungodly amount of time. Needless to say he is more than impressed with the crank-to-radio time ratio.
I was leaning towards going with a cheaper crank radio because we don't have a lot of money, but quality is also extremely important to me. After pulling my hair out over the cheap models that didn't have the combination of features I wanted, the crank capacity, or just the quality I was hoping to provide in a gift, I finally accepted that you get what you pay for and this is a superior product. You will not regret this purchase, and it is definitely worth the price jump over the $15 models from other brands.
I saw these for sale in the Sharper Image store at my local mall...if they are still in stock you may want to stop by a store and get a feel for this in person.
The only criticism I have is that the writing rubs off easily. The labels for dials and any other writing on the piece is a kind of chalky material and was a horrible decision by Eton...I was able to easily scratch off part of a word just lightly using my fingernail to test it out.
Just make sure you get to know it and what the dials are before putting it through heavy use in case the writing rubs off.
Other than that problem I would have given it 5 stars. Truly a superior product.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up as an Amazon Gold Box deal at a substantial discount.
My initial impression was that at the price I paid, it would have been an okay product. If I had paid full price, however, I would have been unhappy.
Well, having had it for a month or so, I don't think it is worthwhile, even at half-price.
First and foremost, this is an emergency device. As such, several minutes of hand cranking will provide enough of a charge to the lithium-ion battery to provide several minutes of listening. Nope, no mistake: several minutes, not several hours. You can also charge the battery via the USB port connected to a computer or a 5v DC charger. The manufacturer says a fully charged battery will provide about 20 minutes of listening. My experience has been more than an hour before the power starts to fade.
The unit will charge a cell phone if you have the appropriate cable. The USB to mini-USB cable provided will work with many cell phones, but be careful: many contemporary phones have a micro-USB port, not mini-USB. The manufacturer says 7 minutes of hand cranking will provide a sufficient charge for 5 minutes of talk time.
Clearly this device is intended for intermittent use in emergency situations.
Radio reception on AM bands is pretty good, with all major stations in Chicago being received - if you can tune them in. The tuning is very finicky and irritating when you are trying to receive even a strong clear channel station. FM reception, using retractable antenna, is good with all area FM stations being received. Tuning is not as finicky on FM. There are seven NOAA weather channels and the channel for the Chicago area came in loud and clear.
Speaker volume is surprisingly good, though signal reception is very sensitive to orientation. An AM signal may sound great with the unit in a vertical position, while it is awful in a horizontal position in the same location.
Overall design is good, the unit fitting nicely in one hand and all controls readily accessible. A handstrap is provided. The unit can be positioned horizontally or vertically or flat on its face or back. A three LED flashlight has a separate switch and provides a lot of illumination.
In all, the finickiness of AM tuning and small battery capacity have turned me off, even at the half-off I paid.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2014
I bought one of these Red Cross Eton Rover crank radios primarily because I wanted a crank-powered NOAA band radio. The LED flashlight is a plus. The cell phone charger might be great (there's a standard USB and a mini USB port protected by a rubber plug, so it certainly fits my phone's USB charging cord), but I have not tried charging my phone with it. In any event, I give this radio a solid 5 stars. Why? I bought it 2 and a half years ago. When I first got it, I cranked it up to make sure it worked, then tossed it in the closet. About a year later we were going on a car trip and so I tossed it in the back of the subaru next to the spare tire. At that time I cranked it and checked again to make sure it was working. It has been in the car since then (about a year and some months I guess)-- definetly it was out there during some of the hottest days and also more recently some of the coldest (Wisconsin, so I am talking110F and minus 10F). Today, I happened to pull it out of the back of the subaru and brought it in the house. I expected the battery would be dead. But as I was carrying it in, I happened to bump the switch and the radio came on. Then I checked the LED, which also worked. Mind you, I hadn't cranked it yet since whenever. So, pretty good, I'd say. Just for grins, I tried to get a NOAA weather station, and yup, that still works fine too. So yeah, for $23-30, 5 stars. No problem. BTW, the LED flashlight works great. I have an old crank flashlight that has a different kind of bulb (xenon? halogen? no clue -- but which I now find cannot be replaced), and the ETON LEDs are quite good enough for emergency lighting. Again, I have not tried the charger function. Like I said, I just wanted the weather band radio, but was pleased to get a lot more for the price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I bought this at radio shack, on sale for a few dollars
cheaper than here, they had the mini radio and the larger units with all the bells and whistles with the solar cells on them. I chose this one because it felt sturdy the mini didn't have good reception on the radio side? and wasn't as clear as this one. the bigger units had nice radio features, but was lacking on light? but they also had the solar cells for charging? After going 3 days and nights, under a power blackout,with no electric, and no radio,or weather radio, and running down all my flashlights? I decided on this one. Mike at Radio Shack let me test each one, And if it is true the markings comes off? after a little wear? believe me you won't be able to see the markings in the dark anyway? so after I bought this, about a day later a storm came through, and the power went down for about 4 hours. the weather station was nice and clear, the radio stations was nice and clear also! 30 seconds of cranking, gave me about a hours worth of light, which was bright! and it is easy to carry with you. Yes I would recommend this for any Blackout!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
I bought several of these for myself and family. A few weeks later the power went out and there were tornado watches. We were able to listen to the weather report and know just what was happening. Highly recommend it for anyone! This product charges within minutes by turning the crank. I'd guess about five minutes on the crank is half-hour on the radio or the flashlight. It has a super bright LED flashlight. It has a AM/FM and weather radio with speaker and headphone jack. It also features plugs for charging a device via USB cord or another mini plug. The plugs and headphone jack are covered by rubber to protect them from dust and liquid when not in use. It also features a hand strap that we used to hang it from a wall hook to use the light as a "lantern" for an entire room.