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Style: NSP101WXGR|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing my husband said about this when we opened the box is, 'This is so freakin' cool!"

It's compact, fairly light, and easy to carry around.

There is a digital time display on the side. This lights up when you push any button.

The AM/FM radio gets great reception. The range is shorter than, so you won't get as many channels. The sound is remarkably rich for such a small radio. It's not tinny, as I'd expected. One vital aspect is it gives you WB (Weather Broadcasting) radio, so you can keep track of storm activity. I live in Tampa Bay, Florida, where we get lots of thunderstorms and occasional hurricanes, knocking out our power. With this radio, we are always connected and know what's going on.

The 'mode' button on the device allows you to toggle between FM, AM, WB, and cell. The 'cell' option is for charging cell phones. This draws off the unit's battery.

The battery itself charges three different ways.
1. Plug the unit into the USB port on your computer or a USB wall charger.
2. There is a solar panel on the top of the unit. It will even draw power from a window, so you don't even need to put it outside.
3. This has a flip open hand crank that you can wind to charge the battery. It takes roughly 50 cranks to move up one bar on the battery life display. Cranking is simple and effortless, similar to winding a fishing reel.

There is a flashlight that illuminates wide areas and is quite bright. The unit also has a bottle opener on the side. The carabiner on the end opens and attaches easily to belt loops or whatever you want to tether it to for convenience.

The entire unit has a nice rubber protective layer. This makes it easy to grip, and adds a layer of shock protection in case you drop it.
11 comment|49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 28, 2013
Based on the easily obtainable specs, I thought this would be a perfect item for my bug-out bag, and one of the features that really appealed to me was Eton's literature bragging about it having an internal NiMH battery and dump-charge capability (where you could charge the internal battery through one of several methods, and then use that charged internal battery to charge your device without having to sit and crank forever.)

Well, as it turns out, the internal battery for the dump charge contains a measly 600 mAh and is, in fact, a cordless cell phone battery (and a weak one at that - my old cordless phones use higher-capacity batteries!) Since even non-smartphones today have at least 1500-1800 mAh batteries (with smartphones significantly higher), the dump charge might get you one battery bar and the ability to make a single emergency call. (Which is what Eton's owner's manual admits, but you only get to see that AFTER you buy the radio.)

I only found this out by Googling "replacement battery Eton FRX3" and zooming in on the picture from Eton's website to read the specs off the battery (2/3 AA, 3.6V, 600 mAh). Since this seemed too ridiculously weak to be true, I verified it by looking at the battery in an FRX3, and found that it really was a weak cordless phone battery. A call to Eton's tech support also confirmed this, and the person I spoke to said that the techs had been trying without success to get Eton to improve the internal battery for at least 4 years, as well as trying to get the AAA feature changed to AA.

Needless to say, I didn't end up keeping this radio - I already have all of the features in separate devices, and while this multi-function radio might have been more convenient and compact, none of the individual features worked as well as the individual devices do.
66 comments|74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon June 24, 2015
Style: NSP101WXGR|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing I noticed about this item is its heft - almost a pound wrapped in rubberized armor. This indicates to me that there is a pretty big coil inside of it. The electronics, flashlight, solar panel, and speaker weigh almost nothing so it has to be the recharging system that is heavy. That is a good thing. About 4 minutes of cranking the charger handle will get around 15 minutes of radio air time, or if you plug you smartphone in, about 1 minute of talk time. In an emergency situation - power outage, weather disaster, etc., this is gold as the first thing to go are all the batteries in the battery powered stuff. It has a flashlight in one end that puts out a bright beam. The crank operation is smooth. It just feels like a strong piece of equipment. There is also a solar panel on the side which will charge the system as long as the unit is in the sunlight. The solar and crank charging systems are automatic and has a charging indicator on the LED readout to indicate the health of the Lithium battery (800 mAh). The unit will charge a smartphone as long as you put the selector on "cell". I tried the unit out in a suburban setting. It picks up all the local FM stations in the area, several of the AM and one of the weather band frequencies. I don't know how effective the reception would be out in a wilderness area. There is a short antenna that retracts into the unit. With the antenna extended there is marked improvement in the reception, indicating that the antenna is an actual antenna, not an ornament. A carabiner is built into the unit so you can hang it on a back pack. As noted, it is encased in rubberized armor and will take some punishment; however, it is not waterproof. The directions warn not to submerge or subject to prolonged contact with water, including rain. This is a well-made and handy unit that works as advertised.
0Comment|31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 2, 2015
Bought this as a Christmas present for my husband prior to Nov 1st (Oct 28th or so) so can't return to AMAZON. Had to go through Eton as the product does not work except the flashlight function (power on but buttons short out and do nothing). Have since read multiple reviews of similar issues of buttons not functioning etc. VERY disappointed especially after calling Eton - only 1 tech working (and apparently he has a lot of meetings they kept asking my husband to a call back in 20 minutes) and the tech even told husband that Amazon would be faster for replacement if return time had not passed. If you get one that works apparently it is pretty good - hope our next one works but very disappointed so far. They said it would be over 2 weeks for a replacement. I would not recommend this product based on our experience so far.
11 comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We appreciate all customer feedback. If you would like to discuss this further please e-mail our customer support team at cservice@etoncorp.com or call our customer service number at 1-800-872-2228 M-F, 8am-4:30pm PST.
on September 19, 2014
This was the most expensive option with the most options and largest solar charging surface. I figured I'd only ever buy this item one time so I splurged.

I got everything working but not without frustration. The buttons are underneath the handle and they're TINY. I also had to push them hard and several times becasue when I pushed them nothing happened - the buttons aren't' immediately responsive.

I'm overall disappointed the buttons don't function more easily - they're super awkward. The design just feels bad.

I'd appreciate any feedback/follow up from other buyers.
11 comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2014
I’ve been keeping my eye out for more than a year or two for a good emergency radio unit to purchase. I saw this the other day on Amazon Flash Sales and pulled on the trigger on purchasing. I’ve had the unit four days and it has been absolutely great. It has all the features I’ve wanted, such as Specific Area Message Encoding (“SAME”) which allows emergency weather and civil alerts to be custom tailored to your specific locality. The only criticism I have for the unit is that the keys and tiny manual are a little tough to read for older eyes and the initial programming is not the most intuitive. I solved the manual issue by downloading a PDF version from Etón’s website so I was able to view it in full 8.5x11” size. Otherwise, I did an initial programming of the locality and a few other options and then left it to charge on a usb charging plug. After being fully charged, I unplugged it and placed it in a window where its built-in solar panel appears to keep the unit fully charged. It appears well-built and sturdy.
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VINE VOICEon June 27, 2015
Style: NSP101WXGR|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although some may be put off by this, I like the heft of the Eton NSP101WXGR Scorpion ll. At nearly 11 oz (306 g) this is one hefty device. Although looks (and heft) can be deceiving, the device's weight does suggest some ruggedness to the construction of the Scorpion II. My main concern for durability is the telescoping antenna. I have seen them break on other Eton radios--although this antenna is shorter and that may help it stay intact longer.

Removing the device (it's more than just a radio--it has a flashlight, a clock, multiple power sources, can charge cell phones and even has a bottle opener) I was surprised to see a fully charged battery and a correctly set (for my time zone) clock.

The flashlight has a multiple click button that is different from the others on the device. (It's round where the others are square.) The first click turns the flashlight on, but only as long as you hold down the button. The second click keeps the flashlight on without the need to hold down the button. The third click turns off the flashlight. That's a nice touch.

Speaking of buttons--the buttons are the Achilles Heal of the Scorpion II. For one thing, they are recessed and hard to press. While this means that you won't accidentally press a button, it also means that pressing a button takes some effort. Also the buttons are small, black and with recessed icons. That makes them difficulty to identify especially in dim light. Even in good light, the buttons are so tiny that you are likely to hit the wrong button or press more than one at a time. Space is limited, but Eton could have done much better with their buttons.

Unlike many USB devices, the Scorpion II does not include a charger. Perhaps they think that you'll use your computer's USB port to charge it. Or, perhaps they assume that you already own an USB charger. Never-the-less, one should have been included.

Finally, don't expect high fidelity sound or stereo from a radio of this size. Even FM sounds compressed and tiny. One the positive side, the radio is reasonably sensitive. Therefore, while the sound is unimpressive, the radio (AM and FM) does have the ability to pull in weak stations. Using it in my basement, I was surprised at how many AM and FM stations that I could pull in with just the built-in antennas.

The Eton NSP101WXGR Scorpion ll radio will be at its best during camping trips, outdoor adventures and during emergency situations.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on March 31, 2015
Works great in the beginning. The solar panel charged the batteries and now it has crapped out again!
This is the 2nd Eton we have had this year (2015) -- same problem and we returned and repurchased in case it was a fluke.
When in use outside the solar panels should charge -- we live in sunny drought ridden CA so it is not like it is trying to charge on a cloudy day.
11 comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We apologize that you have experienced an issue with your FRX5. We value all product feedback. If you would like to discuss your experience further, please contact us Customer Support at cservice@etoncorp.com and reference "Amazon Review" in the subject line or call us again at Etón's customer service number at 1-800-872-2228. Please note we are available to answer emails M-F, 8am-4:30pm PST.
on November 6, 2015
yikes, it doesn't fully charge smart phone, nor dumb phone, nor tablet. it only gives a small amount to them, radio reception and sound is very bad. Digital tuner restricts tuning into stations that are far, also processor was outrageously slow, didn't alert during our emergency tests. It felt like it was coming out of the dark ages. I returned it and got an analog Kaito voyager trek, it's radio rocks for being what it is, I'm keeping my eye on Eton for maybe future products, but their "best" is lacking in too many ways, had it been priced under $40, I might have considered it, but I think the outdated and cheap radio would have drove me bonkers. This one needs to be recalled back to the drawing board.
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Style: NFRX5SWXBG|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This review is for the FRX5 model which along with the FRX4 provides emergency alerts by voice or siren. The smaller models provide you with NOAA weather stations but I see nothing indicating that they provide alerts when something serious is pending. So they are advantageous when you see something looming, but it is really a portable radio with the addition of NOAA stations with the advantage of hand crank recharging capabilities as well as the other features.

The whole backside is a solar panel and considering the ample size of this desktop model that is a good sized surface area. So if you set this in the regular upright position on your window sill it will always be topped up for you. (If the sun faces in that direction) The solar charger will fully charge from empty within 5 or 6 hours. (You can also use that to recharge your phone for emergency situations/power failure.) This means that this is a very handy emergency alerter as well as a portable FM radio. I plan on having this parked in my bedroom on the sill. Even though I have a larger sound system in the room sometimes you only want a small radio playing instead of a big system. So this is great to have sitting on the sill at the ready, with auto-solar charging. I also plan on bringing this along with me when I go boating because the siren or voice alerts of an impending storm not yet visible in my area is worth its weight in gold. (I have been caught in surprise storms with lightning cracking on the water before.)

It has a large ambient light, as well as a flashlight which is precious in a power failure. (A very handy portable light for use when the power outage occurs in the middle of the night.) The ambient light on the top throws a lot of dispersed light while consuming a minimal amount of battery juice. You can only have the ambient or the flashlight on at one time. Why waste the juice? When one is on you don't need the other. When you first open the package be sure to select the power supply button in the upper right to the screen to choose lithium battery.

Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E) For setting the S.A.M.E. code just Google the same with your state which will take you to the nw.noaa government site which is The National Weather Service NOAA weather radio all hazards site. (I didn't even know one existed.) Then you can look up your county or province number. By inserting that number directly it will program your unit in one of the 25 available locations. So if you have another location that is of concern to you, like a shore home, a boat/dock or sons camping trip location you can be alerted if there is a serious weather alert for that area. You can also do this setting by using the preloaded locations in the FRX5. Page 6 of the instructions shows you how.

When a S.A.M.E. alert is issued for your area the FRX5 will respond to your preset of voice or siren. (Remember the volume is adjustable while listening to the radio, so adjust to taste. :-) You can of course defeat the warning sounds and text only will scroll across the LED. It is easy to turn this feature off but I plan on keeping the instruction booklet as a mounting pad on the window sill in the event I am awakened in the middle of the night in a severe emergency and forget how to shut it off.

It is amazing that something that you lived without suddenly becomes a very welcome addition to your daily repertoire. Whether you are using it as a convenient AM/FM radio that sounds nice, or a heads up on approaching storms with its auto-charging solar panel sitting on the window sill it becomes a very inexpensive companion with zero maintenance. I can't tell you how many times I have experienced a power outage only to discover my cell phone battery is down. This provides a nice alternative to being able to recharge it on the fly.

Overall I don't find anything wrong with it. Setting up the programming is not hard, but not being exposed to weather radio before confronts you with understanding what everything is which I tried to eliminate that confusion with this review. Highly recommended.
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