Customer Reviews: Etn FR160GR Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Green) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on October 19, 2009
Overall a good product. Flashlight is not the brightest but being able to charge it via handcrank makes it a great "kitchen drawer" emergency light and radio. The built in solar cell actually makes a case for keeping it on the windowsill so it will always be ready when you need it. Smaller than I originally imagined but in a good way. It's nice to use around the house knowing I'll never have to buy another battery... at least for this gadget.
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on May 27, 2011
I bought this after another friend suggested Eton. He said it was best to use it the first few weeks to make sure it worked so I did. It is a good looking machine, and the color was pretty cool. I liked that it had USB charging capabilities.

I used it in the sun in my kitchen and it ran nicely off the solar cell. This lasted about a month then the solar cell stopped working as it had. I know crank it with the crank arm and this works nicely, but I really liked the multi-function of this thing. I really hoped it would be more sturdy and hold up and a solar cell that only works 30 days is not even worth putting on the machine. Too bad. It was a good idea.
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on September 17, 2009
This is a solid unit that works well with our iPod Touch but will not charge my iPhone 3GS unless you turn the crank at EXACTLY the right speed. This is something that I have only been able to do for a few seconds at a time which makes it useless for charging the phone.
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on November 13, 2011
Very appealing idea: a hand-cranked, battery-less radio (with flashlight) and even a solar panel.

Unfortunately, it's very poorly made. The switches are flimsy and make accurate tuning almost impossible. And the shoddy quality made its true nature felt when first the volume control stopped working properly after a few weeks, and then the charge from a vigorous cranking would last to run the radio for only a minute or so.

In other words, the item rendered itself useless -- just a few days outside the Amazon returns window.

So, to anyone thinking of buying this radio, a simple one-word piece of advice: don't.
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on July 25, 2009
Take the description "emergency radio" to heart, as this should really be used in case of an emergency. The primary problem with this radio is reception. The width of the tuning dial is miniscule, which means that all the stations are virtually on top of each other. When scanning FM stations where the stations are densely packed together, such as in the 80s and lower 90s in New York City, where there will be five stations for every whole number on the dial (i.e., stations at 90.1, 90.3, 90.5, etc.), the radio will inevitably skip over certain stations because there is not enough space on the dial to properly tune in to them.

One should also be aware that the only power sources are the solar panel and the crank. There is no battery compartment. The solar panel seems to work to some extent, although the radio will not hold much of a charge from the solar panel, so if you want to use it at night you're going to have to crank it. Sometimes you will even need to crank it during the day if you listen to it for extended periods of time.

The sound is not bad for such a small unit. Much better than our Trutech clock/radio/cd player. However, the sound is not as good as larger portables.

Overall, this radio is very small, very cute, and would be good for traveling or camping. Not good as your primary radio for any extended period of time because you will be doing a lot of cranking. Also, if you live in an area where the FM stations are densely packed together, and you're interested in being able to pick all of them up, I would recommend something else.
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on December 4, 2011
This radio barely works. Very poor reception. Tuning is very difficult. Alot of static. Could not recieve AM or FM. Only reception was the national weather service, which was very very poor.
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on April 29, 2010
I bought three of these radios as gifts this past holiday season for my kids. Each one of them has failed to work well over the past few months. The battery begins to lose its charge and does not recharge well. The radio plays intermittently due to the poor battery charge. They look cute and were fun in the beginning, but now they each are asking for a new radio.
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on March 11, 2010
I was just about sold on buying this radio based on the reviews on Amazon, but fortunately I came across this model in a local store. I was able to try everything out, and was very disappointed with the radio reception--it was abysmally poor, especially for AM stations. Since listening to AM stations is the reason I wanted to have an emergency radio, I had to change my mind. There were many other radios in this store, and every one of them had better radio reception. I found that the best reception came from the Eton models with digital tuners (like the FR360, or FR600 which I ended up buying). I don't care about having to tune something manually, but if I can't pick up a station at all, it's a waste of money. Maybe the FR160 would be acceptable very close to a radio station's transmitter, but in my area it was useless. So make sure you can try it out first, or at least can return it if it isn't satisfactory.
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on May 4, 2011
I got this radio shortly after tornado season started in my area. I thought it was perfect at first because of it's size and everything it does. This past week, however, it proved not to be so reliable. We had a full 14 hours of tornado warnings, and the radio stopped working toward the end of that. It didn't charge our cell phones(we have smartphones) at all unless we were winding it which takes forever to get ANY kind of charge. The only thing that still worked reliably on it was the flashlight in the end. If they could get the radio in better shape, it would be perfect.
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on December 5, 2013
First off this is a great little radio. It is a little smaller that I thought but happy with the small compact design. I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 phone and wanted to see if it would really charge my smartphone. I made sure I turned everything off and completely shut the phone off. I set the switch to cell and plugged my usb cord to the FR160 and to my smartphone. I turned the crank handle in a clockwise direction for 5 minutes. When I first started my phone battery symbol came on indicating that it was charging, but after 5 minutes it only increased the battery strength 1%. After cranking for 5 minutes my hand started to get tired. I know it doesn't sound like a long time but I couldn't imagine using this to charge my phone for any significant amount of time.

The sound quality is actually not bad for this little radio. The reception is pretty good too. I have the red version and love the color and also that it stands out and easy to see. The markings are a little hard to see if you wear glasses and you happen to loose them during an emergency or your glasses happen to get damaged. I have only had this for a few days but have used it in my office to listen to both AM and FM stations . No problem picking up the weather bands either. I live 25 miles outside of Nashville so I am fairly close to a big city. The flashlight seems to work good too, but it is a very basic light and will work in a pinch. I like the fact that it is compact and will travel and pack well in a small bag or a suitcase. Leaving on a cruise for 2 weeks and love to see if I can pick anything up when traveling around the Caribbean Islands. Hope this review helps and I would definitely recommend to keep on hand if the power went out and need to get weather updates, or to take with you when you travel. Got mine for thirteen bucks on deals and consider this a bargain for that price.
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