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  • Grundig FR200 Emergency Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Grundig FR200 Emergency Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

by Eton

Available from these sellers.
  • Emergency radio is built to handle the elements, as well as a power outage
  • Hand crank can be used to recharge the built-in battery
  • Tunes AM/FM and 2 shortwave bands, including weather radio
  • Tuning knob features a superimposed fine tuning control knob
  • Features a white LED emergency light
3 new from $59.95 3 used from $69.00 1 refurbished from $99.99

Product Specifications

Brand NameEton

Product Description

Product Description

A radio for all seasons / Powered by AC, 3 AA batteries or hand crank / Analog tuner receives AM and shortwave bands

Amazon.com

The Etón Grundig FR200 Emergency Radio is the entry-level shortwave radio in Etón's line of emergency radios. With a dependable hand-crank power generator that powers the unit's AM/FM/Shortwave radio and built-in LED flashlight, the lightweight and portable Grundig FR200 is an economical choice for anyone in the market for a radio that can be relied on in emergencies or in environments where there are limited power sources.



Emergency lighting and radio tuning all in one compact package. View larger.


The easy-to-read radio dial. View larger.


The hand crank recharges the integrated rechargeable battery.


An emergency light shines the way.
Other models in Etón's line of emergency radios that we tested include the Grundig FR250, a shortwave radio that also includes a flashing LED light, cell phone charger and siren; the Grundig FR300, which includes the emergency features of the FR250, but offers television and weather station tuning instead of shortwave; the Grundig FR 350, a water-resistant variation of the FR250; and the Grundig FR 400, a water-resistant variation of the FR300.

Power When You Need It
At the heart of all of Etón's emergency radios, including the Grundig FR200, is an internal generator that recharges the internal Ni-MH battery pack and powers the radio and flashlight. According to the product manual, to achieve 40 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted power you must turn the crank at a rate of two revolutions per second for 90 seconds. In our test, after our initial 90 seconds of rigorous cranking, the FR200 powered right up and was still going strong with radio reception after an hour. At the hour mark, we briefly turned the flashlight on, and that too was at full force, with no perceivable drain on radio reception. The FR200 can also be powered via an AC adapter which, to our dismay, is not included, or from three AA batteries, also not included. The dynamo crank tucks itself nicely into the side of the radio and offers little resistance as you turn the handle. (Don't let the cranking requirements frighten you! A full 90 seconds of turning the crank can be tiring and may not be for everyone. With that in mind, we also recharged the radio with less than a minute of cranking and achieved over 40 minutes of continuous power.)

Design and Controls
At slightly more than a pound in weight, and with dimensions of 6.5 x 5.75 x 2.25-inches (WxHxD), the FR200 is designed to be tucked neatly into its handy nylon carrying case and can be easily stored in an emergency box, or packed neatly for a camping trip. An LED flashlight is set on the front of the radio, just to the side of the analog tuner. The flashlight is designed to help you down an unlit stairwell or enclosed hallway in a pinch, but the light is not directed or strong enough to help you much in a pitch-black forest or other open area. The radio and light can be operated simultaneously, though of course at the expense of power.

The FR200 includes a handy strap on the top of the radio for easy carrying, and the tuning and volume knobs are set to the side. The mechanical controls are extremely visible and easy to use. The volume control is a bit difficult to finesse, while the tuning knob, on the other hand, which features a smaller concentric fine-tuning control knob, is much easier. An earphone jack is set into the back, and the telescoping antenna tucks neatly behind the handle strap. The radio's 2.5-inch speaker is set directly in front and offers reasonable audio quality for the radio's purpose. The tuner itself is not illuminated in any way, which makes sense for reasons of power conservation, but in a darkened environment, it's literally impossible to see. For an "emergency radio," it seems that Etón might have addressed this problem with a self-illuminated background or lettering, as they did with the FR250, FR300, FR350 and FR400 models.

Tuning and Bands
The FR200 offers 14-band tuning -- AM, FM and 12 shortwave bands. Our AM reception was outstanding; we were quickly able to tune into every station we searched for. Reception for FM was also very good, though there was some extra fine-tuning on some of the stations. Our shortwave reception, however, was a mixed bag. We tested in the early and late evening, searching for signals in the more heavily populated SW1. While we found several signals during our test, honing in on them took a bit of finesse with the fine-tuning knob. And when we did find them, there was static and background noise with most of the signals.

It became clear during our testing that the FR200 is an emergency radio, with several outstanding features that include shortwave reception; its shortwave functionality, however, is not its primary selling point. But for a basic, entry-level and economical emergency radio to use in a pinch or during an outing where access to electricity is an issue, the Grundig FR200 more than suits the bill.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight; ideal for emergencies or travel
  • Clearly laid out functions and controls
  • Excellent internal power generator
Cons
  • Tuning dial should be illuminated for darkened environments
  • Shortwave reception inconsistent
  • Should include an AC adapter
What's in the Box
FR200 radio, carrying case, and owner's manual.

Product Details

Product Manual [37kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 2.2 x 5.8 inches ; 1.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000083CUA
  • Item model number: FR200
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: December 18, 2002

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Sensitivity is low, but not low enough to make up for the poor selectivity and fiddly, imprecise tuning.
Ted Carnevale
We have a cottage in a remote area but the FM reception was great and the sound quality was very good for a small speaker.
D. Triatik
My goal in buying this product was to put together an emergency package in case of blackout or hurricane.
minniecatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

243 of 244 people found the following review helpful By clickz4 on June 7, 2004
From reading the other reviews, I see most people love this radio, but some dog it. They're both right. Your level of satisfaction with this radio will have more to do with your buying motivations than the product.

Grundig has a well established reputation for making fine products. If you are a shortwave enthusiast who is looking for a good shortwave radio, sadly I must admit that you need to keep looking. The tuner is iffy (by your standards) and it does not have the 'Grundig Feel' of their more expensive products.

But notice Grudig calls it an 'Emergency Radio,' not a shortwave radio.

If you want something for peace of mind -that you will never be caught without a radio because of dead batteries- then this is a great product. I live in a hurricane zone and every time there is a storm approaching, all my friends wait in long lines to buy batteries. I know I'm ready 24/7. As an added bonus I'll always have a flashlight with me. (which is more handy than I would have guessed)

(Here is the kicker-) If you want an emergency radio AND you like to listen to the BBC or Radio Canada every once in a while, then this is definitely the product for you.

I've had mine for a year and a half and I use it at least 3 times per week. The best way to describe the tuner is "credible." It can pick up all the big name stations, even indoors, but it is not stunning. The tonal quality is acceptable but I'm usually listening to the spoken word and not music. (I have an iPod for that ;-)

I bought it because I wanted a cheap shortwave. The fact it had a crank and a flashlight was gravy at first, but it is more and more important as I use it.
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489 of 500 people found the following review helpful By S. R. W. on September 24, 2003
On newsgroups and message boards, this handy and compact little radio is being touted as a good choice for beginning shortwave listeners: but I would disagree. As usual for the current line of low-end Grundig products, the "single conversion" intermediate frequency design has resulted in serious image problems: in other words, you pick up a single strong station at two, or sometimes three, places on the dial: in the correct location at the intended frequency, plus one or two spurious images above and below it. In the crowded shortwave bands, this makes listening extremely difficult, as the images cause wobbling whistles and lots of interference (and make it hard to even know WHERE the radio is tuned.) In addition, the planetary tuning mechanism has really dreadful backlash: to tune in a shortwave station, you have to go past it, then back up and tune around until you *finally* get it centered. Then, the radio drifts and a few minutes later you are forced to do it all over again: maddening.
AM (called mediumwave in Europe and much of the world) is more satisfying as the stations are not crowded together as much as shortwave, and the band is shorter so there is more spread from one end to the other: the tuning isn't nearly as critical. Selectivity is pretty good, and sensitivity is excellent. I have not noticed image problems that are as troublesome as in the SW bands.
FM reception was disappointing; selectivity seems poor, and sensitivity rather low. Stations "mush" together -- if they can be picked up at all. Expect only the strongest signals in your reception area.
The generator system works very well though a trio of new AA cells gives more output and slightly better sensitivity.
I tried six units and found that performance varied slightly.
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130 of 135 people found the following review helpful By J. C. M. Bannerman on March 19, 2003
I bought this little radio as an emergency and camping radio a couple of months ago and let it sit. It is now the a couple of minutes to the Saddam's deadline (20h00EST 19 Mar 03) and I am listening to the BBC news. The state of current events inspired me get it out and put it through its paces with the results being pleasantly surprising. I picked up Madrid and BBC World Service on the short wave among other stations (lots of Spanish broadcasts). In fact, the amount of stations picked up in the 5800-6200Mhz range and recption is pretty good. While the performance isn't the same as my Satellit 400, the sound is pretty good. The reception is excellent on the FM band as well.
I like this radio's reception and perfomrance better than the Coleman generator radio. Also, the size is much more convenient than the Coleman radio.
I wish it were easier to find the AC adapter.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By minniecatt on August 23, 2003
My goal in buying this product was to put together an emergency package in case of blackout or hurricane. Some reviewers referred to the impending Rapture - my thought was somewhat less apocalyptic: the electricity has gone out twice in the last year in my condo building and it is alternately scary and boring to sit in the dark without cable, internet or other diversions. This Grundig model is a pure pleasure when you see the sturdy and elegant construction, the leatherette handle across the top for easy carrying, the nice fabric carrying case with outside pocket to store the booklet, batteries, etc.... and when you factor in the reasonable price this is a bargain that could warm your heart while it lights your living room. According to the booklet, the flashlight part is intended to enable you to find your lantern, candles or other supplies. It is bright enough to illuminate a good large portion of the room, or to read by, although it does eat up the power source as someone else noted. The radio is enhanced by a nice long antenna and a fine-tuning knob set into the larger tuning knob. This enables you to fine-tune the stations on the AM, FM or SW bands. The reception is superb: it actually pulls in several more FM stations than my audio system can! The AM band sounds good with little static, thanks to the fine-tuning. The two shortwave bands are new to me; it has been fun tuning across the bands picking up distant stations especially the BBC. For those of you used to digital tuning, you may find it primitive to have to turn the tuning knob, but it gives a nice physical sense of "sweeping" across the band.Read more ›
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