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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars7
Price:$30.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2007
This radio is about what I expected and wanted. It is by no means a fancy unit. The case seems relatively cheap and fragile. However, it does what I want and I am satisfied. The white LED is not, of course, as bright as a 'real' flashlight, but it works for me. The tuning is analog and so-so, but again works OK. I don't understand the power selection switch: Batt, Dyn, Solar. Seems like the radio should be smart enough to handle the power source automatically. Maybe a switch to disable the batts from being used unless you really want to would be logical. Overall, I like it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2009
I purchased this little radio two years ago for use during hurricane season. I actually use it a lot more, almost every week.

The Kaito should never fail you for lack of power. It can run on batteries, with an AC adapter, by using the hand crank and by solar cells. As long as there is some sunlight, the solar cells charge the batteries for hours of use. I leave the radio in a south facing window letting the solar cells charge it up during the day, so it is always ready.

During Hurricane Ike, the little Kaito did exactly what it was supposed to do. It provided news and information until power was restored days later.

Now, sound quality is ok, but do not expect high fidelity audio. This is an inexpensive emergency radio. The tuner is difficult to use. Even with the digital readout, the tuning knob doesn't allow much fine tuning since the actual tuner is analog. The unit lacks automatic frequency control so FM station tuning drifts over time. I haven't used the shortwave much. Again, tuning is tricky. It is much like the early transistor radios I grew up with in that respect. However, even with those limitations, it does work reliably and is able to pull in stations from out of area.

A small LED flashlight built into the side of the unit can provide emergency lighting even when the batteries run down. Just give the crank a few whirls.

So, yes it works as advertised with and without batteries or plug-in power.

Update August 22, 2012

The Kaito is the little radio that could! Originally I had considered it disposable, because I didn't expect it to last this long. This is hurricane season #5. It's still providing reliable portable radio whenever needed. Everything still works as if new. I am impressed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2010
I've only had this radio for a couple weeks so far. Using alkaline batteries as well as just using the internal batteries, charged from the included AC adapter, I've been pretty impressed with the reception I get listening to this radio inside my home. Operation on AM and FM bands is pretty easy, with shortwave listening requiring a delicate touch to really fine tune a station using the one knob. I was able to listen to a number of foreign broadcasts using the included wire antenna. The hand crank dynamo in this radio feels pretty sturdy, but I think it would take quite a while to really charge the radio using just that. I used the crank for about 2 minutes when I first took this radio out of the packaging and I only got a couple minutes of radio at low volume from that. The instructions even say that using the crank to charge fully depleted internal batteries will take a significant amount of time. It will work though. The one thing I haven't really experimented with has been the solar panel. If I get the opportunity to give the panel a decent test I'll update this review.

I only give this 4 out of 5 stars because even at this price point it would have been nice to have some better feeling switches and knobs on this radio. I recommend this radio if you're a casual listener, want a radio that doesn't break the bank, offers the ability to be used even though you're out of batteries and is simple to operate.

You shouldn't consider this radio if you're serious about DX'ing. You also shouldn't consider this radio if you want to use it as an alarm clock, as the clock resets when you change power sources, and there's no buzzer setting, which means you have to leave the radio volume at a high enough to wake you. In my case that would preclude any bedtime listening to get me to sleep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2010
When I purchase inexpensive electronics I don't expect them to be the equivalent of their higher-priced counterparts, I just want them to work and to do what they say. The Kaito KA011 passes that test easily. Right out of the box, and checking to ensure that the battery was not charged, I took it into direct sunlight (a sunny Spring day in New England). The radio worked immediately, loudly and well. I then cranked for 2 minutes per instructions and the radio continued to work well for about 15 minutes before it faded out - the instruction booklet says if you are starting with a dead battery, cranking for 2 minutes should get you 10 minutes of play time so this is about what I expected. The signal on all four bands is good and strong, the speakers loud but - of course - tinny, and the digital tuning within acceptable limits for a unit of this type. Yes there is a bright LED that can be turned on that could be very handy in an emergency. It came with an AC charger, which was not entirely clear from the copy. It also came with earbuds and a plug attached to a length of wire to amplify the shortwave signal. Someone at the shipping department threw in their own longer (23') shortwave antenna for free (unfortunately, I had bought one from Sangean at the same time and so had to return it at the cost of my shipping).

So this is a good little inexpensive emergency and/or camping radio. I like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
With all of the storms, this has been a life-saver. VERY clear signal. And it's nice and small. I keep it in a readily available spot, and I'm ready for the next power failure.
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on October 17, 2012
I researched solar powered AM/FM/SW radios until I was blue in the face and eventually decided on this one.Unfortunately,it wouldn't charge correctly by A/C power right out of the box.When I eventually did get the radio charged,I was greeted with horrible FM and SW reception.AM reception was actually quite good and I believe the LED flashlight could run for days if needed.I returned the KA011 and purchased an Eton FR-160 which is AM/FM/Weather and highly rated here at Amazon and elsewhere.My search for a usable,affordable solar powered shortwave radio goes on. :-(
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on February 8, 2008
The queality of the speakers and reception is decent but the back light on the digital display does not work.
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