209 of 218 people found the following review helpful
Worked for only 4 months,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After using this several months, the USB charging circuit and solar charging doesn't work any more, although the hand crank does work.
I replaced the broken Ambient Weather with an Eton FRX3, which is running off the same charger as the defunct Ambient Weather. The price fluctuates up and down on Amazon for the Eton by about 10 bucks. So if you want this one, you might watch it a day or two in your cart and buy when it bottoms out in price. I got the Eton for around $52. The couple of extra bucks was worth it. It has more features - red flashing LED light, alarm, infinite volume control, two tuning options, etc. It comes in red or black as well as a Red Cross model.
Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger - Red (NFRX3WXR)
I was happy with the Ambient Weather while it worked properly. But if I was making a suggestion to a friend, now that I've used the Eton, I feel it's superior.
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Showing 1-10 of 84 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 28, 2012 11:24:42 PM PDT
Most of the changes from the 111A to this device that you described sound good, except for the port location change. If the ports are on the back, the way they are on this device, then it looks like charging cables will obstruct the crank handle from being used while anything is plugged in. I find this to be a major issue. I imagine I might want to recharge the WR-333's battery by means of the crank while I am powering something. Am I wrong about this? I can only comment from how it looks in the picture.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 9:05:46 AM PDT
MC 703 says:
Good question. Also, another question... Is there a headphone OUT and IN jack?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 1:34:04 PM PDT
I just received mine in the mail and you are correct about the issue. With the USB cable plugged in, it's directly in the path of the crank. This makes efficient cranking impossible. You can crank normally most of the way, but then you have to raise the crank up and over the USB cable every time around. I'm going to be looking to see if there is a USB cable made with the connection at a right angle to get around this issue. Otherwise, I'm gonna be sending it back. This design flaw is baffling to me as to how no one could have foresaw this as being a potential problem all the way through the design process.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 1:36:26 PM PDT
Just got mine in the mail and it has one 3.5mm jack, and it's an audio out jack.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 1:32:12 PM PST
Jake Y. says:
I thought the whole idea of USB/cellphone charging on this unit is that it doesn't need to have continuous cranking. You can crank to charge the internal Li battery and then plug the cellphone in for charge.
Posted on Nov 5, 2012 1:10:28 AM PST
Ada- And what if the unit is dead and your phone is dead and you need to make an emergency call? Would you want to have to crank the unit for several minutes, and then plug in your phone and wait another few minutes before it has enough power to turn on, and then hope you cranked it enough to last through the call you need to make? I would want to be able to plug in my phone and have it powering on while I'm cranking the unit, and be able to continuously crank--if I had to--while I was making the call. This ability would save much precious time and uncertainty.
Posted on Nov 5, 2012 1:13:10 AM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 2:15:09 AM PST
That's my impromptu video review too. I was so amazed at the lack of attention to detail about missing that design flaw I just had to show everyone right then.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 9:34:03 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 5, 2012 3:04:21 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 9:36:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012 9:57:27 AM PST
Ed the Weatherman says:
It is rare that both your phone and radio would be dead. Also, you could switch to dry cell batteries. However, you would not be able to charge the phone anyway without some small battery energy.
Thus, under the following circumstances:
1. If you phone is dead
2. Your rechargeable battery is dead
3. Your dry cell batteries are dead
You will need to crank for a couple of minutes and then connect your phone.
Sorry about the confusion. The manual needs to make this clear and it was our oversight. I can see where this would result in a lot of confusion. I added this caviot to the product page and will add a card in the product to point this out.
As a side note, we recommend exactly the same procedure with the WR-111A which does not have dry cell batteries... crank first, then connect your phone.