- Brand Name: Eton
- Model Number: FR300R
- Power Source Type: Battery
- Item Height: 6.5 inches
- Item Length: 6.7 inches
Eton FR300 Emergency Crank Radio Metallic Red (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
- Emergency Hand-Crank Power Generator
- Built-in Cell Phone Charger, Flashlight, and Emergency Siren
- Rechargeable battery pack provides reliable, renewable, internal power for everyday use
- Stereo headphone jack
This product may mention receiving an NTSC-TV or TV-VHF frequency in its product description. However, due to the digital TV transition enacted on June 12, 2009, analog TV broadcasts are no longer supported. Please be aware that no analog TV broadcasts will be receivable by this product.
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Power When You Need It
At the heart of all of Etón's emergency radios, including the FR300, is an internal generator that recharges the internal Ni-MH battery pack and powers the radio, siren, and light. Also, by plugging your cell phone into the jack on the back of the radio, you can use the crank to power your phone. In our test, after draining our cell phone of power, we recharged it using the FR300 enough to make a few calls. The rate of cell phone recharging will vary greatly depending on the cell phone and the state of its battery, but the FR300 can provide your compatible phone with power in a pinch.
Important Note: Until this year, Etón provided a package of several different cell phone adapter tips with every radio. In 2007, Etón began instead including a coupon for a free adapter for whatever phone you have. So, the first thing you want to do when you get the radio is fill out the card with your cell phone's make and model and send it in to make sure you have your adapter.
According to the product manual, to achieve 40 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted power to the radio, 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 FR300 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. In fact, the FR300 was still going strong over 75 minutes after we recharged the battery pack. The FR300 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! While it's true that a full 90 seconds of turning the crank can be tiring and may not be for everyone, we were able to recharge 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 6.00 x 2.5 inches (WxHxD), the FR300 is made to be tucked neatly into its handy nylon carrying case, and stored in an emergency box, or packed neatly for a camping trip. A white LED light is set on the front of the radio, just to the side of the analog tuner. The light is designed to help you down an unlit stairwell or enclosed hallway in a pinch, but it is not directed or strong enough to help you much in a pitch-black forest or other open area. The FR300 also includes a red flashing LED light that can be used as a distress signal. The radio and light can be operated simultaneously, though of course at the expense of power.
The large tuning knob and other controls make the FR300 a breeze to use. View larger.
The hand crank generator tucks neatly into the rear panel. View larger.
An emergency light is located next to the tuning dial. View larger.
The FR300 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, 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 and surprising power for the radio's purpose. The tuner itself is self-illuminated, though in a darkened environment it is still difficult to pick out the bands.
Tuning and Bands
The FR300 offers AM/FM reception as well as 7 NOAA weather channels and a weather alert, and audio reception for channels 2 - 13. As was the case with all of the Etón emergency radios we tested, 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. Because weather broadcasts are based on VHF, line-of-sight channels, and because we are slightly out of range of the nearest weather transmitter in our region, we were not able to test the weather reception of the FR300. Television reception, happily, was quite another story. Though some channels took some finessing of the tuner before we were able to hone in on a strong signal, most of the reception was loud and clear. In fact, we listened to the first half of the Academy Awards while preparing dinner, so we didn't miss a single presentation.
It became clear during our testing that the FR300 is an emergency radio with several outstanding and potentially life-saving features, including its emergency siren and lighting, and particularly its self-charging functionality. So if you're in the market for an economical emergency radio, the Etón FR300 more than fits the bill.
The images shown here display the "Metallic Red" version of the FR300, but you have a wide array of colors to choose from.
- Compact and lightweight; ideal for emergencies or travel
- Clearly laid out functions and controls
- Excellent internal power generator; handy cell-phone charger
- Tuning dial could be better illuminated for darkened environments
- Should include an AC adapter
What's in the Box
FR300 radio, mail-in coupon for cell phone charging adapters, nylon carrying case, and owner's manual
Top Customer Reviews
I love the older FR 200. No one would say that the FR 200 was the height of radio engineering and it certainly has a few electronic warts. With that said its pleasant sound, sensitive receiver and cool hand crank generator makes it a winner in my book (see my review in epinions). When the FR 300 came out I was anxious to give it a try so it was off to Circuit City to pick one up.
The Box: The radio appears to be housed in a case very similar to the FR 200. The box is approximately 5.5 inches square and around 2 inches thick. Like the FR 200 it has a nice handle and it some with a nifty nylon case. One side of the radio has a hand crank to charge the rechargeable battery pack. This pack appears to be of the common cordless phone variety if you ever need to change it. The other side of the radio has a volume control and a ganged course/fine tuning control, which operates the analog slide rule dial. Instead of using the primary color theme of the FR 200, the ABS plastic is a classy silver and the speaker grill also has a more polished look. Because the FR 300 has more gizmos than the FR 200 it has a few more controls on the face of the radio. This may add a little more confusion to the technically challenged. With that said, the controls and operation are very simple.Read more ›
Bottom line, this radio was our peace of mind, our informant, our life-saver in many senses of the word. When we were in pitch black conditions, with freight-trains wind blowing out our windows and we were locked in a bathroom with a mattress over us, we had this with us. No lie. We then cranked it up (and a good crank provided well over 30 minutes of radio and light time) and we knew exactly what was going on and where we stood with regards to the monsters that were falling upon us. It was, as the commerical goes, priceless for us. So much so, that we bought one for each member of our family.
You really can't go wrong with this baby.Read more ›
I opened the box and was impressed with everything, it is a perfect companion to use. My only negative comment is that they do not have the AC Adapter/Charger available. When you call Eton/Grundig for support they just do not reply! I have called many times, emailed several times and no response. This is Eton/Grundig U.S. I ended up purchasing an Adapter at Radio Shack that works well and is within the specification that they state in the manual. The reason for the adapter is to quick charge the internal rechargeable batteries so that your radio is always ready. As for an extra/replacement Nihm pack again can't find it anywhere and of course no response from Eton/Grundig U.S.
I am extremely happy with the radio for the price and for the features it offers. One last item.. if you have a newer Motorola Phone... the adapters included do not fit.. I am trying to source a supplier.
When you look at my pictures at least you will have the details that you cannot see with the supplied pictures and I hope this helps everyone.
I would give this a 4.5 Stars for the lack of support but I cannot, so it gets a five star rating anyways.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the 3rd Red Cross radio I have bought like this. Two of them were for gifts and one for myself.Published 17 days ago by cathy
My dad bought me the Eton FR300 on my birthday back in 2008, it was the American Red Cross version of the radio. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nigel Yearning
I wanted to comment specifically on the bizarre liquification of the plastic case material. After several years the radio became sticky and tacky all over. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SP97
I wish i could like this radio. Had a bad habit of changing its volume un-touched while listening to sensitive stations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer