Customer Reviews: Eton FR300 Emergency Crank Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Color: Silver|Change
Price:$99.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on September 9, 2006
I am getting the "72 Hour Emergency Kit" together and this is one of the items.

I have checked out all the features and they work very well.

The TV stations came in clear, including a PBS station! It is good to have a radio that has the TV. Sometimes it is needed in an emergency. Radio stations might be down, TV stations might be down... Gives you more options.

Radio stations are clear.

Weather stations are clear.

The reception will be different in your area.

Even though the light, flashing red light, siren and alert setting may never be used... one never knows!

I could see me sitting there unable to blow a whistle or... because I am busy building a fire or looking for shelter -or something...
with the siren doing the "flagging someone down" work for me.

I am planning to use this for emergencies only, though if I wanted to I could use it at the beach. So, I checked out all
the features and now it is going into the Emergency Kit.
It is a small and powerful radio, perfect for the kit.

You have to remove the piece of paper in the battery compartment the first time you use the radio. It is there for shipping.
To open the battery compartment you put your thumb on the round indentation that says OPEN and has traction on it (I use my thumb nail on the traction bits) pull with your thumb towards the bottom of the radio, that releases the "lock" like cover. Then you plug in the rechargeable battery.

I am buying more of these for other family members.
I think it is a good idea to have more than one and AT THIS PRICE
you can.

I got red for the brightness, in an emergency or camping,
having a bright color can help Emergency Crews find you.
Also, if you are looking for your radio... you can find it.
I would not want Emergency Equipment in camouflage colors!

This radio does not come with the AC adapter. That is all right for the emergency (or at the beach) use. I prefer not to have it, it would be yet another adapter to store...
I really like the internal power only idea!

It seems that every color of the FR300 radio has it's own review
and number of review stars.
Funny. Same radio different colors -different ratings for each color. Here is one for Metallic RED!
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on March 15, 2006
FR300 Eton Radio - I use it daily for the morning news and weather. I had occasion three nights ago to use the Weather Alert function; that worked very well.

One disappointment - I find I must rely primarily upon batteries for power. The hand-crank feature does not perform nearly as well as advertised. It takes a close to a full minute of cranking to get 4-5 minutes of operation. This clearly is not sufficient to use the hand-crank power feature to depend upon weather alert broadcasts throughout a stormy night.
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on February 4, 2007
The tuner sections on this radio are terrible on all bands. You tune in a station and the same exact station can be heard again, a little further down the dial. The mark of a poor tuner. The LED flashlight is nice and the blinking red emergency light works perfectly. For a small speaker, the sound is superb. That is, in my opinion, the one shining quality of this radio. Now for the really bad part: While cranking the dynamo on the radio one night, the crank suddenly had no resistance, like it broke off internally or something. Since I'm pretty handy, I decided to take the back off and have a peek inside to see if I could do something about it. There's about 4 gears inside that go from the crank to the metal pinion gear on the dynamo motor. They're all plastic! The plastic teeth on one of the gears had worn right down to form a rounded surface. Why have a metal gear connected by 4 plastic gears? Can you say "designed for failure"? We have a strong weather radio station in our area and this radio did a good job of picking it up. There is also a second weaker weather radio station in our area that I have picked up on other weather radios but not this one. Really disapointed in this radio and am thankful it was a gift and not my purchase.
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on July 13, 2006
Living in South Florida, I have been (as most South Floridians) relatively lucky until last year. Last year, most of us went for extended periods without power, some in excess of three weeks.

The Eton radio is just what every single South Floridan needs, period. The device is compact, has a high-quality feel to it and the sound quality is surprisingly good considering it is a monaural single speaker unit. It does not sound tinny or weak, but rather has depth and volume. The controls are easily laid out and simple to operate. Having TV channels in South Florida is good during a hurricane (albeit depressing, as anyone who has watched or listened to TV during a hurricane down here can attest to). Television and FM/AM radio keeps you up up to date as well as the Weather Band channels. There are 7 of them to choose from, and if you have NOAA broadcasts in your locality (which we do here, and it is Channel 7 on the FR300), you will receive 24-hour broadcasts from the NOAA and even emergency alerts, if the radio is set to receive them via the "Alert" knob.

The other options of the radio are very useful, such as the bright 2-LED lamp built in. They are VERY VERY useful for navigating the pitch black furniture-filled rooms of your house during a power outage. LED's are very bright and use an extremely small amount of power. Other features include a red strobe LED and a siren, for emergency use.

The radio's most unique feature is a hand-crankable power generator. The radio itself will run on three AA batteries, but it has a 3.6V rechargeable battery (such as those used in most cordless telephone handsets) which is charged when you crank the generator crank on the side of the radio. Cranking it for a few minutes gives you a considerable amount of time to listen to the radio or use the flashlight feature. This is VERY useful if you haven't planned ahead and stocked up on AA batteries, OR if you have been without power for weeks and can't GET batteries. A true life-saver.

On the back of the radio is a cellular phone charger connector, and the radio includes a cable and several adapters for the most common cellular phones out there. I connected my Motorola phone to the radio, and when you crank the radios power generator crank, it charges your cellular phone. You must continually crank the crank to charge your phone, but it's very handy when you have no other way to charge it.

I can honestly say that after last year's hurricane season, this radio has been worth it's weight in gold. It is very reasonably priced, includes a comprehensive manual and a carrying case to protect it. If you live in a part of the country that is prone to power outages or natural disasters, for $50.00 you really cannot afford to be without one of these radios.
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on June 16, 2006
I first bought the FR200 with shortwave band. It worked great, but I realized that when the power was out, I wanted local TV. The FR300 is just what I needed. I got over 5 minutes out of a minute of cranking time when I tested it. Chances are, I will never use the crank as we have batteries around, but if it was an extended power outage, I would be thrilled to be able to access weather band, radio and TV without worry of running out of batteries. The phone charger also would be handy in certain situations. I get good reception on 3 of the 4 major local TV stations. This came in handy when our power went out during the season finale of Lost last month! I really like the fact that the FR300 can be set up as a weather alert radio. I have purchased one for my son to have in his new home, and also one for my father. These make great gifts, especially during the storm season.
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on February 25, 2006
I have long been a fan of Grundig/Eton radios, but had to carry a separate weather radio when traveling, and while I like shortwave, it's just not practical to string a longwire antenna from your tent to get a stronger signal while out camping with the FR-200 I already own. I find the AM/FM/TV/WB choices to be pretty much what I want in a travel radio when I am mainly seeking quick news and local weather, and I am once again impressed with the sound quality Eton puts in a non-audiophile radio. The generator works well, the battery can be replaced with a generic phone rechargeable when it dies (about 6 years in my FR-200), and the flashlight shines much brighter than in the older models while eating much less battery.

Thanks to Consumers Energy, I have had several opportunities to use this radio during recent power outages, and it worked like a champ, with runtime depending largely on how loud it is played and how much you use the flashlight. The only reason I don't give it a fifth star is the requirement to use a hard-to-find very low-powered wall wart (standard ones can ruin the battery) to recharge the battery from the wall socket, and their steadfast refusal over the years to offer one with their radios, making the charger a rare special-order item.
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on November 26, 2006
This is a good radio for 50 dollars, my radio arrived in excellent working order. I get two weather stations Newport and Astoria. Great AM tuner and FM tuner. I really like the light function for when the power gets knocked out, its great for finding your way around the house. I have used it for 3 weeks now and have yet to change the 3 AA batteries. The rechargeable battery pack lasted about an hour after cranking or several hours after I recharged with the adapter. Also if you shine a flashlight on the tuner dial it glows in the dark for an hour. It doesn't have all the adapters for all cell phones which is kind of impossible considering cell phone manufactures change all the time so you have to buy new. If your in a desperate emergency situation cut the charger cord off your phone and hard wire it to the charging cable for the radio. The siren and red light are cute and may come in handy in the event of a large scale disaster. The handle on this radio is also a good feature, it helps hold it stable while charging with the dynamo. I bought three more for Christmas gifts. I found nothing else I liked better.
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on August 13, 2006
This Eton FR300 is a very good product, especially in metallic silver. I purhased it as a gift for a 16 year old grandson. The night of his birthday, there was an extended loss of power due to the west coast heatwave in late July. My grandson, his mother & father and young brother made great use of that hand crank emergency radio during the two days of power outage in the Rosemead, Calif area. They used every feature including recharging of cell phones, listening to favorite TV programs and tuning into local weather well as a much needed flashlight. Of course, the siren and blinking emergency lamp was entertainment for the 7 year old brother. I would recomment this product as a necessity for all households to have available along with other emergency supplies such as water, dry foods, etc.........and the price and service by Amazon was excellant......Richard M. Alenbaugh
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on March 1, 2006
I am totally and absolutely happy with this radio. The quality of the sound compared to its size is pleasantly impressive. It is perfect for listening to arround the house and portable enough to take from room to room or where ever? The generator feature is simple and easy to use. I've used alkaline batteries in it as well and I've yet to use up the 1st pair after 3 months of heavy use. I originally bought it as an emergency radio but ended up it using every day for 3 to 4 hours. I highly reccomend this product.
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on August 29, 2005
With its crank recharger, this radio is especially useful as an emergency unit. The unit we purchased performs as claimed. The construction is relatively cheap plastic, but seems usable provided it doesn't get too rough handling. Shortwave bands would be nice, but those are apparently only available on higher-priced models.
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