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  1. I guess I’ve got a (Nippon as you say) Kaito Voyager that been in the storm shelter for years. The crank I can’t say is great but it’ll work. The solar panel works great and I use it every year when I clean out the shelter. I listen to music while working on getting the dead crickets out, changing the water containers and replacing batteries and food etc.
    Is it the bestest in the whole wide world? Naw but I grew up with little more than a 9v transistor radio and some foil so it’s a big improvement.
    If I gotta use it I already know what happened. I got hit by a tornado and so did everyone around me. I just want some music while I clean up the remains of my life or maybe to see how much time I have to recover property before the next rain hits and ruins it all. It fills that niche nicely without breaking the bank.
    Not every SHTF event is TEOWAWKI

  2. RE: Controlling spam/telemarketer phone calls. In iOS 13 Apple added a feature to iPhones – “Settings,” “Phone,” scroll down to “Silence Unknown Callers.”

    If a call comes from a number not in your contact list the phone will not ring and the call will be sent to voice mail; if you allow Notifications, you’ll get a “screen bubble” with the phone number in it, but no ring. The call will also show up as a “missed call” in your “recent calls” list.

    Terrific tool.

  3. At least at 17 you didn’t have to worry about accidentally messing up any on those girls names!! My wife and I coincidentally got married on her birthday. I can completely forget either her birthday or our anniversary every year and still be ok! What are the chances I will forget both?

  4. I have one of those “nippon” radios. You’re right about the reception not being very good, but I’ve had that thing for 20 years and it has been used in every power outage and works every time. Maybe I just got lucky and got the good one.

  5. I too have one of those “Nippon” radios, without the “Nippon” on the front. I’ve had it a long time. The hand crank is flimsy, but I’ve been careful and it still charged. The solar charger on top is sufficient. Its the NiCad battery which has aged out and doesn’t last very long. Its now my backup for a better radio, but it still works.

  6. You’re right, those little 9volt transistor radios from the late 60’s, early 70’s worked and worked great. They were all from Japan. I haven’t found anything that works as well for the price point or size anywhere.

  7. I have one of the Eton radios, mine does not have the solar charger but has the crank on the side and the radio works fine and I recommend these radios. The Eton is AM/FM/SW that works well for what I use it for. I also have a Sangean SW radio that only works off batteries and is digital. IMO the digital will bring in SW stations a little better and clearer but it is battery powered only so keep that in mind. One other thing to consider is a external antenna to bring in distant stations on the various bands. Mine is homemade using 75ft of 20ga wire with an alligator clip on one end to clip onto the external antenna, then the wire is thrown up into a tree as high I as I can get it up and the homemade antenna improves reception greatly. At home I do have another antenna (100ft in length) up into a tree with the wire coming into the window, clipped to the radio’s external antenna to improve reception especially on SW stations.

    1. I have one if the Eton Red Cross models. The weather bands are great. The AM/FM is garbage. Just like in the article, if a radio station was next door, I still couldn’t get anything. I also have a Grundig. It is awesome. Weather bands are great. AM/FM is awesome. I used that thing for several years mostly listening to the radio. Mostly used it in battery mode and the batteries would last a long time before needing replacing. Can’t remember what I paid for the Grundig but it was worth every penny however many that was. I think I paid around $60 or so for the eton Red Cross and should have been about a tenth if the price.

  8. This radio does not have a crank or a solar panel to charge batteries, but it was recommended by JWR about a decade ago, and it still works good. Using it on a discone antenna, it had better reception than on a dipole or long wire. Some day I might try it on a BOG (Beverage On the Ground) antenna. It pulled in shortwave from Australia, Asia, and the U.S. on a discone. It also has upper and lower SSB for the Ham bands. Lot of videos on You Tube on how to use it.

    The Kaito KA1103 is still available.


    1. Even if on a tight budget, PV panels should be a part of a radio plan. A single 100 watt panel can easily and quickly charge AA batteries using one or two quick chargers like this one, https://www.amazon.com/Batteries-Charger-Charging-Discharge-Functions/dp/B01F3KY1UG/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=12v+dc+aa+battery+charger&qid=1594659543&sr=8-3

      These can be connected directly to the panel with, or with out a charge controller in between. Expensive storage batteries are not needed. Steady use of a charger that charges at a hyper fast rate will heat up, and greatly shorten the life of AA batteries. A slower charger that take 5 to 7 hours to fully charge a set of 4 AA batteries with 12vdc power, is a better choice longer term. Between 5 to 10 slow chargers could be powered by a single 100 watt PV panel. However, if many sets of AA batteries are needed to be recharged each day, the lower cost of a single quick charger could be justified to keep your GMRS/FRS, or receiving radios such as AM/FM/SW, or scanners operable.

  9. Eton are ok. They make Grundig, which used to be a high quality brand. Their quality has dropped off some in the past decade, but still a good radio. Sony used to make really good radios. Likewise their quality has also dropped off in recent years. They are a bit pricey due to their name. Nowadays, I want something that uses an 18650 Li-Ion rechargeable battery that I can easily replace. I have dozens of those batteries in stock, and could keep a radio running for a year or more without having to charge anything. In fact, 18650s power up nearly all of my emergency portable power needs (flashlights, radios, fans, fixed lights, back-up power packs, igniters, etc).

  10. I have the Red Cross version of the Eaton. It does not work well. Burns through batteries in short order, and will not hold a charge on the built in Ni-Cad battery.

    1. I have the same eton. Yes, I does eat batteries pretty fast. I think it might be in part due to the LED screen always being lit when batteries are installed.

  11. Odd, I have the Red Cross Egon also, a half minute crank seems to keep radio on for an hour.

    Maybe yours was made on a Monday.

    Sorry for BOLD, quirky tablet.

    1. Yeah, besides the crappy radio reception I regretted my purchase after hearing and reading stories about the Red Cross going back to WWII. Lesson learned.

  12. Greetings everyone. This is my first post. What about C.Crane radios? I have listened to late night talk radio and they are mentioned? (Note that I do not work for C.Crane. I am USN (Ret) ).

  13. I’ve got a few of the county comm radios. They’re good for the price. AM/FM/SW/LSB/USB. Hook it up to a good antenna and they do great picking up stations from all over the world. Buttons are tiny but it will run on AA batteries with very low power consumption. CCrane Skywave is my next purchase. Controls are easier to manage. I agree with TR – get a separate charging system for your batteries.

  14. I’ve got 2 Grundig’s; one bought decades ago and the other picked up for $5 at a yard sale. The one I bought still works fine although I’ve never picked up any shortwave broadcasts on it. The $5 one needs to use AA batteries as the rechargables failed. Still, I like this radio a lot.

  15. I have a CCrane Skywave. I listen to it every day. It takes two AA batteries. It has MANY different bands, and excellent reception. The batteries will run it non-stop for a few days. It has a headphone jack. It is small and light so decent for packing. I have had no luck with crank radios, or solar. I say, get a CCrane Skywave, and keep some extra batteries. You can always create a charger or solar uplink for it. I did a cross country trip, over land and water. I would recommend those.

  16. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have something that concentrates on doing reception to the best of it’s ability and on shortwave frequencies but have a charging port for either 12 v from a separately purchased panel or 5 v for usb charging? Not sure if that exists but little 2.5 w solar panels go on sale up here in Canada for $10 every now and then. In fact having an external antenna jack would also make sense.

    Now I’m intrigued, does such a radio exist for a decent price?

  17. You’re absolutely right, the Nippon radio is the worst radio but guess what, after many decades of just sitting on the windowsill charging away, I turned it on this weekend and worked over five hours. I turned it off after five hours. While I would not recommend it, it has lasted this long. And yes, I purchased that thing back in the 90s.

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