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Thread: Emergency AM/FM radio

  1. #1

    Default Emergency AM/FM radio

    We all have plenty of light for emergencies and blackouts. But what about AM/FM radios. Any use AA batteries that we all have available?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have been buying, Freeplay radios.

    The ones i have dont use any batterys at all.

    One has a spring that with 20seconds or turning will give 30mins of music.

    The other also has a spring, but also has an solar panel and can run for up to an hour.

    I dont like emergency radios with permanent built in rechargeable batteries.

    Because when my batterys die after a few years the radio is useless.

    A bit strange for an product designed for use in a emergency that might be stored away for years.

    I have been buying the old baygen freeplay radios, no long in production i have to buy them second hand.

    you can still buy freeplay radios, but they are made by a different company.

    regards.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    There are plenty of gimmick radios made specifically for "emergency" usage. Any of the survivalist sites will be glad to separate you from your money for a radio for this purpose. However, you might find that purchasing a decent quality radio that you might use for an outing might suit your purposes best for both reception and quality. You will need to have batteries available though. Check your local department stores, pharmacies, electronics stores, or hardware stores to see if there is one that suits your needs best.

    Quote Originally Posted by robertl999
    We all have plenty of light for emergencies and blackouts. But what about AM/FM radios. Any use AA batteries that we all have available?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Lithium batteries have a very long shelf-life, and are very resistant to lekage or corrosion etc.

    Another good tactic is to use a headphone to listen to the radio. That will greatly stretch the battery life. Much of the power goes to the amplification for the speakers otherwise.

    People can listen in shifts, or the person listening can just relate the news to the others around them.
    Life is an amazing thing... Without it, we'd all be dead.

  5. #5
    Modulated Moderator Radio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    This now has a home in my Go Kit/Bug out Bag, Very small and runs on 8AA or external 12VDC. Not for everybody, but if you are serious about communications, this is the baby.


    http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...5&isArchived=0
    Carrying a firearm for self-defense gives you great power. Society expects great responsibility from those with great power.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    A great 1x AA radio is the Sony SRF-59 FM/AM Radio Walkman (with headphones) around $16-$18. Battery is supposed to last (I would say, at least) 100-140 hours.

    The other little radio that I like is a Sony SFR-M37V FM/AM/Weather/TV Radio Walkman with 25 Memory Presets (and Headphones). This is a digital radio that uses 1x AAA battery which lasts around 25-30 hours or so.

    The '59 is a bare bones basic 1x AA analog radio that is very similar to an earlier version that I have used for around 10 years while mowing lawns and working. I have gone through a dozen worn out (and torn out) head phone cords and finally had the headphone socket simply wear out. Radio is sensitive and sounds good. I purchased three more for emergencies.

    The 'M37V is a digital radio that is almost as sensitive as the '59. Other than the fact that it uses a single AAA battery--this radio is about perfect for a bug-out bag. It not only receives AM/FM, it also receives all eight weather stations and it can receive TV channels 2-13. All with a couple pushes of the buttons. Because it has a clock, you can't leave a battery plugged in for long-term storage. But it is pretty easy to just put the radio and a couple batteries in a plastic bag for emergencies.

    Lastly, I would also suggest that you look at these Sony head phones: Sony MDR-E828LP Fontopia Earbuds with Winding Case. These cost around $10-$12 and, for me, I much prefer over standard head phones that come with the above radios. They are ear buds, very small (compared to standard over the head type phones which are bigger than the radios themselves) and it takes little power to get high volume (battery efficient). Lastly, I like them because normal headphones seem to hurt my ears (feeling of pressure) after awhile. The only drawback is that the foam earbud covers do wear out and, other than Radio Shack, I have not found another place to get replacements.

    The '39 is available directly from Amazon. The 'M37V and 'E828 are available through Amazon retailers and (in my area) Target department stores.

    I have crank and rechargeable/solar radios, and find that it is, most of the time, just better to have a pack of good AA and AAA batteries on hand for normal and emergency use. I go through the batteries fast enough that I always have fresh (less than 1-2 year old) batteries on hand.

    -Bill

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    See this thread .

    peace

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    The Yaesu FT817 that radio recommends is great for ham radio operators, but costs more than $400. A cheaper AM/FM/weather band plus TV sound can be good enough. My son had a Sony Walkman type for about $50 that worked pretty good (model # long forgotten and radio lost). I'd recommend something with the weather band; TV sound could also be useful in finding out what's happening. Worse case scenario: local AM/FM/TV stations are out, listen to distant AM at NIGHT with a wire antenna.

    Radio: How long does the FT817 last on RX with headphones?
    --Walter (K1CMF)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Myself, I have a 2 month old Panasonic 2AA "transistor" radio. AM/FM for $13 at Amazon.
    Bring backs the memories from my youth...

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-RF-P...320768?ie=UTF8

  10. #10

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    The FT817 is a 2-way ham radio tranceiver that requires a license for operation, among other things. I think what's being sought here is a simple portable radio for getting news updates, so the FT817 isn't appropriate.

    I would say just go to your local electronics store and get a cheap boom box (if for home use) or a handheld radio for EDC/BOB. If you don't have to carry it, a bigger radio is good because it can produce enough volume to fill a room while several people listen. If distance reception is an issue, the GE SuperRadio is famously sensitive and not too expensive, but if you're in a city, this won't be an issue. I think it's ok to choose a model that uses C or D cells, since those cells have more capacity and the radios will run a long time on them. Just keep some cells on hand, and you can also run them on AA's with adapter sleeves if you need to (the LaCrosse BC-900 comes with a set of those sleeves).

    In general, I'd say a radio with a speaker is preferable to one that uses headphones or earbuds, but some earbud radios are very tiny, which helps for portability.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic leduk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    This Roberts has 2AA, speaker, Am/FM/LW and it works great. The bats last ages.

    Cheers

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I bought one of these a year or two ago.
    AM-FM-SW COMPACT 2AA

    Selectivity isn't great, but good sensitivity and sound quality for such a small and relatively inexpensive multiband.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have a ccrane baygen model with led light. Gets old fast winding it up every half hour, or to be more exact 27 minutes for 1/4 volumne listening.

    Most cheap radios will run for ever on the batteries they take. I have one in my apartment I use to listen to my sirius satellite radio that only works in my bed room where it can received the sat signal with fm modulator on, so it transmits the shows on fm throughout my apartment. Still using the same 3aa carbon batteries for 3 years with no problems. Use is about 4 hours a day.

    Id see if you buy one, you get one with a tv band. We are lucky as the local news channel can be heard on 87.7 fm. Not all fm dials go that low, but this and a few other radios do.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have a Sangean SG-622 on my desk, it's a paperback-sized shortwave/AM/FM radio that runs on three AAs. I use it about six to eight hours per day, and it'll run on a set of AAs for about eight months. The AM and FM receivers are decent, but it's deaf as a stone in shortwave. Sound quality is the best I've heard from a radio that size, and you can get it at Radio Shack for like $20 and from Amazon for like $8.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Since the rechargeable batteries eventually go bad in those hand crank devices, I think it would be better to have all your devices (am/fm radio, flashlight(s), gps, pocket tv, travel clock, etc.) all work off AA batteries and just keep a few 48 packs of AA cells in your home and/or car. Another way would be to get a quality solar charger for NiMH AA cells and just keep a supply of NiMH around that you can replace as needed. I don't know if there are any hand crank devices solely for recharging NiMH batteries, but that would be another route.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Lips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Quote Originally Posted by Radio
    This now has a home in my Go Kit/Bug out Bag, Very small and runs on 8AA or external 12VDC. Not for everybody, but if you are serious about communications, this is the baby.


    http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...5&isArchived=0

    Radio

    That's a better communicator than my boat has in it.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic Bogie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have 2 of the Eaton/Grundig radios a FR300 TV/WX & A FR250 SW both are run on 3 AA's or a internial dyamo charging a cordless phone batt. For my purposes they work great, i have dual band ham HT's with Mars/Cap mods along with Moble units whit the same mods + both vechcles have CB's that have been peaked & tuned. I can pretty much stay in touch with anyone I wish
    SF 6P/G2/E2e/E2d/E2DL/E1e/L2/A2-PP(R)/A2(G)/L1(R)/L1(G)/M95/KL4(x2)/KL4(Blk)
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic Zigzago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Does anyone have one of these CountyComm 2AA radio/flashlights? I was thinking of getting one.

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have one of the CountyComm radios. Nice little unit. Tuning is by thumbwheel, but seems very precise. It does read the correct freq. when a station is tuned. Sound is what you'd expect for such a tiny speaker. Probably better for talk than music. Reception is adequate on AM/FM and even SW isn't too bad. The alarm setting only turns on the radio-no buzzer. The little light is bright enough to be useful and the tint is mostly white. It seems to be very efficient with the batteries. The faceplate is actually made of metal (aluminum?). I would probably buy another if this one broke.

    Geoff

    P.S. Just thought of one more thing. The light only works with the radio off, as the same two position switch activates both. You can work around this by having the radio turn on via the alarm setting, then turning the light. This is no good on AM, as there is too much RF noise generated by the light.
    Last edited by Flying Turtle; 08-31-2006 at 12:07 PM.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I use a Grundig FR200 hand crank radio.
    http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...able/2200.html

    It has proven to be a VERY nice radio,
    sounds good for its size, runs a long time,
    and you can run it off AA cells also.

    ~John

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    I agree with all who have recommended the Grundig crank radios. I have one of each.

    I also have an Eton (grundig) S350DL that I keep by my bed and use at bedtime. It has great sound either via it's large speaker or over phones.

    What makes it good as an emergency radio is that it can run on wall power or using D cells or AA cells. Both sets of batteries are in the radio at the same time. The D cells will run it for way over 6 months. If it happens that they are going dead just as an emergency comes....just switch to the AA batteries. I use Lithiums for the long shelf life, long runtime and because they don't leak like Alkalines sometimes do. The AA's will run the radio for months.

    Prices have been coming down, shop around and find it for somewhere between $50 and 100.

    http://shop.npr.org/webapp/wcs/store...2876&langId=-1

    For pocket size I like this one. Uses AA...

    http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0031812619752a.shtml

    Although not shown, it comes with a padded case and earbuds.

    Steve
    Last edited by justsomeguy; 09-02-2006 at 04:15 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Alkalines seem most likely to leak in hot weather, so I'd say leave your block of them in the fridge.

    Solar chargers are nice for remote setups but probably useless for bad-weather emergencies (not much sunlight).

    Crank radios use rechargeable batteries which eventually crap out.

    I think your best bet is a regular battery-powered radio and spare cells in the fridge.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    more for UK, CPF members.

    nice little FM-AM 2xAA radio with headphones.

    cannot be robbed for only £3.49 each.

    I bought two, one silver and one black.



    http://www.lidl.co.uk/uk/home.nsf/pa...ket_Radio.ar10

    regards.
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I decided I want to see all of natures fury on the color screen, so I have a splash proof pocket LCD TV that takes 4 AA's which I can recharge with solar if nothing else is available. I'd also have to exhaust my supply of over a hundred AA alkaline cells before all my electronics relied solely on rechargeable cells. I'm assuming that television will still be broadcasting of course. Maybe I should keep an AM/FM around as a backup.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I keep a Grundig in my box of power failure/emergency supplies. I have not used it much but they have a good reputation.
    www.EDCdepot.com Please use the coupon code CPF to receive your 5% discount on all purchases. If we carry it, so should you. FREE Spy Capsule with every order.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have one of the Countycomms, the one with the manual tuning and SW. The FM isn't bad, but the AM reception is terrible. Anyone know a radio of similar size that can actually recieve AM stations? Might as well forget about the SW in this one. I just want decent AM/FM reception.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    Hi Phaserburn ,


    The Grundig Mini-300 I linked to in post #21 gets tons of stations.

    This Sony is very popular. I prefer to have SW and digital tuning, but this one works great....

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...&HQS=ICFS10MK2

    Steve

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    As has been mentioned earlier, if you can use a radio that requires headphones, the Sony srf-59 pocket radio can't be beat. Good AM and FM reception and excellent sound, and it runs a long time on one AA cell. The Sony pocket radios use a proprietary IC and they won't give it to OEMs.
    http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/...etailReview.do
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...6JQ06?v=glance
    Last edited by eluminator; 09-06-2006 at 05:45 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I have the manual tuning Countycomm and the AM seems to work ok in mine (i.e. about as well as normal for a pocket radio). Maybe something is wrong with yours. Or if you're in the boonies and need super-sensitive AM reception, try a GE SuperRadio with an external antenna.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Emergency AM/FM radio

    I've had a sony ICF-M410V for many years and it has never failed me. Good sound and great reception. AM/FM/TV/NOAA. It uses 3 AA's and has a head phone jack.

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