Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Mom's Got Her Own Radio

Everyone Has Their Tunes And Talk

My kids walk around the house wired to their ipods or phones to enjoy a little music. I tried that, and still use a purple Nano when I walk, but I really missed having a radio in the kitchen that worked. We have an ancient "Spacesaver" radio under a cabinet, but it is hit or miss whether it turns on and let's just say it snaps, crackles and pops with no help from a bowl of cereal.

My husband has "his own" battery powered radio from the 1970s. This is not an exaggeration, and he carries it around on weekends to listen to sports shows and determine his fantasy football lineup. I know -- we are hopelessly mired in the past, but it works for him. Did you notice, however, that I said it was "his own?" Sigh....

Time For Mom To Claim Her Own

When Christmas neared I saw an assortment of brightly colored radios in a catalog, simple AM/FM options. Plus they could be hand cranked to work in an emergency and featured weather radio and a LED flashlight. Pretty affordable, as well, and perfect as an answer to the boys' question, "What do you want for Christmas, mom?"

So I put it out there, and son number one jumped on it. He texted to ask which color, and I went with green. Easy to find, I figured, on a cluttered counter. I thought it would be great to take along on trips if only for the flashlight, and perfect to pack on a canoe or fishing trip. I planned to use it when the "Spacemaker" fizzled and I didn't have the smartphone or computer charged up to stream my classical or NPR favorites.

When I opened it my husband snickered, but he may be changing his tune as he loads more batteries into his antique. At first I was dismayed to find this little green guy was only able to offer 10 minutes or so on a hand crank, but that was before I plugged it into the wall with the included USB cord the day after Christmas to charge for about three hours. I have been listening to it upstairs, downstairs, in the kitchen, in the dining room, while doing laundry -- wherever I want to go -- for the last six days for two to three hours a day on that same charge! In fact I am listening to some lovely Water Music right now.

This durable radio has a bright light and an easy to turn crank along with the magic USB cord. Its sound will not rival expensive systems, but is just what I need as I wander through the house getting stuff done. I am already looking forward to it in the garden and on the front deck of the cabin this summer -- maybe it picking up a little music while I am picking a few wild blueberries.

Think about one of these -- or its siblings with a few more features below -- as an inexpensive option when filling the whole house with your favorite music or talk radio is not desired. This eco-friendly radio comes in many colors; you don't have to select green to be green, if you know what I mean. And when you need a radio that is not tethered to the grid Eton has an answer for you.

Lots of folks have commented on the Eton's ability to charge a cellphone. The basic one I received does not do that, but there are some below that do. Think about what your needs might be and pick the one that makes the most sense for you.

I have my eye on a slightly different model (with cell phone charging ability) for the back porch this summer in case anyone is wondering what to get me for Mother's Day. Just saying.

American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger - Red (ARCFRX3WXR)
American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger - Red (ARCFRX3WXR)

This is a little more pricey, but could save your life with the weather alert AND charge your smartphone.

 
Ambient Weather WR-333 Emergency Solar Hand Crank Weather Alert Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger
Ambient Weather WR-333 Emergency Solar Hand Crank Weather Alert Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger

Maybe this can replace my husband's antique. Like the options for charging.

 
Belkin Low-profile USB Auto Charger
Belkin Low-profile USB Auto Charger

This is a super affordable option. Check out others at Amazon to keep all your electronics charged when on the road.

 

Check out this lens on the

Best Crank Radios for Emergency Preparedness

for more information.

Breaking News! The Little Green Radio,

AKA Mr. Green, has just been fully recharged. Let the playing begin.


We are at 24 48 56 hours of continuous radio listening........and he's out of gas. Still pretty good for a three hour charge! And remember you can crank it if necessary in an emergency.

Thanks for taking the poll




Now that we know that 56 hours of continuous play is possible let's move to the next burning question. What color Eton Radio would you choose?

  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Red
  • Black
  • One of each
See results without voting

 Last updated on July 24, 2014

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What kind of emergency radio do you have handy? 31 comments

Flora Crew profile image

Flora Crew 9 months ago

Nice review. Does it have a hook on it so you can hang it in the shower?


Merrci profile image

Merrci 9 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 7 Commenter

Great review and it is adorable in green!


CampingmanNW profile image

CampingmanNW 9 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Nice job describing a product that has been around for years but so few know of or recognize. I ALWAYS take one along when hiking or camping in remote areas, because not only is it a flashlight and a radio, but as you describe, I can charge my cell phone. Thanks for a great little lens here.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@CampingmanNW: Thanks! The one I have is the base model and does not charge the cell phone, but Mother's Day is coming up! And Mr.Green is still warbling from that one charge -- going on Day 8! I may have to a pool on just how long it keeps going. And no batteries to recycle on a regular basis.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Merrci: Mr. Green is conversing with me right now -- the Alexander Glazunov - Symphony No. 6: Intermezzo. Life is good. Thanks for the visit!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Flora Crew: It does not, but it is so portable it could perch on the sink while you enjoy a good sudsing. Thanks for the note!


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 9 months ago from Arkansas USA Level 7 Commenter

Cool! I love the green (one of my Kindles has a cover that color). Great idea, great review!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@SusanDeppner: My cell phone is robed in lime green as well, and I and working just getting a Kindle. All in good time ..... Thanks for dropping by!


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 9 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

Very nice and informative review, I'll have to check this out as I could use something for the garage. Thanks!!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@esmonaco: Thanks for stopping by. It is astounding how many hours of play I have gotten out of one charge. My next plan is to recharge it when (if) it finally runs out and then have it run continuously to gauge how many hours we can expect. Might have to insert a poll on this lens. :-)


LauraHofman profile image

LauraHofman 9 months ago from Naperville, IL

I think I will add a Mr. Green to my wish list...thanks for the personal review and making me aware of this radio!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@LauraHofman: Thanks so much! He is still going strong.


MJ Martin profile image

MJ Martin 9 months ago from Washington State Level 4 Commenter

This would certainly work much better when we go out into the wilderness, like you said, if for nothing else an extra light. Nice bright colors, love that option too!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@MJ Martin: Yes -- I am thinking the slightly upgraded model might be of great use to some as it can give your cell phone a boost -- critical if you have an emergency AND cell coverage.


RoadMonkey profile image

RoadMonkey 9 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Sounds like a useful buy! I am fond of crank up machines for use in power cuts.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@RoadMonkey: I am with you on that. Thanks for stopping by!


WriterJanis2 profile image

WriterJanis2 9 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Looks like you found a great radio here.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@WriterJanis2: Thanks -- it has been handy!


tonyleather 9 months ago

Sounds like an excellent buy!


Northerntrials profile image

Northerntrials 9 months ago

I remember when I used to carry a radio around with me all the time. It was not a little lightweight model either, but it was before Walkmans and iPods and all these other new fangled devices. I used to compartment in the back, used for the charging cord, to carry stuff like a survival kit and emergency rain poncho. It went everywhere with me.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Northerntrials: I hear you! Everything is so much more compact these days.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@tonyleather: I agree!


Heidi Vincent profile image

Heidi Vincent 9 months ago from GRENADA Level 7 Commenter

Hooray, for your 'radio' independence :)) Nice radio account, LynnKK!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Heidi Vincent: Thanks! About time I got my own!


Old Navy Guy profile image

Old Navy Guy 9 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Heck of an invention eh? I always take one when I hike. I get weather info when I need it, a flashlight at the ready and a cell phone charger if needed. (I haven't had to use that feature yet thankfully) Thanks for sharing about a product that many overlook.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Old Navy Guy: Agreed. The one I reviewed does not have the cell phone charger, but I am thinking an upgrade may be in the future. I am sure I can find a place for Mr. Green even if I also get a Mr. Black! ;-)


lizbirdsall9 9 months ago

we don't have an radio.with a flashlight sorry but we will get one


Loretta L profile image

Loretta L 6 months ago from Chilterns, UK. Level 3 Commenter

I don't have an emergency radio, but having seen your snazzy little green one I must say I am tempted. There are so many colours. I opted for red in the poll, but hmmm.....the green is pretty nice. And then there's purple. So many fab colours. :)


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 6 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@Loretta L: Thanks for the visit. It is a nice, portable option!


asereht1970 profile image

asereht1970 5 months ago Level 5 Commenter

It's not really an emergency radio. But it operates on both AC/DC power, and has a flashlight.


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 5 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Hub Author

@asereht1970: Thanks for the visit!

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