Best emergency radio reviews

American Red Cross Radio Review

The American Red Cross FRX3 Hand CrankThe American Red Cross has high standards for emergency radios. That’s why I decided to review this emergency radio and see how good it really is.

The FRX3 weather alert radio is made to the American Red Cross’s high standards by the Eton Corporation and is considered by radio-heads (like me) to be one of the best non-specialty weather alert radios available on the market today. AM/FM stations and all seven NOAA stations can be accessed through the FRX3. The radio also has an alert system that issues all emergency weather alerts for your local area. Most importantly, the FRX3 has several power options and can be used to charge other devices, including smartphones.

Power Options
The FRX3 can be powered in several ways. It contains its own special battery, included with the radio, which is the main power source. This battery can be recharged via solar energy and by hand cranking the radio’s turbine. The radio can also accept AAA batteries as a back-up to the main battery, although these batteries are not included with the product and must be purchased separately. The radio is designed to be portable and does not have an AC adapter.

In addition to charging the radio’s battery, sunlight and the turbine can power the radio functions themselves if necessary. By cranking the radio for one minute, you will power the radio for ten to fifteen minutes’ worth of radio listening time. For solar energy, simply place the radio face-up in sunlight (solar panels are located on the radio’s front) and monitor the battery charge on the read-out screen.

Charging via solar power or cranking will recharge the main internal battery, although the optional AAA batteries cannot be charged this way. But that it can even accept batteries in addition to the other power options makes this a very good radio for emergencies.

Thanks to this variety of power options, using your FRX3 to recharge your smart phone or other devices is less risky than with other radios. Any phone that can be connected via the radio’s USB cord (included) can charge via the radio just as it charges through AC outlets in your home. It is best to charge a phone when you have reliable access to power. One minute of hand-cranking will power your phone enough to make a phone call lasting approximately thirty seconds. Good enough for an emergency, I say.

Radio Speaker Quality
The speaker quality of this emergency radio is high-quality for alert stations, but less so for listening to music. One reviewer of the FRX3 on Amazon writes, “The speaker performance is better than I expected but not the exception.”
Radio Station Reception
Reception has been rated quite high, with one reviewer stating, “All three bands, AM, FM and the weather band have excellent reception.” But please check it out yourself prior to an emergency – radio reception can vary greatly from place to place. Some of the reviews were mixed on this aspect of the radio.
 
Additional Features
In additions to its radio functions, the FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM radio has a built-in LED flashlight and a red light which emits a flashing beacon in order to indicate emergencies. This is important in case you are disabled in any way. There is also a headphone jack, enabling you to listen to music and alerts individually. There is even an AUX-input so that you may play your own music from your mp3 player or another device.

With its multiple power options, phone charging abilities, and glow-in-the-dark locator, the American Red Cross FRX3 can be depended upon to help keep you safe in an emergency. An overall good choice with a lot of bells and whistles. But check reception in your local area to make sure it is up to par.

 

 

 

 

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