Saturday, May 13, 2006

Emergency Radio Update. A while ago, I posted on a small radio that I purchased at Radio Shack that has an internal battery that one keeps charged with a crank on the side. The radio, the Grundig FR200, also has AM-FM and short-wave reception and a small light. It has served us well through two hurricane seasons.

The Grundig name is a venerable one in the history of short-wave radio, but that name, insofar as it applies to short-wave radios, is apparently licensed to or owned by Eton Corporation. (There continues to be a Grundig Corporation, a German company. It continues to produce certain consumer electronic devices, but not these radios. Grundig has a proud history of innovation.)

Eton now has a new model , the "American Red Cross FR400", that looks even better. It is, however, $60, one-third more expensive than the Grundig FR200 (which is still sold and still $40). The FR400 does not have the short-wave bands, but it does have some additional attractive features that the cheaper model lacks: it is water resistant, has a cell phone charger, comes with an AC adapter, and has a selector for the NOAA weather channels and certain of the TV channels. It also has a siren, so they are obviously including within their sales targets 9 year old boys (and 60 year old men).

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