The Eton FR-300 is an emergency radio that is designed for disaster situations. It features an AM/FM radio, NOAA weather channels, a small light, and a siren. It can be run on AC power (but the cord is NOT included), 3 AA batteries, or a hand-crank which charges an small internal battery pack. The radio has a few additional features, such as the ability to charge a cell phone (adapter NOT included but can be ordered) and a headphone jack (again, NOT included and NOT honestly expected).
My only real interest in purchasing this unit was specifically for the ability to run the radio via the hand-crank. I figured the light would be nice but not necessary as I have a ton of flashlights that are better anyway.
My initial tests of this radio were not very favorable. The manual stated that I needed to turn the hand-crank for 90 seconds in order to charge the internal battery pack. I did so with little strain but certainly wouldn’t want to do that for an hour. Anyway, I found that I was able to get about 4.5 minutes of FM radio and well over twice that amount of time for NOAA radio reception, both at a low to medium volume setting.
I was also supposed to be able to run the included light while turning the hand-crank but any light given off might as well have been non-existent. I wasn’t able to test phone charging ability because I never bothered to order a phone cord (maybe I should have).
After installing three fresh AA batteries I was able to test the light. It was ok and would suffice to read a map or maybe find my way around the bathroom. For some reason, the manufacturer choose to include a rather annoying red flashing light that will run on the hand-crank; for the life of me I see no purpose in it.
Additionally, there is a built-in siren that can be turned on. Again, I see no purpose in it other than to make my dog wonder what I was doing.
As for overall quality, I can say that I wouldn’t want the radio to take a drop from the table… it might not work again. Honestly, I cannot recommend this radio for your emergency preparedness supplies, especially for the price I paid at the time (around $50) from the local hardware store. While I cannot vouch for any other hand crank emergency radio, you may very well find other radios that are worthy of your hard earned money, such as these…