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Review of Eton FR-300 Emergency Radio

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…

8 comments to Review of Eton FR-300 Emergency Radio

  • Tim AZ

    Nice! You should add this to a communications board on your Pinterest site.

  • rgr

    Mylar is actually a combination of 2 materials, polyester film with an aluminum foil outer laminate. Thickness of the foil depends on the users needs. Early uses was in the electronic/computer industry as a static shield for high tech components. A real good site for this product information is Sorbent Systems, real in depth and also a good source for product. Varies site out their on EMP protection and protective devices. Here are just a few, Tech Protect, Survival Blog board and a pretty good video called FIELD EXPEDIENT ELECTRONIC/RFID SHIELDING-YOU TUBE. As with every topic on EMP their is varied opinions on the effectiveness of protective devices, but my past experience around the Army signal corps is that Mylar was used as part of their protection procedures. Happy reading and God Bless.

    • Thanks for clarifying that, although, mylar can’t include much aluminum at all because I’m pretty sure I’ve tried to stick a magnet to it (just out of curiosity) and it didn’t stick. I’ll try to check out the references you city. Thank you.

  • rgr

    I also looked at the one you described and a few others and felt they were poorly made. I was able to p/u 2 Sony AM/FM ICF-S10MK2 highly rated at AMAZON for $10 each. I like the Mini mag lights, carried one for the last 35 years (20 years as an Army Ranger) paid $3 for it now about $10. I use Sam’s Club AA’s cheap and have a 3-5 year shelf life. Store radio/light and 4 sets of batteries in half of a 1 gallon Mylar bag. Cut bag in half with razor cutter this way I can use one full size bag for two complete radio/light kits ( I’m kind of frugal). Went with Mylar not only for water proofing but what I’ve researched about EMP protection. 2 full kits one kept in BOB other in old micro-wave (Good Faraday cage)Picked up for free at appliance store. Cost under $45 and meets the “one is none, two is one” operational mind set. Do to limited funds I have spent more than a few hours researching ways to prep and get twice as much bang for the buck. Great Web site, thanks for the opportunity to inject personal thoughts and opinions. God Bless

    • rgr, I would love to see where you found mylar bags as EMP protection. Although they are made of plastic, which in most cases is not conductive, I’m not sure they would offer any protection from EMP. I just don’t know the answer and would appreciate knowing this bit of info if you can find it.

  • rgr

    I am a big fan of the military acronym referred to as K.I.S.S. or keep it simple stupid. The more complex an item the more likely it will not perform to standard of fail entirely. My backup or even primary emergency radio is a basic $15 dollar am/Fm radio. It is packaged in a Mylar bag with two sets of batteries (4AA) and a small flash light $8 with 4AA. I don’t have to crank it and in an emergency if the air waves are up and running I will get weather info from the station provider. This setup is in a Mylar bag which provides a basic EMP shield and also waterproofing protection. Batteries are good for years and the mylar can be resealed if necessary. All for $25 and less that 1lbs of bug out weight.