When Superstorm Sandy hit last fall we, like so many in our region, were left without power. For Elana and me that meant no heat, no light and no water. (Yes, we live in New Jersey and have well rather than communal water.) The outage also meant we had no way to recharge batteries. Thankfully I had anticipated this happening and prepared by charging all of my various external batteries. I do, however, wish I had had the Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio. The Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio is an all-purpose, rechargeable weather alert radio with solar panel and hand turbine power generator.
That means you can use the sun to charge the device or, if it is nighttime or too overcast you can charge it up by hand. Actually the solar panel and hand turbine power generator are only two of the four ways to keep the Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio running since it also has a built-in rechargeable battery and can take traditional batteries.
The Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio offers AM and FM radio as well as sporting a 3.5mm AuxIn port so you can connect your own media player and use the FRX3’s speaker to listen. The Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio also provides access to NOAA’s weather band digital radio. In addition, if you set the FRX3 to “Alert” it will automatically broadcast emergency weather alerts if, for example, there are reports of hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather events in your area.
The Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio also has a digital display and built-in alarm clock. A 3.5mm headphone jack lets you listen to the FRX3 in private. But wait- there’s more! The FRX3 has a powerful LED flashlight built into one side and light that flashes red in case of emergency. The Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio even glows in the dark so you can find it when the lights go out. (Now THAT’S a smart feature!)
One of the questions I had involved how much hand-cranking is required to get the Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio up and running. The answer is- not much! Just a few cranks of the handle and the flashlight was illuminated. One minute of hand-cranking resulted in more than 15 minutes of radio operation. (The company reports 15-20 minutes.) Equally important to me was the fact that it was easy to crank the FRX3. After all, I have a wrist that is fused and another that has some damage already. And if you don’t want to work hard (not that it is hard work) you can pop in some AAA batteries.
The final feature of the Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio is the one I would have most liked to have had post-Sandy. If the FRX3 is charged you can plug your smartphone into the USB port and it will “automatically “dump charge” to your phone, just like plugging into the wall”. In other words the FRX3 would have let us listen to the radio, get weather updates, have light at night AND charge our iPhones.
I can honestly say that every household should have an Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio. At under $60 it is inexpensive peace-of-mind that is more important than ever since 100 year storms seem to be happening every year or two. Seriously, you should have one and so should your family and friends! You can learn more here and you can get it for $56 here in out Amazon Affiliate Store.
Carly Z here with my quick addition on the FRX3. We had an FRX3 (LL Bean branded) during Hurricane Sandy, and it was the best piece of tech in the world. We were in the midst of packing our home, so we made use of the radio for entertainment, the flashlight to see what we were doing, and the charger to keep our phones topped off. Sarah had used the radio for camping before, but this was our first time using it during a power outage and emergency situation. We were very grateful for it, and I agree with Dan-everyone should have one handy!
Don’t need all the bells and whistles of the FRX3? The FRX2 lets you hand charge your smartphone for under $35. Get it here.
What I Like: Well-constructed; Four different ways to keep the FRX3 charged; Flashlight and emergency flasher; “Alert” functionality lets you know when there are weather emergencies; “Dump charges” you smartphone
What Needs Improvement: Not a thing other than the fact that I received the review sample AFTER Sandy
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample