Eton FR350 emergency radio
A couple of minutes of arm power and you get eight shortwave bands, plus AM and FM signals. Two bright white LED lights serve as a built-in flashlight. You can charge your cell phone. And a flashing red LED light sends siren alerts should you get lost camping--or cleaning out your messy garage. That's a lot of gadget for a little cranking.
I figured the portable Eton could be the star of the earthquake-and-other-calamities kit I've been assembling (and which, I'm ashamed to admit, currently consists of a few batteries and Band-Aids--on a good day). With this $60-ish plastic orange contraption at home, I suddenly felt far more responsible--and ready to face power outages, not to mention trips to the mountains.
But sadly, the first time I turned the crank, it snapped off like a wimpy twig--before I had even completed one full rotation. And it didn't break off in such a way that it could be reattached. It broke off where crank meets body in such a way that only getting a brand new radio would have soothed my disappointment.
Clearly, the Eton FR350 is just not that into me, and hey, I don't like it anymore either! I still love Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me, though.
February 13, 2009 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: Eton
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