Etón FR160BL Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Blue)

Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power, and Cell Phone Charger

$ 27.00


  1. Mark Fellows "Gadget Guy" says
    446 of 456 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Cheap and high quality emergency radio, August 23, 2009
    Mark Fellows “Gadget Guy” (Baltimore, MD) –

    This radio is a great little investment. It does exactly everything it states it should. On a 60 second crank I got hours of play. I ran the radio completely dead by leaving the light on and the radio playing at half column. I let the radio play like this with the light on for at least an hour before it went dead. I then put it out in the sun and let it charge with the solar charger for about four hours and then turned the radio on and let it play for only about an hour and then just didn’t want to complete the experiment. I am very pleased with this radio. 60 seconds of cranking for hours of play is very reasonable. Letting it charge out in the sun and getting hours of play is very reasonable. I have other brands like this in the past that you would crank for 5 to 10 and get maybe 10 minutes of play.

    Update as of 5/14/2012.

    I let it sit out in the rain all day today, and it hardly got any water in it… It still works!

    Of course,

    M. Mason would want to know exactly how hard the rain was… The weatherman says up to 1″/Hour.

    M. Mason would want to know exactly how long it sat in the rain? approximately 8 hours…

    I took it apart, noticed about 4 drops of approximately 1 mm in diameter. After an hour, got tired of waiting and put it back together, it seems to work fine.

    The AM/FM radio works fine, and the weather radio works. Of course, time will tell how the Dynamo works, but I don’t expect water to effect the solar charging. I won’t turn the dynamo for a while, as the battery should have a full charge as it sat out in the sun yesterday. How long? I just don’t know, sorry M. Mason.

    I finally packed it in an air tight container with an old packet of Desiccant to try and dry out any remaining moisture. As long as the packet isn’t too saturated, it should work…

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  2. Amazon Feedbacker says
    337 of 343 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Very good product for what it’s designed for, July 10, 2009
    Amazon Feedbacker (CA & TX) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I read numerous reviews about this product and had concerns re: people’s feedback — quality, lack of A/C power adapter, time/effort to recharge a cell phone, USB charger which is useless when there’s no power, etc. But I decided to buy one just because I’ve got a young family and it’s my responsibility [gulp] to be at least minimally prepared. You got to admit that these storms in recent years (not to mention tornados, earthquakes, fires, and other disasters that occur constantly) demonstrate that help may take days or weeks to arrive. That’s a long time when you remember that lights, ATM’s, radios, etc don’t work when bad things happen.

    So I pulled the trigger w/ low expectations and am I glad I did. These FR-160’s are ideal for their purpose: they provide basic lighting & communication (read: radio/weather) in case of emergency. The quality was shockingly good for only $30. And they’re small — pretend your hand is in a mitten and subtract your thumb…about that size. They’re not meant to provide music for a party so don’t expect it amazing quality sound. They’re not designed to be used on the ocean as your boat’s only radio. Don’t drop it off a cliff and expect it to be good as new. They’re designed to be a compact combination radio/flashlight that can be a lifesaver if you ever need it.

    Keep safe…

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  3. Mark Wagner says
    194 of 197 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Pleasantly surprised with the battery life, November 29, 2009

    This radio is an excellent radio for the price. No, it is not a top-end emergency radio, but it should work rather well for anyone looking for a basic AM/FM/Weather radio with both a solar and hand-crank charging option. I purchased mine about a year ago and used it only occasionally for the first few months. Then I placed it on a shelf with limited light and there it sat for about six to eight months. About six weeks ago I dusted it off and it actually worked for about an hour or so with no hand-crank charging. Later that day I sat it in the front window where it would get plenty of direct sun light. A couple days later I picked it up from the window and have been using it a few hours each day since; some of those days it was used for more than six hours in the basement. I have not needed to crank it at all, but did crank charge it for about one minute total just while playing with it – for the record. Since then, I have been keeping it on the shelf out in the open where it is exposed to normal room daylight, no direct sunlight. The charging light does not light up in this setting, and I would not expect it to. I have occasionally taken it out on the front porch to sit a listen where there is direct sunlight, but only for about an hour or so each week. I really like the idea of not having to buy batteries, and the convenience of knowing I always have a charged radio.

    The flashlight is minimal, but I would not expect more from an LED light source. I have my 6-D-Cell Mag light if I need a powerful (luxury) light source.

    Tuning the radio is a bit sensitive and can be difficult to fine tune. I would consider this to be a SIGNIFICANT problem for an elderly person or anyone without the use of fine motor skills in their hands; but for me it is a minor hassle I am willing and able to deal with. I have considered getting the Eaton FR600 for its digital tuner. The reviews for that model suggest the battery life is pretty bad, so I have decided to wait for an improved model. For now, my FR160 is just fine. I would consider giving this 5-stars if the fine-tuning was much easier.

    The USB charge does work, but know that it will not charge an iPhone 3Gs. This is more a problem/restriction of the iPhone 3Gs (a widely discussed complaint across the Internet for many-many generic charging devices) and is not because of the radio. Charging my old Samsung phone was not a problem.

    The weather bands do pick up a signal, but to be absolutely honest, I have not used it much to provide any real opinion.

    The hand-crank charger feels solid enough (I wouldn’t abuse it) and tucks away securely when not used. I have found the manual crank-charger will provide about 25-30 minutes of radio time (at about 1/4 to 1/3 volume) for every minute of crank-charging. I average about 2 cranks per second or about 120 rotation per minute. Now I just count to 120 or so instead of watching the clock. This play-time per craink-time yeild has been very acceptable for me. After two minutes of crank-charging my hand does begins to tire a little, but just a little. If I leave the radio in a place with good direct sunlight when not using it, changing via the crank is never even needed.

    In short, it works for what I want – a radio that that can be charged by sunlight or by hand-crank when absolutely necessary. If you want the construction and feature-set of a $100+ radio – buy a $100+ radio. But, for $30 (or less), I am pleased with the FR160.

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