Superstorm Sandy has proved to many the wisdom of having an emergency radio on hand that is powered by alternative means. Without power or a large supply of batteries, people in Sandy’s destructive wake had no way to find out about important news like where to get assistance, gas, water, and food. Everything was broadcast over the radio and television. I feel that it is absolutely essential for every family to have a good emergency radio…one that doesn’t need the power grid to be working to operate. Out of all of the emergency radio’s on the market that are geared for home preparedness and have alternative power sources, I’ve found the American Red Cross FRX3 to be among the best.
The American Red Cross FRX3 is a hand turbine and solar powered emergency AM/FM/NOAA weather radio with a USB smart phone charger and an LED flashlight. It is manufactured by Eton.
American Red Cross FRX3 Features:
- You can recharge your cell phone via a USB charger.
- You can use regular AAA batteries or a rechargeable NiMH battery pack.
- There are 3 different ways to charge the rechargeable batteries:
- Mini-USB port (about 2 hours to fully charge). USP cord is not included.
- Solar cell (8-10 hours of full sun)
- Crank the hand turbine. 90 seconds of hand crank will give about 5 to 7 minutes of radio, and about 20 minutes of flashlight.
- Once the rechargeable batteries are fully charged, they will play the radio for 3-4 hours at low volume.
- There is a 3-LED bright white flashlight that has a brightness of 4.9 lumen.
- The FRX3 has a glow-in-the-dark band that surrounds the solar-cell so you can find the FRX3 easily in the dark.
- The radio has an auxiliary input that plays music from an external MP3 player.
- The weather radio tunes to all 7 of the NOAA weather channels.
- The radio has an Alert system. This will keep you automatically alerted to emergency weather alerts in your area.
- There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack for personal listening.
- It has a built in alarm clock.
Price Range: $45 – $60
Who Would Buy This:
Those shopping for an excellent emergency radio that is multifunctional and affordable. This unit is ideal for all preppers, campers, hunters, and anyone who is concerned about power blackouts.
- The American Red Cross FRX3 is reasonably priced. There are cheaper weather alert radios on the market but they don’t have all of the great features of the FRX3.
- This radio has 5 different ways to power it. The FRX3 can be powered with either the internal rechargeable Ni-MH battery (600mAh, 3.6V), 3 AAA batteries, the hand-crank turbine, the solar cell, or the USB DC-in. Simply select the power source and press the Power Button to turn the radio on.
- The cell phone dump charge works great. You first charge the rechargeable battery, then connect your charging cord into the phone and charging jack, and press the CELL button to start the dump charge. The charging will continue until the rechargeable Ni-MH battery is depleted.
Don’t use the hand turbine while your cellphone is connected. Charge the Ni-MH battery first, then connect the cellphone. Ignoring this warning can damage your cellphone.
- The FRX3 is not waterproof so you need to keep it out of the rain and away from moisture. It is easy to keep dry though in a gallon zip-lock bag.
- The solar cells aren’t very efficient. They do charge automatically though whenever there is good sunlight and the Dynamo Power mode is selected.
Does it include a Warranty?
Yes, it has a one year Ltd. warranty on parts & labor. The warranty card is included in the box.
Where to buy
Click Here To Buy: American Red Cross FRX3 – Red
When the power goes out and all of the batteries have disappeared from the store shelves, it is important that your electronic emergency gear can be charged by alternative means. As you can see, The American Red Cross FRX3 more than delivers in that department.
Value for money (Is it reasonably priced?) – 9 out of 10
Performance (How well does it work?) – 10 out of 10
Ease of use (Is it easy to handle and manipulate?) – 9 out of 10
Features (Is it multifunctional?) – 10 out of 10
1,003 total customer reviews…
The American Red Cross FRX3 is a fine product that gives the impression of durability. If you have been searching for an excellent quality emergency radio that is also multifunctional and affordable, your search can end right now. It should give you years of good service.