Eton Grundig FR200 Emergency AM/FM Shortwave crank radio and flashlight. With...
Pros: durable, emergency light, easy to use, good audio
Cons: dial markings not always accurate, quality control, can accidentally be turned on
For camping, power outages, or just relaxing in the backyard, the FR200 seems to be just the thing. My particular unit has seen 10 months of steady use, and has displayed its good and bad points. The radio itself is pretty durable. Although the plast...ic casing feels somewhat flimsy, it can withstand a good share of abuse before developing any marks on the cabinet. The build quality seems to vary from unit to unit. Some have switches that don't always work; others with hand cranks that give out after a short period of use. Mine seems to have been one of the better-made radios. I have tested the AC 4.5v input, along with inserting 3 alkaline AA's to make sure it was all good. From then on, I've only used the generator and internal NiMH battery pack without any problems. Performance-wise, the audio tends to be in line with other Grundig products. Despite the speaker size, the sound is robust, and quite pleasant. FM reception is OK, with some overloading in strong signal areas. The sectional antenna on the back can help with this, but is limited in its rotation pattern. AM reception is actually decent, and includes the expanded 1610-1710 portion of the band. Reception of all bands is helped by the coarse/fine combination tuning knob. Signal reception of the 2 SW bands is a little lacking, and is helped greatly by clipping a small amount of wire to the antenna. Searching for a shortwave frequency can be a little frustrating due to the sparse dial markings. The emergency lamp is fairly bright, and illuminates a pretty wide area. The generator crank lies flat on the side of the radio until needed. When folded out for use, it can be turned in either direction, with a charging indicator light on the top of the radio letting you know that the batteries are getting some juice. Turning the crank for 60-70 seconds gives the radio roughly one hour of listening time. Again, quality control per radio seems to dictate the listening time of the unit. I've had my radio on for over 2 hours at a time using the rechargeable batteries, with no real dropoff in performance. Although the radio doesn't use much power, the light does. Leaving the lamp on drains the batteries at a fairly quick pace. It comes with a lightly padded carrying case that protects the radio well, but, be warned. The power and lamp switches extend from the radio far enough to be accidentally turned on when sliding the radio in the case. Grundig has good customer service for their products if any problems or questions arise. The light on my unit burned out after roughly 8 months of use. Upon contacting Grundig as to where I could purchase more micro bulbs, they took my info and promptly sent me 2 replacements at no charge. Overall, I would have to say that my experience with the FR200 has been a good one. Durable and easy to use, but with some quality and performance drawbacks. Although I would suggest this radio to anyone who likes to spend time outdoors, I would recommend that you check the store's return/exchange policy before purchasing one of these. Read more Less
Pros: small, good sound.
Cons: Battery only. Hand crank system fails repeatedly
I have now had three of these radios and I have had to return all three to the seller(s). The hand crank system is not robust and will not hold a charge. I have followed all instructions and have had up to an hour of power, but the system starts degr...ading soon after and will not take/hold further charges. Read more Less
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