I have always wanted one of these but they were too expensive. You see when the power goes out here, you just immediately know that it is going to be out for a while. I am not sure why it takes so long for us to get power back on here because when I lived in New England the power being out for a long time meant it was out for maybe an hour. Here we never have gotten power back on after an outage until 2 1/2 hours have gone by and that is from a little thunderstorm. We almost always lose power in a thunderstorm. I often blame it on the red clay here as the trees cannot put down decent roots in it and they fall on the lines when it rains and the clay softens. I am sure they grow roots when it is wet here but most of the summer we have drought conditions and the rains we get in spring and summer really don't make up for it so the clay is too hard for the roots to penetrate most of the time.
Anyway, on to the solar hand cranked radio flashlight. I got one today!
It did. I had to buy new rechargeable batteries for it but that was all. Now that I have played with it some, I am quite impressed with what it offers so I thought I would do this review.
As you can see, there is the clock which has an alarm on the front which is so important when the power is out and you have to go to work the next day (I used to keep an old wind up alarm clock at one time for power outages). Then there is the radio. I have had a hand crank radio before but it just didn't work well enough. It didn't have a battery back up or solar power like this one does. It was easier to go out to the car to hear updates on the radio if the power was out more than a day or two. This radio also picks up lots of stations even out here where we live and they come in clearly. Then the front has the flashlight and the light also can be set to "blink" though I am not sure what I would need that for since I don't plan to keep it in my car...but you just never know when you will need a blinking light...right? Anyway, the flashlight works well though not as well as the new LED ones.
The solar panel is on the top and you can lift up one side to angle it towards the sun. I am really not sure how well it works since my rechargeable batteries came already charged but I have set the whole thing on the windowsill so I shouldn't have to use the crank for a while even in an outage because the solar panel should keep the batteries charged.
Anyway, not bad for a dollar. Between this and the coffee pot that I have that can plug into the car cigarette lighter, I should be all set in a power outage.... : )