A few weeks ago, I woke up to find that the power was off at my house. It so happens that most of the fun electronic stuff in the house doesn’t actually work when the power is out. The most critical thing is that the freaking internet didn’t work. Huh?
I remembered that I had purchased one of those whizzy emergency radios that has a hand-crank generator built into it. After I fumbled around and found it stuffed away in a closet, I gave it a crank and the radio receiver came alive! Wow, instant communications without batteries or AC power.
I got to thinking that we should have one of these radios at the cabin up in the mountains. After all, the power goes out there even more often.
Searching around Amazon.com and a few other sites, I discovered that the Midland XT-511 Base Camp radio has a hand-crank radio that includes AM broadcast, FM broadcast, Weather receive and, yes, a GMRS 2-way radio. OK, it doesn’t work on the ham bands but the FRS and GMRS frequencies might be useful when things go dark.
It arrived the other day and, so far, I am very pleased with it. It is a consumer grade piece of radio gear but it seems to perform well. I tuned around the AM, FM and Weather bands, clearly receiving the stations that I would expect to hear. The GMRS radio seems to work OK but the transmit audio was a little mushy.
The radio can operate off of the internal rechargeable batteries or standard AA alkaline batteries…quite flexible, I’d say.
The radio costs around $56 from Amazon.com.
73, Bob K0NR