Local Sam's has wind up, solar radio in my area.

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For the first time, I have seen a Freeplay solar wind up am fm radio in any store in this area. Sam's has it for 69.95. The same radio is on line at www.freeplay.net for 79.95 plus shipping. The web site has the bay-gen logo, so I guess this is a bay-gen radio? I had the salesclerk wind it up and we listened to it for awhile. Had very good reception. There were only about fifty of them stacked up at the end of the aisle. I debated about buying it and now I am so glad I did. This will be my birthday present. I found another great buy, down throws for under $23. Very good quality. Great for wrapping up in it and listening to the radio.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), September 22, 1999


Has anyone used Nippon solar/handcrank AM/FM radios? Emergency Essentials has them for $25 (includes a built-in flashlight).I don't want to buy junk and $70 is a bit steep. thanks

-- (rcarver@inacom.com), September 22, 1999.

I have the Nippon (w/out the light--cost about $18) Works wonderfully. Crank it for about 3 minutes and get 1 1/2 hours of radio play. Solar worked very well also (I can't remember exactly but I charged it in full sun for 1 hour and got at least 1 1/2 hours of play)

-- works great (gladIbought@it.com), September 22, 1999.

A 4 way solar, crank, ac/dc, battery for $25. is an ok price. It won't give a great sound on the music stations, and you sure don't want to "screw around" very much with the crank.

Remember, you are getting this flashlight-radio for emergencies and being solar it will cut back on buying batteries (which should not be left in the radio). I have sold a few dozen of these at the local swapmeet for $20. each. I believe they will do what they are intended to do and the savings can buy more rice & beans.

-- tc (trashcan-man@webtv.net), September 22, 1999.

I bought the 70 buck wind up Bay-gen flashlight at Christmas. No radio, but it has a jack where I can plug in my small short-wave radio. It seems sturdy enough, but takes a lot of cranking for the light.

I also tried some real cheap Russian hand crank lights from Lehmans. These are emergency only; the minute you stop squeezing the handle, the light stops.

-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), September 22, 1999.

The crank on those Nippon radio/flashlights is pretty flimsy. But the metal shaft extends out of the radio so you should be able to attach a better crank. The professional way would be to file a flat on the crank and drill& tap the new handle for a setscrew, but you might be able to just rough it up and use epoxy..

-- biker (y2kbiker@worldnet.att.net), September 22, 1999.

I checked out a Nippon wind up radio at an expo this week. The Freeplay bay-gen radio had far better sound and better reception and seemed to be made of sturdier material. Just my observation for comparison.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), September 24, 1999.

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