wind up radios, where can I get a good one? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I want to buy a wind-up radio. I would like recommendations as to brands, models, and suppliers. What has been your experience with these? Thank you.

-- kathy (, October 24, 1999


For a radio receiver that needs no power, look into crystal radios. You have to use an earplug or earphones, but they never need batteries or other power sources. If you research this idea, and it makes sense to use it, pass it along.

-- fullname (, October 24, 1999.


You have lots of choices out there. I have purchased the Baygen Short Wave with flashlight (wind-up/solar/battery), very trustworthy, have used it during power outages already. These can be purchased at many places. Price compare using keyword 'Baygen' at search engine.

Or you might try Ebay auctions, they always have some up for bid at good prices, I got my Baygen flashlight there for about $15 less than other websites.

-- Sammie Davis (, October 24, 1999.

If you have a Sam's Club in your area, you might want to check there. Our Sam's had a whole pallet-load not long ago. If you call them, they'll prob. let you know if they have any in stock or if they plan on having them soon.


-- beej (, October 25, 1999.

I've never felt a need to buy or understood why people buy these crank up radios. They are bulky and don't perform all that well (baygens) in my estimation, being a ham radio guy. For myself I have a solar based charger for the nicad AA bats my Sony AM/FM/Shortwave radio (and mini- mags, and scanner, and FRS radios...) use. I also have a 12vdc charger that will run off my car battery or a solar panel plus several 117VAC type chargers that will run off the AC power my inverter makes. The minimal investment in nicad batts and my solar or 12vdc charger (which I use the most, Golden Power Brand from let me use the batts and chargers in many other applications at around the same price. My Sony shortwave is less than a quarter the size of the baygen too (more space for other stuff).


-- Don Kulha (, October 25, 1999.

I bought a Nippon wind-up radio with light from Emergency Essentials ( for $19.99. Seems to work well.

-- dakota (, October 25, 1999.

It depends on where you live. Here in the PNW if I depended on solar to do anything during the winter, SOL. So for me the windup radio with the solar option was my choice. Again, depends on where you live as to what choices you would want to make.

-- Sammie Davis (, October 26, 1999. and both carry various wind-up radios.

Hope it helps,

Nick ==================================================== - Bulletproof Vests for Law-Abiding Civilians - * 1-888-374-7029 ===================================================

-- CONCEALABLE BODY ARMOR (, October 26, 1999.

In Northern California, Outdoor World has the solar radios advertised at $79.95 for $59.95.

-- Nancy (, October 26, 1999.

Don Kulha--

Could you give the name brands of the batteries and solar charger? Also, I've been reading up on the NiMH batteries and their not having the memory that NiCads do. Is there a reason you've chosen the NiCads?


-- beej (, October 26, 1999.

Northern Tool has the Baygen for $70, and another brand for $50. Both crank and also hve built-in solar panel. Or use actual electricity. Or batteries. 1-800-533-5545 They have other neat stuff, too.

-- Shivani Arjuna (, October 27, 1999.

I appreciate all the advice on where to get a windup. We are located in Southeast Iowa, no Sam's Wholesale closer than 1 1/2 hours. I purchased two solar battery chargers last year, the "pocket solar charger" that could charge up "D"s, "C"s, and "AA"s. It even claimed to be able to give a boost to "non-rechargable" batteries, it also claimed to be very rugged. Neither of those chargers are working now. Could be my 4 year-old played with them one time too many, but still....the warrenty was for only 90 days. So now I'm searching for that windup radio that will be stored in a safe, high place till needed. Thanks for all the comments. Kathy

-- Kathy (, October 27, 1999.

"Don Kulha, Could you give the name brands of the batteries and solar charger? Also, I've been reading up on the NiMH batteries and their not having the memory that NiCads do. Is there a reason you've chosen the NiCads?"

I have a slew of 1100mah Panasonic Nicads (from Costco last Holiday season) and a bunch of 850mah Kenwood AA batts (pretty much standardized on AA's for most of my stuff). Sanyo makes some good 1200mah AA's but haven't bought any. Radio Shack has some 1000mah AA's as well. Just for comparison sake the cheapest AA nicads are 500mah, the best are 1200, an alkaline AA is 1500mah and NiMH are usually 1400-1500mah.

NiMH batts are pricey and have a ferocious self-discharge rate (about 3X of the nicads rate (which itself is much worse than alkalines). Good ones are pricey too. I have damaged NiMH batts by charging them when cold (my fault but still), and they are pricey. The "memory" effect with nicads has been reduced significantly and is reversible in any case by draining them, recharging them completely and then discharging a couple, maybe three times.

I have a Kyocera "Jetski" solar charger (no longer available) but the ones sold by AEE ( work just fine. I usually use my "Golden Power" DC (12volt) charger ($18 from same folks). I have an Everedy and a Panasonic 117vac charger as well (primarily for "conditioning" new Nicads.

New Nicads are chemically "stiff" and won't charge well from a solar charger. You need to charge it in a AC type charger and then discharge it 3 or 4 times to break down this high resistence in the nicad cell before it will generally accept a decent charge from a solar type charger.

I usually use my 12vDC golden Power charger hooked to my solar electric system or from the cig lighter plug in my van. Nicads generally only warm a tiny bit during charging but when they are full the voltage starts dropping (really) and the batterys start getting hot which is the point I remove them from charge (this is the way Makita batt chargers determine full charge...there's a third connection on the batt and an embedded thermocouple in it).

Hope this helps.....DCK

-- Don Kulha (, October 29, 1999.

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