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Wind up radios....yay or nay?

1 shot willie

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Used to have a wind up radio many moons ago.......cant remember the make....it was blue see through plastic 🤔

I think they have moved on a bit since the earlier models came out?

Just been looking at what's out there and on offer to a potential buyer.
The "Runningsnail" sounds like a good option....not too big and appears to be a rugged build for outdoor use as well as in the home.
One draw back is the weather channel is not available in the U.K. apparently.

Who has one....what are your thoughts.....which one do you have and how do you rate it overall?

 

Sharpfinger

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Depends on how much you spend and the quality of the item.

I‘ve had several in various ‘emergency’ kits/on vehicles for many years. Wind up torches too.
None of them were particularly expensive and the quality is questionable.

The main failings that I have found with them are -

1. The quality/durability of the rechargeable batteries.
Some of the wind up torches were used on a fairly regular basis and even so the (probably cheap) batteries didn’t last long and weren’t easily replaceable. When I subsequently tested the stored radios even though they hadn’t been used anywhere near as often as the torches those batteries too didn’t hold a charge for long.

That prompted some R&D with well known/more reliable rechargeable batteries but most often the generators wouldn’t/couldn’t recharge them effectively.

2. The quality of the receivers -
Whilst at home/close to ‘civilisation’ I found that quite a few stations could be heard but go to more remote locations and even in quite elevated positions the number and reception quality reduced considerably.

On the flip side I did have one wind up torch that lasted two full winter seasons before it gave up and it was the teeth on the plastic gears that had worn away.
 

1 shot willie

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Interesting points SF :thumbsup: thanks for the feedback :thumbsup:

From what I remember of my old one from years ago.....it did actually work quite well.....wish I could remember the name of it 🤔:D
I might just have a punt at the "Runningsnail" for not much money 🤔
 

Sharpfinger

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You’re welcome.

For what it’s worth, I think that for domestic/leisure use where a failing wind up radio/torch doesn't constitute a potential safety issue, any of the cheaper devices might be worth a punt.

Here is a further observation:

Many of the wind up torches and some of the radios that I have experience with contain very cheap polymer batteries which were of little use in the first instance and have often failed after only limited recharge cycles.
Neither have they held charge for long when not in use and even when in use the rewind/recharge instances become more and more frequent.
Better options IMO are branded, larger capacity rechargeable batteries with known high recharge/storage capability. That in itself supports a potentially choice of radio.

For more remote instances I‘ve invested in a more (expensive) higher quality transistor😆 radio and my ‘man’ portable power station option is the power monkey solar set to which I’ve added (an admittedly cheap) hand crank generator and some known (mostly) reliable rechargeable batteries.

I’ve always charged the batteries (1.5V AAA) at home before deployment and let them go (almost) flat before recharging them (Back at home). On one occasion I purposely let them go totally flat and used a combination of the solar charger (way too slow in the U.K.) and the hand crank genny which worked quite well.

Furthermore - note that I have selected AAA with battery up-sizers to AA.
That means that I can power devices requiring either size - radio = AA; GPS = AAAs. 🙂
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