Mike Kitchen, a volunteer at Ears To Our World, purchases and tests radios for us. Mike does an excellent job evaluating radios and simply keeping tabs on newly introduced self-powered products.
Mike has kindly allowed me to share the assesment he sent of the Commando R-777; a radio that, performance-wise, leaves something to be desired.
This thing is pretty awful, in an ugly/cute way. FM mode works quite nicely. In AM mode, LCD screen shows as much as 8 KHz off of actual frequency. SW1 and SW2 modes failed to detect anything on the shortwave bands. The WWV time signal on 10MHz, 15MHz and 20MHz was no joy.
Steady charging with crank handle for 2 minutes provided 20 minutes of low volume listening time.
From a depleted battery pack, one minute of cranking/charging will keep LED bulb lit for about 10 minutes of usable light, then dim light for few more minutes. [As a point of comparison, the Grundig FR200 could provide almost an hour of light from one minute of cranking.]
The carry handle makes for a good grip while cranking what is described as the “Shakeable Generator” handle.
This radio has roots from the Grundig FR-200, being same dimension and weight. This R-777 had a sturdy feel to it. The charging handle feels very much like any other FR-200’s while one is cranking, except this R-777 is much quieter. None of the funky whining sounds as with older versions.
I’m going to keep this R-777, as a reminder of how a good idea can be half heartedly attempted, resulting in such a poor product.
I believe Mike and I both miss the Grundig FR-200.
With that said, we still have the Tecsun Green-88 available on eBay; a radio almost identical to the FR200.
Mike, thanks for sharing your mini review!