[…]I did pick up the RegeMoudal Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio. It looks like it’s made for a couple different companies/brands.
So far I like it a lot, for an emergency radio. Audio is pretty good for a radio in this price range.
[…]I’ve been generally happy with the WX reception. AM and FM are generally clear, if not a bit tinny, but that is dependent on the clarity of the station to begin with as the stronger stations come in smooth and balanced.
The flashlight and reading light are bright and functional LED; the flip up reading light is a really nice addition and would work well in a tent or simply in a power outage.
I haven’t tested it yet, but I bought this unit because of the 2000 mAH battery bank. I’ve got multiple dedicated, higher capacity battery banks, but I figured having one more can’t hurt.
My only wish would be a slightly longer antenna (this one is only nine inches).
I’m currently using rechargable AAA batteries but it comes with a micro USB and has both micro and regular USB inputs for charging, as well as a plug for a headset.
Neat little rig and worth having in the bag for emergencies or power outages. All in all, this is a great emergency radio for under $30 bucks.”
Thank you, Doug. I agree with you: the increased capacity of the internal battery is actually a major plus. I’m also happy to hear that the LED lighting is functional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a model with a pop-up light on top. Thanks for sharing your review.
From its infancy since 1920s shortwave radio has been associated with its potential of being a communication tool in emergencies. This use of shortwave radio is still very much present among amateur radio enthusiasts for example, who discovered its long distance properties early in the twentieth century. Amateur radio provides a means of communication on shortwaves and other frequencies “when all else fails”. This role of amateur radio is well recognised, valued and appreciated both by the public and by the world institutions managing and regulating the use of the radio spectrum.
In contrast the huge technical potential of international shortwave broadcasting that operates transmitter facilities tens, or hundred times, more powerful than those of amateur radio, remains almost unused in emergencies. At the moment when local and even regional communication and information networks are needed most, they are destroyed or overloaded and the population suffers from an information blackout. Shortwave radio is capable of remaining the only source of information.
Although the life-saving role of radio broadcasting is widely recognised by the public, and confirmed by surveys conducted after the recent disasters – and even acknowledged by world leaders – no concrete projects have been ever designed and no regulatory framework has been developed.
That is why the HFCC – International Broadcasting Delivery in co-operation with the Arab States and Asia-Pacific broadcasting unions are working on an International Radio for Disaster Relief (IRDR) project that is based on the system of online co-ordination of frequencies managed by the HFCC in accordance with International Radio Regulations.
The HFCC is aware of the humanitarian aspects of international broadcasting. It pointed out in 2012 – as the UNESCO partner for the preparation of the World Radio Day – that terrestrial shortwave radio in particular is still considered as a powerful communication and information tool during emergency situations. Read more >>
Receivers are inexpensive and require no access fees. Shortwave radio is important for people living in remote and isolated regions of the world. It reaches across the digital divide to the most disadvantaged and marginalised societies. This is also in keeping with the Declaration and Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society.
The annual edition of the World Disasters Report of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) issued in October 2013 stressed again that with only 6 percent of people in low-income countries using the internet in 2011 the digital divide is still stark, and access to low cost media technology is really the key.
The HFCC is a strong advocate for incorporating terrestrial broadcasting permanently on the disaster risk reduction agendas of the ITU and other UN agencies and institutions. It submitted two documents for the ITU-R Working Party 6A November 2013 meeting:
Both documents are annexes in Section 8 of the ITU-R Study Group 6 Report BT.2266 “Broadcasting for public warning, disaster mitigation and relief”. The report can be downloaded via this link.
A workshop was held during the November 2013 meeting addressing these issues. The web site of the Emergency Broadcasting Workshop can be accessed here. The web site also contains copies of all the presentations that were made at the workshop, and a Video interview with Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6 (Broadcasting service)
The HFCC has applied for membership in the CDAC (Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities) Network in keeping with the conclusion of the debate on emergency communication during the Bratislava B13 Conference. Read more >>
The HFCC is staying in touch with the Information and Communication Sector of the UNESCO agency on the preparation of the World Radio Days that are celebrated each year on February 13th.
Humanitarian aspects of terrestrial broadcasting were also on the agenda of the Global Kuala Lumpur conference in January 2014. Read Opening Remarks.
Many of us living in the eastern half of North America are bracing for a winter storm this weekend.
If predictions are correct, this storm could dump a lot of snow, sleet, and freezing rain in many areas.
Of concern to many is the potential for power loss across the region, should this storm have the expected impact. I, myself, live in a rural mountainous area and fully expect to lose power at some point this weekend. (Keep this in mind if you try contacting me.)
Often when a storm is pending, people rush to the stores to buy bread, milk, and eggs. What I concern myself with is stocking up on power!
And you can guess why. It’s a fact, and a fun one: some of the best shortwave/mediumwave listening conditions happen during a regional power outage. The local noise level simply dives as noisy electronics take a temporary vacation…leaving an opening for some great SWLing.
Have several flashlights at the ready (I’m especially partial to the HumanaLight!)
Make sure gasoline tanks for the portable generator are topped up
Fill the 4×4 with diesel
Charge my VHF/UHF Handy-Talkies
Oh, yeah…stock pantry/fridge with plenty of food and water
No power? No problem! While the snow blows, I’ll feed the fire in the wood stove, brew a steaming pot of joe with my syphon coffeemaker, and cozy up to my warm radio…for a long afternoon of listening. Ahhh...
SWLing Post readers: How do you prepare for potential power outages?
Peter Donaldson (23 August 1945 – 2 November 2015) Image source: BBC
If you live in the UK and listen to the radio, you’ve probably heard that long-time announcer/broadcaster Peter Donaldson died earlier this week. For years–decades actually–Donaldson was a prominent voice on Radio 4.
“BBC newsreader Peter Donaldson, who has died aged 70, was to have been the voice of radio bulletins in the event of a nuclear attack. What would have gone out on the UK’s airwaves if the Cold War had turned hot?
“This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known.”
So began the script, read by Peter Donaldson, which was to go out on British airwaves in the event of nuclear war.”
Here’s an audio clip from Peter Donaldson’s pre-recorded announcement:
While I’m an avid radio listener, I should hope I never hear a similar message over the air (even though Donaldson’s voice is indeed quite calming).
If you’re curious, here is the full Wartime Broadcasting Service official post-attack statement, courtesy of Wikipedia:
This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.
Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger. If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which follows a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.
Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.
Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don’t waste it.
Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for fourteen days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.
If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The “all clear” message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.
Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the “all clear” on the sirens.
Here are the main points again:
Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished.
Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for fourteen days or more.
We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours’ time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.
I purchased a kit–at $17-18 US shipped, it’s quite a modest investment for what might be a fun little project.
The crystal radio arrived while I was traveling during Easter break, but my free time has been so (extremely) limited lately, I was only able to unpack and try out this new arrival yesterday.
The biggest surprise for me was the fact that this isn’t really a kit–the board is fully populated and requires no soldering whatsoever. The board feels of very good quality.
All that is required is connecting the high-impedance earphone, earth/ground and aerial/antenna to the board. Since all of these components can be connected with the supplied alligator clip cables, getting it on the air took all of 20 seconds. I simply hooked up the ground and connected the aerial to my sky loop wire antenna.
I instantly heard a signal and station ID which confirmed it was our closest local broadcaster on 1010 kHz. This station isn’t of the blowtorch variety, but is the strongest one I receive on the MW band simply due to its proximity. Audio was quite faint through the earpiece, but I believe if I tinkered with antenna length and the two variable capacitors, I could improve reception.
SWLing Post reader, Richard Langley, received his crystal radio and had a very similar experience with reception.
With any crystal radio (especially one this small), performance is directly correlated with antenna length, availability of a good ground connection and, of course, strong broadcasters in your vicinity.
I plan to spend an evening tinkering with this little receiver and see if I can pick up some of the night time powerhouse AM stations on the east coast.
I can say this: if you’re looking for a simple, uber-compact emergency receiver for your go-bag, bug out bag or emergency kit, this one will certainly fit the bill. This crystal receiver and all of its components weight no more than a few ounces and could easily fit in compact pouch or sleeve.
Have any other readers have enjoyed tinkering with this little emergency crystal radio?
If you would like to purchase one, try searching eBay with one of the links below. The product will only appear in the search results if currently available.
Search via eBay US (best if you’re in the USA, but scroll to bottom of screen to see this item under “International Sellers”)