Tag Archives: fr-200

Self-powered shortwave radio spotted in Battlestar Galactica

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce F, who writes:

Here is a photo of a radio from the 2004 – 2009 TV series “Battlestar Galactica“. This radio is perhaps unique and worthy of careful study! Why? Because not only was it NOT MADE on Earth, but there is no connection in its design with any other known radio ever.

The reason for this is quite simple. This sci-fi TV series takes place in a distant future when all humans had left the Earth generations ago and migrated throughout the galaxy. The humans in this series have lost all touch with humanity’s origin planet. They do not know where Earth is, or even if it still exists, or if it ever actually existed.

“Earth” is an important part of their religion and mythology. So here is a totally un-Earthly radio. Odd though. it does closely resemble a Grundig wind-up radio I owned sometime in the 2000’s…

Ha ha! Yes indeed, Bruce. And I can confidently say that I’ve personally distributed hundreds upon hundreds of this particular radio model for Ears To Our World. Grundig used to market it as the Grundig FR-200, and Tecsun still offers it as the Tecsun Green-88 (or GR-88). It’s a brilliant receiver, although I’m not sure how effectively one can monitor shortwave while in a spacecraft! 🙂

I also grabbed some screenshots from BSG with a number of radios some time ago. I’m not sure I ever posted it, though. I’ll have to look through my (rather deep) drafts folder.

Thanks for sharing, Bruce. I’ll add this post to our growing archive of radios in film!

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Mike’s review of the Commando R-777 self-powered shortwave radio

The Commando R-777 Self-Powered Digital World Band Radio

The Commando R-777 Self-Powered Digital World Band Radio

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.

Mike writes:

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.

Still on the market as the Tecsun Green 88, this little self-powered radio packs a big punch.

Still on the market as the Tecsun Green 88, the Grundig FR-200 is one of the best sel-powered radios I’ve ever tested.

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.

You can click here to search eBay for the Tecsun Green-88 or the Commando R-777.

Mike, thanks for sharing your mini review!

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