Well, Christmas came and went and I got a few goodies that I will cover with you. The first is an emergency radio. I received an:
Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Black)
In fact, I got two of them. One for the car and one for the house. I have had many cheapo radios in the past that were crank and solar powered. They never worked right, especially the weather portion and cell phone charging ability. This one actually doesn't suck. To my surprise it worked quite well and seemed to be pretty high quality.
Reception with the antenna up is great, the weather band works great once the right channel is selected (my area is channel 7). The solar charging capability worked great as did the hand crank charging. From my experience a few cranks will give you about 10 minutes of radio...the longer you crank the longer it will last.
It also includes a built in LED flashlight and cell phone charging capability (using crank). When charging a phone please read the instructions because if you do it wrong you could theoretically damage your cell phone battery. The flashlight is acceptable in a pinch and is quite bright.
The controls are straightforward: volume, tune, and band selector. There is a button at the top to toggle the flashlight on and off near the solar panel. The crank is on the opposite side of the radio and controls. Lastly, there are inputs for an ear piece and cell phone on the back of the device.
All in all, the Etón FR160Bis a great little radio for emergency situations, in the house and car, and would be a great addition to a bug out bag.
...that is all.