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Microlink FR360 Eton Emergency Radio

Updated on August 18, 2011

Features:

• AM/FM Radio with Digital Tuner
• Receives NOAA Weather Band Channels
• Received NOAA Alerts
• Crank Powered
• Solar Powered
• Battery Powered (3 AAA or 3 AA, not included)
• AC Power Adapter Capable (adapter not included)
• USB Cell Phone Batter Charger (cord not included)
• Water Resistant
• LED Flashlight
• Flashing Beacon
• Alarm Clock (including snooze and sleep timer)
• Headphone jack
• Auxiliary input (for playing MP3 players, etc.)
• Weight: 1lb.
• Dimensions: 6.25"w X 6.5"h X 2.75"d

First the positives of this radio:

There are a lot of similarities between the FR160, but there are also a few differences that make the FR360 stand out from its smaller counterpart. For my review on the FR160, click here.

The difference is with the FR360 you get NOAA alerts, can use battery power, it has a flashing beacon, and an alarm clock.

NOAA Alerts: Although all of the radios have the Weather Band Channels, the FR360 receives alerts directly to your radio - you don’t need to constantly tune in to one of the channels to hear about any changes.

Battery Powered: Although the option of using the crank or solar panel to charge your radio should be sufficient enough, the FR360 offers you the option of using batteries if you’re too tired to crank or if the sun is hiding behind the clouds.

Flashing Beacon: Is great to have if you should happen to be stranded somewhere and need help. It may not be an emergency situation, but if you can’t seem to find your way out or need to find someone you’ve lost along the way, the beacon is great to use. It’s bright red and flashes about once every 3 seconds.

Alarm Clock: This is great if you plan to use your radio while on a camping trip, but know you’re not the type of person who wakes up in time to go fishing with the rest of the group. It offers a snooze button if, when you wake up, realize the rest of your camping party is still catching a few Zs. It also offers a sleep timer - If you can’t sleep without noise, you have the option of using the sleep timer to keep the radio on until you fall asleep and having it shut itself off.

Height & Dimensions: Although the FR360 is almost two times as large as the FR160, it is still light weight and fairly compact. My dad was in the Army for a time while I was growing up, so he taught us that if something isn’t absolutely necessary, you don’t need it – leave it behind. Packing a lot of toys just wasn’t an option whenever we went somewhere. So having something that doesn’t take up much room, but has a lot of features just might pass the “necessity” checklist.

Now on to the negatives:

It has all of the same negatives that the FR160 has. Again, if you’d like to read that review, click here.

NOAA Alerts: Having something that spits out alerts at random times can be kind of scary. I, personally, would jump out of my skin if I heard an alert come blaring through the speakers of my radio in the middle of the night. Yes, you can turn down the volume, but not everyone remembers to turn it down or to turn off the option.

Battery Powered: Again, who wants to carry around batteries? It’s more weight, more to worry about, and means more rubbish when it comes time to having to get rid of them.

Flashing Beacon: The blinking red LED can be unpleasant for some people. Yes, I know, turn away if you don’t like seeing it, but there are people who don’t understand that concept. The only thing they understand is that you’re bothering them and they want you to stop.

Alarm Clock: If you don’t notice you’ve pushed the alarm button, that thing can go off at the strangest time. We got one of these for my dad for Father’s Day – it once went off at 2 in the morning and woke up everyone in the house. He swears he didn’t push the button, but we all know he did because we all saw him playing with it. As you can tell, it wasn’t a pleasant morning.

Weight & Dimensions: It’s a bit heavier than the FR160 and the size itself is almost doubled. It takes up quite a bit of room in whatever you’re packing it into. The shape isn’t totally strange, but the way the knobs and buttons are situated, when you pack it, things can get pushed or turned without you knowing it. It can be quite surprising to have your radio turn itself on (or off) by itself. If you also happen to turn on something while taking a long drive, it can drain your batteries/power source.


The price tag for this particular radio reads $59.95 on the Red Cross website. Click here.

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