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Eton FR500 Emergency Radio

Updated on July 14, 2011

Eton FR500 Picture

Review: Eton FR500 Emergency Radio

Eton FR500

When there are hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or just about anything else that can cause a blackout a lot of people turn to their emergency weather alert radios. The most important thing when it comes to an emergency radio is dependability. The Eton FR500 fell sorely short of my expectations, but let us start with a summary of things the Eton FR500 did right:

  • Hand Crank works well
  • Dials, although plastic, work correctly
  • The Solar panel charged correctly in direct sunlight
  • It is light weight for what it is
  • It is all digital (which could be a plus or minus depending on your tastes)
  • Although made from plastic it seemed fairly (not overly) sturdy.
  • Loud siren
  • Light works well
  • USB Phone Charger

Now let us go over where the Eton FR500 fell short, and it is only in one area: Reception. While I appreciate the attempt, the Eton FR500 emergency radio had the poorest reception out of every emergency radio I have ever owned. I have an MP3 player that is about the size of a wine cork that gets better reception. I tested the Eton FR500 emergency radio in every area of my home and it could not pick up the strongest signals in our area. Mind you that no other radio I have has an issue with picking up these stations.

So while everything on the Eton FR500 emergency radio works fine, it fails at what it is supposed to do, receive radio waves. Because of this I would give Eton FR500 emergency radio a 3 out of 10. The reason for a 3 is that it has plenty of well executed features but it lacks the most important quality of a radio. Even if this radio were $10.00 I could not possibly recommend it, but I will say that it is better than nothing!

Rating: 3/10

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