Sunday, August 23, 2009

Emergency Preparedness- Dynamo Radio

I did a bad thing to you, my loyal readers.
A few weeks ago, I made a recommendation that everyone have a multiple power source radio for emergencies and I did not have one myself.
Of course I would also recommend that you have an armored car and I don't have one of those either.

In any case, I feel I have redeemed myself because I bought the: Kaito KA888 radio!

It is a FM/AM/Shortwave radio. It can be operated from four different power sources:

Dynamo Power: The hand crank generator charges the internal NI-MH Batteries (5 minutes cranking for 1 hour of power)

Solar Cell: You can play it with the direct Sun or charge the NI-MH batteries. ( With 12 hours in the Sun, you will supposedly get 6-8 hours of play time)

Batteries: 3 AA batteries

Electric : With the AC adapter, you can play or charge with 110V electricity.

6 hours charging = 48 hours playing.

Radio Bands

AM -- 525 KHz------1710KHz,

FM -- 88MHz ------108 MHz

2 Continuous short wave bands:

SW1 :6.00 - 12.00 MHz

SW2: 12.00 - 18.50MHz

The KA888 also has:

  • LED flashlight ( you can never have too many lights )
  • Liquid filled compass
  • Siren (which might be nice if you drive off a ravine or a boulder lands on you or something. It happens.)
  • Internal storage compartment ( just enough for the headphones and shortwave antenna)
  • Thermometer
  • Clock
Some of the features may not be particularly useful or necessary, but to me they are just gravy. The radio is pretty small (9.5 X 10X 6CM), only weighs about a pound and works well, I even tested it in my tornado bathroom downstairs. It seems that it would be splashproof, at least, and has a fairly robust construction, especially the dynamo.

There are dozens of radios like this, some a lot more basic and some with a lot more features. I got this one because, at $20.00, it was an absolute steal and I couldn't afford to not have it. It does not have NOAA radio alerts or Air band radio, but for the price I don not believe you could do any better. Kaito has a deluxe radio that I liked more, but it was 3 times more expensive and I am cheap. But everyone should have something similar.

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