It’s that time of the year again: severe weather season. We get more than our share of severe weather during the summer, and when that happens it’s always good to have a radio at your disposal, particularly a radio with the weather band built into it.
Now, we’re not hurting for radios around here. I have two practically identical radios from the CCrane company that receive the broadcast bands (AM and FM) as well as shortwave, aviation, and weather bands. The main difference is that one radio has the ability to isolate single sideband (SSB) broadcasts on shortwave. I keep one in the bedroom for the times when one of the weather apps on my phone alerts me to dangerous weather.
We’ve been lucky so far in that no tornadoes or severe thunderstorms have knocked the power out for several days, but Mary and I realize that it could just be a matter of time before the lights go out for an extended time, and we decided that we needed a radio that could be powered several ways (battery, AC power, using solar power or wound up to keep the radio going), a flashlight, and a way to charge our phones, as well as AM/FM/Weather bands.
I found all of that at Amazon with the CCrane CC Solar Observer radio. At just under $80, it gives us all the things we want.
The main source of power is the rechargable battery pack, which when fully charged gives enough power for almost 20 hours. It can be recharged using the AC adapter, the hand crank, or the solar panel, depending on your situation. You can also power it with 3 AA batteries (which we always keep in stock here).
There is an analog tuner for AM and FM and a dial for selecting which NOAA radio station carries your local weather. The analog tuner is a bit of a pain especially after you’ve gotten used to digital tuners, but it does the job, and we don’t use the tuner that often. There’s an internal antenna for AM radio and a whip antenna for FM and weather radio.
There’s a very bright LED flashlight, a headphone jack, and a jack for a USB adapter. Why they didn’t just build a USB port into the radio is hard to understand, but the USB adapter does its job.
I like it: there are things I would have liked to have seen (a digital tuner, alarm for alerts, and a USB port rather than the adapter), but it’s a good radio and does the job. 4.5 out of 5 stars.