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Solar Radios Can Keep You Informed During an Emergency

If you truly want to be prepared in an emergency situation then you need to be able to listen to the local radio broadcasts to ensure you have up to date information and a solar radio is one of the best possible ways to make this happen. These radios are also a great way to listen to the news or music while you are out camping in the wilderness as well. They allow you to stay informed even when there is no power source available.

Solar powered radios work on the photovoltaic effect and they contain very small solar panels which generate electricity when exposed to the sun. This solar energy is then sent directly to the built-in battery in these units and is stored until the device is turned on. Most solar radios are very small devices that can easily be charged with only a few hours of exposure to the sun. 

This allows you to stay informed in case of an emergency situation such as a hurricane or tornado. Now many people might wonder how on earth you are supposed to expose the radio to the sun when you are stuck inside a shelter during a tornado or hurricane. 

Well, the easy answer is to ensure that your radio is fully charged and leave it in your emergency kit. However, this is not as easy as it sounds, but thankfully most solar powered radios also come with a hand crank that can also be used to charge the radio and provide enough energy to ensure you stay informed. 

solar radioThe hand crank works on the Faraday Principle, named after its discoverer, Michael Faraday, who first developed the principle in 1831. The Faraday Principle works on the idea of induction, in which a strong magnet is moved through a coil of wire to generate electricity. 

The hand crank in this type of device is attached to a magnet and the magnet spins inside the wire coil when the crank is turned. This is what generates the electricity to charge the radio. Hand cranks are also used in many other emergency devices such as flashlights and cell phone chargers. 

When searching for a solar powered radio, there are a few things to consider first. The first thing you need to know is that almost no solar radio is a perfect emergency radio. You should always have a battery powered radio as  backup in your emergency kit, and make sure you have plenty of batteries available as well or a solar powered battery charger. The next thing you need to consider is price. 

Due to the fact that these radios are not perfect, you do not want to spend a fortune on one. There are some very expensive models, however these have not been found to perform any better or last any longer than the smaller cheaper versions. It is not recommended to spend more than $40 or $50 on one of these products. There are quite a few models available in this price range that should be quite sufficient for all of your needs. 

A simple search on Amazon should return many different brands of solar powered radios, however it is hard to know which radios are decent and which ones are a waste of money. So we have done some of the research for you to ensure that you do not get ripped off and purchase an inferior quality solar power radio. The products listed below are top of the line and can definitely be recommended to anyone looking for a good quality solar power radio.

Kikkerland Dynamo Solar and Hand Crank Emergency Radio

solar radioThe Kikkerland Dynamo is one of the higher quality solar emergency radios on the market, and is extremely affordable. You should expect to pay around $22 for this particular model, depending on which color you choose. Most people report that only a short amount of exposure to the sun is enough to keep the radio running for at least an hour. 

The hand crank is also quite efficient, although most people very rarely ever have to use it to power the device as long as it kept in a slightly bright location. This radio is very small and compact and many people even report that it is quite attractive to look at. Overall, this is one of the better solar power radios on the market. Still, if you are looking for the best radio money can buy you should consider the Eton product listed below.

Eton FR160 Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio

solar radioThis is probably the best solar radio that you will find for under $50: in fact these radios only cost around $40. The solar panel and hand crank work just as well as the Kikkerland model, but this radio has several other features that make it very much worth the extra money. 

This radio not only receives AM and FM radio signals, but also NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association). This means that you can always stay informed on the current weather as well since NOAA only continuously broadcasts the weather for your particular area on a loop. 

This particular model contains not only the radio, but also a LED flashlight and even a USB charger which can be used to charge a cell phone, digital camera, or other small electronic device, albeit quite slowly. 

There are a few slight knocks on this product, such as the fact that it is not waterproof and the LED flashlight is slightly dim, but overall this is still the best solar radio that you will find under $50 and comes extremely highly recommended.

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