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Lunch » Tags » Electronics » Reviews » American Red Cross FR1000 Voicelink Hand-Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Two-Way GMRS Clock Radio with Flashlight, Siren and Cell Phone Charger (White) » User review

Serviceable device, but better can be had for less.

  • Jun 18, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+1
A hand-cranked radio, flashlight, walkie-talkie receiver, all-in-one gadget, is one of those things you want to use BEFORE something happens to make its utility necessary.

I've been really lucky, cause thank God, I haven't had a need to actually use this. Ever since 9/11, my husband purchased a smallish Grundig AM/FM hand-powered radio, one that had gotten good reviews, and we've used that device outside (grilling, sunbathing), and we've been pleased with the performance of the AM-FM bands.

I wish I could say the same about American Red Cross radio, which was produced by the same maker as my smaller model. The AM-FM reception, as others have said, is just abysmal, and I live in probably the most high powered AM receiver market in the country.

To get good AM reception with this device, you'd probably have to sit ON the AM tower!

But what gets me is that my smaller Grundig radio does just fine with radio reception. Go figure.

I guess because the big thing to me about having a hand-cranked emergency radio was...the RADIO. This Red Cross gizmo (love the branding...!) has a flotilla of other functions: cell phone charger, siren, flashlight, walkie talkie communication, and a host of others. It can do everything but...be a radio!

The flashlight and siren gizmos work about as well as my Grundig, which is to say, they're good. I don't know anyone with a walkie talkie, so I guess I'll have to be stuck in an avalanche with one hand free to wind it up to figure out how handy that will come in in an emergency.

My husband used it to charge his cell phone, and he said it was functional (but that if he had to keep cranking it that much for more than a few minutes of cell phone operation, he'd have the biggest biceps in the Western hemisphere.)

The unit is well made and solid. Thank God, we haven't needed it because we haven't had the type of emergency for which a device like this is made.

I just don't think, God forbid, if you find yourself in such a horrible place, scanning the dial of your hand-cranked radio and being unable to get any reception, that that would be the time you wish you had picked another device!

I highly recommend the Eton/Grundig radio devices, many of which are hand powered and do a yeoman's job. Pass on this unit.

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November 08, 2010
Thanks for this. I've been looking at emergency radios and have not heard much good about the "Red Cross" one. This confirms my opinion.
 
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Wiki

From the Manufacturer The American Red Cross FR-1000 Voicelink Radio is a battery or self-powered hand-crank radio that keeps you informed, even when the power is out. Tune into AM, FM and NOAA Weather Band frequencies for the most up-to-date information in case of an emergency. The FR-1000 Voicelink is more than just a radio though--it’s a multifunction powerhouse. The two-way walkie-talkie feature with GMRS technology lets you stay in touch with the outside world, while the cell phone charging jack ensures your access to available mobile phone networks. You also get a flashlight, a beacon light that can function as an SOS signal and a siren. And all of this can be powered with the twist of a crank.

Large, ergonomic knobs make
operating the FR-1000 easy
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A Lifeline to Information
Floods, fires, tornadoes, blizzards, and earthquakes--these are situations that nobody wants to find themselves in. The most critical resource during any emergency or natural disaster is information. Being able to make informed decisions and communicate with others is vital. The American Red Cross FR-1000 Voicelink Radio is built from the ground up to be a rugged, highly portable communication tool. It has an AM/FM tuner for news and public service announcements, as well as entertainment. The NOAA Weather Band radio receives weather broadcasts, warnings and other emergency messages. It can also be set to automatically activate on its own, informing you of any new alerts.

The ...
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