View Full Version : Emergency (or just battery powered) Radio?

Matt Lau
11-10-2017, 3:12 PM
I'm thinking of getting an Emergency radio to act as a woodworking buddy (and also stand in case of earthquake/disaster).
Alternatively, maybe a radio that takes AA batteries.

Do you guys have any recommendations?

I'd bought a Sangean mmr-88.
It sounded good in the one time I could turn it on.
I probably got a defective one, as mine shuts itself off ever half second.

Do you guys have any recommendations?
Mainly, I'll be listening to NPR or the local jazz station.
An aux in would be handy, in case I use it to do some presentations.

Rich Engelhardt
11-10-2017, 4:58 PM
I have a Kaito AM/FM/NOAA.
It has NiCad AAA rechargeables, a built in NiCad that charges with either the hand crank or the solar panel.

Plus a flashlight :D !

https://www.esafetysupplies.com/products/kaito-emergency-solar-hand-crank-am-fm-weather-radio-with-flashlight?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=38534656588&gclid=Cj0KCQiAuZXQBRDKARIsAMwpUeS0aEgHK_yvvCFQ4wTf EL0nPlG5ZJyc1RA54DiKiGjbwOZUmQ4I2moaAu8EEALw_wcB

Plus -Plus -- it has a USB out port that can charge or power a cell phone.

It's sound quality isn't all that great..... meaning, I wouldn't care to listen to it all the time.
I get it out sometimes when I can't sleep & turn on AM Coast to Coast (George Noory) & listen to the spooky stories about aliens and stuff.
We also use it whenever our power goes out - which happens about a half dozen times a year.

In the shop, I have an old "boom box" that's seen better years. It works though.

Mac McQuinn
11-10-2017, 6:23 PM
I typically use a basic AM/FM portable on 115V w/ battery back-up. Before installing batteries, I use a permanent marker to date them and replace every (2) years. Everything in the house w/ batteries has date marked items.

Bill Dufour
11-10-2017, 6:38 PM
I would use the one in my truck in a emergency like a big quake, since the battery is always charged and it will run the radio alone for weeks or months. Also it has a built in generator to recharge the battery quickly. Most cars and trucks built since 1950 have one factory installed. Check to see if you already have one too.:)

Matt Lau
11-13-2017, 4:56 PM
Thanks for the tips guys.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the Sangean MMR77 (no digital stuff to eat up the battery.)
However, it sounds like pretty much anything should be fine.

Perry Hilbert Jr
11-13-2017, 6:28 PM
Thirty years ago, I bought a little multi band radio powered by AA batteries for about 80 bucks. It was even stereo and had the ability to be plugged into aux. Speakers. It had am, fm, weather, vhf tv audio and two shortwave bands. It was our emergency, camping, picnic, working in the barn radio until it was destroyed in a house fire 2 yrs ago. I float between npr, country, classical and foreign broadcasts. If serious crap were to hit the fan, being able to get foreign stations would help.

Bruce Wrenn
11-18-2017, 8:38 PM
Look at a pair of "Work Tunes." Combination radio, and ear protection, plus input for MP-3 player. I have an older (10+ years) and a newer set. Both operate on AA batteries.. I use the HF NMH rechargables. A set last several days (6-10 hours per day.) Keep extras charged and ready to go. Use a Scosche FM transmitter from Walmart (less than $15) to connect you tube music to head phones. As for range, I can hear FM transmitter at mailbox, which is over 800 feet away. Wait for a sale as they can be had for less than $40. Currently on sale at Northern Tool for $44.99.

John K Jordan
11-19-2017, 6:51 AM
Maybe a rechargeable and solar power for charging. Malcolm is still without power 70 some days after the hurricane.


Malcolm Schweizer
11-21-2017, 3:27 PM
As John said, I just survived two Cat 5 hurricanes and a near miss from a third, and the radio that carried me through it all was the Milwaukee Jobsite Radio. I got the smaller M18 one that does not have an onboard charger. The larger one with the onboard charger would have been convenient. I'm now 74 days without power, and using a 3600W generator to charge up batteries for a couple of hours a day and to keep the fridge cool. Fuel, wear and tear, and noise are the reason I don't run "Jenny" all day. Having a radio that also charges the batteries would be one less outlet to use. Both Jobsite radios have a cell phone charging port (USB Port) built in, but the one I got only does that if the radio is on. That's kind of a flaw because it's draining battery to leave it on when you just want to charge a cell phone. We used the radio to charge all of our phones (We had a person staying with us for 6 weeks that lost their home in the first storm.)

So the one I would choose would be this one https://www.cpomilwaukee.com/milwaukee-2792-20-m18-jobsite-radio-and-charger/miln2792-20,default,pd.html?ref=pla&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=731&zmap=miln2792-20&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwPKGkb7Q1wIViABpCh23wQfbEAQYAyAB EgLoYfD_BwE

That one was more expensive, so at the time I made my purchase I got this one https://www.redtoolstore.com/products/milwaukee-2890-20-m18-jobsite-radio?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=15133460294&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwPKGkb7Q1wIViABpCh23wQfbEAQYAiAB EgJqkvD_BwE

Just a note: After the storms there were NO batteries to be found anywhere on island. Keep that in mind- having a rechargable option and a car charger or an inverter in your car (EVEN IF YOU HAVE A GENERATOR- many generators failed after the storms) is a much better option than one using AA, D, C or other batteries.

On the down side, neither of the above radios have NOAA, which is a bummer. Also note- they do take AA batteries, but it's only to keep the memory in the radio when you change M18 batteries- it's not dependent on the AA batteries.

As John said, a solar charger would be nice, but here is what I am seeing- we use the stuff during the day and it's off at night, so really a solar charger isn't the best option> charging from your car is the better option.

Perry Hilbert Jr
11-21-2017, 4:52 PM
Second Malcom on the inverter. New inverters have some really neat features. Had one from Sam's club. It came with battery cables and was good for 750 watts. really not much. BUT, it was enough to run Mrs."s little coffee maker. so hot water for soup, tea, hot cocoa etc. Also enough to power a small 19 inch LCD TV set and lamp. When the car battery got down to where it might be a concern to start the car, the inverrter buzzed an alarm and in a few minutes, shut down, conserving battery strength to start the car and recharge. It also had another beep for when it was being over loaded. It was only 39 bucks at Sam's. When tropical storm Lee was headed our way, there were no gensets to be had, but Sam's got a shipment of these inverters in and they were life savers for many folks.

Malcolm Schweizer
11-22-2017, 7:05 AM
By the way- I am a huge Milwaukee fan, but if Dewalt, Makita, or other brand is what you already have, they all sell radios that will work with your batteries.