battery radio

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, 20 years ago, my then wife's sister gave her a used GE radio that worked on 9v of C-cell batteries only the batteries had corroded in the case. Ok, I opened it and soldered an old lamp cord to terminals and connected it to a worn out 12v car battery that no longer held enough charge for starting a car (showed around 10 volt). Lived in UP and didnt have electric at time.

    Well turns out this radio not only liked the old car battery (went months of daily use on such without charging) but was very sensitive to distant stations plus got weather and tv. It will even tolerate a fresh 12volt car battery out of car albeit with bit more static since it wasnt designed for 12volt. When I moved here could plug it in and just connect to battery during power outages.

    It unfortunately anymore is hard to tune although if you are very patient it will still work. I have been looking around for a replacement. It seems to be very unusual in using 9volt. Most use 4.5 or 6 volt setup. Also most cheap radios dont have anywhere near the sensitivity it had. I have kind of resigned myself to having to spend upto $50 for replacement unless I get lucky. I just find cheap boom box crap at thrift stores. These were made to play tapes and cds loudly, not pull in distant stations.

    Any suggestions. Would like to have weather band. TV was nice to get emergency weather also. Sometimes more upto date than weather radio. I really hate giving up ability to run it directly off old car battery forever (saved a fortune in buying alkalines) but if I have to I have to. Dont need tape or cd player.

    I did find mention of a $49 Sony ICF-S79V shower radio now discontinued (but still available) because apparently people now not only need a radio in shower, but a cd player also (people are weird). One review at amazon was by a lady in boonies who said it may be sold as a shower radio but she bought it because it got good reception in her very rural area. No ac and its 3 C cells so 4.5 volt. Said good battery life.

    Also ran across a Sony ICF-M350V that seems also to be discontinued that got good reviews. Think it uses 4 AA batteries so 6V system. Also suppose to be good battery life.
     
  2. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    Check out the CCRadio from C. Crane Company. Quite a bit more than fifty bucks, but worth it. I think you can get to their site at ccradio.com. If that doesn't work, search C. Crane Co.
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    $165 ....OUCH!, probably not for me. I am really looking for another marvel like the old GE and hopefully well under $50. It wasnt an expensive radio but worked well. Sure it was under $20 new even if that was quarter century ago.
     
  4. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    If your looking at cost then check out second hand store/pawn shops and Of course Ebay.
     
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I've heard its different at pawn shops in other areas, but here I've yet to see any real bargain. I can buy some things new cheaper than some of pawnshop prices. Doesnt leave any negotiating room when they are just looking for suckers to fleece on either end of their buisiness. I know the second hand/ thrift shops and only stuff I ever see is the boom box crap and the occasional clock radio with battery backup. I plugged some of them in but they dont have any sensitivity, can just get local pop/country stations with any clarity.

    Ebay is fine, but cant play with the radio before buying it. Would have to go by model recommendation. And the one CC radio they had was about price of a new one after several bids. Apparently they have a following. Also most radios on ebay seem to be walkman clones, not what I want. So back to my original question. Can anybody recommend from personal experience a good performing cheap table size battery radio? Or are they all junk unless you pay more than what a new tv costs? Brand and model number please?
     
  6. I love radio
    Get most of my gear from ebay.
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    The Grundig Yacht Boy 400. There is a newer model or two out, so you might find this one used for a decent price. It uses AA batteries (6 of them). But they last for over 9 months. I never wait to see how long, I usually change them in preventing them from going out when I need it. I use it a lot and it is never plugged in so is constantly "on" with the time display. I get very good reception in the WV mountains. I can use a cheap antenna wire that clips to the curtains for even better reception.
     
  8. I have a YB400 that I use often but have to change batterys every month or so.
    My Grundig fr 200 picks up just as well as the YB400, batterys last much longer and has built in generator and light for 100.00 less than the YB400. no side band SW or TV though.
     
  9. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, interesting. The grundig YB400 has weatherband but no tv. Still thats a high quality radio. Too many $ new for how I'd use it. However going to watch them on ebay next few weeks. Used in good condition they may be down in $50 to $60 range. Grundig FR200 is really interesting but no weather or tv band and being sold as an emergency radio, i dont quite understand that. Price is right though and built in generator is kinda neat.

    Also been looking and that Sony shower radio gets nothing but praise from a lot of users so its still an option. And I found a $20 GE 72946 weatherband/tv radio probably simular to what I have except its not 9 volt anymore. Found 3 reviews and they said good reception and tuning in a very cheap radio that works with some limitations compared to higher dollar radios. Amazon is only place that carried it and its discontinued.
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Just go to a car junk yard and get a car radio with lots of features. These radios have good filters and the sensitivity and the auto gain control is excellent. You will miss the weatherband features but you cannot beat the price and definitely it will work on a car battery. :)
     
  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    But the weather band is the big thing I want and tv band would be nice also for emergency weather updates. I rarely use radio except in times of severe weather or when my electric is off. Antenna broke off on my little pickup a year ago and I still havent bothered to fix it, just never use radio. Also car radios will run a good car battery down within a day or two so arent practical as emergency radio.
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks comfortablynumb. I just been trying different ebay search and came up with info-mate plus lot others. (The info-mate seems more interested in selling their various power options rather than reception quality so leaves me thinking....) Even found regular police scanner will pickup tv and weather band and will run on 12v. And believe it or not I even found a radio identical to one I have only in maybe better shape. The seller was one of those more interested in protecting themselves and extracting big handling fee (try $15 for small one pound radio) than in decribing the actual radio.

    So I am confusing myself. Getting to point that unless I could have all radios I am interested in here in front of me to try, its sort of guess and by golly. Of course all sellers are going to say the radio they are selling is wonderful. Some, especially discontinued models, are next to impossible to find a consumer review on. I was looking for reviews on one particular small police scanner selling on ebay this morning. (went cheap) Still being sold many places and not one review could I find so figured something wrong.

    Ok, right now I figure the Grundig YB400 is good because of recommendation from users here with no advantage in pumping up its reputation and also its from a reputable company specializing in quality radios. I figure that Sony shower radio is good quality because of all the positive consumer feedback I found on internet. And that one old GE identical to what I have is probably ok, but $15 shipping/handling fee ontop of bid price on a cheap one pound radio makes me not trust the seller.

    I am finding no impartial feedback on other stuff saying hey I bought this radio, it was cheap and gets great reception. Doesnt count when its just the seller saying this. There are a lot of cheap mediocre radios out there. I'd just as soon not waste my money. I want cheap with some quality.
     
  15. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    HermitJohn... I think that Grundig makes a very good radio, but I think that you should take a close look at the ccrane products. I have a ccrane Freeplay plus.It features Am/Fm & 2 bands of SW.It has a clockwork hand-cranked generator & a solar panel=no batteries, ever. It also has a white LED light/with a 6' cord & a magnet to attach it to a metallic surface. 60 turns of the hand crank=1 hour of radio & light. You can also get an 120v adapter that lets you run off of AC & keeps the permanent battery fully charged. I bought this radio because of tornados in our area. It doesn't have Weatherradio,but I think it is worth the price of approx $100 without the 120v adapter.Ccrane also has many other products that are cheaper.
     
  16. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Hermit John,
    you might do like I do with anything that uses a battery...Jury rig it...

    You can get AC or DC adjustable voltage converters from Radio Shack for around 10$. If you want to run it from a DC source (car or car battery), get a DC converter, and if your using AC (household), get an AC converter. Strip the + and - leads, from the voltage converter, hard wire them into corresponding battery posts inside your radio. If you can wrap the wires around the terminals, that's the best way. (Soldering is the absolutely best) I've also used 'dead' batteries as blanks to fill the hole in, with the + and - leads taped on to the battery. WARNING...You must make sure the polarities are correct, otherwise you'll see a puff of smoke, signalling the death of your radio. Also, use electrical tape to isolate any stray loose wires from touching each other.

    If this is going to be a permanent installation, you could bypass the adjustable voltage converter, and get a dedicated voltage converter, 12v to 9v.

    I've got all my portables with dedicated hardwired converters in them, to save the cost of batteries. Hope this helps.
     
  17. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I looked at radio called freeplay on ebay, dont remember it being ccrane. I dont understand an emergency radio being set up with SW and not weather or tv. At that point in time I most likely am going to be most concerned whats going on in my own community, not whats happening in Moscow or London. Like the other radios with generator, it seemed most concerned in selling alternate power sources not in emphasizing how well stations tune in and how well it locks in the station without lot drift to neighboring station on the band. I already have an LED flashlight. Think I can live without one built into my radio.

    So here is your chance. How well does your freeplay pull in stations and not let neighboring stations on the band interfer? Is sound crisp and clear or does it sound muddy? Does it have someway to attach an external antennna?
     
  18. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    HermitJohn-- I have a BayGen Freeplay crank SW. No solar panel. Reception is average to poor. I can hear the motor turning fairly loudly as it runs after cranking. It is not digital and tuning is the primitive dial sort. I bought it at Big Lots for under $30. I would never pay more than that.

    I also have the solar/crank/battery light/AM/FM small radio from Cheaper Than Dirt (about $18 when I bought it). The reception is fair for FM, almost poor on AM. I use it for a constantly charged light source.
     
  19. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    IMHO, the best AM/FM radio at a reasonable price is the GE Super Radio III. I have one, it has great reception and super sensitivity/selectivity. The cost around $40 bucks. This radio is recommended by AM and FM Dxers all over the country. If you're interested, read this article: GE Super Radio III

    ...or do a web search on Super Radio III
     
  20. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat Well-Known Member

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    Although most radio's are 4.5-6V, maybe you could hook one up to a 6V lawn mower battery, if your looking for that type of capability. Just a thought.