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My New Favorite Thing: Radio Shack Emergency Crank Radio

This has everything you would want in a post-apocalyptic broadcast receiver device. The perfect device for anyone interested in being useful in an Open Source Emergency Response kind of way. Here's what Radio Shack has to say:

Stay informed during emergencies.
Listen to local or worldwide programs on this AM/FM/shortwave radio. The emergency crank generator provides light and radio power without batteries, making it a must-have for emergencies. It can also charge wireless phones using the included phone tips. Telescopic antenna provides superior signal tuning.

  • Vernier fine-tuning knob for accurate analog tuning on Shortwave 1 and 2
  • 360° telescopic antenna for superior signal tuning
  • Dynamo recharging red LED indicator
  • Get information, light and wireless phone power when you need it most

What's in the box

  • Emergency Crank Radio with built-in rechargeable battery
  • USB Cable + 4 tips (for Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Samsung & Nokia)
  • Owner's manual

One thing they don't make clear is that is can be used to charge your phone (that's what the USB is for). So if you're stuck somewhere, you turn the crank and can hear AM, FM, and shortwave radio AND charge your phone to make your last-ditch calls.

If we would have had this in WWI, we never would have lost. Oh yeah, I forgot-- we won WWI. Anyway, it's a great radio.


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Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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