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on April 26, 2011
- Decently built, crank seems solid. Charging while not fun is ok.
- DOES indeed charge newer cell phones. HTC Evo 5v usb connection tested and passed. Be prepared for a workout though. Highly recommend that you do this with at least a half charge in the onboard Dyno battery.
- Onboard Dyno Battery !!! Excellent. I have mine plugged into AC and near my battery storage. Always fully charged and ready to go in seconds.
- Also works with standard AA
- Decent reception and volume
- NOAA reception/WB channels quite good

- Documentation is horrible.
- Alert 'feature' and NOAA channels not documented at all. User will have to research frequencies in their area.
- 4 leds are very low quality and light output is just passable. Red led is almost useless because it is so dim.
- No Solar charging on this unit
- Rear plastic/rubber cover over battery cover & connection options is cheap and flimsy
- Antenna does not reside flush in unit
- overall ergonomics are not great
- This unit is NOT waterproof or weatherproof. Beware.

Lot better than nothing and overall a decent unit. Priced too high for what you get, but it does provide enough current to charge a cell phone - which most units cannot.
I give it a pass, but will replace with something better as technology allows.
Used within the limitations described above. It will perform for you.
Currently this would have to be rated top in its class so I give it 4 stars.
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I've been using Eton products for many years and, in general, have been pleased with them. They used to be overpriced, but the quality factor made up for it. After all, with an emergency radio, you want to be as sure as possible that the radio will indeed be in workable condition during an emergency. I purchased a smaller Eton radio (Eton Rover) on sale earlier this year and was, frankly, disappointed. Even at the very low sale price, I didn't find value in it. Tuning is miserably finicky. Reception is always a maybe and requires twisting and turning it this way and that.

I bought this one on sale as well to replace a much earlier Eton American Red Cross FR-400 radio that had suffered damage. Had I paid the full currently advertised price I would have felt cheated - as it is, even with the sale price, I still feel that I've paid too much.

The design of ARCPT300W is okay. The LED display is very welcome for accurate tuning. The handle lends itself to easy carrying, particularly when using the flashlight feature. There is a four-button switch panel. You have to choose the power source first, either DYN to use the internal rechargeable Ni-MH battery or BATT to use three AAA cells.

Recharging the Ni-MH battery is done by turning the crank. According to the manual, 1 minute of cranking will power the radio for 5 minutes at low volume. My results were slightly better than that. You can also recharge the Ni-MH through a USB port connected to your computer or an AC adapter. A full charge takes 8 hours, according to the manual, and supposedly will power the radio for 4 to 5 hours, but my experience has tended toward the lower number. You can play the radio while charging through a computer USB port. I was able to do this. But when I tried an AC adapter, I encountered hum so bad that I could not hear the station. I will have to check that out further with other adapters. The regular AAA batteries, if you use them, drain very quickly even with the radio off, the alert feature turned off and the unit charging.I would strongly suggest not leaving the AAA batteries in the unit when you are not using it.

By the way, the USB cable supplied with the unit is only about 18 inches long.

Reception on AM and FM was excellent, the latter using the built-in extendable antenna. You can tune 7 NOAA stations and in my area, I had excellent reception on two of them.

I haven't tried the cell phone charging feature. Supposedly you can charge it from the built-in NI-MH battery if it is at half or more capacity. The manual also states that you can crank at 130 RPM for 7 minutes to charge the cell phone enough for 5 minutes of talk time. That's a lot of cranking to be sure, but when the main power is down, it would be worth it.

There's a white light 4 LED diode flashlight which is adequate and a 1-diode red flasher which strikes me as being of limited usefulness. There is also an audio-in connector for using this with MP3 players and such.

Build quality is barely adequate, if that. It appears to be all plastic and it is doubtful it would survive being dropped, so handle with care. The lettering on the carry handle has rubbed off after being carried room to room a few times. No carrying case or AC adapter is supplied.

Overall, I think Eton has downgraded its quality to the point where the product value is questionable. At the full price, I would have been unhappy - at the sale price, I still feel somewhat cheated. As I mentioned earlier, I am a long-time Eton customer. The FR-400 radio this one is replacing was superb: this one has a more useful design in some ways, but I think the quality is lower in some respects. On the whole, I am no longer impressed with Eton quality and will be looking for an alternative.

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on October 31, 2017
Just what we needed for the recent hurricane season. Does everything we needed, and the size is just right.
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on April 8, 2011
I was dismayed when I opened this radio. It weighs practically nothing which hints at cheap plastic construction and components. My first impression is overpriced for what I got. Now that I have this unit, I would rather have purchased a less expensive alternative (there are many).
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on June 8, 2012
This is an awesome radio - except for two issues, one major and one minor.

Digital tuning ensures perfect reception as well as receiving all 7 NOAA weatherband stations. The hand crank with rechargeable battery makes perfect sense; a full charge ensures many hours of use. The ability to charge your iPhone via the USB is nice, if not a necessary addition in today's world. The two light options, bright white & flashing red is a practical, just in case, addition.

First, the minor criticism:- the radio seems to be a wee bit top heavy mainly because of the metal torchlight handle, however, the slightly wider base does compensate, but not enough - the fix would be to make the base wider and heavier.

Second, the major criticism (a serious design flaw):- the four buttons are too small and having them adjacent to each other makes it tricky if not difficult to press the correct one, even for those with nimble fingers. The four button layout is so seriously flawed, I have to wonder how it ever got past the design phase. I have no problem with the four button option, but they should be bigger and separate (vertical from top to bottom). The four buttons together, as they are now, should be the size of a single button, easy to find and easy to press.

I would recommend this radio to most people, but I would caution about the button layout and for some it is likely to be the single reason not to purchase.
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on April 13, 2011
Compared to earlier Eton models, this one feels cheap. The documentation is skimpy. I had to return it because the triple A battery display showed charged when there were no batteries installed. I called Eton and they said it is a defective unit.
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on December 12, 2012
This small unit does multiple functions and does them well. One minute of cranking the hand-cranked generator will charge the unit enough for 5 minutes of radio - more cranking more time. The crank is sturdy and easy to use. The battery can also be charged via a USB input and there is also AAA battery power - a battery status on display tracks both rechargeable and AAA charge. Radio covers all NOAA weather stations plus FM/AM. Radio sound is very good. Radio also has NOAA alert feature, but you have to plug in the USB charge cord to keep radio on for a period long enough to utilize the alert (or crank regularly). The USB dump will charge phones, ipods, etc. - it is not a full charge, but will allow a short phone call and longer ipod usage.

I picked this unit because it has a metal crank (more durable than plastic), and the set up of the handle and crank makes it easier than some other units to steady the unit while cranking.

I bought 8 units for gifts - one had a defective rechargeable battery plug wire and Eton replaced it very quickly - Eton has excellent customer service.

Overall - I think this unit is the best of reasonably priced emergency, hand-crank radio/chargers.
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on September 17, 2013
This item met my expectations of good quality. Using the crank is very easy and smooth. Led lights are good and bright and I personally like the way the light is located on the handle, easy to carry. The radio is light enough weight and a good one to keep for emergency, which is why I purchased it. I do wish it had a solar panel to charge but, aside from that I like this unit and feel more confident having it in case we need a means of hearing what's going on weather-wise. I did a lot of research and this one met most of my needs. I do plan to get one more radio, also by RedCross I think, it's square with the crank handle in the middle of the radio and has the solar panel and with much research I found it to be another quality radio that I'd like having. It's in the Hammacher Schlemmer magazine and also available on Amazon. About same price of $49-59. Comes in red or black. More for black color...but radio seems to have exact same features...said: "model allowed analysts to hear every word of the seven NOAA Weather Bands, unlike other models that produced distorted static-filled audio." Hope this info helps others to make a choice. I would have given this five stars if it had the solar panel. VERY good radio.
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on March 13, 2015
Great medium size emergency radio. 3 way power supply. Easy to use with good sound quality. CONS: No preset station buttons. No solar panel for charging. PROS: Large strong metal crank handle for charging battery, very robust. Power level indicator. Great price on sale. Elton is a good radio maker. Most other reviewers on the mark with comments.
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on July 26, 2014
EVERY HOME or Car needs one of these,The last thing in a emergency you want to do is search for a reg flashlight that battery may or may not still work..Also with this product you get so much more.The fact that it is able to charge my smart phone Is priceless.And the weather radio and regular radio is a real relief to have...
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