Emergency Radio Review: Eton FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio

The radio receives commercial broadcast AM/FM stations, as well as pre-programmed NOAA Weather Radio.

The radio receives commercial broadcast AM/FM stations, as well as pre-programmed NOAA Weather Radio. Click to buy one from the Living Ready Store.

FRX3 Charges Your Cell Phone

The FRX3 has all the usual things we’ve come to take for granted on a modern radio — clock, alarm clock, headphone input and auxiliary MP3 player input to pump in your own music, even a handy flashlight — but most interesting is that you can charge your cell phone with this unit.

Eton calls it a dump charge. It works with phones that use a USB charger, and the radio comes with a cable to connect the radio to the phone. You simply plug the two together and hit the “CELL” button located on the front. This is certainly no trickle charge; I wouldn’t suggest you use it regularly, but in an emergency it does indeed work as a quick-charge. I tested it on my phone’s near-dead battery and, within a few seconds, it was fully charged. That depleted the radio’s battery, so back on the crank I went.

The FRX3 runs on either 3 AA batteries or the rechargeable 3.6V, 600mAh Ni-MH battery. It can be recharged by turning the “Hand Turbine” crank, or by the radio’s built-in solar panel.

The FRX3 runs on either 3 AAA batteries or the rechargeable 3.6V, 600mAh Ni-MH battery. It can be recharged by turning the “Hand Turbine” crank, or by the radio’s built-in solar panel.

FRX3 Overall Impression

There are better weather radios one can buy, and a multitude of solar panel solutions for charging cell phones, but the Eton FRX3 brings these critical tools together into one small, lightweight and affordable package that will serve the purpose for most families. The American Red Cross endorses this radio and, if the power goes out, it’ll serve you well, too.

Features

•    AM, FM, WB digital radio w/display
•    Weather alert
•    USB smart phone charger (dump charge)
•    Solar panel
•    Dynamo motor/Hand turbine
•    LED flashlight
•    Glow in the dark locator
•    DC input (mini USB)
•    AUX input
•    Headphone output
•    Internal rechargeable Ni-MH battery
Dimensions: 6.9” x 5.8” x 2.6” (W x H x D) 174 x 147 x 67 mm (W x H x D)* Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz. (603 g)*

MSRP: $60

Click here to order this emergency weather radio from the Living Ready Store.


6 thoughts on “Emergency Radio Review: Eton FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio

  1. rb

    I didn’t know anything about the subject. I got this Kaito KA009R. It has all the features like yours, with all the chargers and sources. The only thing is that my Solar panel seems to have a very low output.

  2. rb

    I didn’t know anything about the subject. I got this Kaito KA009R. It has all the features like yours, with all the cahrgers and sources. The only thing is that my Solar panel seems to have a very low output.

  3. BRASS

    I have this radio and it is excellent. Small enough to be easily portable and big enough to be useful. I picked it not only for the features stressed in the article but also as it has a digital tuner. Experience with analog tuners has made digital tuners a must for me.

  4. retired75th

    Best Buy and some other large stores carry them. They run about $48. Check amazon.com might get a better price. However, reviews are not that good. On amazon do a sort according to best rated, and you should be able to find a better radio, but for $50, you get what you pay for. Another option is a micro ham radio for about $80 for a highly rated Bao Feng Transceiver. The later is a far better investment. REDUNDANCY is the key to survival here.

  5. terrydawe1@gmail.com

    Your article was very good. You did miss some key thoughts for us though. Who sells this radio? Where can it be bought and at what cost?(ARP) You mention a thought of an external antenna, is there a port for one? Is there an antenna available as a “add on” device? What about us that live 35+ miles away from a NOAA signal? How does this radio compare to a broad spectrum of other radios available? I would like to buy something but I do need more input. Thank you!

    1. gunslinger454

      I don’t have this exact model, mine is the more advanced FR-1000 model, but I got it at Sportsmansguide.com a couple years ago. As for the FR-1000, it has all of the features of the model reviewed here (except for the solar panel) and several others as well:

      -4 power sources: hand crank, rechargeable battery, AA batteries and a typical AC-DC adapter for household current.
      -LED flashlight that also includes a dimmer red LED for retaining your night vision and it can be set to blink SOS.
      -a very loud emergency siren
      -AM/FM/NOAA radio reception plus the ability to monitor shortwave (HAM) radio and to transmit on FRS/GMRS frequencies for 2-way communication.
      -alarm clock
      -and yes, it will charge my cell phone for me

      I’m not sure that this model is still available, but if not there will be something similar to take its place. I like it a lot and recommend that everyone get a radio with these capabilities.

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