Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Product review: Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger
I live in a tree dense area and lose power often during various storms. In the last few years I have been without power for 3 to 6 days several times. At times like that this emergency radio/flashlight would have been very handy.
This unit is unique because it has three sources of energy:
✔ USB which can be used to quickly recharge it
✔ Solar which can recharge it when there is sun
✔ Manual crank, where 1 minute of cranking will provide 30 minutes of light or 20 minutes of radio power
In the attached video I show various features of this emergency radio/flashlight. I was impressed that it gets fairly decent reception.
The Epica unit in addition to being a radio with FM/AM/WB bands also a flash light and can serve as an external power bank for brief charging of a cell phone (i.e. it will not fully recharge it, but will give it enough juice to make an emergency phone call). The radio has auto-tune capability. When you press and briefly hold ">" button it will scan until it finds the next adequate radio signal.
The radio is 5" by 3" by 1.75" in size, weighs 8.4 oz.
It has a handy handle so you can hold it on clip it as needed. It is water resistant and can be used in the rain or in a water craft, but it should not be submerged in water. Maintenance recommendation from the manufacture is to crank the handle for a few moments and turn on the flashlight for 5 seconds every 60 to 90 days if the unit is stored without use for several months. Manufacture states that battery life expectancy is more than 3 years and more than 5000 charging cycles (with 3 hours of daily use).
Overall, I am impressed with the radio reception I got. The flashlight is not the brightest flashlight I own but it is adequate. Cranking is not hard, and true to advertising 1 minute of cranking gave me about 30 minutes of light. I am feeling better about the next long power outage, and would recommend this unit to others. I hope my video gives you a good idea of what to expect.
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.
Ali Julia review ★★★★★