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Technology

Simple Emergency Generators and Radio Receivers (Video) 93

Posted by Roblimo
from the make-electricity-and-exercise-your-arm-muscles-while-you-listen-to-the-radio dept.
Eton Corp. makes well-reviewed emergency radios and hand-cranked generators for emergency use. Timothy Lord talked with them at CES and made this video of how the devices work. Alternate video link @ tv.Slashdot.org.

Timothy Lord:Skip, what are we looking at here from the Eton booth?

Skip Orvis:Yeah, this is the Boost Turbine 4000, the latest hand cranked battery backup power supply we have, from the predecessor, it is double the battery capacity, so it is from 2000 to 4000 milliamp hours. It actually has 2.1 amp output here so you can charge your tablet or smartphone. Most of the time, as you are using this device, you will charge it via the micro USB port and keep it charged up and charge your device. But after a week or two or something like that, if you have a major storm or emergency, you charge up your cellphone a couple of times, and you find that you still don’t have power to your house, you just crank it right back up, crank it for 4 minutes or 5 minutes and you got another minute of talk-time on your cellphone for a few critical texts you want to send out to your family telling them you are okay.

Tim:If you wanted to fill your battery that way, it would take quite a while, wouldn’t it?

Skip:Oh absolutely.You’d have pretty strong arms by the time you are done. Hopefully you have a bunch of kids that are bored out of their mind because the lights are out, and you could pass it around, and they all could crank it for a while.

Tim:Alright. Now what is the use case you anticipate then for that?

Skip:Yeah. So the use case we can anticipate is every day you could use this as a backup charger. You charge it at night, you go out, you are working through your day, and you realize your battery is dead, you pull out your bag and you charge up your phone. And just use it every day.It____1:14. Then after the worst case scenario happens—you lose power. You charge up your cell phone on day 1 of the emergency, your power is out, you go no big deal, the power will come back tomorrow. Next day you wake up, you gotto recharge your cellphone battery again, you charge it back up, and now you’ve depleted this guy, but you are like don’t worry the power will come back ontomorrow. But the third way you wake up, your cellphone battery is dead, this is dead, and so are all the other devices, but now you just crank it back up again and you got at least a way to get the messages out.

Tim:And once it is charged, how long does that battery last?

Skip:So this battery, because we have a switch here to enable and disable it, it can last for several months in storage.

Tim:Okay.Now you got some more elaborate products here that I am interested in.Can you give us a rundown on this?

Skip:Sure. This is the new FRX5 S. It is the next generation of our emergency preparedness radio. We have a great lineage of emergency preparedness radios.

Tim:Yeah, you have been making them for many years.

Skip:Oh absolutely. And basically this radio takes it to the next level. This has four separate sources of power: We have the great crank power from a lot of our Eton radios. We’ve got a solar panel here on the back, which provides almost 2 watts of power. You can charge it from the side here, with your standard micro USB port from any phone that you have or your other Boostblocs around. Lastly you can put in 3 AAA batteries here, so you are never without power with this device.

Other cool features is I don’t have to have an emergency to use this, I can listen to the radio, AM/FM radio, I can take it camping. For the camping perspective, we can just turn on this ambient light in your tent, and you can sit there with your friends, play cards, do whatever, instead of having a flashlight that is staring off into the corner.But of course, you’ll still keep the flashlight around, because you may need the flashlight. On the front of this, we have the standard AM/FM weather band, just like always as well, but we’ve added the next feature with specific area messaging.

So if you are in Tornado Alley, in a specific county that could be prone to tornados, you just say your specific location, and if the weather alert is announced for your area, Tornado Watch, Tornado Warning, this will wake up, it will start streaming information on here. There will be text that comes across. You can see, it says ‘no message now’ because there are no emergency alerts. But should there be an emergency alert, it will put it right across here, and it will tell you, ‘Okay, Tornado watch for the next 24 hours in this county.’

Tim:And you customize that yourself. It doesn’t detect where you are.

Skip:Correct. You can set all locations across the US. You can pick up the 24 specific locations if you just want those. And it will wake up and get ready whenever you need.The last cool feature about this,____3:46at the side here has this standard USB port. Inside here, it now has a 2000 milliamp hour battery. Which is a full charge for most smartphones. So if you leave this at home, or on the table, or a next door window, charge it up during the day, or charge it up anytime. If something does happen, you come home, you can still charge your device a full charge just with this battery here.

Tim:It is cool technology.Alright, thanks a lot, Skip.

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Simple Emergency Generators and Radio Receivers (Video)

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