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Video Simple Emergency Generators and Radio Receivers (Video) 93

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 @

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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  • by emmagsachs ( 1024119 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:35PM (#46189433)

    Nobody buys Playboy for the articles. They do it for the hot, nude women (sadly, sans grits). It just so happens that /. is exactly the same. No one reads /. for the articles. The articles were news two days ago. And no one reads /. for the summaries. The summaries are almost always wrong.

    Everyone reads /. for the comments. The comments are the /. equivalent of Playboy's naked chicks, with one crucial difference. Without the gentlemen at Playboy, there will be no naked chicks to look at. The service they provide is, for the most part, finding women that will agree to pose nude for pictures, which they most graciously distribute to their readers.

    But as for Slashdot -- the good people at Dice and their "editorial" team do diddly squat around here to generate content. The articles, old as they may be, are submitted by the users. The summaries, mistaken as they may be, are provided by the users, not by Timothy, Soulskill, et al. The comments, trollish as they may be, are written by the users.

    /. is of the users, by the users, for the users. The only people at Dice who deserve their paycheck are the IT people. The rest of you -- what is it that you do for our benefit? Why the hell do we need you clowns? Your music's bad and you should feel bad!

    Beta delenda est!

    • Nobody buys Playboy for the articles.

      Unless there's an A. C. Clarke interview in the issue, of course. ;-) (OK, nobody buys Playboy for the article anymore, point taken.)

      • My favorite part was always the cartoons by Gahan Wilson.
      • I know, I know.

        It's for my mad PhotoShop skilz and the high quality paper we use. Did you check out that Times Roman font -- you don't see leading like that and balance of type weight anywhere else outside The New Yorker.

        Really, without the Graphic artists, you'd realize these were all 3D meshes. We have to add pimples, defects, the works.

        I'm proudest of that dragon tattoo I had to put on the Pamela Anderson simulation. She's too tasteful and modest to actually get a tattoo, so we had to sex it up a little.

      • Well, since Mr. Clarke is dead, they'd probably sell a lot of copies if they managed to interview him again.

        But nah, I subscribe to that mag to support the industry that manages to coerce women out of their clothes. Sure I could just sit back and consume free porn off the net, but those bunny ears and that bunny costume do something to me. Tossing $12 a year at them is cheap fun.

    • It seems wider to me. Now, put in the green bar for higher contrast between comments. One step at a time and lets see if they can make it good.
      • They can't make it good, though. The only thing that'd make the beta website become a reasonable experience for the "audience" would be to hold a ritualistic sacrifice of a thumb drive containing the sole copy of all its Javascript bloat and ugly style sheets and then post a video of the activity perfectly syncronized to the chocobo song from Final Fantasy IX!

    • So, if all of this is the case. ***why the hell ARE YOU HERE??!?!?!***
      • Because of the comments! Duh!

      • Because Classic is not yet gone. Because the old discussion system is still present, as it should continue to be. Because Slashdot's original nature is still worth arguing for, and all is not yet lost.

        If we fail because Dice really wants to destroy those things we value, then so be it. We cannot keep them from driving the site off a cliff if that is where they wish to steer. But it will not be failure through our apathy.

    • by Yaur ( 1069446 )
      Its funny... I read everything on the FP today (except the salshvertisiments) on Hacker News yesterday or the day before. Fearless prediction: we will get a Flappy Bird article by Tuesday.
    • It's almost like you are describing the music industry, where the suits think the talent is all ungrateful...

  • Unlike beta. Fuck beta.

  • by emmagsachs ( 1024119 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:37PM (#46189463)

    Mr. Moderator, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies: I just can’t believe everyone in here is a friend, and I don’t want to leave anybody out. The question tonight, as I understand it, is “The Slashdot Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or "What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the pitchfork or the codefork.

    Although I’m still a Slashdotter, I’m not here tonight to improve my karma. I’m not here to try and change your karma. I’m not here to argue or discuss anything that we differ about, because it’s time for us to submerge our differences and realize that it is best for us to first see that we have the same problem, a common problem, a problem that will make you catch hell whether you’re a Troll, or a Shill, or a First Time Submitter or a Karma Whore. Whether you’re educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley, you’re going to catch hell just like I am. We’re all in the same boat and we all are going to catch the same hell from the same man. He just happens to be a work at Dice.

    Now in speaking like this, it doesn’t mean that we’re anti-Dice, but it does mean we’re anti-Beta, we’re anti-SlashBI, we’re anti-Slashcloud. And if Dice doesn’t want us to be anti-it, let it stop forcing Beta on us. Whether we are Trolls or Shills or Karma Whores, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with Dice. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Portman and exchange some grits, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Portman had with each other.

    If we don’t do something real soon, I think you’ll have to agree that we’re going to be forced either to use the pitchfork or the codefork. It’s one or the other in 2014. It isn’t that time is running out — time has run out!

    (And a thank you to arth1 [])

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > I think you’ll have to agree that we’re going to be forced either to use the pitchfork or the codefork.

      There are four boxes to use in the defense of Slashdottery: soap, check, text, and dickina. Use in that order.

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

      Mr. Moderator, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies: I just can’t believe everyone in here is a friend, and I don’t want to leave anybody out. The question tonight, as I understand it, is “The Slashdot Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or "What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the

      I really like the articles at Arstechnica, but I hate their non-threaded comment forum so it's hard to have discussions. If they'd just provide a "sort by thread" option, I'd be there instead of here.

    • Amen

  • by computersareevil ( 244846 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:46PM (#46189523)

    Will soon be hosted at [] or a site linked through that domain.

    It will be for the commenters, by the commenters.

    It will be like the old days when Slashdot at least spell-checked the summaries and made sure the links actually worked.

    • Can I still get a 4 digit id?

    • It will be like the old days when Slashdot at least spell-checked the summaries and made sure the links actually worked.

      That must have been before 1999, because it sure hasn't been the case since I've started reading /.. Slashdot has had some pretty good qualities, but editorial competence was never one of them.

      I've wonder how they can afford to hire someone to reimplement Slashdot (badly), but for some reason they can't come up with someone whose job it is to proofread the stories being posted. It's not like all that much content is posted in a day -- it wouldn't even be a full-time job to have somebody read the summary,

      • I've been on since around 1997 (if I remember correctly) and I don't remember any such time either. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that was OP's subtle attempt at sarcasm.

    • by AdamHaun ( 43173 )

      I wonder how much it would cost to buy Slashdot from DICE? Maybe we could have a Kickstarter.

    • It will be for the commenters, by the commenters.

      So, you're not going have thinly-veiled slashvertisments aimed at taking advantage of the most fearful, paranoid, and mentally ill amonst us - the gadget-nerd preppers?


    • by sfm ( 195458 )

      You know, Dice could have avoided all of this if they allowed Beta to be optional.

      Over time, people would migrate, or not.

      They would have a VERY good indicator on what people thought of the changes.

      But no, they want to ram it down out collective throats

      There is a lesson in here, somwhere. I wonder if Dice will get it before it is too late ? Or have we passed that point already ?

  • I wonder if we'll have to use emergency generators and radio receivers to recover from Dicepocalypse...

    This is an emergency public service announcement... a zombie infection has broken out and it eats the brains of those affected. So far, only about two dozen people, all middle and senior managers of content aggregation websites, have been infected. If you see one of these husks, contact authorities immediately and do not approach them... This is an emergency...

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:49PM (#46189553) Journal

    The underground could use these... to build a new Slashdot. To escape from tyranny. To communicate in secret. To plan our escape. To fight for freedom. Resist! And BUCK THE FETA.

  • Posted by SGT CAPSLOCK on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:59PM
    from the straight-to-release dept.

    Dice Holdings makes beta websites and awkward poll questions. SGT CAPSLOCK talked with them at and made this video of how their thought process works. Alternate video link @

    [video link: NULL]

  • You know that Slashdot is fucked when the "editors" are crapflooding the front page.
  • "It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and intimidation."
  • Amazing is it 3 days later (across the weekend) that I am reading here and there are no on topic posts to be seen. So I will start...

    My review of Eton's products:
    The one which I purchased had terrible workmanship. Unfortunately, I purchased it as part of a fundraiser, so I couldn't return it.

    The model I had was a combination solar, wall-power, hand-generator powered unit, with a radio and an emergency (LED) light for output. My complaints all center on one item; however, as that item was the main power swit

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982