Solar powered dab radios are small, easy-to-carry radio receivers that are charged by the attached photovoltaic panels. Unlike regular radios that use battery or an electric source to receive power, solar powered radios use sunlight. Therefore, you don’t need to replace depleted batteries or look for power sources. These radios are very convenient and useful in remote locations.
Solar powered radios are wireless and sustainable. They are built on the principle of energy conservation and are very eco-friendly. A few of the most significant benefits of solar powered radios include long lifespan, small size, portability, and energy conservation. They are slowly moving towards replacing conventional radios entirely. They are also low-cost and easy to maintain.
If you’re looking to buy the best solar powered dab radio, you find yourself at just the place you need to be. Here, we’ll review a few of the best solar powered radios and highlight their unique features to help you choose the right one for you. Let’s dive right in!
How Do Solar Powered Crank Radios Work?
Solar powered crank radios sound intriguing, and you may be wondering how do they function. Well, the answer lies in two underlying mechanisms:
1. Solar energy conversion
The mechanism of solar energy conversion in radios works exactly the way it does in any other solar powered device. When the integrated panel is placed under sunlight, it absorbs it and produces DC electricity. This electricity is then utilized in the charging of NiMh or lithium battery of the radio.
A dynamo is a kind of electrical instrument with a rotor. When a mechanical force is used to spin this rotor, it generates DC electricity. Solar powered radios have a dynamo integrated into their structure.
Crank solar powered radios usually come with a small hand lever, that connects with the rotor of its dynamo. When you spin the lever, the attached rotor also spins. The spinning produces energy that generates an electrical current in the dynamo. The integrated batteries use this current to power up.
Why Buying a Solar Powered Radio is a Good Idea?
Solar powered radios are an excellent way to carry your music, news, weather forecast, and educational and political discussions with you. They are especially useful in remote areas where you don’t have access to the internet. If you plan on going for a hiking trip, holiday, hunting, kayaking, camping, fishing, and whatnot, your solar powered radio will be the most convenient accessory to take with you. You can venture in the most remote area without missing your radio updates.
Solar powered radios are especially useful during power outages or any natural or manmade disasters. They keep you alert and updated on the precautionary measures recommended during landslides, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, and forest fires.
Solar powered radios are an essential gadget for a survival kit. If you’re into staying prepared for apocalyptic events such as wars, power blackouts, extreme protests, then a solar powered radio would make your best friend. Battery-powered radios aren’t sustainable in disastrous situations and can run out of power very soon. With no replacement batteries, you can find yourself in a difficult situation with a conventional radio.
For these and several other reasons, a solar powered radio is a great idea. They are also very low-cost with virtually no maintenance cost.
Things to Consider When Buying a Solar Powered Radio
If you’re looking to buy a solar powered radio soon, then there are a few things that you must consider to make the right choice. Make sure you check the following things when assessing a product:
1. Emergency warnings
When you purchase a solar powered radio, you must ensure that it has the feature to receive NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) warnings and other emergency alerts. Emergency warnings are crucial in remote areas, and since a solar powered radio is designed for these situations, it must be able to deliver alerts.
Before spending a fortune on two-wave radios, you should consider if you’ll need other bands. If your primary purpose of getting a radio is to communicate with others, then you should go forward with it. However, if you only need to stay updated on the news, local warnings and NOAA alerts, an AM/FM receiver should be enough.
It’s necessary to check all the features of the product that you’re buying. Otherwise, you can get stuck with a radio that doesn’t have all the features that you could need in an emergency.
2. Public alert logo
Make sure the solar powered radio has either a logo that says “Public Alert” or “NOAA NWR All Hazards.” These two standards show that the radio is developed with the guidelines of National Weather Service as well as the NOAA.
If the radio has the public alert logo, it means that it meets the required technical standards. These standards include the ability to hear a tone before an alert and to receive area-specific and local alerts.
3. Connectivity to external devices
Choose a solar powered radio that can connect to external devices such as a vibration device for visually impaired or extra lights for people who have hearing limitations. It would be best if your choice of radio has at least one or both of these connectivity options.
4. Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME)
Look for a solar powered radio that comes with the SAME (Specific Alert Message Encoding) technology. SAME allows you to receive emergency warnings for an area that you specify on the radio. So, instead of just receiving alerts and warnings based on your current area and state, you’ll be able to receive disaster warnings for a specific city, your country, or the region.
5. Number of power sources
Even though you’re specifically looking for a solar powered radio, it would be best if you can get a radio that has multiple power sources. Battery-based radios are good, but a solar powered radio that receives power from other sources as well would be an excellent choice. Consider a solar powered radio that also receives power from an AC adapter, so you can charge it whenever you do have access to electricity. Other options include the ability to accept power from a manual source or a radio that comes with a hand-crank.
Although solar powered radios don’t require much power to function, this requirement increases once you add features. If you want a multi-functional solar powered radio with additional features, then you’ll have to get one with multiple power sources so it can run for long. It’s always a good idea to have a backup and multiple sources of powering a gadget, so you are prepared for all circumstances.
6. Lasting time
One of the most significant factors to consider in a solar powered radio is its working time. The usefulness of a radio heavily depends on how long it can last on a single charge. Most solar powered radios last several hours, but you should check before buying.
Moreover, don’t misunderstand the working hours of the radio with all the additional gadgets attached to it. For instance, a 4-6 lasting time may not apply when you use the integrated flashlight along with the radio. Make sure you understand these conditions of use clearly.
7. Additional features
If you have specific requirements or you need additional features, be sure to look for them specifically. For example, you might need a power bank to charge your electrical gadgets such as cell phones, tablets, etc. It may seem like a bit of a stretch to look for a battery pack in a solar powered radio. Still, some people like to have a backup on the trips where children are accompanying them.
Solar powered radios with attached flashlights and speakers can also come in handy in times of emergencies. You may also want to have multiple programming stations or location-specific alerts. Make sure you get the best solar powered radio that works best for your particular needs.
8. Waterproof and impact resistance
Ideally, a solar powered radio should be able to withstand all disastrous situations such as floods, tornadoes, heavy rainfalls, storms, etc. If you plan on taking your radio to an area with the likelihood of these disasters, you need to buy a radio that is water-resistant or waterproof. Impact resistance is important for rough areas like mountainous ranges and hilly areas.
Best Solar powered radio – Reviews
Let’s review our top 3 solar radios:
All things considered, Kaito KA500 is our most highly rated solar radio. It is an ideal emergency radio that will prove reliable in your everyday use as well as in a disaster situation.
- It has an “Alert mode” which gets activated when a signal is received from the NOAA
- The integrated solar panel is easily adjustable up to an angle of 180 degrees
- It comes with an additional LED reading lamp, LED flashlight, USB smartphone charger, and LED SOS button
- It has SIX power sources, including the solar panel, NiMH battery pack, hand crank, AC/DC input, three AA batteries, and USB.
- It provides wide coverage of band reception such as pre-programmed weather channels by NOAA, shortwave, FM, and AM. Tuning in to any of these channels is as simple as turning the knob.
- It is manufactured with durable water-resistant and impact-resistant ABS material
- It comes with an antenna with high sensitivity reception as well as LED signal strength and an advanced semiconductor circuitry design.
- High tuning accuracy
- Built-in speaker with clear sound
If you have a flexible budget and want to get a solar radio with premium features, then Midland ER310 would be a perfect choice.
- The Midland ER310 solar radio comes with three power sources including solar power, with an integrated flat solar panel, hand crank and a USB connection. All three sources charge a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery conveniently which then provides up to 32 hours of working time.
- You can also charge this radio with 6 AA batteries, which makes an excellent backup option
- This emergency radio comes with an SOS flashlight beacon that can flash in Morse code for emergencies
- It also comes with a bright CREE LED of 130 lumens that can be utilized for help signals during emergencies
- It comes pre-programmed with 7 NOAA weather channels that will keep you updated on any alert about upcoming weather disasters with AM/FM radio signals.
- It is integrated with a battery level indicator, an LCD screen, and tuning and volume buttons.
- The special thing about this premium product is that it comes with an integrated ultrasonic dog whistle, which can be used in situations where you’re lost and require emergency or rescue assistance.
- Morse code signal
- Ultrasonic dog whistle
- 32 hours of working time
- 7 NOAA weather channels
- 2600mAh lithium-ion battery
- 130 lumens of light
This is an excellent value choice for a solar radio. It doesn’t cost as much as others but offers all the necessary features.
- It comes with three power sources includingsolar panels, hand crank, and USB
- It has compatibility with FM, AM and NOAA channels
- It comes in a compact size with a long-lasting 1W powerful LED flashlight
- This emergency radio has a 1000mAh battery which also functions as a power bank to charge your electrical accessories
- You will be able to enjoy a 12-month warranty by purchasing this product.
- 12-month warranty
- 3 power sources
- Adjustable tune setup
- 1000mAh battery
- Integrated with a 1W powerful LED flashlight
choosing the right solar radio is extremely important, especially if you want to use it for emergencies. You need to make sure that it receives emergency alerts by NOAA and other important news. It will be ideal if it’s compact with a long working time on a single charge.
After using and reviewing several solar radios, we’ve concluded that Kaito KA500 is the best option. It is very well-rounded with all the necessary features. It is also impact and water-resistant, which makes it ideal for emergencies. It has high tuning accuracy with a built-in speaker. Additionally, you don’t need to charge it over and over again. It’s very sustainable and long-lasting.
It’s crucial to choose a solar radio that meets your specific needs. Make sure you consider all the factors that we discussed above before buying a solar radio.
If you have any feedback or further questions regarding solar radios, leave a comment below.