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Author Topic: emergency/survival radios,which is BEST??  (Read 20760 times)

Posts: 1

« on: January 18, 2014, 04:49:43 PM »

Wondering what a GOOD quality portable emergency radio would be best to buy?i have a grundig fr200,& a sentrypr911.Would like to move up into better more durable quality.Wondering what you guys think of the Midland Base Camp Radio? Does anyone have it?it looks well built,as where most look pretty,but are just junk.The only downfall on the midland,is it doesn't have any sw bands,which I would really like to to midland below.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 04:58:41 PM by DARRYL34 » Logged

Posts: 1710

« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 05:18:26 PM »

The Grundig FR200 is a clear winner for lasting forever without a battery change. It works very good on the AM band as well as the shortwave bands. While it cannot receive SSB as it has no BFO, it might be possible able to add a BFO to it with those kits that sell on ebay for time to time. The tuning is analog which means no digital readout which can be a plus in many ways. It also has a flashlight, a hand crank to recharge internal batteries (which are easily replaceable). It is the best radio for it's price range. I put this radio in the classic category. My advice is to get another one.

The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here.,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...

Posts: 568

« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 09:59:06 PM »

Look at the Sony ICF SW-7600G or newer model. It gets all the shortwave bands as well as sidebands for Hams, it has a clarifier to tune in the side band signals . It is fairly compact, tough, comes with a good cover and portable antenna extender. All for about $160.00, the best deal in a great portable radio going.
I've had one for years and it works fantastic for it's size. It's rated in the top 2 or 3 for portable radios. It uses AA batteries (4) and runs quite a while on a set. The batteries are cheap and it's easy to carry a bunch.
I've used other shortwaves, and short of a table model costing far more, the Sony is fantastic, very sensitive for a portable and the price sure is right. The audio is very good for a portable also.
It has direct entry and scans also. You won't go wrong buying one. Some say the older model like the "G" I have is slightly better, that I cannot confirm, but this radio has been through hates and back and always works and was made in Japan. It has a switch for wide and narrow band also. That helps a lot.
The radio you seem to be talking about is a GMRS radio and will not pick up anything but AM,FM,FRS and GMRS. Get the Sony and don't look back. The Sony gets the AM and FM also.
You may want to think about getting your ham license. It's easy and cheap. Then you can operate on 2 meters and 70 CM as well as some of the lower bands on CW and be able to communicate. Once you upgrade to General (also not hard, no code needed on any test anymore), you can get on High Frequency Radios and talk as well as listen. With a 2 meter radio, you can access the hundreds of repeaters on mountain tops and talk 50 to 100 miles in some cases and there are strings of repeaters linked in some areas that let you talk for a thousand miles or more. Get your Sony, then study for your Technician license. Find any ham radio operator, most all will be glad to help and get you off on the right foot. A 2m/70CM handheld can be bought for $40.00 to $160.00 for a good one like a Yaesu FT-60 (My choice, I don't like the cheap china radios, but some do). Then you will be far more ready for an emergency. You can even join an emergency ARES radio group with your ham radio.

73's John KF7VXA
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 10:06:44 PM by KF7VXA » Logged

Posts: 2099

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 02:56:59 AM »

  I second the SONY, my 20+ year old ICF 7600D continues to spend half its life in a salt air and bouncing off the deck environment and still works perfectly. If the newer versions as above are still made with silver contacts, moisture proof membranes under the push buttons and the same bullet proof case then you will probably never have to worry about replacing it. Mine was purchased in Japan and manufactured for the home market so I have no idea about the quality of their same export models.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 03:13:31 AM by W1JKA » Logged

Posts: 376

« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 04:49:32 AM »

If you live in the USA, you will definitely want a weather radio. You can program those for your specific county, and it will go off with a loud alarm if there's a tornado or other warning/watch in your area.

A combination of a Sony short wave with SSB reception and a weather radio should have you set for most kinds of reception. If you're going to move into serious shortwave listening, a Digital Radio Mondiale receiver might be for you, or you can use your computer to decode that using your Sony.

If you are moving around in the wilderness consider this combination:
- Personal Locator Beacon or a SPOT device: For summoning help based on satellite tracking. The SPOT can send "I'm OK" position reports to your family, while the PLB is for emergencies only but will work even without GPS coverage. Pull safety. Push button. Wait for help.

- A waterproof amateur HT with GPS and APRS. The Yaesu VX-8R fits the bill. It can talk on 2m and 70cm (the USA version also has 222-225 MHz), but it can also receive FM and AM radio, including shortwave (but no SSB). With a GPS module it can send tracking information that displays on or to nearby listeners with a laptop and mapping software installed, if the internet is down. Many US versions of HTs have weather radio reception too. You can transmit if you get a Technician class amateur license.

- FRS/GMRS/CB for talking among your group or if there are active users in the area. Some areas have active offroaders, truckers or community groups who use these radio services for good things, other places it's just dead air or full of abuse and crime.

If you want to operate portable, mobile or stationary HF we can probably give some advice for radios which might be for you, if you're on a boat at sea or river, then you might look into maritime VHF radio, but we'd need to know more about your needs in an emergency.

And finally, don't forget your cell phone. Even if voice traffic can't make it through, text messaging and internet access might work. My IP67 rated cell phone has an FM radio with RDS, a GPS receiver, a flashlight and a compass built-in. Those things will still work even if I don't have cell coverage. My sister's phone also has the ability to download maps of whole states/countries from the internet to memory card in advance, meaning she'll have full map availability even when the cell network goes down. (And doesn't waste data fees on downloading maps.)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 05:28:15 AM by LA9XSA » Logged

Posts: 152

« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2015, 07:18:26 PM »

Posts: 310

« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 03:28:43 PM »

Sent for one a week ago - arrival TBD.

Bedford, NH  USA

Posts: 49

« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 02:23:42 PM »

I also recommend the Sony ICF 7600D or DS, or the latest model. Robust, durable, fine for SSB, too wide band for CW work though, but spot on for your need.

Posts: 2005


« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 07:07:58 AM »

Why is it when someone asks, "What is the BEST...", the almost never qualify that with how much money they are willing to spend? Most people can not afford "the BEST".
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