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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Grundig FR-200 Help

Reviews Summary for Grundig FR-200
Grundig FR-200 Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $39.95 (actual price)
Description: World Shortwave Radio (Survival) with
dynamo, 3 AA's, and AC power.
AM,FM, SW1, SW2. Flashlight. Vol. Tuner, Fine Tuner.
Mini Phone Jack.
Ext. Spkr. Jack.
Carry Camou Pouch.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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THATBPGUY Rating: 4/5 Sep 23, 2004 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Great- for what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
For $40 I wasn't expecting much. I own another freeplay SW and this one is easier to crank, quieter and lasts well over 1 hour (the other 45 minutes at best- it's a Sony). SW reception was suprisingly good and I was able to locate numerous stations. My only complaint is that all but the few strongest stations faded more than I had hoped. But, it's very compact, has a much stronger speaker than the Sony and while I've used it a tremendous amount in the last 18 mos, it just plugs right along. Great gift for someone who travels and doesn't have time or money for batteries.
RU546 Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2004 22:02 Send this review to a friend
Small price large value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I recieved mine for christmas last year
and have been enjoying it ever since,
easy to carry and use.
the shortwave comes in real good with a little
patience the fm and am work just as well
the only draw back I had with was the antenna
broke a couple months after using it,
but that was easy to replace
For the price you cant beat it
IANCHRISTIE Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2004 01:21 Send this review to a friend
Not bad for the price and the purpose.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this for christmas because of the power failures that have been happening every-now-and-again is South Western Ontario. Well, so far I've been very impressed with the opperation of the unit. AM and FM signals come in clearer than my clock radio. Indoors I have a hard time receiving Shortwave, but out doors, it's extremely sensetive, but right now with sub zero temperatures, I'm not wandering around outside listening to the radio. :)

The crank dynamo is a tad noisy when in opperation and is a tad stiff, but works well. For me this radio has been a great introduction to Shortwave listening. I'm contemplating a Grundig Miniworld 100 PE, a Mini 300 , or a RadioShack SP-2004 .

If anyone has any comments on those, my prefference are the Mini 300 or SP-2004 because of the digitaly display, feel free to email me.
K9UNA Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2004 21:39 Send this review to a friend
Fun toy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have two of the Tecsun Green 88s, which is the Chinese version of the FR-200. The only difference is the cosmetic appearance of the radios (mine are a nice red color and the carrying case has a camu print on it). Naturally, this is not your Drake receiver, so my comments and ratings are based on its price and stated purpose (“survival radio”).

First of all, what is a survival radio anyways? Is it a device that is supposed to work for years without power? Probably not. For most of us a “survival radio” is a portable radio that provides information without the benefit of a AC mains. Most of us need a radio when the power goes out which is usually for a couple hours. Sometimes longer use is needed as in a natural disaster. Let’s face it; we probably already have a radio that fits the bill. On the ultra-cheap side you can buy a cheapo AM/FM pocket radio and get a pack of AA batteries. Rubber band the batteries to the radio and you have information plus some back up power. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with poor reception and super tinny sound. For around 50-60 bucks you can get a GE SuperRadio that will play forever on some D cells. Just make sure you have good batteries and you don’t accidentally leave the radio on (that button on the top seems to get pushed in when you don’t want it to). Need a more upscale radio? How about a nice Yacht Boy 400, but those batteries go dead even with the radio off (those darn microprocessors). Make sure you have extras around. What, you sometimes don’t have batteries? Sometimes you have them, but you can’t find them when the power is off? Sometimes you think that you have extras only to find out that they are dead or one of you kids “borrowed” them? What! your not perfect! Me too, that’s why this little radio is such a gas.

So what do you get for the money (mine were about $30 each). I would say quite a lot. You get a smallish AM/FM/SW radio that is reasonably constructed. It has nice clear sound. It has very good AM reception (better than most table radios) and the FM reception is pretty good too (but suffers from images from close by stations). Tuning SW on a tiny dial is sort of like trying to crack a safe but it does work. SW reception is fair, but fine for a radio of this class (and certainly better than a lot of other single conversion radios that I have used). Add to this a little flashlight that really does work. You can power the radio from 3 AA cells that last a long time. Included in the price is a Ni-Cad pack (separate from the AA cells) that you can charge by AC (the Green 88 came with a charger and a 220 to 112 converter) or use the built in dynamo to charge. Winding for about a minute gives you some serious playtime. The crank is cheap so best to use the AA cells and use the dynamo only when you need to. There is also an earphone jack and a nice carry case to boot. What a deal. Now would I want to use my little radio as my only radio? Nope. How about in my drawer to be used only for emergencies? Yes, it works nicely there. What about an occasion use radio (beach, working on the car, whatever)? Yep, good for that too.

It is perfect for the less than perfect person or the perfect person who likes a cool gadget. On the negative side, the QC isn’t the greatest. The slide rule dials of both of my radios is off and on one it makes it almost impossible to tune the 31 m band, but for the money I’m not complaining.
N3HAM Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2004 18:53 Send this review to a friend
a fine low cost, light portable  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
i got this for chistmas last year and was immediately taken with its performance just using its small whip antenna. if i can't take a hf rig along with me for a weekend getaway, i prefer taking it along instead of my sangean ats 803. it's lighter for sure, and since it's analog, there is none of that dreaded chuffing when tuning. for forty bux you can't go wrong. i got one for my nephew and low and behold, he admitted to actually taking a break from the gameboy and computer and doing some swling. heck its not the same as doing it on a knightkit, but i am sure he hears a lot more. i just wish it had a bfo for cw and ssb copy. i find it to be sturdily made.
STEVETOMPKINS132003 Rating: 2/5 Dec 23, 2003 15:48 Send this review to a friend
poor radio needs work  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
i own a grundig AM?FM?SW FR-200 the crank broke off 1 month after i owned it,i stuck a screw in the crank to hold it,after that it cranked fine,until the cogs in the gears broke. it still cranks but knocks loudly with missing teeth in the gears. It needs help,also the stations gather so close together,its hard to fine tune in on one,it needs a real "Fine Tune" adjustment instead of a fake fine tune,which is a double tune knob on one tuner... i think the old radio shack 12 band shortwave for 49.99 was a lot better ...
KSTAZX Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2003 18:07 Send this review to a friend
Guilty pleasure.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
O.K., The FR200 is not the best shortwave radio there is, but gimme a break. The thing costs just forty bucks, and a good portion of that probably went to the dynamo and flashlight.

This little radio is a lot of fun, though. I bought it for the novel power source, but was impressed that it works so well for its low price. AM and FM reception are pretty good, and shortwave is possibly even better. Tuning it takes a bit of practice, since the shortwave fequencies are divided into just two tuning scales, but the effor pays off. I was surprised at the number and clarity of the broadcasts I received.

The dynamo and rechargeable batteries work better than claimed on my sample, and playing time is pretty long with just a couple of minutes worth of cranking. Battery life from conventional "AA" cells is very good.

The radio's construction is somewhat lightweight, but I've seen worse for more money. At any rate, it's held up well for me so far. All in all, I really like it.
NX5W Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2003 06:57 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought 2 of these radios, one was a gift to our daughter who is in college. They use to be kind of an off grey color and have seen some with camofloge paint. Now there may be some other colors available, but I am not sure. They come with a small manual to operate the radio, a hand bag that fits real snug.
Might do a little better on the recieve with like a Grundig or Sangean real type antenna that connects onto the telescopic one that is on this radio.
Intructions are real detailed. So anyone can use it.
KC9CS Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2003 00:01 Send this review to a friend
Terrific radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this for camping. I'm astounded at the sensitivity. Pulls in shortwave with no problem. Only wish was that it had ability to pickup SSB and perhaps a connector for an outside antenna. AM reception is terrific...was able to pick up WGN from Chicago on AM to listen to Cubs in the series. Shortwave....great. Even the analog tuning has enough dial spread to tune in the weaker stations. No batteries to contend with. A must on camping trips or for times if/when the power grid goes away. If this one broke, I'd immediately purchase hesistancy.
TINKER_BOY Rating: 4/5 Oct 9, 2003 13:13 Send this review to a friend
FR-200 is A Good Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio yesterday night. I am impressed with it.

Physical Construction - Radio is very light weight, even with batteries installed. However, the radio case appears to be sturdy. Plastic appears to be of high impact type. (supposed to be ABS) Plastic parts - case, control knobs, carry handle fit well. Exterior components are of good fit and finish.

Performance - I did not perform detailed receiver testing using RF measurement equipment. I only performed some rather subjective listening tests. My location is Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 8 PM, MDT to 11 PM MDT, I listened to a variety of shortwave stations on the SW2 band (9.2 to 22 Mhz) The entire band was full of stations. I had no problem receiving BBC World Service, CBS Radio Taiwan, a Russian (Byelarussian?) or Ukranian station, WWV, a Canadian time station. The receiver had to be re-tuned about 40 minutes after I tuned it to BBC World Service. It appears that the radio had drifted off frequency. However, after retuning the radio it managed to stay on frequency for BBC. It stayed on frequency for at least 1.5 hours after I re-tuned it. If I am not mistaken I remember old analog radios going off frequency from time to time. The radio's oscillator probably stabilized after a warm-up period. Audio quality is good, good on the mid-range to treble. Bass is non-existant, very flat. Radio tuning requires a smooth finger and some patience - especially if you want to receive weak stations. For all listening, the radio was operating from the internal rechargeable batteries. I cranked the dynamo to charge the batteries for 10 minutes before I operated the radio. For the listening period of 8 PM to 11 PM, I had the sound level at about 80% of full volume. Moderately loud. I then played the radio at a low volume level for 1 hour, then I went to sleep. This morning, I brought the radio to my office. I have run the radio for 2 hours at 40% volume level. Moderate volume. It has just run out of power - total running time of 6 hours.

The only possible weaknesses of the FR-200 are (1) The dynamo hand crank should be of a thicker type of plastic for greater durability. The hinge on the crank lever should also be of a stronger construction. If you use care in cranking the dynamo, it should not break. (2) if it is true that the radio is a "single conversion" type, then one of the disadvantages may be a duplicate image of transmitter on another frequency. I would have to hook up an RF generator (and sufficiently attentuate harmonics) to the radio and test it out.

This radio was purchased locally in Albuquerque, New Mexico for $30 from Lieber's Luggage. I am very satisifed with the performance and durability off this radio. I intend to have some fun and make some modifications. I would love to add an antenna jack for SW, AM (MW) , FM, a line out jack for recording. Maybe even an LED light replacement for the incandescent bulb flashlight on the front. I might even weather seal the radio against water. Who knows ?
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