If you’ve been looking for a great radio for bug out bags or emergency kits that is not dependent on batteries or the grid, then look no further! Meet the ETON Scorpion II. So far it is the best ever, all-in-one emergency radio, power bank, solar charger and emergency light I have seen to date.
Only about the size of an iPhone, albeit a lot more thicker, this tough and outdoor-ready radio is sure to impress!
So… I thought I’d do a quick review of it.
- Receives AM/FM/NOAA Weatherband to keep you informed and entertained
- NOAA Weather Alerts so you know what’s coming your way
- Digital tuner and display for precise tuning and reception
- Super bright long lasting 1/2 watt LED flashlight
- 5V 1A USB output charges smartphones
- Rechargeable 800 mAh lithium battery
- Battery charge indicator so you know how much power you have left
- Three power options: Rechargeable lithium battery, solar panel and hand crank
First of all, the feature that impressed me the most is the solid, rugged feel it has to it. You immediately notice it when first handling it. The thick rubber casing on the outside makes this radio virtually impact-resistant and it does have an IPX4 water proof rating which means that it can handle heavy rain, splashes of water and drops into water making it perfect for harsh outdoor conditions.
The radio bands available are AM, FM and the NOAA Weather Band (which is only relevant to US folks as it does not work in any other country apart from the USA). You can select these using the digital tuner. The audio comes through loud and clear and has great reception. You can actually preset the desired station too. Since I use this radio for staying in the know about emergency incidents, disasters and terrorist incidents I have it set to the ABC’s 891 AM frequency where I can hear official emergency broadcasts.
For the sake of convenience the ETON Scorpion II comes with a digital clock function which you can set to either 12 hr or 24 hr (military) time. I prefer 24 hrs because that’s just what I’m used to.
The ETON Scorpion also comes with a carabiner for conveniently attaching it to your backpack etc and also a bottle opener. The carabiner is quite strong but it’s definitely not strong enough to rappel down a cliff with. I do think having a can opener on there is way more important than a bottle opener especially in a survival situation.
The device measures 5.6 x 9.1 x 18.3 cm (2.2 x 3.6 x 7.2 inches) and 408.2 g (14.4 oz) – very small, compact and lightweight.
No batteries required – totally independent of the grid!
You have three power options with the ETON Scorpion II so a lot of redundancies there: The rechargeable lithium battery, solar panel and hand crank. This make the radio totally independent of the grid which is a huge plus in my opinion as it means you won’t have to worry about carrying around batteries which are perishable.
The 800 mAh lithium battery can be recharged with a standard USB cable which is also included with the Scorpion II. In my testing it took approximately 4 hours for a full charge. Apparently it can hold it’s charge for around 12.5 hrs but I have yet to test this.
The neat thing about the solar charger is that it is capable of charging your iPhone or iPod and you can just clip the device onto the back of your backpack with the carabiner and then charge your technology gadgets and gizmos (using the included USB cable) on the go! It takes about 10 hours for the power bank to reach full charge using the sun.
The dynamo hand crank is remarkably robust and is quite energy efficient. For every two minutes of cranking you get approximately 9 minutes of charge. It would probably take about 10-15 minutes using the power bank to charge your phone fully. Sure, you’ll be sweating bullets but at least your phone’s got charge!
To help you find your way in the dark, the ETON Scorpion II also comes with a built-in LED torch which provides quite a reasonable amount of candlepower (probably enough to see 20 m away) and is quite efficient energy-wise in that it doesn’t drain the battery as fast as the radio does.
So here are the pro’s:
- Tough, sturdy, rugged, drop-proof and waterproof design (IPX4 rating)
- Comes with a radio, solar charger, power bank and torch
- Energy efficient
- Multiple charging options
- Totally independent of batteries and the grid
- Small, compact and lightweight
- Lacks signalling capabilities (e.g. strobe function)
- Bottle opener is completely useless in a survival situation
- No compass or whistle
The ETON Scorpion II is probably one of the very best emergency crank radios on the market today and is well worth your money. Compared with heaps of other hopeless junk on the market, this is definitely a radio I am confident will save the day in an emergency situation. I highly recommend the ETON Scorpion II. It’s definitely a well made, good-quality piece of kit. I especially like the fact that you’re getting four different pieces of equipment in one device. Best of all the winning point is that it is totally independent of the power grid and it does not require batteries. With a price of around $60 USD it is relatively affordable and definitely worth more than its cost.
Learn more at http://www.etoncorp.com/en/productdisplay/scorpion