Four snowstorms in the past three weeks, accompanied by two multi-day power outages, solidified my resolve to be more prepared next time. Power can go out during summer t-storms just as easily.
We already had the usual camping gear, tac lights, solar powered gadgets, etc. What we only had one of was a battery powered AM/FM transistor radio, which I used to bring with me to summer camp in the early ’70s. It was left out in the barn last summer with its batteries in. Although I managed to clean off enough of the corrosion on the contacts with vinegar to get it going with new batteries, it reminded me that we really could use another radio, or two, that don’t depend upon AC to run, but can use it as long as the power’s on.
We can deal without TV, but being without radio is wrong, considering that the first radios both of us owned that were our own (when we were kids) were crystal radios we assembled ourselves from $3 kits, and plugged into a metal fence with an alligator clip for reception.
Sure, a basic AM/FM battery operated transistor radio can be had for under $10, delivered, but we wanted something bigger than a pocket model, and it had to be able to use AC power as well. A portable tabletop model that had an AC cord, and a compartment for batteries was in order.
You would not believe what a joy it is to have a five band one out in the barn, where all maintenance/repairs are done on the tractors, and other equipment. Got a used Emerson for super cheap, delivered, that works like a charm, has great reception, and pretty good sound quality. Emersons from that era were pretty good.
For other applications, so to speak, I also got Eton/Grundig field radio model for roughly 1/2 the going retail price, although some people try to sell them for 50% over retail. It’s not nearly as good as my 20+ year old Icom rack model receiver that weighs as much as a bag of wet mulch, but can get almost anything with a proper antenna — AM, FM, SW bands up the wazoo, police, marine, aviation, old cell phone frequencies, etc., but the Eton suits our needs for something portable.