by Shane White
Weather Radios Direct sent me this awesome Eton Scorpion Weather Radio to review.
This weather radio is loaded with features, and is very easy to use. My son picked it up and set it up without even looking at the manual. I love the color as well. Black and zombie green look pretty cool. Another thing I liked is the size. The size is perfect considering everything is does and also comparing it with similarly featured hand-crank weather radios. Here are a few of the key features of the Eton Scorpion Weather Radio.
This weather radio receives AM, FM signals, as well as the NOAA weather band for emergency weather reports. It is easy to tune with its digital tuner which allows you to select the exact station you want just by dialing it in (much simpler than a dial). The signal is good and is comparable to other radios I have tried. The Antenna slides out and bends at a single joint to help with tuning. The antenna does feel a little thin and one time it stuck for a little bit, but it didn’t break or bend or anything like that. I just pulled it all the way out and made sure it was straight before I pushed it back in. No problems here.
I really liked the feel of the hand crank. It didn’t feel as clumsy and awkward as many hand cranks I have tried. I was also quite impressed with how long the battery lasted after just a little bit of turning the hand crank. Considering how smoothly it turned and moved made it easy to turn for a while without focusing all of your attention on this task. Cranking for about a minute seemed to last quite a bit longer than the documentation claimed. The manual states that 90 seconds will run the radio for 5 minutes, but I thought it did a little better. The solar panel helps it stay charged as well. I recommend leaving it in a sunny place to maintain a charge. There is also a power jack that you can plug into it as well. You will need to order this separately since this is not a standard USB charger or anything like that. I don’t see this as a problem since it does seem to last a while just using the crank or the solar panel, but it would be nice to have as another way to be sure it is fully charged up. Personally, I don’t think it needs one, but that is up to you.
The manual claims that the radio would play 4-5 hours on a full charge. I didn’t test this since There wasn’t a way for me to tell if it was fully charged or not other than the simple LED display. it did seem to last quite a while. I was also surprised that when I stuck it in the box in the closet after charging it some for a few weeks that it still had some battery life left.
The 3 LED flashlight is sufficiently bright. It only has one light mode, but it does the job. I wouldn’t use this as my main flashlight, but you can never have too many flashlights around and this one does the job just fine.
The box claims an IPX-4 rating which is splash proof from any direction. The manual was a little confusing on this since it states not to splash water or submerge this device. I would guess by looking at it that it is probably water resistant from splashes, but I did not try this since the box said one thing and the manual indicated another. I wouldnt freak out totally if you got it wet. It would probably survive.
This is an interesting feature to put on a weather radio, but it has one. If you are out somewhere where you need both, this is you radio. It is not a flimsy one either. I used it and it worked pretty well.
I thought this was a really cool feature. With the aluminum carabiner, you can just easily clip this onto your backpack, belt-loop or whatever and listen to the radio hands free while on the go. I found this very handy to not have to hold onto it while walking and not worry about dropping it. If you are hanging it, I wouldn’t extend the antenna, however unless you were sure it wouldn’t get twisted or bent. (NOTE: this carabiner is not for climbing.)
Cell Phone Charger
The cell phone charger does work. The manual claims after about ten minutes of cranking in charge mode that you should be able to make one or two quick phone calls. Now this will vary depending on what kind of phone you are charging. If you are using a smart phone, you should probably turn off as many features as you can before your phone dies (WIFI, GPS, turning down brightness all the way, and other non essentials) so that when you do start cranking to make a call it will stay charged longer. Alternately, you with some carriers, you can switch the SIM card to another less feature filled phone that you can keep for emergencies. This would be a better application for this charger.
This is a standard audio jack that so you can use the radio speaker as a speaker for your devices that have an audio out such as an MP3 player, or your smartphone.
The headset jack is a nice feature as well. Plug in a headset to greatly improve the battery life of your device or if you just don’t want to wakr any neighbors or alert animals or zombies to your presence.
If you are looking for a nice full featured portable weather radio, this is an excellent choice. Be sure to check it out at our friends at Weather Radios Direct.