It's amazing what you can find in your 72-hour kits when you go through them. Remember my funny story, click HERE if you missed it. We found many outgrown items, like diapers and baby formula, and I also found an old manual cell phone charger. After looking it over I decided that it could almost be called a vintage piece of technology :)
This manual cell phone charger was purchased about 8ish years ago when I had a basic flip phone, and smart phones were few and far between. The adapters in this kit wouldn't even fit the newest flip phone we had in our junk drawer. And with the smartphones we now own, I needed a new cell phone charger.
After doing a google search I decided to purchase the eton hand turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio. What sold me on it was the USB charger on the back of it. It will charge both my Android and the Apple phones in my household. Plus, I can plug it into my Goal Zero unit for charging! It has a radio, a flashlight, headphone jack, clock & an alarm clock, and is compact enough to fit into almost any backpack, car kit, etc. Plus it helps support the American Red Cross.
To charge a smartphone, plug the phone charger into the USB port on the back of the unit. The power from the internal battery will dump the charge to your device. Once the eton battery is dead it will stop charging your phone. The hand crank can also be turned to charge the phone, but I imagine that would take forever.
There are several ways that the internal battery can be charged. The solar panel on top of the unit, the hand crank, and the USB port. The first time that I charged the unit I used my Goal Zero unit and the USB port and was fully charged in about 2 hours. But you can use the hand crank or the solar panel as well. If the unit has a low battery, turn the hand crank for 90 seconds you will have 5-7 minutes of radio time with the volume on low, or 20 minutes of the flashlight available. Fully charged you will be able to listen to the radio for 3-4 hours with the volume on low. Using the USB adapter it will take approximately 2 hours to charge. To fully charge the unit using the solar panel it will take 10 hours.
I purchased my eton radio from Amazon for around $50, but there are other websites that sell them. Click HERE to view the eton website. Technology changes so quickly these days but I am hoping that this unit will serve its purpose for a while. So use my mistake as a reminder to check your food storage and 72-hour kits for outdated items. I don't want anyone to have to say "if I only had taken care of this while I could" in an emergency!