The Evolution of the Emergency Radio.
From AM-only portables to multi-function machines.
By James Careless
Published: July 28, 2022 – Radio World
With the advent of the 9V battery-powered transistor radio in the 1950s, the “Emergency Radio” was born.
Unlike vacuum tube receivers with heavy batteries or unpowered crystal radios, these handheld AM portables were small and simple enough to keep in a drawer. They could then be retrieved whenever man-made or natural disasters knocked out the power, providing listeners with lifeline connections to news, weather and relief information.
Since that time, emergency radios have evolved into multi-functional information/survival platforms. Models made by manufacturers such as C. Crane, Eton Corp., Kaito Electronics, RunningSnail and Sangean, among others, offer so many useful features — including AM/FM/Weather bands, hand-crank and solar rechargeable batteries, and built-in flashlights — that they have become the Swiss Army knives of radio receivers.
According to people who design and manufacture emergency radios, it was the Baygen Freeplay Wind Up Radio that transformed this industry’s technological thinking in the 1990s.
It was based on a clockwork-powered electrical generator developed by U.K. inventor Trevor Baylis. The generator was driven by a hand-cranked internal spring that, when fully wound, could run the radio for up to 30 minutes. Baylis invented this power source so that people in Africa could have access to health information about AIDS.
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Ydun Ritz (2022-08-01)