CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency RadioItem # COBS

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AM/FM Weather Wind-Up CC Solar Observer

The Observer is a simple, affordable and compact radio with enhanced reception and audio performance. For emergency use it can be powered in four different ways and can charge many different USB type devices such as cell phones in a pinch. Many of our customers use it as their main radio.

The emergency radio was honestly born in 1992 when we experienced three large earthquakes in Northern California in 17 hours. Communication and services including electricity were hopelessly overloaded. In the Crane home shards of broken glass were everywhere and so were bare feet. All of our flashlights had been over used by our blessed children. We vowed to make a good emergency radio so this would never happen again.

This customer could not have said it better: "I have had only one, thank you Lord, occasion to use this in an emergency situation and it worked flawlessly. (I was the) Only one in the area with radio for two days of power loss... Thank you CCrane!!" vpipes - Dufur, Or.

General Features:
  • Can be powered by wind-up, optional AC power, solar panel or 3 AA" Alkaline batteries (not included) and rechargeable battery pack (included)
  • In an emergency it can charge cell phones with included USB port adapter
  • Stereo headphone jack
  • Accurate analog tuning with digital signal processing
  • Lighted dial for nighttime use and power outages
  • Built-in LED flashlight

Weight: 1.5 lb. Size: 7.25" W x 5.5" H x 2" D

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Overall Rating
(121 reviews)
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By DHealy
Confirmed User
Good reliable radio
Just the right size with many great features
Best Uses
I use this in my camper and the reception is good no matter where I go. The quick connection to the weather is very useful.
I have had similar radios but this is the best.
By GGreen
Love it
Nice design
No place to put the adaptor for phone charging.
I taped the adaptor to the side next to the handle and I can still crank it. Maybe just change the jack to a USB and get rid of the adaptor.
By TMaxwell
Albany, NY
Confirmed User
Essential Equipment
Functional Multi-Chargable.
Long battery life
with backup
Great reception
Subtly Usable
I wish the charging adapter (USB) wasn't necessary. A direct USB would be great.
I wish the solar panel on the back were bigger.
Best Uses
Listening almost everywhere...
Emergency usage
This is an update to previous reviews. First things first. No, the case does not turn gooey. It's just regular rugged black plastic. And NO this radio receives just fine as it is, going Digital would not be an improvement, nor would a digital display. When in use, it is relatively easy to find your stations. In an Emergency, it will find AND lock on to listen just fine without the complicated, power draining, extraneous digital circuitry & display. As for that slide rule display, in use its very visible. The light is optional, and manual. However in extensive use the dial light functions superbly as a low power light on it's own. It is the most used mode for moving about in a dark house without ruining your night vision completely. Then there is the other light, it does the job just fine. This radio has been featured in certain survival movies too...
By DGibson
Confirmed User
Good radio, rubberized surface turns into goo
Solid build
Good controls
Good reception
Best Uses
Emergency Radio
I had the original Observer Radio with (probably) the same rubberized coating over the plastic body. After about 4-5 years, the coating turned very sticky - almost gooey. I tried removing the coating with Windex, then vinegar, then rubbing alcohol, to no avail. This did manage to seal the battery door shut which cannot be opened now. I gave it to Goodwill Industries and now own the C. Crane Skywave, which is made of regular plastic.
By WRainey
Confirmed User
CC Solar Observer
It is great for the value. It meet all my expectations. I would buy it again.
I can not say any thing bad about this radio.
I would not be with out this radio. I would tell every one to buy this radio.
By RHarvey
I would recommend it.
Great emegency radio for the fraidy hole
.sThe Dymo crank is weak. My first radios crank broke.
Best Uses
Bad weather.
This is a good product.
By JStanke
Spokane, wa
As other reviews say
it is good radio.
I am pleased with the case and controls
I drained the on board rechargable battery. I hand cranked the dynamo for 15 minutes. It played 15 minutes.
The small handle on crank is to small for my hand. By that I mean my hand cramps
Best Uses
I think this radio can be used anywhere.
The solar cell charges great better than cranking.
The flashlight could be brighter. Like the dial lights. Hope someday they will go digital tuner. Overall good radio, good quality
By MPhillips
Davis, CA
Confirmed User
Toughest radio I own
I am a Handyman and use this radio on the jobsite.
You should see my current radio
It is covered with paint
The antenna is 1/2 broken off.
But it takes the licking and keeps on playing.
Battery play time is exceptional.
I can't think of any.
Best Uses
Job site. Around the home at anytime you need a portable. Especially useful when the power is out.
Buy one, you can't go wrong. Price is great and performance is exceptional.
By TElliott
New Orleans, LA
Confirmed User
Tiny Dynamite
I'm quite pleased with the unit's compact size and various power options. The flashlight is a bit ineffectual but at least its there. The weather band grabs any transmission that is locally generated.
I was a bit disappointed that within days after receiving the unit it went on a sale. The price hadn't been reduced but Crane included the previously optional a/c wall jack power adapter for free. As I purchased this directly from one of their sales representatives
I felt as though they probably knew that this sale would happen
Best Uses
An essential item for inclusion in any Emergency Kit
Great American company that I truly enjoy supporting
By WPrice
Southern California
Ask Leslie
Ask Leslie
Will not charge a iPhone6
Insuffienct Power
Best Uses
Ask Lislie
I can't write a review on the radio I gave it as a gift. Might want to ask the recipient of the radio. She wanted an emergency AM-FM-Weather-Battery Power-Solar Power-Crank Power Radio. I looked it up on the Internet. Ordered and sent it to her.
Los Angeles
Confirmed User
Surprised - better than I'd expected.
Good size (not too large).
Surprisingly good audio quality from speaker.
Tons of power options - any one of which covers those that might not be possible depending on the situation.
Best Uses
Emergency back up.
Good for everyday listening too though.
Really like this radio. It's well thought out. I particularly like the fact that there's a wind up dynamo to supplement the solar cells - and those are there in case the batteries wear out. It might be night time or stormy (no sun) when needed, so the crank is great, but if it's sunny, just let the solar panel do its job. But what surprised me the most was how good the basic radio was. I'd thought I'd just get it for emergencies, but it's good enough for everyday use. Way better than expected. The day after I bought this, it was offered with a free AC adapter. No problem. All I did was call and mention it, and C. Crane's awesome customer service folks sent me the adapter right away at no additional charge. Very ethical and service-minded company.
By LMarsh
Confirmed User
good general radio
compact size makes it easy to take anywhere
all controls conveniently located on front
somewhat thin sound without enough base
would not be acceptable for music stations
It's a good general purpose radio, and a decent value for the money
By WG.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Confirmed User
Good radio could be better.
Good reception
No batteries required.
Construction is not as solid as I expected.
Replacement parts are extremely expensive due to inflated shipping.
Best Uses
I use this as a washroom radio. Sits in a sunny window and rarely does the battery die.
I was a bit disappointed by the quality of the construction - I expected it to be more solid than it is, however it has stood up to a fall - antenna snapped, but the radio continues to function. Replacement parts if ordering from Canada are extremely expensive due to inflated shipping. It would have made more sense to buy a new radio - that's a bit disappointing.
By gczrwinski
buffalo ny
Confirmed User
great sound
works well in a steel plant
no place to store phone jack on radio
Best Uses
camping and emg.
I have 2 friends buy radios after they saw mine
By CThayer
Goffstown, NH
works according to preview we've heard
good signals
good sound light and easy to transport. we use in our RV during the season and home dudring winter. thanx
well worth the price you pay for the radio along with the electric charge
By DShannon
Elma WA
Great Radio
Battery charges up quick with the hand crank. Battery has a long life. Great having the weather channels when you are traveling so to know what to expect. In the winter this can be life saving. Being a traveler you need to know if you need to hunker down for the day or cut your stay a day early to beat the coming storm. The emergency light is great to have. Just a great well made product.
I can't think of any
Best Uses
I bought this radio in preperation of the huge and end time earthquake that is suppose to come at any time to Western Washington State.
Great product and well thought out. This is an emergency must have.
By GWhitten
Hydesville, CA
Confirmed User
wind up emergency radio
good reception for size
multiple power sources
wind up plus a light and lit dial
manual lacks full info on dynamo vs battery but support call fixed that
Best Uses
anywhere there's no power
this is a good value for the price
By CCalloway
Reno, Nevada
Confirmed User
Works as advertised!
All features work very well. Sharp
sensitive tuning.
Best Uses
Home and travel.
Long-time enthusiast of C. Crane products. Back when Art Bell was the voice on Coast... Radio, I had a CC Radio and wrote to you and Art to cooperatively advertise this C. Crane radio because of the mutual benefit to Coast listeners (distant signal), C.Crane, and Coast Radio! Seems everyone agreed!
By LSorensen
Selah, WA
Confirmed User
Best emergency radio out there!
Excellent tone
Good reception on all bands.
not cheaply made
tuning has to be done carefully since not digital
Best Uses
outdoors and even general listening
C. Crane does it again with the best radios for the money!
By SMalay
Lake Saint Louis, Mo
Love this radio
clear sound
wind-up works great
Slider knobs seem a little flimsy
The two little legs that balance it would be better if they were longer and fold in and out for stablility
Best Uses
I got mine for the deck
All in all this radio is a great size and I love the choices of power. Love the wind-up. So glad I got it.
By DLiebman
Coos Bay, Oregon
Confirmed User
CC Solar Observer
I love this radio
It is what they say it is. excellent Radio
Weather Chanels
Lighted dial and flashlight
Very well made and a sturdy wind up Emergency handle.
I have nothing but good comments about this radio!
Best Uses
Excellent reception an great if the power goes out!
You get a reliable radio and also durable !
By RZeigler
Confirmed User
The radio I recommend to others
VERY good receiver.
Best Uses
Emergencies and outdoors.
I have purchased many of these and will continue to purchase more.
By PDaly
Confirmed User
Simply the best!
Solar charging
cellphone charge
reception clarity
battery or electric power
Best Uses
power outage
I love this radio! I will be using it for years to come. Thanks for an exceptionally fine product! Made in the USA!
By CAnderson
Farmington NM
Confirmed User
The little radio that could
I had wanted a hand cranked radio since the days of Y2K and the Freestyle radio
Never got one of those but in 2009 was able to get an Observer. It's been moved more times than I can count and played every single night.
There are none
Best Uses
Why this is sold as an emergency radio Ill never know it's the single best radio we've ever owned
I am on the site to check out a new one after all this time only because of the new features.
I purchased an Observer back in 2009 It's been moved more times than I can count and played every single night.The flashlight has been used countless times and never failed us. You cannot possibly go wrong with this radio for emergencies or everyday use. We currently live in a river valley between two mesas, nothing else gets near the reception this one does both am and fm.
By MBratton
Santa Fe, NM
Confirmed User
Best thing C Crane sells!....
Very well made. Versatile. Good sound quality. In addition it will charge your cell phone and your rechargable flashlight!
Crank the dynamo for 2 minutes it will play for hours. Or charge via the solar panel. Truly invincible radio no need for batteries or wall wart power supply.
There aren't any.
Best Uses
Every day use Emergency use Camping
This thing is heads and shoulders from a similar unit I bought from C Crane about a decade ago or more. This one will not only give you radio and light without batteries, it will also charge your cell phone and flashlight! EVERY house hold should have at least one of these I'm so impressed I'm buying another one for downstairs.
By RTrent
Palm Coast, Florida
Confirmed User
Big things come in small packages
Light weight

Needs no power
I have found none
Best Uses
Anywhere u want weather
Received for Christmas. Absolutely great gift. Always ready batteries or not. I love it
Confirmed User
We've had this bout 5 years.
We live in hurricaine ally..
Since we bought this radio no hurricaines.
Thank the Lord...The two time we have lost power radio performed perfect.
My big complaint
it gets dusty.
Best Uses
power outage
due to weather.
cell phone charger...led lite helps when ya wanna cook
read & walk around outside
We love it...we leave it on the window sill, to catch the solar rays to keep it charged.
Great tuning
thoughtful switch gear. Can charge cell phone
headphone jack
Wish there was a storage compartment for USB adapter or USB built in.
What a fantastic little gem! I asked for and received this for Christmas and am thrilled with the sensitivity and selectivity of the tuner. Dynamo crank is effortless and a 2 min. wind seems to last all night! Love it!
By TReed
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Confirmed User
The radio to have for EMERGENCIES!
Exceptional reception and sound quality.
AA Batteries OPTIONAL for use
Built-in flashlight
Lighted tuning
The slide rule tuning is 40 Khz off. to hear a station on 840 AM I have to tune to 800 AM.
Best Uses
Keep one with your Emergency kit
A good investment!!
By lkump
Claycomo , Missouri
Confirmed User
Tough and durable
I own two of these and have used them over 5 years without a problem
i have dropped them and handled them roughly at times and they both work without fail...
for the money they are a bargain
Do not hesitate on this product , they rock!
Confirmed User
Gives us all the facts
winds up has a flashlight and lots of power jacks and is powerful
I broke the telescoping antenna
Best Uses
Weather outlooks anytime and especially in power outages
Served well in a bad storm situation last Sunday in NE Michigan.
By kbrunty
Huntington, WV
Confirmed User
Really enjoyable Radio!
Small lightweight great reception even out in the woods!
Best Uses
Hand charger flashlight cell phone charger
Small enough to sit on my windowsil and charge up via the solar panel, great reception 25 miles out in the woods with plenty of high mountains around it amazes me!
By JSphatt
Centennial CO
Confirmed User
Didn't meet my expectations
Tunes in the stations well
cheaply made the headphone jack has broken twice
top heavy and keeps falling over
has never been exposed to the elements or rough treatment and still fails to perform
consider buying a different brand as paying up for this model is not a good value
By 3Munn
Confirmed User
Unbeatable Value !
Had my eye on this item for awhile, just happened to hit the CCrane website at the right moment and BINGO, the item was on sale at a GREAT PRICE, received the radio, 5v charger and shipping complete for $54.90. With two battery systems and the solar panel you may never have to use the crank, but it's there when you need it. Great sensitivity, good sound, nice leather carry handle. You cannot do better than this
By DYoung
Fort Wayne, IN
Confirmed User
No nonsense and functional
Everything you need and nothing you don't.
I wouldn't take it to Everest but I'm not going!
Best Uses
Camping travel emergencies or in the bathroom.
Great little radio.
By JPowell
Columbus, Ohio
Confirmed User
CC Solar Observer
An excellent low price emergency radio. Also dependable for camping & everyday usage.
Highly recommend this emergency radio with the understanding that it should not be compared with your high end house radio. It's an emergency/camping radio at a low price. You get your money's worth from it.
By PKelly
Mesa, AZ
Good price for a high quality radio
Price was good. I bought it from one of the retailers in town. I got a better price on it than going through C Crane website.
It does nt come with the AC adapter.
Best Uses
Going to use this in emergencies. Have it hooked up to my Bose Sound Dock.
Great deal for the price. A lot of features.
By DWay
pleasant valley, NY
Confirmed User
All I expected and more
No comments provided.
By EClark
Confirmed User
Good Customer Service
I received this radio as a gift and added it to my BOB. Sadly, the handle broke and I posted about it. I was provided a new handle and I was able to replace it in a few minutes. The light on this unit is not very bright, otherwise, I would have given 5 stars.
Orange County, CA
Confirmed User
Poorly designed battery door
Ive had my CC Solar Observer for years and was a happy camper until the two locking tabs on the battery compartment door broke off. Now the battery door wont lock shut, it just flaps open. Not a good thing if you want to keep the batteries in and debris out. The radio is no longer practical to use as a portable. I now wrap rubber bands around the radio to keep the compartment door closed as much as possible and I leave the radio in the house, which limits its usefulness. Its a shame to have an otherwise nice radio degraded by an inexpensive piece of plastic but thats my experience. I wouldnt buy this particular radio again unless the battery door was redesigned.
Longbeach MS.
Confirmed User
Pass the Unpassable Test
We have countless radios here, big and small. None of which have ever been able to get a good signal inside our metal trailer. When my Solar Observer arrived I said, Well see how good it is I cranked the Dynamo 3 times and tuned to my favorite station some 25 miles away, and to my delight, there it was. Clear as a bell. Decided to try a New Orleans station some 50 miles away. A station that isnt even clear when were outside. Bam! There it was. Clear as a bell again. WOW! No radio weve ever had could do that inside our metal tube. Awesome. Now well see how long this crank works :)
By BLee
Mesa AZ
Confirmed Buyer
I got my solar Observer In he summer of 2014 and had a chance to compare it to the ETON FRX3. Results? The ETON has a lcd display with a clock that you cant turn off, so its using a little power all the time and that shorts battery life, it has a clock radio alarm and a seek capability 2 led flashlight, and a flashing single red led light (If thats handy, I dont get it) it goes through batteries to fast. (aaa batts.) but has a larger solar panel and charges faster when in sunlight, AM reception fair at best FM reception fine. overall 2 stars. the Solar Observer is a no nonsense emergency radio, AM reception is as good (on my out of town test)as my CC radio 2E Much better than the ETON and better tone, the ETON speaker rattled at hi volumes, not so with the solar observer. also The solar Observer uses aa batts (bigger gas tank) and has a dial light that can be turned off saving battery life and a brighter flashlight, 3 led. (good idea in an emergency) FM reception seemed about the same. Crank charge seemed about the same. But the CC would run radio longer. Probably cuz it doesnt have to run a display. the only reason I did not give it 5 stars is cuz that nothing is perfect, it could use a bigger solar panel. (SUMMERY) the cc Solar Observer is the better emergency radio for that need by far. P.S... the ETON people when I called them, treated me like I was just a pest. the C.C. Folks treated me as if it was fireside chat no rush, (very friendly) That alone is gold. Keep up the good work CCrane.
By BD.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Confirmed User
Excellent Value with minor issues
I have owned and used my Solar Observer for well over a year, and recently the crank handle broke off while cranking. I did not often crank, so it wasnt after heavy use or anything, but infrequent casual use. Also the solar collector seems a bit iffy - in direct, bright sunlight, its fine, but pretty much anything else is a toss up. I mostly use the batteries (three AAs) and it is wonderful in that regard. Decent reception, solid speaker, etc. Did not use the flashlight much, nor the illuminated dial - though both are handy to have. When the handle was functional, the crank-charging was pretty slick, as well. I could crank at a set pace for a minute or so to get a couple minutes of radio. Just be cautious with the cranking, dont over muscle it like I did and snap the handle (about half-way along arm).
By PBurt
Anchorage AK
Confirmed Buyer
Dont Buy if You have Grandkids!
My radio worked fine out of the box. It lived on the shelf over my front door for a couple years without much use. (I have since learned from Customer Service thats a bad idea.) Then my grandkids came to visit and wanted to use it I showed them how and they were fascinated. But the next time I went to use it -a windstorm was predicted- the radio only played while actually being cranked. I did the suggested reboot and got 4 minutes! Now Im going to get the optional AC adapter and see how it works that way. (Still dont know what/if the kiddos did!)
By TMaxwell
Albany, NY
Confirmed User
Well suited for all around/emergency service
This radio is sold by CCrane, but manufactured by Tecsun, a Chinese radio manufacturer. One of many good things about them is they upgrade their products with feedback, and this radio is a perfect example. The addition of solar charging, and an upgraded chip from the previous model adds reliability and flexibility. The radio will run on bright sun alone, with no battery at all. The crank power is as high, or higher than the AC charger...and can charge the radio during emergency power outage. (Both of the previous statements I actually tested myself) Speaking of the accessory AC 5 volt charger (only works for the replaceable, rechargable battery pack) it is a good choice... but for emergencies, a better choice would be a universal 12 volt charger (LLC800UW- also sold by CCrane) the battery pack could then be charged from most auto accessory outlets. (Remember to set the universal charger on 4.5 volts...not 6 volts to prevent overcharging). If you use Enloop style rechargeable primary batteries, you can provide an additional source of power pretty much forever. I use them, and the radio never needs any other power supply under normal usage. As to the analog dial, remember this is a radio you can rely on to keep working long into an emergency. Unnecessary power waste for stereo, or noisy digital displays is not appreciated as much as reception of vital info from public radio support stations. Also, since there is little radiated noise, you present a much smaller electronic footprint to savvy potential looters...just saying. About the only thing missing is a high quality case similar to the case for the CCRadio-2 which has room for accessory storage in back. Hint-Hint CCrane
By JFulford
Baltimore, MD
Confirmed User
Excellent AM Reception
I wanted a solar emergency radio with excellent reception. (I received another emergency radio from last year but it had very poor AM and average FM reception). So I bought the Solar Observer and took it camping at a remote state park in the mountains of PA. I was delighted that I could receive AM and FM stations the other two other radios I took with me were unable to pick up. A great product!
By FAdkins
West-Central Ohio
Confirmed User
Its Okay
It is a nice little radio. I dont use it everyday, though. Its kept in the trunk of the car. FM reception is quite good but AM is a little odd. Its definitely not a DX machine. It seems to ignore AM signals below a certain strength, almost like a non-adjustable squelch, making it deaf to weaker DX stations. I can get all the local biggies via daytime groundwave, but weaker ones are just not there. It has its charms. It has several power sources and I dont know why anyone would desire an AC supply. It is very handy for charging USB devices like a scanner or flash player via crank (but the coaxial charge jack is mystifying and bothersome). With the onboard battery, dynamo and solar cells (supplemented with my three NiMH cells) it just lasts forever. Its good for its intended purpose- an emergency radio and maybe a DXpedition or hiking radio.
By SBridges
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Confirmed User
Terrific Radio
Everything as specified and more, dont let the manual tuner dial fool you, it picks up AM & FM stations just about as well as a digital car radio. With value like this, am surprised it is not a Costco item. Weather station locks in solidly with the digital selector.
By RMucci
Flat Rock, MI.
Confirmed User
Great Radio
I listen to News Radio 950 every morning. Im retired and in the morning it is very important to hear the weather so I can plan my day. The reception and sound is very clear and has a lot of substance for a small speaker. I mean it is not a tinny sound, it has a lot of range that sounds like a much larger radio or speaker system. Good Job on the speaker, very, very clear and loud. I will recommend this radio to everyone. Thanks Crane!
By RDull
West central, OH
Confirmed User
Just what we needed!!
This radio is great!! It has everything we need in case of a power outage. We like it so much we are getting one for out neighbor who has been so helpful to us.
By JShannon
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By DBowen
Confirmed Buyer
I have had this since March of this year. So far it is great. I use it everyday for about 6 hrs while delivering mail and it has never failed me. I also have dropped it on asphalt and no problems. Didn't even get a scratch or dig. Also have the adapter. I plug it in every night just to make sure it lasts the day. Also having backup batteries when I forget to charge is nice. The solar feature has helped in a pinch to. Haven't really needed it for emergencies that God. Also have the pillow speaker that I purchased years ago and it is still working. I no I got it from CC but it didn't come up. Maybe cuz it's too old. I use it every night and have accidentally yanked on it several times and no problems! My brother wants one.
By PGomez
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By wleong
Confirmed Buyer
- Clear reception and sound; well designed for ease of use with a good exterior finish. - Station dial face can be lit if there is no light. - Purchase the adapter for convenience. - Highly recommended as a gift or for own use.
Confirmed Buyer
Love it - use it everyday.
Confirmed Buyer
By RStarkweather
Confirmed Buyer
My Solar Observer radio is the best of the best. I've had it for about three weeks now and it still surprises me that it gets stations I never knew existed. It is a strong, well built radio. I love it!
By DLundberg
Confirmed Buyer
Essential to have in case of emergency
By KJarstad
Confirmed Buyer
This radio works great. It has the reception sensitivity that many bookshelf radios do not and should be acceptable for an emergency radio. One nit: the manual tuning seems "fussy." I am used to tuning for maximum signal but this radio "suddenly" locks onto a signal with a very strong AFC. Slowly turn the dial and it "suddenly" locks onto another station. I am not able to determine which station I have tuned in until they announce call letters because the dial is too small to read accurately. Once you get used to it, it is OK but I think this ought to be improved. I would pay a few more bucks extra on this same radio for a digital display.
By JJoy
Confirmed Buyer
This is a nice little radio with many good features for emergency use. The only problem is that you are not able to charge the Dynamo battery using the hand charger only. You could possible crank it for a very long time if you had the endurance to do so, which I doubt anyone has. It should never be ordered without the optional battery charger if you intend to use the dynamo feature. I think for that reason it deserves no more than a three star rating.
By JDudley
Confirmed Buyer
I really like having the different power sources available in this radio.
By DPennington
Confirmed Buyer
Wonderful tool to have on hand!! Sending them as gifts to my children.
By LSmith
Confirmed Buyer
Product great when no electricity available. Insides need to withstand rough travel conditions or make a model that can take a beating.
By MWilhelm
Confirmed Buyer
This product performs even better than advertised. The battery life is outstanding and reception of hard to pull in AM stations is actually far better than the ad copy would lead one to believe.
By JGambrell
Confirmed Buyer
Great product, a must have if you live in an area that is prone to bad weather or have power outages.
By HWells
Confirmed Buyer
I've owned other radios similar to this one, but not near as good. Reception is excellent and battery life is exceptional. The radio does everything well as advertised. I have two of these radios.
By TPatrick
Confirmed Buyer
I've had this radio maybe a year now and have used it from time to time. It has great sound for a small box and picks up stations well enough. However it was my leaving it outside in a rain storm all night that let me know just how well it was built. While the radio still would play soaked to the bone once I brought it inside, it was not until I opened it to help it dry out that I noticed how well it was put together. I was not expecting it to be so well built, things like brackets to help hold the volume and tuning knobs stable and in place were a nice touch but not expected at all. Nice clean board layout and clean solder points were not expected either. I've had many "made in China" things in the past and like many (wrongly from time to time) have come to think of that as being cheaply made. Some nice well built things are "made in China" and this is for sure one of them. I would recommend this C. Crane Observer to anyone looking for an emergency radio. However don't be afraid to use it for more than that!!!
By AHarvilla
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By BHenderson
Confirmed Buyer
A great product! And the solar power really does work!
By TCarlson
Confirmed Buyer
Great radio! Works as advertised. Everything I wanted. And sound and reception is much better than expected. I live in a small town USA, far from the big cities in the Rocky Mountains. This little jewel picks up stations like an automobile radio or better. I was surprised at how many stations it picked up at the lake. And the weather station also was loud and clear. I had read all the reviews on all the popular brands and was leery about purchasing a emergency radio. Glad I decided on this one!
By BMailloux
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By TZdun
Confirmed Buyer
Everything and more than I expected.
By RParlin
Confirmed Buyer
Sound is much better than expected for the price range of this radio and the flash light is very good.
By vpipes
Confirmed Buyer
I have had only one, thank the lord, occasion to use this in and emergency situation and it worked flawlessly. Only one in the area with radio for two days of power loss... Thank you CCrane!!
By WPatterson
Confirmed Buyer
This is a great radio, everything I wanted. However, if you use separate rechargeable batteries(in the alkaline battery spots), the dynamo or solar panel cannot recharge them. I love the fact that it can recharge a cellphone and that function works well.
By EAnkrom
Confirmed Buyer
Love it so much I want 2 more for gifts!
By SNeel
Confirmed Buyer
Like it but it needs a space to store the USB port; I'm afraid I'll lose it.
By CSquires
Confirmed Buyer
Just received this and checked out all the features. I like it so much I am online ordering another one for my daughter. I always worry about the power going out and not being able to contact anyone. With the phone charger that is one less worry! Fantastic little gadget. Thanks C.Crane!
By SGulisano
Confirmed Buyer
Item works as advertised.
By PMcCoy
Confirmed Buyer
I ordered this Radio before Hurricane Sandy as I am in the process of building up a disaster readiness kit for my house. The next thing I knew, We were actually getting a Hurricane! I wanted something that could last for days on batteries but that was reliable. I had heard the C. Crane name many times on Coast to Coast a.m. radio show. This Radio came in yesterday and I am more than happy with it. It does everything they say that it will. I am going to order another one as a gift for my parents. The only regret I have is, that I did not pay attention when they told me that I had to buy the AC adapter seperately. I now have to order it, but that is no big deal as I will be ordering another radio anyway and then I will save on the shipping. I highly reccomend this lightweight, portable, multi powered radio.
By AAnchors
Confirmed Buyer
Love It Very nice all the way around ...
By MWilliams
Hanford, CA
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By KWinter
Confirmed Buyer
Not looking for the best receiver. Using it as an emergency radio. It is good to have 4 sources of power during a blackout. The weather radio isn't the strongest. But during a storm it is satisfactory. I live near Tampa, Florida and depend on NOAA during bad weather. All in all, the radio does what it is supposed to do for the low price paid.
By GBonfante
Confirmed Buyer
This radio is totally fantastic!!! It will provide service in any condition and works as engineered and advertised. I am going to order more units for all family members.
By AGough
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By BDiederich
Confirmed Buyer
The price I paid and the features of this radio put it at 5 stars. The only issue I have is with the solar "panel" (a small strip in the back): maybe if one is at the beach on a sunny day it works, but inside near a window, forget it.I mainly use the hand-crank, and a good 30-60 seconds of cranking, with volume set reasonably low/medium, gives several minutes (5-10+) of listening, so it's a nice "in the kitchen" or portable, around-the-house, radio!My kids love it for the light and they're just discovering radio, so it made a solid buy even better!
By AHewett
Confirmed Buyer
For the first time since I received the radio, yesterday, I just finished listening to a program on AM frequency. The sound is great. Easy to understand instructions and works just as it was said to work. It is a great gift item. I am thinking of buying one as a gift. The only problem I have found is the adaptor for charging my cell phone was not a part of the group of adaptors sent with it. That is not a problem that I consider a worry.
By JWhiteIV
Confirmed Buyer
The Solar Observer has exceeded my expectations!!! Although we keep batteries in it, we have NEVER used them. Between the "solar & dynamo" hand crank options, re-charging is never a problem... (Note: Wish you guys would develop a "stereo" FM radio with the same features.) Your products are outstanding!
By JRoop
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By CWeber
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By klafranchise
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By SKarson
Confirmed Buyer
Just received my CC Solar Observer, seems to be a nice little radio, passed all of the initial tests. Nearly had a chance to use the solar power feature as the electrical power is out all over our area. I would recommend the radio.
By ssherrod
Confirmed Buyer
I find the CC Observer a great product. Just glad haven't had to use it for real. Just ordered my sixth one, they make great gifts. First Solar.Thanks,Spence
By MBidelman
Confirmed Buyer
Super product! My son visited, saw the radio, liked it so I got him one for his birthday. He was thrilled. Two daughters will get them for their birthdays, too. Hurricane season is soon upon us. Radio and all it's features work perfectly. Gets lots of use and will be helpful, no doubt, for years to come.
By VThiewes
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By DBattie
Confirmed Buyer
I love this little radio. Other transistors that I have are unable to pick up the stations across the straight. This radio can pick up this stations way better. It is even far more superior than my Super Tuner that is in my truck.
By mweston
Confirmed Buyer
Very nice, compact, handy features, good reception, economical on battery use, was glad to have the weather channels during the last tornado storm when all our power was out.
Confirmed Buyer
By DLundberg
Confirmed Buyer
Wonderful in every regard!
By RPotter
Confirmed Buyer
Excellent! Works as advertise and has better clarity than any table top radio in my home and is easier to tune in due to the large dial.
By cbrockway
Confirmed Buyer
Great Sound - very happy with it and would buy again.
By JFranklin
Confirmed Buyer
This radio worked perfectly for a few months. Then the crank handle broke off. I would not depend on this radio in an emergency. If you buy it get a good supply of batteries.
By JDurham
Confirmed Buyer
The perfect little radio companion on my hobby bench! Powered up straight from the box with no problems. Will need to order another for my roadside emergency kit. Performed and looks as advertised.
By CSullivan
Confirmed Buyer
Several years ago I ordered Freeplay Plus wind up radio. That radio has been dropped, left out in the weather, really abused but still is working great. That radio was a real blessing during the 5 day power outage we just had in Western Washington. I thought it was now time to add the CC Solar Observer to my emergency preparation, I ordered 2, one for us and one for my daughter. Thanks for all of the wonderful products you provide.
By CCarmichael
Confirmed Buyer
A very compact radio that does it all. Solar, hand crank, or internal battery. This lil' radio delivers more than promised. It should be in very home emergency kit. Plus the price is right!!
By CSteinberg
Confirmed Buyer
Ditto on the 5 stars. After several days without electric due to hurricane-strength winds here in SoCal, and the threat of major earthquake living on the San Andrea, it was about time to think seriously about my emergency equipment. This radio is one part of the package, and I couldn't be more pleased. While other radios fail to get any reception at the cabin, the Solar Observer succeeds on several bands! Really impressed. Plus, I love all the power options and the flashlight. For now, I plan to keep it in the car so I can use it anywhere, but I'll likely buy more radios to keep permanently at different locations, including the office. Thanks C. Crane Company!
By LRotter
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By KHawley
Confirmed Buyer
This radio is great! It's a gift for my husband but I had to play with it before I wrapped it. I was surprised to find the flashlight on the side - I guess I didn't read the description thoroughly. I am so glad I got this - if the power goes out, we still have a radio that works, AND not on batteries!
By TManzi
Confirmed Buyer
Purchased this radio because of threats of hurricanes here in Florida. Nice little radio. Excellent reception. I Liked it so much that I purchased one for my brother and bought a CC Observer "orphan" for work.
By RBrenon
Confirmed Buyer
I love this radio, I can listen to it day or night and not need to spend money on batteries.
By cbigbie
Confirmed Buyer
Truly impressive reception. Perfect size for camping. I still haven't used batteries...A great buy, everyone should have one of these.
By PHensley
Confirmed Buyer
Wonderful radio. Picks up many distant stations, and the solar/windup feature is great for camping or to bring on long trips. Very fun radio with excellent reception.
By BHoward
Confirmed Buyer
Wonderfully powerful and light. I only use the solar and crank options. I even pulled in a station from San Diego. I am in Central Arizona. Much better reception than I expected. Very small and convenient.
By atrice
jamaica, NY
Confirmed Buyer
So wonderful--just ordered another for my brother.
By WMartin
Confirmed Buyer
By Golly this is a great radio! Where do I start? The size in mid-way between a shirt pocket radio and the full sized CCRadio. The LED emergency flashlight! Great slide rule dial lit up with LED lights. Three sources of power for this radio. Dynamo, AA batteries and integral solar panel. Reception is a plus on both the AM and FM bands. Truly amazing reception. The Weather band is great to have too. I bought this radio for camping and emergencies. It will go with me on many camping trips into the wilds of Oregon. Great product C.Crane!RegardsBill MartinSam's Valley Oregon
By radams
pine valley, CA
Confirmed Buyer
I live in the east county of san diego where am reception is very poor. it takes a really good radio to pull in KOGO ON AM 600. THE EMERGENCY RADIOS furnished by SDGE are practically useless. during the recent power outage the only radio that performed was my cc SW. the observer arrived today and i tested it. I am amazed on how well it performed. the Grundig red cross radio can't compete with it. this is the best i have tested. thanks for a superior performing emergency radio. it is just what i have been looking for!
By BNemchyonok
Confirmed Buyer
Absolutely love this radio!!! Amazing reception and sound. Fast shipping.
By pburkett
Confirmed Buyer
Far exceeded my expectations. I'm ordering another one today. Everybody should have one of these!
By KNolter
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
By PFurlan
Confirmed Buyer
What a wonderful product and company.The shipping was superior even during hurricane Irene, i got it in 3 days! My husband loves his gift and to whomever's job it is to wind these before they leave the factory so that they have power....Thank you! What a wonderful touch it was for him to take it out of the box,turn it on and have it work.
By FGeorge
Confirmed Buyer
No comments provided.
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General Specifications


Batteries (optional): 3 AA size
Internal Battery Pack: NiMH 2/3 AA 800 mAh
Battery Pack Charging Jack: Internal Battery Pack can be charged with optional AC Adapter 5V 300mA DC
Winding Generator: 250-500 mA DC


AM: 38mA
FM: 45mA
Weather: 45mA
Flashlight: 15mA
Display light: 4mA


AM Band: 520 - 1710 kHz
FM Band: 87.5 - 108 MHz
Weather Band: Ch. 1: 162.400 MHz
Ch. 2: 162.425 MHz
Ch. 3: 162.450 MHz
Ch. 4: 162.475 MHz
Ch. 5: 162.500 MHz
Ch. 6: 162.525 MHz
Ch. 7: 162.550 MHz


Speaker: 2.5"
Headphone Jack: 1/8" (3.5mm) – Will accept stereo or mono jacks


AM Band: Built-in Ferrite Bar
FM and Weather Band: Telescopic whip antenna


Dimensions: 7.25" W x 5.5" H x 2" D
Weight: 1 lb.
Note: Specifications are subject to change without notice.
  • How long will the CC Solar Observer play for with a full charge?

    On a full charge, the CC Solar Observer should play for over 15 hours.

  • How long will the CC Solar Observer run on a set of 3 AA batteries?

    The CC Solar Observer should play for approximately 60 hours at normal volume.

  • How long must the CC Solar Observer be cranked for to fully charge it?

    To achieve a full charge, the CC Solar Observer must be cranked at a moderate speed (about two revolutions per second) for about 80 minutes.

  • At what rate must the CC Solar Observer be cranked to achieve optimum charging?

    Two revolutions per second will produce good results.

  • Can the CC Solar Observer be operated using the optional AC power adapter?

    Yes, but you if you plan on using the optional charging adapter for days to power the radio, we recommend unplugging the battery pack. Constantly charging the battery pack for more then 12 hours at a time will shorten its life.

  • When I wind-up my CC Solar Observer, the crank arm seems to rotate freely, and it does not charge the radio. Why is this?

    The rechargeable battery pack may not be plugged in completely. To check this, make sure the battery packs white connector is completely secured.

  • Why is the sound garbled on my CC Solar Observer? How can I fix it?

    The rechargeable battery pack may be depleted. Charging the unit for a few minutes should clear up the sound.

  • Can the CC Solar Observer charge my iPhone?

    The CC Solar Observer can charge an iPhone but the iPhone takes much more energy to run than older cell phones. After the iPhone battery is depleted, it requires a 5% charge before the phone is usable again. Using the CC Solar Observer, it takes about 35 minutes of crank time to charge up the iPhone to 5%. This gives you about 15 minutes of talk time before the battery is depleted again.

  • My CC Solar Observer was working but now I have no AM/FM/WX but the LED functions work. How come?

    If your radio is left on for an extended amount of time after the battery pack is fully depleted, and your radio will not turn on, then it will be necessary to unplug the battery pack (and remove AA batteries if installed) for 60 seconds to allow a reset of the microprocessor.

  • How do I get the best runtime on the CC Solar Observer?

    The simple answer is exercising the batteries to condition for an optimal charge. To do this, charge the batteries to full and discharge them completely. Doing this procedure about three times or so will bring your batteries to optimal efficiency.

  • Can the dynamo be wound too fast?


  • Is there any way to tell how much charge is in the battery pack is?


  • Can AA lithium batteries be used in the CC Solar Observer?

    No. Lithium batteries can damage the radio.

  • Can I charge my cell phone while charging my CC Solar Observer radio using the AC Adapter?

    No, we do not recommend having the AC Adapter connected to the radio while charging your cell phone or other devices.

Manual Size Download Time
Instructions (PDF) CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio Instruction Manual 2.06 MB 5:07 @ 56KBps

Audio tutorial of the CC Solar Observer by Tim Hendel

(Tim is blind and records many of our audio tutorials for our products)

Press the play () button above to stream the audio. To download the file, please use this link.

What's in the Box
  • CC Solar Observer Radio
  • Standard USB Cellphone Adapter
  • Owner's manual
  • One Year Limited Warranty
  • This WiFi Antenna is hands down the best. It allows me to connect to a business almost a half mile away. Two months time and this baby paid for itself. I am a very happy with my purchase.
    — John A., Mill Valley, CA
  • This radio deserves five stars because it sounds great, the ease of use and preset stations. This radio will become your favorite radio, also backed by great customer service if ever needed, thank you very much.
    — Pete P., Santa Rosa, CA
  • This is an excellent internet radio. I have had the unit playing constantly from the time I received it. Excellent sound for such a small unit and the remote works wonderfully.
    — James H., Richmond, BC
  • Good sound, lightweight and comfortable; not too tight on the head. I like one feature; it doesn't tell you where to place the speakers, left side or right side.
    — Harry W., Manassas, VA
  • I purchase this product specifically for AM recordings and it has worked superbly. I wanted to wait awhile before I gave my opinion on the product. It has worded exactly as advertised and more.
    — Jack L., San Pedro, CA
  • Very nice, economical home lighting. If you're used to the white light of fluorescent bulb replacements, these will offer the same type with no toxic ingredients or damaging UV radiation.
    — Gary B., San Francisco, CA
  • This antenna does work well; however placement and the shape you have it bent into is very important. I live about 70 miles away from Toronto and receive a lot of Toronto FM stations static free with the FM reflect.
    — Thomas S., Buffalo, NY
  • I'm not sure how I gone this far in life without it. I just love it. The best sound ever from an AM radio.
    — James G., Springfield, MA
  • This device is awesome. As a contractor, I can not access my customer's network for security reasons. Now, with my office on the second floor, I can connect to a WiFi hotspot 1.5 miles away and my signal strength is strong!
    — Robert S., Tabernacle, NJ
  • I just received my EP radio yesterday. I'm totally impressed with the old school simplicity and the modern day sound quality. Thank you, C.Crane!
    — David C., Raleigh, NC
  • I have had only one, thank the lord, occasion to use this in and emergency situation and it worked flawlessly. Only one in the area with radio for two days of power loss... Thank you CCrane!!
    — Vernon P., Dufur, OR
  • This radio is totally fantastic!!! It will provide service in any condition and works as engineered and advertised. I am going to order more units for all family members.
    — Glen B., Bethlehem, PA
  • This radio is wonderful. Small but powerful. Several years of service and no problems.
    — William B., Litchfield, IL
  • Just received this little jewel... did not open the manual and I was listening to NPR within minutes... no kidding. I'm a radio guy and the audio is great and look forward to a lot of great listening.
    — Lin F., Inman, SC