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.
Weight: 1.5 lb. Size: 7.25" W x 5.5" H x 2" D
March, 15 2018
After the recent horrific fires last year here in Sonoma County, the fire department has been conducting community meetings to detail emergency and evacuation procedures. One item they said everyone should have is an emergency radio. The CC Solar Observer has every feature listed in the handout. I get good AM/FM and the weather channel. It's a perfect emergency radio.
The windup feature and the emergency alert feature.
I use it whenever I need a portable radio out in the yard.
March, 9 2018
Overall, I consider it a very nice radio. It is compact, lightweight, feature-packed, and provides excellent reception in comparison to the radios that I have been using in the past.
It provides a multitude of features that place it very far above other radios I have used. It provides exceptional reception for its weight and size. The crank-charge system ensures that power is always available at arms length, and requires very little force to operate, and charges the internal battery very quickly. The built-in flashlight is excellent, as is the back-lit display which is very comfortable, and can be switched on or off, to conserve power when not needed. I have not yet used the solar charging feature, but it makes it even more versatile, and the angle of the solar panel can be adjusted to maximize capture of sunlight. The controls are well-placed, large, well-designed, and very easy to operate. The padded carrying handle is very comfortable, hinged, collapsible, flexible, and proves that the company is attentive to details. The power consumption is very low, and a chart is included in the product manual. The packaging is very durable.
An A/C adapter is not included, but is available optionally as an accessory. The A/C adapter is not really necessary for my primary uses, but I was slightly surprised that it was not included. There is no storage receptacle for the phone charger adapter, but I was informed by the manufacturer that it is being considered for future designs. Overall these are very minor deficiencies.
In addition to being an excellent all-around AM/FM/Weather radio, it's many power options make it extremely versatile, especially during power outages or camping scenarios. It's one-pound weight makes it ideal for carrying in a backpack, with very little burden.
January, 17 2018
Bought my first several years ago because where I live radio reception is HORRIBLE. Try lots of high wires and water towersand set dial locations. Thus a radio to work here and when I travelcan pull WGN sometimes and get 820 wbap dallas in living room in Urbana, IL. Have no other radio so really rely on it for radio and weather. New has smaller dialhave to be sure I have my glasses but works the same and right now I'm listening to WBAP TALK RADIOsay will get to 35 todayTX?
See aboveall pros
If there is onethat small dial which means I have to hunt for my glasses.
Use most for daily shows/news but besthave to be the weather. Radio workswhen pipeline co. slices the FIOS cableno weather or anything else.
December, 17 2017
Works great right out of the box. Need an emergency radio often due to common earthquakes, mud slides, storms and floods.
Multi-powered. Gets all local radio and weather stations
AC adapter extra. No power level indicator. Those are minor cons. Big con - USB cell phone charger adapter easy to lose, needs storage or better yet, a USB port on the radio instead of 5 amp pin port.
Portable radio and emergency radio when the power is out. Often around here.
December, 10 2017
This radio is my travel companion while I'm in the garden OR, to an area where I don't want to watch t.v. to get world news.
September, 18 2017
Provided reliable service during utility outage in FL when Irma arrived. You'll have to pry this radio from my cold dead hands-) Will look for the lanterns before the next storm hits. Kudos All!
Works well & easy to maintain.,ear buds provide private listening w/o disturbing my wife.
Emergency operation when power fails and monitoring the Weather channels.
September, 9 2017
I have had similar radios but this is the best.
Just the right size with many great features
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.
September, 1 2017
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.
No place to put the adaptor for phone charging.
July, 26 2017
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...
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.
Listening almost everywhere...,Emergency usage
July, 11 2017
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.
Solid build,Good controls,Good reception
April, 23 2017
This is a good product.
Great emegency radio for the fraidy hole
.sThe Dymo crank is weak. My first radios crank broke.
April, 17 2017
The flashlight could be brighter. Like the dial lights. Hope someday they will go digital tuner. Overall good radio, good quality
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
I think this radio can be used anywhere.,The solar cell charges great better than cranking.
March, 15 2017
Buy one, you can't go wrong. Price is great and performance is exceptional.
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.
Job site. Around the home at anytime you need a portable. Especially useful when the power is out.
New Orleans, LA
February, 21 2017
Great American company that I truly enjoy supporting
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
An essential item for inclusion in any Emergency Kit
February, 10 2017
I can't write a review on the radio I gave it as a gift. Might want to ask the recipient of the radio. LeslieLiberty5@gmail.com 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.
Will not charge a iPhone6,Insuffienct Power
February, 9 2017
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.
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.
Emergency back up.,Good for everyday listening too though.
February, 3 2017
It's a good general purpose radio, and a decent value for the money
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
Nova Scotia, Canada
January, 23 2017
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.
Good reception,No batteries required.
Construction is not as solid as I expected.,Replacement parts are extremely expensive due to inflated shipping.
I use this as a washroom radio. Sits in a sunny window and rarely does the battery die.
January, 17 2017
I have 2 friends buy radios after they saw mine
works well in a steel plant
no place to store phone jack on radio
camping and emg.
January, 14 2017
well worth the price you pay for the radio along with the electric charge
good signals,good sound light and easy to transport. we use in our RV during the season and home dudring winter. thanx
December, 2 2016
this is a good value for the price
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
anywhere there's no power
December, 2 2016
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!
All features work very well. Sharp,sensitive tuning.
Home and travel.
November, 26 2016
C. Crane does it again with the best radios for the money!
Excellent tone,Good reception on all bands.,not cheaply made
tuning has to be done carefully since not digital
workshop,outdoors and even general listening
Lake Saint Louis, Mo
November, 20 2016
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.
Lightweight,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
I got mine for the deck
November, 14 2016
I have purchased many of these and will continue to purchase more.
VERY good receiver.
Everyday,Emergencies and outdoors.
November, 1 2016
I love this radio! I will be using it for years to come. Thanks for an exceptionally fine product! Made in the USA!
Solar charging,cellphone charge,lightweight,reception clarity,battery or electric power
August, 26 2016
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.
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
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.
Santa Fe, NM
June, 9 2016
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.
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.
Every day use Emergency use Camping
Palm Coast, Florida
May, 25 2016
Received for Christmas. Absolutely great gift. Always ready batteries or not. I love it
Small,Light weight,,Needs no power
I have found none
Anywhere u want weather,News,Music,Anywhere
February, 24 2016
We love it...we leave it on the window sill, to catch the solar rays to keep it charged.
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.
power outage,due to weather.,cell phone charger...led lite helps when ya wanna cook,read & walk around outside
December, 26 2015
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!
Great tuning,flashlight, thoughtful switch gear. Can charge cell phone,headphone jack
Wish there was a storage compartment for USB adapter or USB built in.
December, 3 2015
A good investment!!
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.
Keep one with your Emergency kit
Claycomo , Missouri
October, 24 2015
Do not hesitate on this product , they rock!
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...
none,for the money they are a bargain
August, 11 2015
Served well in a bad storm situation last Sunday in NE Michigan.
Gives us all the facts,winds up has a flashlight and lots of power jacks and is powerful
I broke the telescoping antenna
Weather outlooks anytime and especially in power outages
August, 3 2015
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!
Small lightweight great reception even out in the woods!
Hand charger flashlight cell phone charger
July, 24 2015
consider buying a different brand as paying up for this model is not a good value
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
July, 16 2015
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
Fort Wayne, IN
June, 11 2015
Great little radio.
Everything you need and nothing you don't.
I wouldn't take it to Everest but I'm not going!
Camping travel emergencies or in the bathroom.
May, 29 2015
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.
An excellent low price emergency radio. Also dependable for camping & everyday usage.
May, 19 2015
Great deal for the price. A lot of features.
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.
Going to use this in emergencies. Have it hooked up to my Bose Sound Dock.
pleasant valley, NY
February, 19 2015
February, 8 2015
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
December, 26 2014
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.
October, 28 2014
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 :)
October, 15 2014
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 sam
San Luis Obispo, CA
October, 14 2014
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).
October, 14 2014
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!)
August, 21 2014
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 b
August, 3 2014
I wanted a solar emergency radio with excellent reception. (I received another emergency radio from quakekare.com 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!
June, 17 2014
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.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May, 11 2014
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.
Flat Rock, MI.
April, 16 2014
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!
West central, OH
March, 23 2014
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.
July, 30 2011
|What's in the Box|
|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|
|Solar Panel:||20-40 mA DC (Depending on sunlight intensity)|
POWER CONSUMPTION AT MODERATE VOLUME
|AM Band:||520 - 1710 kHz|
|FM Band:||87.5 - 108 MHz|
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
|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 & WEIGHT
|Dimensions:||7.25" W x 5.5" H x 2" D|
Note: Specifications are subject to change without notice.