solar radio – SolaDyne

The SolaDyne 7410 is a tiny, one-pound solar radio that is environmentally friendly and c omplies with FCC and CE requirements. Unfortunately, that is about all it has going for it.

Summary

The SolaDyne 7410 is advertised as having “superior quality” AM 525 – 1710KHz and FM 87.5 – 108MHz radio, but don’t bet on it. There is only one speaker and the telescoping antenna will only pick up the closest local stations. It also doesn’t pick up weather band frequencies, which makes it a poor choice for an emergency kit.

A flashlight and cell phone charger are the only extra features that this solar radio has. Though the flashlight only has three LED lights, they are focused into a bright beam that is surprisingly clear thanks to a well-designed lens. The SolaDyne 7410 also gives a cell phone’s battery a better charge than most. Plus, unlike the American Red Cross Solarlink FR600, the cell phone charging cable is included with the SolaDyne. Regrettably, the cable is only compatible with Nokia phones. You must purchase an adapter separately to make the cable work with other types of phones. For quicker, longer-lasting power, the cell phone cable can be used to charge the radio with a car’s cigarette lighter, but this must be done with another adapter that is sold separately.

This solar radio charges itself using solar power, of course, as well as a dynamo crank generator that powers a replaceable NiMH battery. There is also an AC/DC jack to power the unit through an outlet, but the adapter isn’t included with the SolaDyne 7410.

Using the SolaDyne 7410’s dynamo hand crank is a breeze. The large handle is made to fit comfortably in your hand while you wind, so you won’t get blisters like you will with other solar radios. It only takes one minute of winding to produce enough power for 20 minutes of radio listening time, 30 minutes of flashlight use or three minutes of cell phone time. This is great when you compare it to the 90 seconds of cranking time that other units need.

The solar-powered capabilities of the SolaDyne 7410 seem to make it an ideal choice for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and visiting the beach, but that’s probably not advisable. The unit isn’t waterproof or splash proof and it doesn’t have a sturdy enough design to protect it from bumps. It is better suited for home use or for the trunk of the car in case you need a bright flashlight in an emergency.

Though the SolaDyne 7410 is small and environmentally friendly, it doesn’t have the features that could take it from being an okay radio to a fantastic solar radio. Shoppers will probably have better luck with the Scorpion solar radio.