Eton Scorpion II : Radio, Light, Charger
Having devices that can fulfill multiple needs at once is a great idea when you're considering carrying them around all day. It saves you weight and space in your pack. With electronics this is particularly true since they can often be bulky. For those reasons we've taken a hard look at the Eton Scorpion II radio/charger/light.
It's also a great idea to have backups of everything in your emergency kit as well, in case of loss or failure. Multi-use units like the Eton Scorpion II can help give you backups to your primary lights and charging system.
There are multiple primary uses for this device, but lets call it a radio first, since thats what the bulk of the system revolves around. There is an FM / AM radio as you would expect, along with a NOAA radio for 24-7 Weather Alerts. It has a dedicated on/off button, volume up/down, mode button and tuning buttons. There is also a retractable 7" articulating antenna.
The radio works as you would expect it to for a small handheld radio. Not as good as our Sony but it's good enough given the likely use case. The speaker is nice and loud and good enough for a large room. There is also an auxiliary headphone jack.
There is a nice backlit digital display which shows you the channel and mode you are on. It displays a clock when not in use. It's a little small so older eyes may have some difficulty without glasses.
You can expect about 12 hours of playback time for the radio with a fully charged Scorpion II.
On the front of the unit is a 1/2 watt LED light. It has its own dedicated on/off switch. It's plenty bright with a blueish tint to it. Its got a hot-spot in the middle, but that helps give it some throw so you can light up things in the distance, about 20 feet or so.
One of the nicest features of the Eton Scorpion II is the built-in internal 800mAh rechargeable lithium battery. It is used for the radio, the LED light, and to charge a cell phone or USB based device. Be mindful however, that battery is not large enough to fully charge an iPhone or Android, it will give you about 25% of the way there. A small power cord is a good accoutrement to the Scorpion II, we use the 6" Satechi iPhone one.
The internal battery can be charged multiple ways. There is a micro-USB input underneath a water-resistant cover, and this is the preferred method. Keep the unit topped up every few months off your homes power.
There is a small solar panel. It's probably helpful to use it to keep the unit topped off but it likely wont charge a fully dead battery unless it receives several hours of uninterrupted sunlight.
The hand crank on the unit can also charge the internal battery. Crank for 4 minutes to get 1 minute of talk time on most smart phones or 10-15 minutes of radio time. This is the backup to the backup as far as I'm concerned, cranking this thing for hours on end just isn't feasible.
The Eton Scorpion II is built to be durable. It has a tough rubberized finish that makes it drop resistant. It is IPX4 rated, which makes it splash proof although not waterproof. Don't submerge it in water and try to protect it from heavy rains.
There is a nice strong metal (aluminum?) carabiner clip along the top which would be helpful in a variety of scenarios.
And I saved the most important feature for last, there is a bottle opener on the side. Hopefully there are some cold ones waiting for you!
If you buy anything with the links we provide on this page we get a small percentage of the sale. For more info click here.
We really like this little radio. All our testing has proven that it is capable of doing all that it says it will. We think this is a great addition to an Emergency Kit and one you should consider looking into for yourself.