Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency NOAA Weather Radio Review

Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

One of the very first items most people think about when starting to assemble their emergency preparedness kits is a radio. 

It's funny in a way, because broadcast radio an old-timey technology that many of us don't even use any more however it still has great relevance for the simple fact that it is an easy way for large numbers of people to get contemporaneous information in a large geographic area. 

You might still have one laying around that can pickup local stations and works on batteries, and if you have a car or truck you also have one there. 

But if you are looking for one dedicated to an emergency or survival kit, and that has features which make it more designed for that function, than one of the best products out there to consider is the American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency NOAA Weather Radio made by Eton. 


Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ Radio Review

There's more to this Radio than meets the eye. It was designed for a specific purpose, to be used during an emergency. 

For those reasons, it contains the following features:

  • Receives AM/FM (digital radio) with digital tuning
  • Receives all 7 NOAA/Environment Canada Weather bands
  • Alert function broadcasts in emergency weather alerts
  • Hand turbine and solar power charging in emergencies
  • USB smartphone charge with 2600mAh battery
  • Long-lasting LED flashlight
  • One red LED flashing beacon
  • Alarm clock function
  • Glow in the Dark locator
  • Headphone jack and auxiliary input

Some of these features work great and are the primary reasons to purchase a radio like this.

Others only work OK as backups, you don't want these to be your primaries. 

We'll dive into each in depth so you can decide if it makes sense to include the FRX3+ into your hurricane preparedness plans or any other emergency planning you are doing. 

By the way, if you are looking for a copy of the FRX3+ instruction manual, here it is. 


FRX3+ Radio Features

Let's start with the radio, since ostensibly that is the most important task this device performs, or at least it's primary presumed function.

(I frame it that way, because in actual use, you might find one of the radio's other features is the one you needed the most - like the backup light, or charging crank.)

The FRX3+ comes with FM/AM/NOAA radio, and that works in the way you would expect. First you power up the radio with the power button on the face of the device. 

Using the selector switch above the turbine charging crank, you pick between FM/AM and the 7 NOAA weather band stations. 

There also is a break-though alert option - use the frequency selector to find the nearest NOAA broadcast channel you can hear. Then hit the "alert" button on top of the FRX3+. It will silence the NOAA station, but quietly monitor it for any weather alert codes that come though. 

There is a nice tall collapsable antenna on the back, and I had no problem pulling in all the local stations. 

You can tune the radio 2 ways, with the UP / DOWN buttons along the top (press and hold for Scan) or the right hand tuner knob. 

The left hand knob is for the volume, and there is a MUTE ON/OFF button along the front. 

There is a jack on the back if you want to listen to the radio with headphones. 

There is also an auxiliary input for listening to external sources. 


Emergency Features

In addition to the radio, there are a few things the FRX3+ can do that a traditional radio can't. 

It can use its internal battery to charge your phone. You have to hit the CELL button along the top and connect a USB cable to the back to do so. 

Now, the internal 18650 will provide your phone with a nice bump - but if you used it all up, then you can get cranking on the hand turbine. 

Folks, let me tell ya, that is the last resort. You gotta literally crank that thing thousands of times to get a full charge on your phone - so what it is really meant for is to give you a minute or two of talk time when all else fails after a few minutes of cranking.

Do yourself a favor and get a real backup battery system as well, like something Goal Zero offers.

Oh yes, there is a solar panel along the top of the device which can charge the battery. I haven't fully tested it, but given its size, it will serve as a trickle charger more than anything else. 

I would guess it would take 1-2 full sun days to charge up the battery. Which all told isn't horrible but again, you want that to be a backup (of a backup if I am being really honest), not your primary solar charging solution. 

The FRX3+ gets its power from a mini-USB port, so you can theoretically charge it off of a solar panel. 


Could Be Better

Overall the FRX3+ is a great device. We've had ours for years and it lives next to all of our quick-access power outage supplies. But like all things, it could be improved. Here's our 2 cents:

No waterproofing: this one to me is a no-brainer. It needs at least rain/splash protection. There is no IP rating for the FRX3+ at all. Thats a miss. 

Replaceable battery: there are so many 18650 batteries on the market now (it's our favorite battery) that in place of a wrapped battery with pos/neg leads and a connector, the FRX3+ should come with battery tabs instead, so you can swap them in/out. 

Useless red-light: there are LED lights on the side of the unit, 2 white, 1 red. The red one just blinks. No no no no. This should be constant on, for use at night time to preserve night vision. It serves zero purpose as a blinky light. 

Will those issues break the deal for you? Maybe, but in the end they are just natural improvements that should be integrated in the next version of the FRX3+, assuming one is ever made. 


Where to Get One

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We're a family run business. When you purchase via the links below it really helps us out, and we take our cut from the sellers end, your cost doesn't change. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

Typical Price: $45

The FRX3+ is a multi-powered, multi-function, smartphone charging, weather alert radio which will give access to news and information in an emergency.

  • Receives AM/FM (digital radio)
  • Receives all 7 NOAA/Environment Canada Weather bands
  • Alert function broadcasts in emergency weather alerts
  • Hand turbine and solar power charging in emergencies
  • USB smartphone charge with 2600mAh battery
  • Long-lasting LED flashlight
  • One red LED flashing beacon

Dimensions 5.8 x 6.9 x 2.6” (W x H x D) 14.7 x 17.5 x 6.6 cm (W x H x D) Weight: 0.93 lbs (0.42 kg)

$45Amazon

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