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Mitaki-Japan Emergency Crank Radio — a quick review

I just wanted to post some quick feedback on an old crank radio I found in a previous emergency supply stash. I don’t remember where I got it or if it’s still on the market — though I see it on Ebay. I am generally not impressed with crank operated emergency gear. The concept sounds great, but I almost inevitably find out after a few months that the flashlight or radio goes dead on me. Cranking it at that point either has no effect, or minimally powers up the device, which promptly dies again almost as soon as you stop winding the crank.

But not this little baby. This radio was left untouched for probably around 10 or 15 years, because, quite honestly, I’d forgotten about it. It was also stored in an outside bin, so the temperature wasn’t well controlled (although I live in a moderate climate). But, after all that time it still works! Winding the crank for a minute or two does produce enough power for the radio for quite a number of minutes. The box says 30 minutes, but I haven’t measured that long.

In addition to the hand crank, the radio takes 2 AA batteries or can be charged with a DC 6V cord. Disclaimer: I don’t have a cord for it anymore and I haven’t tried the batteries.

Beyond that, it seems like a solidly built basic radio. There is a manual volume control and a manual tuner, which after all these years are a little tight and sticky but functional. There is a jack for a headset and a switch to go between AM, FM and Weather. The weather channel is also marked on the dial so you can tune to it. I have to say that I didn’t find much difference between tuning into the channel on FM or Weather. Both settings seem to produce a weak and intermittent tuning to the weather channel from my location, but I think in an emergency it would do the trick most the time.

mitaki-japan radio

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  • Comments (6)

    • 3

      Jonnie, A quick comment that’s indirectly referenced; This specific radio could be the ideal acquisition in re this manufactured item. Do factor into the prepper equation that the human body deteriotates as a function of time. Those 10-15 years after getting the radio with hand-crank feature also involves the arthritic fingers and wrists.

      Same with opening that old, high-quality Swiss Army knife.

      • 4

        Bob, yes of course. I’m not suggesting that everyone should go out and get a crank radio. But I’ve always been interested in crank devices as a backup. It was exciting to find one that actually works!

      • 3

        One additional point besides the aging “problem”;

        Emergency situations generating injuries is a close a relationship.  One of my principles for equipment selection is ease of use. Even 20 year olds get injured. I believe best to focus on an extra flat pack of batteres next to a lightweight radio in pocket that’s operated by an off-on control. 

        AM-FM-SW covers all emergency weather broadcasts of concern to a prepper less the specialized reports such as for the Ray Ban aviators and the Barnicle Bill and Steamboat Sally folks.

    • 6

      Got the exact same radio but different branding, its been in daily service for a good 20 years now in our bathroom. No weather channel on my UK version though.

    • 5

      That’s really funny Jonnie! I had that exact same radio growing up. Thanks for the nostalgia trip haha

      Not sure what happened to it, probably wore it out cranking it as a kid.

      -Be Prepared-

      • 3

        I bet turning a crank on a radio and bringing life to the electronic was fun for a kid. Educational as well.