The Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio Review
I just finished reading an article about FEMA and the Federal Government telling people in areas without power to go to the internet or TV to get disaster information. Our society has become so dependent on social media, cell phones, and TV that we don’t know how to function without them. I am not suggesting that we go back to smoke signals or ultra-expensive ham gear but just a good reliable portable radio and an old-fashioned landline phone.
For years, I lived in an area where power outages occurred every year. One of the things that we kept working was an older landline phone that did not require an outside power source. In other words, it gets its power from the phone line not from being plugged in. This eliminates all cordless phones. On many occasions, these landline phones were working long after the power went down. You can find these older phones in garage sales for next to nothing.
The other thing that you need is a good reliable portable radio, preferably with its own power source (solar or crank up) and NOAA compliant. The Kaito Voyager KA500 is an excellent example of what a good emergency readio should be. I have found the Kaito to be very reliable.
Today I am sitting here listening to my emergency radio. After trying several brands, the one I own is the Kaito Voyager KA500. This a perfect radio for everyday use, emergencies, and disasters, and it comes with all the features that you need in any emergency situation.
Right now the radio is running off solar power. The radio has several alternate power sources: solar, hand crank, batteries, USB cable, a built-in rechargeable battery pack and an AC adaptor. I have never put batteries in the radio. I’ve had it for years and have always run it off solar. The solar works well during the day, and it charges the built-in battery for nights. I have tried the hand crank on a few occasions and found it easy to use.
Other features include an adjustable solar panel. The solar panel tilts so that it can get the most energy during the day. The bottom of the solar panel is a 5 LED reading lamp that you can use in poorly lit conditions. On the end of the radio there is a LED that can be used as a flashlight or can be a red flashing emergency signal.
The radio bands include AM, FM, two shortwave bands, and seven weather bands. The radio is NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) equipped. This means that the radio can be set to the weather band for your area and when set on NOAA alert, it will remain on standby. If a weather warning is given for a storm or tornado, the radio will come off standby and sound an alert. This can save your life by giving you the earliest possible warning.
The radio comes with a bag of adaptors so that you can also use it to charge your cell phone.
The following are the specifications from the Kaito Electronics website.
6 Ways to power up the Kaito
- Dynamo Cranking Power: 120 turns per minute of cranking will power the built in Ni-MH battery pack with strong current and voltage.
- Solar Panel Power: Under the direct sunlight, the solar panel will power the radio without a problem.
- AA Batteries: You can use 3 normal AA batteries to run the radio for maximum reception.
- A built-in Rechargeable battery pack.
- AC adaptor charge from the 3.5 mm jack. (Optional)
- Charge from a computer via USB port.
- 5 LED reading lamps for camping and emergency use.
- White LED flashlight
- Red LED blinking for emergency alert.
- AM: 520-1710 KHz
- FM: 87.00- 108.00 MHz
- SW1: 3.20-9.00MHz
- SW2: 9.00- 22.00MHz Weather Band: 7 standard bands for all stations, PLL crystal control circuit for stable reception
- Weather Alert: To be activated by weather alert signals.
I have had this radio for several years and have been very happy with it. The alternate power features and the NOAA weather alerts could save your life. I recommend it.