C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio with AM, FM, NOAA Weather, Built in LED Flashlight

(10 customer reviews)

Price: $104.76

About this item

Essential radio for emergency preparedness: AM/FM & NOAA weather to keep your family safe, stay informed with the latest weather and all hazard information for your area. Superior reception on AM, FM and the 7 NOAA Weather Channels. Audio designed for voice clarity makes it great for news, entertainment, sports and talk shows.

4-way powered portable emergency radio with wind up hand crank generator, solar panel, 5V AC/DC with a wall adapter (not included), built-in NiMH replaceable and rechargeable battery pack or optional 3 AA batteries (not included).

Well made. Low profile carry handle for portability. Includes a built-in LED flashlight for power outages, storms, fires, and other natural disasters.

Works as an emergency mobile battery charger in a pinch with included USB port adapter for charging mobile devices, such as smart phones.

Comes with 1 Year Limited Warranty and C. Crane US based tech support.

Brand C. Crane



C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio with AM, FM, NOAA Weather, Built in LED Flashlight & Cellphone Charger

C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio

The easiest way to use the Solar Observer is to put it in the sun with the solar panel up. After charging for 8 hours in full sun, the Observer can play for about 4-6 hours depending on volume. Please keep in mind the melting point of the plastic is about 194° F. It should not be charged in a hot car or any other unusually hot places. The plastic can melt under these circumstances. No sun? No problem. Crank the handle moderately for about 90 seconds to get approximately 12 minutes of radio play, or purchase the AC adapter to charge the battery pack. If you purchased the AC adapter it is best to cycle the battery by plugging the radio in, charging the battery overnight and then unplugging it. It is also a good idea to “cycle” the battery pack every 4 to 6 months if you are going to store the radio and use it only for emergencies. This keeps the rechargeable batteries conditioned to take a charge once you are ready to use the radio.
Don’t want to crank the radio? You can insert 3-AA alkaline batteries for power.
Listen to the Observer through its built-in 2-inch speaker or headphone jack for private stereo listening. The radio is tuned by a simple needle and dial, and the display is easy to read. The display light can be turned on or off or to flashlight by the same switch.
Charges iPhone® and other phones with included standard USB port adapter and a full Observer battery or by cranking. This will allow for up to 40 minutes of talk time.
Weight: 1 lb. Size: 7.25″ W x 5.5″ H x 2″ D

C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio with AM, FM, NOAA Weather, Built in LED Flashlight & Cellphone Charger

C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio with AM, FM, NOAA Weather, Built in LED Flashlight & Cellphone Charger



Additional information





3 Product Specific batteries required.

Item Weight

1 pounds

Product Dimensions

7.25 x 2 x 5.5 inches


C. Crane Company

Item model number


Is Discontinued By Manufacturer


Date First Available

July 29, 2011

10 reviews for C. Crane CC Solar Observer Wind Up Solar Emergency Crank Radio with AM, FM, NOAA Weather, Built in LED Flashlight

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    Joshua A. Mulford

    other hand-crank dynamo radios are reported to feel cheap. I bought this one because i saw reviews suggesting this particular one was better quality feeling. I havent tried these other so-called cheap radio dynamos, so I can’t compare them, but I will say that this radio dynamo feels decent. However, As I was charging it, after about 30-40 revolutions of the dynamo, it started hitting something hard on the inside (with audible clicking sound), and then it seemed to have gotten stuck. Not sure what was going on, I started getting worried, but I just forced it through, and it started turning better, but now, its always does this ‘clicking’ thing when turning. Its not just a sound, but i can also feel it. Anyways, the radio still works great, the dynamo is good. I havent tried the solar panel, but I think its redundant to have, since there’s a dynamo hand crank. AC adapter for plugging into wall is not included – its not needed, and apparently (according to instruction manual) using it can possible destroy the device from over charge.Anyways, everything works great. I give this 5 stars and its worth the 40 bucks. Its made in china.

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    This is the 6th one of these we have purchased as gifts. My father-in-law had his for 3 months and then it would not power on. I took out the battery pack and put it back in, but it did not help. So I bought another one to replace it, thinking he had cranked it so much he wore it out.When we got the new one, I read the extra sheet of instructions (1/1/13) included in the box which discusses a new core radio chip for even better AM and FM reception and a Troubleshooting note which says:If your radio is left on for an extended amount of time after the battery pack is fully depleted, and your radio will not turn on, then it will be necessary to unplug the battery pack (and remove AA batteries if installed) for 60 seconds to allow a reset of the microprocessor.I followed these instructions and the “broken” radio worked immediately. Yay! My father-in-law loves this radio, and listens to the weather station with it every day. Now I have an extra one to give to someone else.

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    Great. It really works. The tuning is a lot better than equivalent digital tuners. My neighbor has a digital tuner and I am glad i got the analog tuner. The multiple ways to power the radio is amazing. It was delivered promptly. I strongly recommend this radio for its quality tuner and loud volume. Please I see people complaining that it can only tune to one emergency station. That is because emergency station are few and ways apart. So if you are traveling you would get other stations. In this area I get one station; loud and clear.

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    Barney Cissell

    I’ve never had a less than stellar product from C Crane Co. EVERYONE should own this gem. Its portable Nd is powered by AC adapter, C size batteries, pop up solar panel, or hand crank. Has a flashlight, cell phone charger and the reception is superior. If you buy an inexpensive AM indoor loop antenna, your really in business. Thanks again C Crane & Amazon!

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    Greg T.

    This is a solid, well-designed little radio. I have come to expect no less from the C Crane folks, and this does not disappoint. First of all, you should know I received the newer model of this radio; these newer models apparently began shipping in January of 2013. I will post an image of the insert I received, but it says there is a new radio controller inside that achieves even better AM/FM reception and selectivity, a they included a better speaker. This means a bit less listening time for the same amount of “charging cranks” than the older model due to increased power consumption. This doesn’t bother me a bit because the audio quality and function of this unit is superb.A few quick notes:- In my tests the radio reception has been very good… even with the antenna down.- The flashlight is decently bright and has a moderately narrow beam at close range.- Note that this unit does not come with the charging adapter for plugging into your wall. It is not strictly needed, so they don’t include it. If you want one, purchase any adapter with the following specifications: – 5V, providing at least 300mA DC output – Negative tip polarityEnjoy!

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    I have used this now for several camping seasons. Works well. I have used C Crane products in the past and am well pleased. I have used all the means of power this uses to make it operational-solar, battery, windup and AC and they all do the job. It did not come with an AC adapter, which I highly suggest you get one. This is a small radio compared to other ones I’ve had. My only concern is the small “foot print”. The base dimension, I’m guessing now, is under an inch wide with the overall length around 6 or 8 inches. It is so narrow that when you set it down, you must place it on a completely flat and level area, so for camping, the tent floor or picnic table is usually not flat or level. It can fall over easily. Shortly after I got it, it fell over and bent the antenna. Because the solar panel is just a simple fold up and out procedure, I was concerned it could easily break if the radio tipped over while I had the solar panel up. What I did to solve this was use the packing styrofoam included in the box and just cut out the center so the radio fits snug in the piece of styrofoam giving the radio a larger base so as not to fall over as easy. I store and transport the radio in the original box so the original styrofoam (which I made the base from) all fits back in the box.

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    Greg More

    What could be easier than just letting it sit in the sun to charge? But I wanted to see whether it would retain its charge while sitting in storage. In case of a power outage or a need to bug-out, the last thing I want to do is start cranking or scrounging for batteries. I’m not an expert on how rechargable battery packs hold charges, so my simple test was to charge it, stow it away for a month and then try it out. Results: 18+ hours of continuous play. (Sorry. I went to bed. It was at least 18. Maybe as high as 24.) Supposedly a full charge will provide 30 hours, but I’m more than happy with my unscientific test results. In a power outage, I’ll be able to recharge within 18 hours by crank, sunlight, or inserting batteries.Other notes:-Excellent reception for AM, FM and weather stations. I pick up the stations within about a 60 mile radius, more at night.-Cranking is easy.-Construction seems ok for the price point.-Manufacturer sets reasonable expectations for ability to charge smart phones, so I’ll rely on other back-up devices for that.-LED flashlight is bright.I’m happy. I might buy a couple others and give them as gifts. Reminder: a/c adaptor is not included. But I don’t think I’ll bother to buy one.

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    This radio is very well-made, and picks up stations from all over the place at night. The crank on the dynamo is solid, and works easily. And this one DOES have the solar panel which I almost missed!!! (I got one from another seller that was advertised as a “Solar Observer,” but did not have the solar panel–so be aware of this, or better yet, just buy from C. Crane on Amazon). I like the option to light the dial, and the flashlight has already proved useful. Also, the unit is lighter than I expected, making it extremely portable. You won’t be sorry you spent a little extra and bought this radio. I expect it to be in use for many years to come.

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    Nick Stuart

    Very, very nifty radio. I leave it with the batteries out, in a location where it is charged by my desk lamp. So it’s always ready if I want to listen to the weather report. Gets really good reception. I highly recommend it.The one thing you have to be careful of is the on/off switch, and switch for the light/display are very easily slid into the on position if you have this device packed in with other equipment where shifting load can cause these switches to be turned on.

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    Bob Rader

    I like the CC Solar Observer Radio, but I was fooled by Amazon’s packaging into buying a “xuuyuu” non-CCrane ac adapter — there is a “people also bought X” with this item section. That turned out to be a 1.2 amp 5V adapter, whereas the radio specifies a 0.3 amp (300 ma) 5V adapter. The result is that the radio’s built-in rechargeable battery cannot be charged with the xuuyuu adapter, leading me at first to think there was failure in the radio. C Crane replaced the radio with dispatch — but when it had the same symptoms, I discussed the possibilities with the Crane phone responder, and he discovered the out-of-spec adapter problem. I then ordered a Crane adapter that Crane sells with this radio, and it works fine. Well, it allows a little 60 cycle hum if one tries to listen to the radio while it is plugged in, but the xuuyuu was far worse in that way.So the bottom line is that the pairing of the non-Crane adapter with the Crane Solar Observer Radio in the Amazon store is a serious mistake. If you can avoid that, the radio has been producing nice clear sound and picking up our hard-to-get stations just fine. So radio good, xuuyuu adapter bad. And shame on Amazon for producing that unauthorized (by Crane) pairing. I presume it is a bit cheaper, though I haven’t double-checked that. Cheaper, but with no value for the intended use.November 16th — added star to five stars: with more experience, with the correct battery charger this radio works as expected — for our use, at least a week between charges. It has a good clear sound, which makes it easy to listen to. I would also like to re-emphasize the quick, easy communications with the Crane customer service people. It was a pleasure to have my problem solved.

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