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What Does an Emergency Radio Do?
An emergency radio is a radio receiver that is designed to be functional in a disaster, whether the power is out or you're completely cut off from civilization. Emergency radios are designed to use minimal power or run on renewable energy sources, so they won't die when you need them. An emergency weather radio is a crucial part of any household's emergency kit.
What Type of Radio Is Best for an Emergency?
The best kind of radio to have in an emergency situation is one that's either battery-powered or has a hand crank that allows you to keep it running indefinitely. If your emergency radio only runs on batteries, you'll need to remember to put aside an ample supply of fresh batteries with it and check them regularly to make sure they're ready for use in a disaster.
What Are the Emergency Radio Channels?
The frequency of the most common national emergency channel is 151.940 MHz, and NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts between 162.400 and 162.550 depending on your location. In a true emergency, you're likely to hear emergency broadcasts on your regular local AM and FM stations as well, if they are still in operation. Some preppers also use 151.940 MHz for their transmissions.
How Long Do Batteries Last in a Portable Radio?
Batteries in a portable radio can vary in size, which can affect how long they run. If your radio is in analog mode, batteries can run for an average of 10 to 14 hours in between charges, and if your radio is in digital mode, this can increase to 14 to 16 hours.
How Long Does a Hand-Crank Radio Last?
A hand-crank radio lasts pretty much indefinitely: It can run for hours on a fully charged battery, and when the battery dies, you can easily recharge it by hand.
Can You Still Buy a Transistor Radio?
Transistor radios are uncommon nowadays, as transistors have largely been replaced by integrated circuits. But it's easy to find a portable radio that's essentially the same thing; plenty of manufacturers make good-quality battery-powered radios, even if they no longer contain actual transistors.
Is Shortwave Radio Still Relevant?
It's not as popular as it used to be, but shortwave radio is still used for some purposes. SW radio is particularly popular in much of Africa, South Asia, parts of Latin America, and remote places worldwide. It's also used in aviation, in maritime operations, and for some diplomatic and emergency communications.
Is Ham Radio the Same as Shortwave?
Ham radio and shortwave radio are similar in some ways but not the same. Ham radio uses a segment of the frequencies used for shortwave broadcasts. But shortwave radio only involves listening to broadcasts, while ham radio operators both send and receive messages. And while ham radio requires a license, listening to shortwave radio does not.
Is AM Radio Shortwave?
No. AM broadcasts use longer wavelengths; the shortwave frequencies fall between the AM and FM bands. However, they do have some similarities, in that both shortwave and AM signals can carry well over very long distances.
Can I Listen to Shortwave Radio on the Internet?
Yes, there are some websites where you can listen to shortwave radio online. Of course, you'll need an Internet connection to do so, whereas using a portable shortwave radio only requires batteries.
Can You Listen to Radio on a Bluetooth Speaker?
Yes! You can use a Bluetooth speaker with a radio to make your music portable. If your existing radio is Bluetooth-enabled, you can pair it with a speaker, and if it isn't, you can buy a Bluetooth transmitter that connects to your stereo through the headphone jack.
Does Bluetooth Use AM or FM?
No: Bluetooth uses neither. This technology does use radio signals just like AM and FM radio do, but it operates on a much higher frequency, most commonly 2.4 GHz.
How Do I Connect My FM Radio to Bluetooth?
To connect a Bluetooth speaker with an FM radio that's Bluetooth-enabled, just follow the manufacturer's instructions to turn on Bluetooth and pair your radio with your speaker. If the radio doesn't already have Bluetooth capability, you'll need to connect it to an adapter through the headphone jack first.