Tiny Radio

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Tiny Radio

Post by Sun Yeti » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:10 pm

I'm trying to cut some weight/volume out of my BOB.

I have a Sony Pocket AM/FM radio (I bought it here: I think the crazy price listed is because it's discontinued: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00020S7XK). It's a great radio; clear reception, good sound, picks up a lot of stations, lasts a long time on two AAs. Seems pretty reliable, and has a good track record (been in use a long time, lots of good reviews). The main problem is it's too big (4.67 in W x 2.80 in H x 1.18 in D), and too heavy (>5 oz w/out batteries). I realize that's not super huge or super heavy, but it means a lot in a backpack kit that's trying to cover a lot of bases, and I already have a radio app that means I can use my smartphone as a radio, so this is basically a backup.

Does anyone know of a radio that is 1: super small (like, less than 2 inches any dimension), 2: reasonably functional/durable, and 3: runs on AA or AAA batteries?

Weather bands also would be ideal. I don't need a speaker, earbuds only is fine.

I've spent hours on Amazon etc., and I'm not coming up with anything. At this point, I'm kind of wondering whether I even want a radio in my bag, given the aforementioned smartphone app, but a backup way to receive emergency communications seems like a good idea.
I find it uniquely frustrating that so many preppers have their heads in the sand about climate change.

But, I've come to realize there's no point in arguing with someone if there's no possible evidence you could present that would actually change their mind.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by NT2C » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:49 pm

Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by yossarian » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:06 pm

I can't remember now where I saw a discussion on that Sony before ( I'm pretty sure it was that one) might have been on here years ago. It was really popular with prisoners for its size and durability. I'll do some google-fu later when I'm on my computer
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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:10 pm

I remember posting this to some other radio thread here at ZS a few years ago: the legendary Sony SRF-39FP (Federal Prison) radio.

https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-o ... -of-prison

With a little Googling I got my hands on a Sony SRF-59, the closest civilian equivalent. It's tucked away in one of my GHBs along with a lithium AA battery installed backwards. These things are well known for their channel selectivity and remarkable endurance on a single AA battery.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by yossarian » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:35 pm

Well there you have it. Right place, wrong radio.
" So, brave knights,
if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further,
for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by TacAir » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:14 pm

SONY SRF-M35W

AM/FM/WB same RF scheme as the 'prisoner radio' but digital. Single AAA battery good for about 40 hours.
Earbuds/headphone listening only. Very sensitive. I've used one for years, highly recommenced.
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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by EBuff75 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:48 pm

I've got an Optimus 12.610 which is about the same size as this Kaito KA200. No weather band, but it's pretty small and uses AAA batteries. Mine doesn't have a built-in antenna like the Kaito, but comes with a wire antenna which plugs into the headphone jack (if you have headphones it uses those as the antenna). Speaker on mine is pretty decent for a cheap little radio.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by majorhavoc » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:38 am

My first post wasn't really responsive to OP's question, because I don't think my initial suggestion is appreciably smaller than what he has already.

Came across this while Googling "Best AM FM portable radio" or some such search terms:
https://wirevibes.com/best-portable-radios/

Looks like the Sony SRF-M37W and SRF-S84 would meet OP's size requirement. The SRF-M37W is ranked higher and also has weather tuning capability.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by Sun Yeti » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:08 pm

The SRF-S84 is what I wanted; I just waited too long to buy one, and now I feel dumb for not jumping on one six months ago.
I find it uniquely frustrating that so many preppers have their heads in the sand about climate change.

But, I've come to realize there's no point in arguing with someone if there's no possible evidence you could present that would actually change their mind.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by EBuff75 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:14 pm

Try Googling "ultralight backpack radio" and then look through the results. I found a number of chat threads where people were asking very similar questions (although many of them are quite old). One interesting result is the discontinued CountyComm GP-4L radio. It's slightly larger than what you're looking for at 3.5 x 2.5 x .9, but it has AM/FM/SW1/SW2, plus a clock and light, with a built-in speaker. https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog ... /0247.html

Another one is the Sony SRF-S84. It also appears to be discontinued, but is more readily available. eBay has quite a few in the $60-65 range, which is rather spendy for an AM/FM radio, but is still better than the $170 that it's listed for on Amazon!

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by MacWa77ace » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:36 pm

I have a Sansa MP3 player by SanDisk that is really old, rechargeable with an FM receiver. Works great.

Dims are 1 3/8 x 2 1/8".

This one is similar but not the same brand.
https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-KLANTO ... 5CTXSHS9W3

Seems the price went up on the Sansa's.

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Player-S ... B00HCMZ0OK

Some HAM HT's have a build in FM receiver and therefore they are a 2fer.
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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by moab » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:34 pm

I highly recommend this radio from Countycomm. I have an earlier version that is even smaller. But I'm sure this one outperforms mine. And many others. Mine came with an accessory extended 50ft(?) antenna. Not sure if this one does or not. But even without it my radio pulls in stuff from all over. All the relevant freqs are covered. And it get's 5000 hours out of three AA's. The specs are endless. I'll let you read them. If you don't know countycomm is a small company that supports the EDC and Bugging out crowd. With top quality products.

https://countycomm.com/products/countyc ... pose-radio

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by moab » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:49 pm

On the other hand. I used to use one of these. http://www.mini-radios.com/micro.htm The one with the hook on it. They take button batteries. But last a surprising amount of time. I used to keep one in my surf fishing fannypack. And would listen to the radio while fishing. If all you need is fm you can't get smaller. And they work amazingly well. And can fit in a small matchbox - earbuds included. They're pretty stealth too.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by Sun Yeti » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:27 pm

While, I felt before that I had no good options, now I feel like I have too many choices :) Thanks for the suggestions!

I looked up ultralight radios, and found the DT-400W. It's slightly larger than 2.5" x 4" x 1", 3.6 oz, so on the bigger/heavier side, but it's absolutely loaded with features (FM, AM, weather band, lots of complicated electronics to squeeze more out of faint signals).

The GP-5 SSB seems to be in a similar category of on the bigger/heavier side, but full of features. Forgive my ignorance, but do the many wavelengths it can pick up include the weather bands? Also, why is it advertised as a '48 hour sale' when it's clearly been up there for more than a year?

For both of the above radios, I wonder if they might have actually too many features for me to operate them effectively. I did get a HAM license a while back, but I'm not exactly an expert, so perhaps simpler is better. If that's the case, that AT-600 radio is super tiny and presumably also quite lightweight. Button battery is fine because I can still replace it.

I will have to think about this more.
I find it uniquely frustrating that so many preppers have their heads in the sand about climate change.

But, I've come to realize there's no point in arguing with someone if there's no possible evidence you could present that would actually change their mind.

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Re: Tiny Radio

Post by moab » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:00 pm

Sun Yeti wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:27 pm
While, I felt before that I had no good options, now I feel like I have too many choices :) Thanks for the suggestions!

I looked up ultralight radios, and found the DT-400W. It's slightly larger than 2.5" x 4" x 1", 3.6 oz, so on the bigger/heavier side, but it's absolutely loaded with features (FM, AM, weather band, lots of complicated electronics to squeeze more out of faint signals).

The GP-5 SSB seems to be in a similar category of on the bigger/heavier side, but full of features. Forgive my ignorance, but do the many wavelengths it can pick up include the weather bands? Also, why is it advertised as a '48 hour sale' when it's clearly been up there for more than a year?

For both of the above radios, I wonder if they might have actually too many features for me to operate them effectively. I did get a HAM license a while back, but I'm not exactly an expert, so perhaps simpler is better. If that's the case, that AT-600 radio is super tiny and presumably also quite lightweight. Button battery is fine because I can still replace it.

I will have to think about this more.
Yes it does. LW frequency: 150 – 522 kHz (available for 9K tuning step only). Weather channels are in the 160's. IIRC.
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