The Kaito Voyager is a wind-up, crank radio capable of operation in three different radio modes—AM/FM, NOAA and shortwave. It will also light up your work area thanks to the three incorporated flashlights, which are great for camping or power outages. A downside would be size and weight of course, but given the features, I think the tradeoff is worthwhile.
I am willing to trade size for features on occasion and when it makes sense. The Voyager features extremely efficient charging technologies that make sense. For instance, you can play the radio for about 20 minutes after charging the radio for about a minute using the crank handle. This is one of those mileage may vary statements, because signal strength, solar assistance and volume would all effect the charge, but you get the idea. However, the ability to charge it and walk away for a period of time while listening is handy.
The Voyager is more than a one-trick pony though and can be operated or charged via the AC adapter, built-in rechargeable batteries, solar panel or USB port. And speaking of solar panels, the Voyager’s panel can easily be articulated. This keeps the sun squarely on the panel for maximum collection while keeping the speaker pointed in the direction you prefer.
For a weekend outing or in an emergency, the Kaito Voyager allows you to tune in AM/FM stations, all seven NOAA stations or shortwave frequencies. All three of these options can be critical in a survival situation of course.
There are also three lighting options. The first two are to be expected: a reading light and flashlight. The third is an emergency alert bulb. While at first I thought of the hearing impaired, it can also be beneficial in an emergency to keep the volume at a minimum, but alert you when you need to grab the included headphones or turn up the volume. This would not only increase the run time on a charge… I am sure your mind is spinning (like mine) about the tactical advantages.
The various power options also mean you can use the Kaito Voyager to charge your other devices via the USB port. The Voyager comes standard with a cable that has a variety of connection tips for various phone/device models. The user manual also gives detailed instructions about which devices the radio can charge.
The Voyager comes with some downsides and waterproofing is certainly one of them. I opted for a waterproof MTM .50 Cal container. It is big enough to hold the radio and a couple of other necessities.
Specifications and Features
- Kaito Dynamo and solar-powered radio
- Includes high quality AC brushless generator
- Tilting solar panel
- Solar panel powers radio and charges built-in batteries
- 5 LED reading lamp
- Multi function LED flashlight
- Side mounted white and red LED light for white light or signaling
- USB jack charges iPod and cell phones
- Six cell phone tips
- Seven band weather radio
- Weather alert feature
Five Power Sources
- Dyanmo cranking power: 120 turn-per-minute cranking will power the built-in NiMH battery pack
- Solar panel power
- Three AA batteries
- Built in rechargeable battery pack
- Charge from a computer via USB port
- 5 LED reading lamp for camping and emergency use
- White LED flashlight
- Red LED blinking for emergency alert
- AM: 520-1717 KHz
- FM: 88.00-108.00 MHz
- SW1: 3.20-9.00 KHz
- SW2: 9.00-22.00 KHz
- Weather band, seven standard bands for all stations
- PLL crystal control circuit for stable reception
- Weather alert is activated by weather alert signals