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I can’t help but love radios. The ability to hear music and voices from far away intoxicates me and fills my soul with wonder. Five years ago, I bought a receiver that has been of great help regarding threats from the weather.

When I saw the CC Observer in the C. Crane catalogue, I knew it would be a boon to me. Having recently suffered through a bad wind storm the previous month, I knew I’d have to beef up my emergency equipment. Never did I ever want to be without heat and weather information again.

The Observer proved to have a good AM radio, though the FM did tend to overload in strong signal areas. The real benefit was the seven weather channels. Previous radios with the public service bands had an ordinary tuning dial. The Observer had pre-set channels so people wouldn’t have to search for the right frequency in an emergency.

Another cool thing about the Observer is that it had attachments that could recharge cell phone batteries. It allowed people to get a few minutes of air time to call for help in an emergency.

The dial light is another nice feature. Instead of having an incandescant bulb that drains current fast, the radio has a white LED that illuminates the sliderule dial evenly. It stays on without having to press down a button, making it even more user-friendlly.

I liked the three-LED light on the radio too. Though it wasn’t as bright as some flashlights, it gave me ample light to find my way around the house. Since LEDs don’t go dim as fast as incandescent bulbs when the battery weakens, it helped me when the power failed.

Additionally, I felt impressed that this radio didn’t stop working the minute the voltage dropped a bit. I’ve been able to listen to it even when the battery was almost dead. One of my pet peeves about microprocessor-controled radios is that they need fully-charged batteries or they’d die. Such a device would be worse than useless during a crisis.

I still use my CC Observer today, though several hard falls worked something loose in the AM/FM section. The weather channels still work well, giving me a heads-up each day when severe weather brews.

I also bought the CC Solar Observer model last year. It has a solar panel on the back as well as the dynamo generator. I just set the receiver in a sunlit window and it charges up the internal battery. The weather channels are also more sensative.

Being ready for emergencies is a wise precaution when it isn’t taken to extremes. I wrote about how I feared the government in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers. My two previous paperbacks can be purchased through the Bruce Atchison’s books page.

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Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

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