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The easiest way to use the Solar Observer is to put it in the sun with the solar panel up.

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Good AM reception

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  • Only 3 words are allowed.

Poor weather band reception

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  • Only 3 words are allowed.


The easy 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. 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.

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is FM reception?

    The FM reception to be above average and, that is with a cell tower close by.

  • Will it charge a cell phone?

    Yes, you can charge cell phones which are charging from USB/5.0 V. Sometimes you have to kick-start the charging by cranking the dynamo charger first. Make sure the internal battery is sufficiently charged also.

  • Are there any weather proof features?

    Not really. It's just a plastic case .

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