In search of a Hand Crank Generator to provide an independent power supply "when the lights go out", I had the following criteria that were important to me:
- Made in the USA
- high quality long lasting construction
- light weight, backpack / manpack portable
- 12V output
- "consumer product price range"
The first criteria, "Made in the USA" was the most difficult to fulfill, since I only found three US manufacturers, of which only two still had their product in construction. Of these, only one was backpack / manpack portable, the Pasco Hand-Crank Generator Model No. EM-8090.
The other (non- backpack / manpack portable) hand crank generator is the Crank-a-Watt which is undoubtedly also a great idea and product.
Unpacking the Pasco Hand-Crank, I was impressed by the solid build quality, essentially no plastic (except for the handle)! It is reasonable in size, easily packable. Cranking it without a load attached was easy, it has a well working easy-going mechanism inside. Cranking it under load was understandably harder and easily produced the specified 12V and 25W. There is however a caveat to it, it produced RFI while tuned on the 20m band, did not try it out on the other bands but assume that there may be some RFI too. Now I understand why MilSpec hand cranks sell for much more money! This however did not make me send it back. I have remained a proud owner and look forward to some "muscle training" on future backpack operations.
73 Marcus KD0JKM