Top Gift Picks for Mother’s Day 2017

MothersDay

Mother’s day is just around the corner and C. Crane is here to help you find a gift that will actually be used!

  1. CC Radio-EP – Bob Crane designed this radio for his Mom. It’s the easiest radio to use and has great reception and sound.
  2. CC Pocket – This radio is perfect for the Mom who is out walking regularly.
  3. CC WiFi – Mom’s love this – no static, no fade and thousands upon thousands of stations to choose from.
  4. The Senta Ally – A consistent favorite. Mom controls the playlist from her smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. Perfect while doing household chores or even relaxing in the tub!
  5. CC Solar Observer – You’ll have peace of mind knowing your Mom has the information she needs even if the power is out with this Wind Up Solar Emergency Radio.

If you’re still not sure which item is right for your mom, contact us! We’re happy to help you make the best selection for your Mom.

Earth Day 2017

Earthday2017

Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, millions of people continue to bring awareness and solutions to local and global environmental concerns. This year there is a March for Science and teach ins regarding current issues facing our environment.

Radio stations across the nation are playing a role, gathering communities for common causes and helping spread the word. It’s fascinating to see the variety of topics that are covered: trail creation and maintenance, clean water, community clean ups and restoration projects, gardening and invasive plant education, alternative energy and endangered species awareness.

Here’s just a few events (there are literally thousands and it seems almost every city has some opportunity to volunteer).

http://sunradio.com/2017/03/26/earth-day-2017/
http://www.espn1320.net/events/cspf-earth-day-2017
http://nwpr.org/post/earth-day-northwest
http://www.radiowoodstock.com/amp-events/earth-day-volunteering-celebration/

How do you plan to participate in Earth Day? Does your community have an event? Enter you answer in the comments below and be entered to win the CC Solar Observer AM, FM, Weather Wind Up and Solar Powered Radio. Drawing will be held April 25th. Please only one entry per person.

Spring is Officially Here?

dreamstime_xl_86642419At least that is what the calendar says! The first official day of Spring was March 20th. Here in Northern California, where spring storms bring a return to winter-like conditions, that is definitely being called into question. It’s supposed to rain on us for the next several days and our California pals to the East are still shoveling ALOT of snow (see the pictures below). Once again, the unpredictable weather brings having a battery operated radio with the weather band and considering one with weather alert to the forefront.

Flooding and mudslides are wreaking havoc not only here in the states (California has been hit hard), but even internationally. Peru was recently hit with huge flooding and mudslides that have left thousands homeless. There a severe weather alerts issued across the Midwest and the South for tornadoes and harsh weather. We think mother nature missed the memo about Spring, but C. Crane has not missed Mother Nature’s memo on why we should be prepared.

We’ve heard from many customers about how their radio alerted them to potential weather threats so they could plan accordingly. If you don’t have a plan make one. If you don’t have a radio, now’s the time to get one – don’t miss the memo! Make sure you’re ready for whatever Spring throws at you.

Keep Your Family Safe – Prepare Ahead of Time

prepkit

Not many people are really prepared for a disaster, especially in areas where they aren’t common. Maybe folks in areas where there are regular hurricanes, tornadoes or winter storms that shut everything down have a good handle on being prepared or people like the Preppers, but the rest of us find it easy to slack on preparedness and then find ourselves scrambling when a real disaster strikes.

It’s easy to make a case for being prepared. Look around at all of the unexpected emergencies like the recent flooding in Louisiana and tornadoes in the Midwest. Emergencies don’t have to be only weather and naturally caused. In California, recent fires that destroyed entire communities have been attributed to arson. With record breaking temperatures across the US and people using electricity like crazy or an even more sinister possibility – an energy grid hack, our next disaster might be extended blackouts or there is the very real possibility of terrorism that continues to plague the entire world.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to see how you fare on the preparedness scale:

  • What essential supplies do I need?
    If you are missing some, it might be time to re-think priorities since stores often sell out, are out of service, or have no way to process payments (even cash).
  • Do I have a written list of important phone numbers?
    If you answered no, then you have some work to do. An electronic list on your cell phone isn’t going to do you much good once the phone dies and the power is out.
  • Do you have any cash or would you need to go to the ATM?
    If you answered no to the cash and yes to the ATM then you need to stash some cash. ATMs go down and require power and banks are so automated now and reliant on computers, they often can’t even provide cash from the tellers if there isn’t any power.
  • Do you have copies of important documents stored safely somewhere else?
    As cumbersome as this sounds, having copies of things (think insurance policies, passports, deeds, titles, etc.) stored in a safe deposit box or at a relatives’ home will really reduce the headache and time spent in the event you lose your home to a disaster. It can help even if it’s just a time where you’re out of town and you end up with a water leak that damages your ceiling.
  • Do you have a good emergency radio and flashlight? How about spare batteries?
    No? Well this is the one we can actually help you with! Call us or visit the links above and order online. We’ll get you set up right away.

We’ve written several articles on how to be prepared and what that might look like. REI has a great article on basic concepts with some important additions that people often forget like medications, infant formula and diapers, and pet food.

If nothing else, at least create a basic plan, get a radio and flashlight, write down the list of phone numbers and read about Bob’s potable water trick with your water heater.

Tell us about your emergency plans in the comments below and be entered to win a CC Solar Observer October 11th– the best all-around emergency radio. It covers AM, FM and Weather and has a built in flashlight. You can even use it without batteries and if it came down to it, it even will charge most cell phones.

Gift Guide for Dads and Grads

dadgrad

Tis the season to shop for some of the most important people in your life. Your dad (or husband) – the man you can never figure out what to buy for since he’s already bought everything for himself. Your graduating child or grandchild who thinks the world of you but may not share your taste in gifts….

We have some ideas to help you find the perfect gift.

An emergency radio that has a built in flashlight – what a great way to show you care. Make sure that they have what they need in the event of an emergency. Everyone thinks their cell phones replace a good radio nowadays, but we’ve learned (in some cases the hard way) that this just isn’t true. All circuits busy anyone? Phone died and the power is out, and your car is floating down the river? We’ve heard stories like this, and more, where radio is the only way they know what’s going on – and the CC Solar Observer can charge most cell phones.

The Senta Ally Bluetooth speaker with FM Radio is always well received – We can’t tell you how many employees here have given these as gifts to their dads, siblings and graduating family members. This speaker has a very broad appeal and is really easy to use. They are in work shops, on kitchen counters, and out in the garden. The only limitation is your smartphone’s apps or your playlist. It also has a replaceable, rechargeable battery.

Have a gardener in your life? Get them the garden noise blocking headphones – This may be more geared for dads, although Jessica’s younger brother has found great use for this with his smartphone in the wood shop. The planer is just too loud! Bob’s gardener uses the kit with our CC Pocket radio regularly while weed eating out in the yard.

The Super WiFi Repeater System will allow anyone looking to extend the distance from their router by repeating the signal. Great for apartment complexes and dorm rooms where the signal might not be so great or for offices in the back of the house that are too far away from the router.

If you’re in a house where your political views (especially this election year) and thus taste in talk show hosts are as far apart as you being a vegetarian and him being a cattle rancher, a pillow speaker could be your best investment ever. We can’t help you with your differences in the kitchen, but this lovely little piece of equipment allows him to listen to his preferred stations in bed, and you don’t have to hear it. It also works great for audio books.

Still not sure what to buy? A gift certificate allows for them to pick whatever they prefer.

If you need any help with a recommendation, please call us and we’d love to help you pick out the best gift for your loved one.

Tell us – what’s the best or worst Father’s Day or Graduation gift you’ve ever received?

 

C. Crane’s Employee Recommended Gift Guide

Ugly Holiday SweaterEvery Christmas you try to find gifts for your family that you hope they will like and maybe even use. After the gifts are opened on Christmas day, you never see the stuff again (you know what we mean, the sweater, the tie, the gift they specifically asked for). Whether you have family spread all over the country or close by, you rarely see anyone wearing or using what you gave them. Well, we know how to help you out. Some of our staff here have had similar experiences so we took a poll here at C. Crane about what gifts employees have given for Christmas and how they were received. Below are some of the responses:

Sue G:  Two years ago, we gave the CC Solar Observer to everyone in our family for Christmas and WOW!!……..we still see them using the radio all the time, even the grown “kids”. Last year we gave everyone in our family the Unity Plus LED Flashlight. We knew they were great flashlights because we use them all the time, but we didn’t know they would be such a big hit. Every single person we gave the flashlight to loves it. These were the BEST gifts we have ever given to our family.  It’s pretty cool to know they liked the gift they got and they actually use it!! We will never buy anyone a sweater for Christmas again.

Carolyn:   Last year I gave the Senta 40 Wooden Headphones to my best friend’s teenage granddaughter for Christmas.  She is blind, so superior audio quality is an absolute must or she finds the distortions too uncomfortable for her sensitive ears.  When I talked to her after the holidays I was so happy to hear the Senta 40 model passed her high standards, and that they were now her favorite pair of headphones! I gave my hard to shop for brother-in-law the Unity Plus LED Flashlight He was immediately impressed by the light output and could not wait to take it outside and test it.  So there he was on Christmas Eve, running around outside like a little kid at 70 years old, shining his new toy in all directions while everyone else was eating dinner. Needless to say, I knew I had a hit and plan to give my other brother-in-laws the Unity Plus LED Flashlight this Christmas. Hopefully, they will finish dinner first. I gave my new daughter-in-law the Senta Ally Bluetooth® Stereo Speaker for Christmas.  She is a college professor, and needed an easy way for her entire classroom to hear the audio stream on her laptop, which was not cutting it.  It turns out the Senta Ally was perfect for her!  It is lightweight and small enough to fit in her laptop carry case, and it just takes her a minute to connect it to the headphone jack & set it for Audio Input mode.  Even students at the back of the room can hear it clearly, so no one can claim they missed something.  So the Senta Ally got an “A” from her!

Christine: I’ve put Power Vivid flashlights in my three kids’ (and partner’s) Christmas stockings every year since we started carrying them. 

Kim: The Ally is a gift I bought recently for my daughter. She loves it. She puts on the baby station for her son and puts it in his room for his ears only! She doesn’t have to listen to his tunes. My son-in-law loves it too. He takes it to work to listen to his tunes while he is working. Oh yeah and the husband loves his Unity Flashlight as well.

Brett:  We have a few relatives in their 70s- we give them a CCRadio-EP or CC Solar Observer. A couple months goes by and then we get the “What a great radio!” emails. An awful lot of radio lovers do find the simplicity of the EP is what they have always really wanted.

John: I’ve given several gifts over the years: Light bulbs like the  PowerVivid A15 LED Bulb and Color Changing LED Bulb; The Unity Plus Flashlight and PowerVivid Pocket Lights; The Senta Ally Portable Bluetooth Speaker – friends use them to stream music using Bluetooth®; CC Shortwave Pocket Radio so my Aunt can pick up the Fresno State Bulldog’s games and the CC Solar Observer which was a life saver for my aunt in Maine who was without power for an entire week after a snowstorm.

Jessica: Over the 18 years I’ve been employed by C. Crane, I’ve given quite a few C. Crane products as gifts. The CC WiFi is the one I hear about most. My husband’s 89 year old grandmother is from St. John’s in Canada and she’s able to hear news and music from her homeland. We set it up for her and pre-programmed the stations and she listens to it almost every day. I regularly give out flashlights. My favorite is still the CCTrek Light. I have one that’s almost 15 years old and the only thing I’ve done is change the batteries and recently replaced the LED module.

It says a lot about a company when employees buy products from where they work. Kind of like when people work in a restaurant and you see them eating there, then you know it’s a good choice. So here’s to never buying anyone a sweater or tie for Christmas again!

25 Days Of Christmas

Congratulations to arc1111 winner of the CC Solar Observer.

Senta40 Wooden HeadphonesToday’s giveaway are the Senta-40 Wooden Headphones.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on today’s blog.

Today’s blog question: What was your favorite Christmas present, ever?

The winners will be selected in a random drawing and will be announced tomorrow morning. Good Luck!

25 Days Of Christmas

December 8, 2014

Congratulations to Clayguy winner of the Unity Plus LED Flashlight, Marv of the CC Spotlight LED Light and Shared of the Voz-P Premium Wooden Earbuds.

CC Solar ObserverToday’s giveaway is the CC Solar Observer.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on today’s blog.

Today’s blog question: What is your favorite holiday movie?

The winners will be selected in a random drawing and will be announced tomorrow morning. Good Luck!

Buying the Right Radio For You

CC Radio-2 Enhanced

CC Radio-2 Enhanced

Radios come in all shapes and sizes and with so many different features and configurations available it can be tough finding the one built to satisfy your needs. Whether you want a pocket radio for your daily jog, a portable radio for your next camping trip or one that will be the focal piece of your home entertainment center, we’re going to lay out the details on what to look for in your perfect match.

Size Matters

If you are an avid broadcast radio listener, you will want the best reception possible. In general, bigger means better. The more space a radio has inside for a bigger antenna, the more stations you will find and at a much greater distance. If you’re going on a 3-mile day-trek in the woods, you’re not going to want a massive communications receiver in your backpack. Conversely, you’ll probably need more than something with a 2-inch speaker to fill your living room with quality audio.

Trying to group all radios together in their own separate categories is a daunting task in itself, so we will narrow our field to three general sizes. Those will include:

Pocket Radios
Portable Radios
• Table-top Radios

The first choice is for people on the move or someone with very limited space. Pocket radios can be as big as a paperback book or as small as a wristwatch. As the radio gets smaller, a sacrifice has to be made for features and functionality. You probably won’t find too many good quality pocket-sized units with a full-function keypad or a high definition color display. They exist, but they cost as much and sometimes more than the bigger radios.

The next category is what can be called the “middle ground”. Portable radios can range from something you can comfortably toss into your purse all the way up to massive “boom boxes”. Anything that can be run on batteries and you are willing to carry with you to where you’re going can be considered portable. This group also has some of the best reception capabilities available due to their ability to be adjusted easily. They are, in simple terms, the best of both worlds.

The third group contains the work horses of consumer radios. Devices that would fall into the table-top category have all the bells and whistles anyone could ever want and even some nobody will ever need. They plug directly into the wall for their power and have extra connections for external antennas, speakers, controllers and accessories. They come with remote controls, multi-line digital displays, built-in keypads and multiple dials for every function available. Some even come with connections for hooking up to a home computer for added flexibility. These are where you will probably spend the greatest amount of money due to their complexity, but since their capabilities are far more advanced, you’ll be getting what you paid for and more.
The fact that some portables can be used as table-top radios gives them a great advantage when searching for the right one. You could leave it plugged into the wall for daily (or nightly) use, but you could then take it to the back yard for a family cookout.

Location, Location, Location

Where the radio will ultimately live and find its heaviest usage is a massive factor in choosing its size, function and capabilities. Many of the larger radios wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably on your bedside stand, so we’ll start by finding where you’re going to use the radio most. Once you have a better idea of where the radio will be, you can then make a more informed decision on the radio you want.

Most companies will have the dimensions of the radio either right on the box or at least detailed somewhere on their website. This will give you a chance to see if it really will fit on your side stand or that little shelf in the bathroom where your wife keeps the potpourri.

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?

Some research into which features you need will be necessary. So many different features exist, though, that this one may be the most intimidating task of all. Start with the major broadcast bands you will be tuning in, such as:

AM (Amplitude Modulation)
FM (Frequency Modulation)
Weather (162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz)
Shortwave (1.8 MHz – 30 MHz)
Includes the popular 10-meter band
Marine VHF Band
Amateur and Citizen’s Band
Ham Bands
• Digital or WiFi radio reception

As you look through the specifications of a particular radio, it may have only one band, just a few or a huge selection of them. You’ll likely never find a radio that contains all the bands, so choosing which you will use most and focusing on those few will narrow your search to a much smarter selection.

Function Over Form

Bells and whistles, knobs and buttons, colors, shapes and styles. We all want radios for specific listening reasons, but how you make it get to where it’s supposed to be can run the gamut of combinations.
• Clock
Alarm function
Sleep timer function
• Memory presets
• Auto Scan
• Built-in Speaker
• Headphone and/or Line-level output Jack
• Antenna Jack
• Direct input keypads
• Internal or external antenna
Jack for outdoor antenna access
• Tone controls
• Battery or AC power
• Remote control

The amount of functions you want in a radio will depend greatly on its size. Many smaller radios sacrifice external controls or an external speaker for higher audio quality or a larger antenna.

Analog v. Digital: A New Challenger

Even though they are relatively new technology, digital streaming radios, also more commonly known as internet or WiFi radios, are quickly becoming more popular, especially with younger, more tech savvy users. Streaming media can be found all across the internet, and people are discovering that these streams are much clearer and easier to listen to than the radios of yesteryear.

The chances are better and better as time progresses that the station you listen to is already streaming their broadcast on the internet, so it doesn’t matter that you’re in your concrete basement workshop that gets horrible reception. Anywhere you can receive an internet connection, whether wired or wireless, is where you can put these digital streaming radios. Some models will only get internet streams while others can connect to a home media server and play your own personal music collection.

They may not be exactly what you’re looking for right at this point in time, but a quality media streaming device could very well take the place of your favorite radio in the very near future.

You’re Gonna Pay for That

Setting a budget for a new radio isn’t unheard of today, what with the multitude of different radios available. Do you want to spend just enough to get a couple of the features you need, or go all out and get your dream rig all at once? It’s worth working out what your budget is before you even start looking so that you can narrow your choices before spending money on something you don’t really like. Radios with a lower price tag will usually have fewer features, and sound quality will be diminished when compared to larger, more expensive units.

You may even want to include a little extra in the budget for accessories like headphones, cases, antennas, AC adapters or batteries depending on which type you’re looking for. The perfect radio would already come with all the accessories you need, but the perfect package doesn’t always exist, so we have to plan ahead to get the biggest benefit.

Don’t Panic!

Everyone has experienced some type of emergency situation where communication with the outside world has been severed by one method or another. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters happen no matter where you are, so being able to get information before, during and after these events is critical for the survival of you and your family.

Emergency radios can save your life. You won’t always have access to electricity, and they fill the communications gap when all other power is out. They have multiple power choices, such as alkaline or rechargeable batteries, crank generators, 12-volt adapters (for use in vehicles) and, more recently, built-in solar panels. They will generally have your standard AM/FM radio bands, but what really sets them apart is the weather band. Broadcasts on the NOAA weather frequencies keep you abreast of news and critical information regarding your immediate location and surrounding areas.

Summary

Finding the right radio for you may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you know where and how your new radio will be used, as well as what you will ultimately be listening to the most, you can begin to find out just which radio will fit the bill the best. Also, it never hurts to ask for assistance. The staff at C. Crane have decades of accumulated and combined knowledge regarding radio in all its forms. If you’re stuck, give us a call. We are here to assist you with any questions you may have.

 

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 30!

Today is the last day to enter into our 30 Days of Giveaways Blog!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winner Gerald for winning the CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio and Matt R for winning the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White).

Today’s 30 Days of Giveaways Final Blog Topic is: How would you spend the $200 C. Crane Gift Certificate if you win?

Today’s giveaway is a $200 C. Crane Gift Certificate. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select one comment in a random drawing and post the winner Thursday morning. Good luck!