In honor of the official start of the holiday shopping season, it’s time for an update to my annual list of radio gift ideas. If you are making your purchases online, you can help support Radio Survivor by shopping through our Amazon links. Over the years we’ve compiled various lists of recommended radio gear, accessories and books. If you need more shopping inspiration, take a look at the guides that that I put together in 2011, 2010 and 2009. Additionally, be sure to peruse Paul’s list of recommended radio gear and Matthew’s radio book recommendations. Here are our latest additions:
1. Tower Site Calendar 2013: Every year Scott Fybush offers up a new version of this calendar. Full of photographs of tower sites, it’s a must-have for tower-loving radio engineers. Pay a little extra to get the limited edition (50 copies) version, which is hand-signed and hand-numbered.
2. Radio Books: There’s never a shortage of radio books to choose from. One of my recent favorites is Community Radio in the Twenty-First Century (see my review here). This year I also picked up copies of the Images of America book Bay Area Radio and Lee de Forest: King of Radio, Television, and Film as well as the new anthology Radio and Society: New Thinking for an Old Medium.
3. College and Community Radio Gear and Sounds: Many college and community radio stations offer stylish garb and interesting sounds as thank you gifts in exchange for donations. Every year I look forward to the new T-shirt designs and music compilations at KFJC (where I volunteer and DJ). This year’s girlie shirt (designed by illustrator and author Rhode Montijo) is particularly cute. KALX also has some special gear this year in honor of the station’s 50th anniversary.
In terms of music, WFMU‘s holiday music compilation, War on Christmas, is available to folks who donate to the station. You can also pick up a bar of WFMU Miracle Soap, a flexi disc, or a super fancy metal WFMU 45rpm adapter.
4. Emergency Radio: Every year there’s another reminder of why it’s so important to keep an emergency radio close at hand. This fall Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, knocking out power and leaving many residents reliant on radio for vital news and information. Prepare for future earthquakes, hurricanes, super storms, and doomsday by purchasing a hand-crank or solar-powered radio that can give you access to local AM and FM stations. One choice is the Kaito KA300 , which also includes a digital alarm clock, cell phone charger and flashlight. Another option with similar features is the Etón American Red Cross Weather Radio. Radio Survivor contributor Bob Mason also gave a glowing review of the Etón FR160R Microlink solar-powered radio.
5. Trick Out Your Smart Phone with a Radio Design: As soon as I saw this radio-themed iPhone cover, I knew I had to have it. It resembles an old transistor radio and might fool passers by into thinking that you are glued to an old radio instead of to a modern iPhone. There’s also an iPhone 5 case with a boombox radio design.
6. Radios Built in to Cooking Devices: Wow. Who knew that you could get a cool-looking retro Radio Toaster that also features a built-in FM radio? There’s also the Kalorik Barbecue Grill with Radio and iPod Connection, which has speakers and an amplifier.
7. Radio Jewelry: I’m always excited to see the range of radio jewelry available, including these Old School Retro Red Radio Cufflinks, this pink Radio Tape Recorder Necklace, and this necklace featuring a vintage radio microphone.
8. Cooler with AM/FM Radio: Perfect for the beach or for fall/winter tailgating, the Igloo Cool Fusion 40 Ice Tunes is a rolling insulated cooler with its own AM/FM radio, mp3 connection, and speakers.