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#231279 - 09/02/11 12:22 AM Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road)
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
I'd been driving for two days, and an hour ago I got tired enough that I started looking for a place to spend the night. The first hotel I went to was out. The second one accidentally gave me a room that wasn't ready. Anyway, now that I'm comfortably settled in, watching the weather channel as I often do, suddenly a tornado warning pops up.

I have the portable RadioShack weather radio with me. For home it's great. I put in my SAME code and it issues warnings that I want to hear. I set it to the local NOAA station and it tells me the weather. For travel I am discovering that it has a flaw. It doesn't automatically change the channel for the location. While I am in a hotel room I can play with the settings to get the right channel, but if I'm driving it's rather inconvenient. The state I'm driving through (PA) broadcasts the NOAA channel through an AM station, so that's convenient. But it seems to me ideally I need a portable weather radio that can automatically issue the warnings for any location I happen to find myself in. Is there such a thing?

Da Bing

PS. Will let yo know if I get hit by a tornado. Lemme see about doing a livecast.


Edited by Bingley (09/02/11 12:22 AM)

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#231285 - 09/02/11 01:07 AM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Bingley]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
Is there such a thing?


For this you would need something like a GPS and a processor to perform a lookup of a local SAME code geographic database to program the Radio receiver to tune to the correct Station frequency (1 of 7 frequencies) broadcast automatically. I don't think that there are any portable NOAA radios that currently do this even though it would be easy to implement.

The same problem occurs with FM radio station fading as you move from one transmitter to another. Perhaps if something like DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) were implemented the USA a cheaper receiver circuit without the requirement for a GPS tracker could be implemented for a mobile automatic NOAA NWR system in the future.

I seem to remember that there were some moves to implement the EAS system on all future Cellular Phone handsets so the government can keep track of your location so that a POTUS message can be sent to those just before they perish in a SHTF event. wink I believe that the NWR is a subset of the EAS system.

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#231294 - 09/02/11 02:06 AM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
If I press a bunch of keys on my portable weather radio, it begins to search for the closest NOAA channel, and it's able to find it. This is a function built into the radio. It doesn't seem like a big leap to have the radio search for a new channel once the signal from the old channel gets too weak. That's not as accurate as using the GPS or SAME, but it's seems so simple... DB

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#231295 - 09/02/11 02:47 AM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
Ah, upon re-reading the manual, I discovered that I can set the radio to receive all warnings within a 50 mile radius. I guess that will work. DB

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#231304 - 09/02/11 11:54 AM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Bingley]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2016
Loc: NE Illinois
Just turn the SAME feature off - typically by removing the code that you had entered. Then it will alarm if any of the stations within hearing range broadcast an alarm.

By the way, one of the things I like about the Midland HH50 pocket weather radio - besides being tiny and having a nice signal strength - is that it does an auto-search for the strongest station each time its turned on.

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#231305 - 09/02/11 01:43 PM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: KenK]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: KenK
...it does an auto-search for the strongest station each time its turned on.

I can pick up two different NOAA stations on my weather radio. I always just listen to the station that is supposed to cover my area, but sometimes the "correct" channel does not come in the strongest for me. I haven't checked, but if my radio had this auto-search and locked onto the other station, would I be missing alerts for my area? I've never experimented with that yet.

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#231323 - 09/02/11 09:36 PM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Arney]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2016
Loc: NE Illinois
The Midland HH50 radio has a sliding switch on one side with Off-On-Alert settings, and a Test button on the other side (just above the volume up/down buttons).

When the switch is slid to the On position the radio auto-finds the station with the strongest signal and you can listen to the soothing sounds of the radio. While on, pressing the Test button toggles between the radio station bands so the user can pick a different band.

While in Alert mode (when the radio listens for alerts), you can test the radio's alarm by holding the Test button down for 3 seconds, and then turning the alarm off by pressing the Test button again.

Of course this alarm test only checks the radio's alarm - it doesn't ensure that you'll get the alarm signal from the radio station. Turning on the radio and listening to see if the station is coming in strong should provide some confidence that your radio will detect a weather emergency alarm.

BTW, this radio does NOT have SAME alerting - which means it cannot limit alarms to a specific region. For my own use that is OK. At home I use other radios that have the SAME feature (Oregon Scientific portable radio).

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#233188 - 10/03/11 11:13 PM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: KenK]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: KenK
The Midland HH50 radio has a sliding switch on one side with Off-On-Alert settings, and a Test button on the other side (just above the volume up/down buttons).

When the switch is slid to the On position the radio auto-finds the station with the strongest signal and you can listen to the soothing sounds of the radio. While on, pressing the Test button toggles between the radio station bands so the user can pick a different band.

While in Alert mode (when the radio listens for alerts), you can test the radio's alarm by holding the Test button down for 3 seconds, and then turning the alarm off by pressing the Test button again.

Of course this alarm test only checks the radio's alarm - it doesn't ensure that you'll get the alarm signal from the radio station. Turning on the radio and listening to see if the station is coming in strong should provide some confidence that your radio will detect a weather emergency alarm.

BTW, this radio does NOT have SAME alerting - which means it cannot limit alarms to a specific region. For my own use that is OK. At home I use other radios that have the SAME feature (Oregon Scientific portable radio).


You say you use the Oregon Scientific Portable Radio at home. Why don't you carry that instead of the Midland HH50? Based on the pics, they both appear to be equally portable.
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#233194 - 10/03/11 11:43 PM Re: Weather radio (oh great, tornado on the road) [Re: Bingley]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2016
Loc: NE Illinois
The Oregon Scientific radios were provided by the company as replacements for an older WRS101 model that apparently had a tendency to not alarm when they were supposed to and were voluntarily recalled by the company. I thought they did well by me providing the replacements.

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