Author Topic: Weather Radios  (Read 691 times)
Cole D.
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Weather Radios « on: August 30, 2019, 10:23:40 PM » Author: Cole D.
Does anyone here have a weather radio? The only weather radio we have is our GE Spacemaker kitchen radio. It is not a weather alert radio, it just has the weather/DX band along with the AM and FM.

Also we used to have a Black and Decker Storm Station that too had a weather band, but again no alerts.

I thought about getting a Midland Weather Alert Radio, but I heard you can't turn down volume for the alerts, so it goes off for anything and it's very loud. Therefore, I don't want one.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 12:42:39 AM » Author: HomeBrewLamps
used to have one of those white weather radios.  thinking of getting another one day.
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Medved
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 03:50:33 AM » Author: Medved

I thought about getting a Midland Weather Alert Radio, but I heard you can't turn down volume for the alerts, so it goes off for anything and it's very loud. Therefore, I don't want one.

I dont think it would beanything complex to make the volume adjustable...
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 10:17:22 PM » Author: GE101R
I dont think it would beanything complex to make the volume adjustable...
Midland WR-100 you can. They are good alert radios and you can still find them NOS on Ebay.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 12:39:41 AM » Author: RyanF40T12
Yup, I have a midland weather radio as well.  Handy to have in tornado season, but the only problem is that the channel/frequencies cover a very large area, so I get alerts for things happening 50 miles away. 
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Medved
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 10:31:39 AM » Author: Medved
Yup, I have a midland weather radio as well.  Handy to have in tornado season, but the only problem is that the channel/frequencies cover a very large area, so I get alerts for things happening 50 miles away. 

Isnt that controlled by some subtone coding? So you select the coding for your local area and the thing filters only what bears that code, so what is relevant for you? Or at least that is the system used here for the wireless modes of PA system (although here the receivers, with thespeakers use to beon public utility poles, older ones fed by dedicated wiring, but the wireless versions are taking over.
Although here the system is not designed for home receivers...
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #6 on: September 01, 2019, 12:38:39 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
Nope, we don't have sub tone coding thingies on the national weather service alert radios. 
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 12:39:21 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
http://weatherradios.com/stations-and-frequencies
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #8 on: September 01, 2019, 02:40:40 PM » Author: Medved
And what is then the SAME coding? To me it looks like the subtone...
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #9 on: September 01, 2019, 07:51:44 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
@Medved:
SAME is Specific Area Message Encoding.
Not sure how it works or anything, but its supposed to make so you get alerts that are more for your area.

------------------------------
I would like to get a weather radio, but I'd want one that supports all 7 frequencies (not all models do)
I'd also want one that supports the SAME thing. (only a limited number do from what I've heard)
I'd also prefer something with an audio-out so I could connect it to my existing stereo and listen when I want.

For me, having a weather-radio would be more of an interesting/fun thing (I've always liked watching weather/storms/etc). I have zero fear of ever being hit by a tornado in my area...if I ever see a tornado it'll because I specifically went out into the eastern part of the state to do so.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 08:56:53 AM » Author: Medved
@Medved:
SAME is Specific Area Message Encoding.
Not sure how it works or anything, but its supposed to make so you get alerts that are more for your area.
...

It was more of a rethoric question, pointinfg out it does use things as either subtone (a combination of frequencies below the audio spectrum, usually in the 15..100Hz range, superimposed onto the audio during the whole transmission) or lead-in/out sequences (something like telephone dialing DTMF; there were also single tone systems, where the dedicated tone sequence activates the audio output; used in the US to switch over the local radio stations to the programming of the selected large coverage ones, who are transmitting messages like president speech in case of nation emergencies like war, global disaster or so; sometimes it was activated by error, dont know if it was ever really used for real transmission).

Here the subtone concept is used to allow multiple towns in vincinity to each other to use common frequency for their emergency PA system, so the receivers activate their output only when the signal carries the signature of the given town.
And I think there is also some code used by fire or police dpt, to allow to use the system really locally from their portable transmitters (there the range is limited to few 100's m by just the signal strength, it activates about 3..4 speakers around the transmitting officer)
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 09:23:26 AM » Author: xmaslightguy
@Medved:
One thing I did find out (from someone who works in radio)
Is that the NOAA emergency alert weather broadcasts use part of the low frequency audio spectrum (I can't remember the frequencies - it was either in the teens, or around 9hz), so I would assume that the SAME is likely done with a subtone.
FM Radio stations here also generally cut off anything below 55hz in music.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #12 on: September 02, 2019, 12:15:03 PM » Author: Cole D.
@Medved:
SAME is Specific Area Message Encoding.
Not sure how it works or anything, but its supposed to make so you get alerts that are more for your area.

------------------------------
I would like to get a weather radio, but I'd want one that supports all 7 frequencies (not all models do)
I'd also want one that supports the SAME thing. (only a limited number do from what I've heard)
I'd also prefer something with an audio-out so I could connect it to my existing stereo and listen when I want.

For me, having a weather-radio would be more of an interesting/fun thing (I've always liked watching weather/storms/etc). I have zero fear of ever being hit by a tornado in my area...if I ever see a tornado it'll because I specifically went out into the eastern part of the state to do so.


Our GE one has all 7 channels on the WX band. But some are static and the ones that do pick up are all playing the same thing. I don't remember how our Storm Station worked, but it was manually tuned on the same scale as the AM/FM.

Neither of these radios have the alert system though.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #13 on: September 02, 2019, 12:25:50 PM » Author: GE101R
FYI
Many NOAA Weather Radio receiver models can be set to a muted "standby" or "alert" mode, and will turn on when the alerting message is received. Depending on the receiver brand and model, the receiver will either be activated by the SAME code or the 1050 Hertz warning alarm tone. Upon activation, some receiver models may have a flashing light or other visual attention signal. In any case, the 10-second 1050 Hertz warning alarm tone serves as an audible attention signal.
For receiver models activated by the 1050 Hertz tone, the receiver will activate whenever the tone is received.
For SAME-decoding receivers,the owner programs the county SAME codes for the county or counties he (she) wishes to be alerted for, thereby eliminating unwanted alerts for counties in the coverage area that are not of concern to the listener.
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Re: Weather Radios « Reply #14 on: September 02, 2019, 11:01:01 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
The problem here is that the signals travel pretty far so if a transmitter signal reaches areas that are not affected and areas that are affected, it's going to send out the same "alert" signal on that frequency assigned to the transmitter.  I So for example, I live in Douglas County, Colorado.  However- there is not a transmitter exclusive to Douglas County.  There is a transmitter in Franktown, which is in Douglas County, but that transmitter also reaches into Arapahoe, Elbert, El Paso, Denver, and parts of Jefferson Counties. So I can monitor that one.. but because that transmitter reaches into those counties, any alert sent out will cause the radios to alarm for whomever is monitoring that frequency.  There is also a transmitter in Denver.  I live about 20 miles south of Denver.  The one in Denver, reaches many communities in a 150+ mile radius.  So people's weather radios in Denver will go off.. and so will others 150 miles away.  It's better than nothing, but annoying as all can be.  Some of you out in the eastern United states have more centralized transmitters, especially those of you in tornado alley. 

https://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/stations.php?State=CO 
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