Weather Wednesday – Weather Radios And Scanners

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. In this post we will talk about the relationship between Weather Radios and scanners. It seems they have come together but most people either don’t care or don’t know how the weather alert works on most scanners, especially ones that have SAME weather alert as one of their features. This includes the more expensive base, mobile and handheld scanners from Uniden, and others. We will talk about scanners that happen to have weather alert as one of their features. 
The newsletter author writes: “I can only speak about the Uniden Bearccat scanners because I currently own 2 handhelds and they both have SAME WEATHER ALERT as a feature.” We will discuss the alert options that are available on the scanners that were referenced above.
First, there is the basic tone alert that allows your scanner to open up the Weather Radio to the 1050 Hz tone. Another option is SAME Weather Alert, and the scanner will open up the weather alert to a SAME message. The scanner will open up to a 1050 Hz tone if it is the first signal the radio hears, even though it is in the SAME alert option, then if it hears a SAME message it reacts normally to it. When a SAME message is heard by the unit it generates different sounds, depending on if the alert is a watch, warning or advisory. The warning tone is the same one the scanner generates when it hears the basic 1050 Hz tone.
Another thing that should be discussed is the Weather Alert Priority option. Your scanner will check the weather channels every few seconds or so, then go back to what you are listening to. The only thing it checks for is the tone alert! If you want to check this out for yourself, go ahead but take a look at your scanners manual before trying this.
All scanners with Weather Alert have a WX button that you can use by pressing FUNC- then WX. The WX button will be different, depending on the model of your scanner! With the BC246T, BC396T and SC230, you can either, press the MENU key and scroll to WX or press and hold FUNC and press WX to get to the WX operation. From there, you now can go through all the Weather Alert Options. After pressing FUNC and WX or scrolling to the WX operation, you must press the ENTER key to activate it.
With the BC346T scanner, BCD996XT, BCD396XT and BCT15X accessing the weather channels can be done by either doing it manually with the scroll nob (as mentioned before) or you can press FUNC and WX to activate the Weather Alert Priority or press FUNC then hold WX until you hear the weather channels. To go to the weather alert function, press FUNC then the 0 key. You are now asked by the scanner to select which weather alert option you want. Scroll to it then press the scroll nob to activate the weather alert option you would prefer. If you activate Weather Alert Priority, press FUNC 3 times or the SCAN key to get back to normal operation. If you are in WX alert mode and you choose one of the alert options by simply scrolling to it, your scanner will now become a Weather Radio until you press SCAN to go back to normal operations.
Note: to save battery power press the hold button on your scanner so it doesn’t continuously scan the WX channels. It will normally start at channel 1 and after pressing hold, use the scroll nob to tune the scanner to your local WX radio channel. The channel numbers and their frequencies are listed in the second issue of the newsletter.
Hopefully this has clarified how to use the Weather Alert option for scanners and you understand more how it works. Not everyone uses there scanner primarily as a scanner. There are those who like to use the other features to hear different things in different situations. For example: if you are a ham you can use it as a monitor for other frequencies during public service events that require you to monitor multiple frequencies at once, or you can use the weather alert option for CANWARN or SKYWARN if you want to cover all the bases to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening with weather alerts issued in and around you. There are other examples we could use but that would take up space.

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