Weather Wednesday – Weather Radios Part 1

Welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week I’m going to start my series of discussions on individual WX radios. I have a few and they are all quite unique in their own ways including: the menu layouts, the designs and their features.
The other reason for this is because summer severe weather season is coming up and it is important to be prepared for potential severe weather, with all manner of ways to protect yourself and report severe weather. Last week, I discussed the latter with both CANWARN and SKYWARN.
Further, in the US, NOAA Weather Radios are sometimes thought of as indoor sirens. The other nice thing is that you can buy one of these units in either Canada or the US and it will work in both countries.
This week I will talk about my first true WX receiver as they are designed now. It is the Oregon Scientific W-R602, formerly known as the W-R108. This unit is a handheld model and it is nice and easy to cary around with you. It runs on either 3 AA batteries or on a rechargeable battery pack which is provided when you purchase it. Oh, it also comes with an AC adapter and a charging dock for charging the pack, when it dies.
Its features include: a clock,calendar and the Weather Alert radio itself. It and the majority of the models I will be discussing here has SAME or Specific Area Message Encoding. This allows you to program the radio to alert you of weather watches and warnings for your area. You do not have to worry about getting alerts from outside your local area with this feature.
Also, if you have a preference for what language you would like to read the text in, it is in your choice of: english, spanish or french. Both NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada have transmitters which broadcast information in all 3 languages, but not all in one. Check either the Weatheradio Canada or NOAA Weather Radio web pages for more information on various transmitters and the languages they broadcast the weather information in for you.
Another neat feature is a Home-Travel mode. This is one of 2 radios I will spotlight here, which have this particular feature. There is a button on the unit which if pressed and held, will put it into travel mode. This will allow it to change frequency automatically when it is looking for the strongest channel. To put it back in Home mode press and hold the Home/Travel button and it will return to Home mode. This is quite convenient if you are on the road and you are going out of town. You just need to make sure that there is a transmitter both where you are located and where you are going. If so, it will find it easily. If not, it will be continuously looking and that will probably drain the battery pack or AA batteries. I will get into more detail about this feature next week, when I spotlight a similar model..
This radio was my first one and was one of the harder ones for me to operate because the menu layout was made difficult by the lack of keys to press. As I discuss other models you will understand why I like others over this one, for that reason alone. The other thing to keep in mind is when it alerts you the volume goes up to its maximum and it stays that way untill the SAME message is done. It is still available and you can google it and I’m sure you will find it somewhere.
Well, that’s it for this weeks post. Be sure to read next weeks Weather Wednesday post, when I spotlight another model of WX Radio.


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