Weather Wednesday – Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week ‘m going to talk about my own creation, The Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. I will take you through the thought process and how it came to be, up to today.
It all started way back in 1988, when I was 14 years old and living with my parents in Toronto Ontario, in the borough of East York. I was serfing the channels, looking for something to listen to on TV. I accidentally found a channel with continuous weather information and it seemed to be coming from the Toronto Weather Office. This was a few months prier to the launch of The Weather Network, formerly known back then as Weather Now on Cable TV.
I found out years later, what I had actually found was a channel which displayed a radar site just north of Toronto in a town called King city Ontario. I became a fan and learned that this was Weatheradio Canada Station XMJ225 in Toronto and it was actually broadcasting on a VHF frequency of 162.400 MHz. This was also before I knew what: VHF, HF or UHF even was. This was new for me and I had no idea that it would lead me to becoming a Ham Radio operator 21 years later.
In 1991, the channel I had monitored went off the air during that summer and I had no other way besides the telephone to get my weather. The other option was The Weather Network but it wasn’t what I wanted. Despite this I would sleep with it on because of the music that would play through the local forecasts, when people weren’t talking.
Fast faorward to 2000, I had discovered that a service called Talking Yello Pages had the weather from Environment Canada on it and I was hooked again. This time, I was determined to eventually get a Weather Radio of my own. I did on February 7th 2001. It was a piece of junk and it paled in comparison to my later receivers. It was an AM/ FM receiver with 3 WX channels. It also took 3 aaa batteries and there was no AC jack for power. To top it off, the reception of my own local WXR was less than bad. I had to put the radio in a certain place in my apartment and I had to extend the telescopic antenna all the way to hear it.
In 2002, I upgraded to a much better desktop model from Radio Shack. It had a tone alert feature and was much more reliable than the previous model. The only problem was that it was a desktop and not a portable unit. I would have liked to have bought something to take with me while traveling.
That came in the form of the ESP2100 from Eton and it was my first SAME radio, before I knew what Specific Area Message Encoding even was. I had purchased it in 2004 and it was alright but something was still not right.
In 2005, I had purchased my first crank radio from Eton, the FR300. That was fine but again, there was no AC power plug for it. All though, I finally purchased an adapter in 2008, which was suitable for this model.
In 2006, I had bought a handheld Marine transceiver from Cobra, the MRHH100VP and I was just happy with it. I was able to weather dx a bit but the only thing was that the audio was distorted but not so much that I couldn’t hear what was being said.
In 2007, I had finally purchased a SAME radio which actually had everything I wanted, which was the Oregon Scientific W-R108, now the W-R602. I loved it but it had a clock and calendar, which required site in order to be able to change said options. I also liked that it had a feature on it where I could set it to change channels on its own, when one channel became too week, while traveling.
My next model was the W-R300 from Midland and this was a perfect unit for me. It had a siren that went off when an alert was issued and it also had an AM/ FM radio which I could use. This is still with me to this day.
My next handheld model was the HH54VP in 2010 and this is exactly what I needed out of a handheld WX radio. It had the siren that went off when a SAME alert is issued like the W-R300 and it also had the Home/ Travel feature of the W-R602. This is the model I take wen I go out of town on long trips and it has been reliable to this day.
Since 2008 I had also purchased a few handheld scanners which also have the Weather Radio on them. My 2 favourites are: BC246T and the BC346XT. I like them because I can not only use them as scanners but I can also use them as Weather Radios and they also have been helpfull to me, when I needed them. I also purchased 2 more desktop WX radios to round out my collection. They are: Midland W-R120 and the Sangean CL-100. The latter is also a great AM and FM radio, with great sound and a very good FM receiver. I listen to my favourite rock station, which is in St Catharines Ontario and it comes in full quieting.
Now to get to how it all started; In 2011 I started searching for some sort of newsletter that was all about Weather Radio but the only one I had found up to that point was the NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio Newsletter. I had enquired about it and I was told that there were no mailing lists for it. I had also offered my own idea’s and they were received warmly. I was also recommended to take what I had been thinking and put it into action, possibly creating my own newsletter.
That August I had sent out an email to friends of mine, who are in a Ham Radio group I was and still in, pitching the idea of creating the newsletter. I had some responses but I also did some traveling north of Toronto to do some pitching and more people came forward and said they would like to join.
In November 2011 a friend of mine had put together a webpage for me, which was partly for my Ham Radio friends and interests but also was meant for my new Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. It came out on November 4th 2011 and the first issue consisted of articles in newsletters I had written that year and some old emails and other things I had wanted to put in a newsletter.
Since then there have been 10 more issues and the mailing list has expanded to about 120 plus members and most have contributed something to varius issues. These include: ham radio operators and people who work for both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio. I have even included The Simpsons in the last couple of issues and of course, on Sundays I have my Simpsons Sunday posts.
The latest issue has just came out and people who have responded to it like it. I am working on Issue 12 right now and I am always looking for more people to put on the mailing list. If you would like to be put on, just let me know by sending me an email at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will put you on and send you all 11 issues. I think you will be surprised at how much the weather has played into our lives, much more than we think of every day. If you would like to take a look at what you will be in for, here is the link to my QRZ webpage. http://www.qrz.com/db/va3wxa
Well, that is this Wednesdays post. Talk to you later and I hope to hear from you in some form or another.

Advertisements

One thought on “Weather Wednesday – Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter

  1. Pingback: Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 12 | Weather Radio Listners Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s