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 > a good weather radio

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garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 04/10/21 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just returned from a trip to Oklahoma and while on the trip I broke out our old crank style weather radio/flashlight. Cranked my bloody arm off and barely got static. Long story short am in the market for a new one.
A complication to the issue is that we were in a dead zone. No cell service nor wifi at all. No radio or tv, nothing, just wind.
So with all this in mind I really doubt that a cell phone app would work. What is out there that is effective, but reasonable price wise, and doesn't rely on cell signal nor wifi or 110?
thanks


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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 04/10/21 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plenty of battery powered weather radios are out there that have weather band coverage. Some CB and FMS/GMRS radios have weather band receivers built-in, as well.

It may well be that you were not in an area covered by the weather radio transmitters, or not covered too well. A better radio could be more sensitive and better able to get marginal signals, but some places you just don't have service. You can find coverage maps here.





2oldman

NM

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Posted: 04/10/21 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So a weather radio will work with no signals of any kind?

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/10/21 01:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garmp wrote:

Just returned from a trip to Oklahoma and while on the trip I broke out our old crank style weather radio/flashlight. Cranked my bloody arm off and barely got static. Long story short am in the market for a new one.
A complication to the issue is that we were in a dead zone. No cell service nor wifi at all. No radio or tv, nothing, just wind.
So with all this in mind I really doubt that a cell phone app would work. What is out there that is effective, but reasonable price wise, and doesn't rely on cell signal nor wifi or 110?
thanks


Chances are good if you are not within OTA TV/radio stations you WILL be out of range for the NOAA Weather station frequencies.

Retry your weather radio at home..

NOAA weather radio systems are low power transmitters at 1Kw or less, they often depend on agreements with existing tower owners like TV and radio stations to place their transmitter and antennas.

1 KW in VHF on a good day and depending on the terrain may get you about 50-60 mile area of coverage around the transmitter antenna.

I would recommend you review what transmitters are available, you can find that info at https://www.weather.gov/nwr/station_listing before condemning your radio.

BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 04/10/21 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Midland WR100 that we carry with us. It has the SAME system which we program for the county that we are in. We print out the SAME county codes by state before we leave. If that radio does not work (sometimes it does not) we have FRS radios with weather bands. I also have a marine radio that I carry on my boat wih weather. These are over the air receivers, no internet required.


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Wiscampsin

Wisconsin USA

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Posted: 04/11/21 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Same as BarabooBob above but I also program the codes for the surrounding counties next to the one we are camping in. You never know how the storm will track and I like a little heads up.

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 04/11/21 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

So a weather radio will work with no signals of any kind?


Mostly? They pick up radio wave signals from the various NWS stations. That being said, my very good quality Midland weather radio quit picking up a signal because our house sits low on a lake; and not that the surrounding hills are dotted with cell towers, it's like the NWS signal is blocked :-(

For the most part, a battery-operated weather radio will always work. Personally, I like the ones with a volume control for the alert signal, because they can be loud enough to raise the dead inside an RV!

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/11/21 11:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M wrote:

2oldman wrote:

So a weather radio will work with no signals of any kind?


Mostly? They pick up radio wave signals from the various NWS stations. That being said, my very good quality Midland weather radio quit picking up a signal because our house sits low on a lake; and not that the surrounding hills are dotted with cell towers, it's like the NWS signal is blocked :-(

For the most part, a battery-operated weather radio will always work. Personally, I like the ones with a volume control for the alert signal, because they can be loud enough to raise the dead inside an RV!


I think 2oldman was eluding to the fact that if you CAN'T get ANY TV/RADIO broadcast signals of any kind then the odds are pretty slim that ANY "weather radio" is going to be received either.

While NOAA does a fantastic job of trying to cover as much area as possible, they DO have limitations and there ARE places with no coverage at all.

NOAA tends to "share" towers with broadcasters and even local county governments. I have one local NOAA frequency that the transmitter and antenna is located on a REA (Rural Electric Act) power company Co-op communications tower.

You can spend $1K on a Ham radio rig and antenna and it may work only slightly better than a $10 portable weather radio..

There have been times that my local NOAA station has been "off the air" or severely reduced service area due to antenna or transmitter issues.. Not even my $1K worth of Ham equipment will pick that station up when that happens..

OP NEEDS to check there current radio in a location that they KNOW it should work BEFORE BLAMING THE RADIO. Spending money on a new radio without checking the old one is not going to be helpful, especially if where they are camping does not have a NOAA transmitter close enough either.

Since OP did not give details on where they were camping, I am not able to determine IF there was ANY NOAA stations close enough, if it is farther than 50 miles, chances are that NO weather radio is going to work..

That information IS on the NOAA page I linked above.

BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 04/11/21 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try checking the NOAA radio coverage map at https://www.weather.gov/nwr/Maps. It shows what areas are covered. My marine radio can scan all of the NOAA channels so if in doubt we leave it on all night. If any of the channels sounds their ALert tone, we hopefully will hear it.

CavemanCharlie

Storden,MN

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Posted: 04/11/21 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Radio Shack is back in buisness and I recently bought a crank weather radio from them. Might have been able to get the same thing on Amazon cheaper though. I didn't check.

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