Best Weather Radios? Worst? Discuss.

I've owned Radio Shack weather radios since I was little. I got my first in 1976, when I was in the fourth grade. :) It was the dark navy blue Realistic weather radio. The really cool thing about it was that I could use the tuner to hear marine radio and marine phone calls, plus police broadcasts.

My latest is the yellow Radio Shack Weather Radio Alert, that has 7 channels and an alarm. I bought it about 5 years ago.

I wish I still had my first one, though. :sad5: :sad2: :(
 
Saul, first of all, let me vouch for Radio Shack. I have Radio Shack equipment everywhere; weather radios, scanners, CBs, HAM radios, portable TV, etc. I've been nothing but happy with Radio Shack brands. Heck, half my car is wired with Radio Shack gadgets! *LOL* All my antennas that didn't come with radios are all radio shack. I'll vouch for them on all their stuff I've used, including weather radios.

I can't remember the model right off hand, but I have a desktop WX radio which I got on clearance which is terrific! I also have a portable WX radio from radio shack which I use all the time for chasing (and whenever else I'm mobile). Both have worked wonderfully and I'm very happy with both of them! My portable HAM radio (my little 75mW) also has WX frequencies in it, and that, too, works well (minus not having SAME).

Stick with Radio Shack brands!
 
All of my weather radios are Midland. The handheld version I have is nice, but doesn't handle "extreme" temperatures very well. Being a ham I could start in on Radio Shack (discontinued all ham gear), but I won't :?

Tim
 
I have a Radio Shack wx radio...I don't remember the brand offhand. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. It receives AM/FM/TV/WX, and that's about all I can say postive for it. There's no "Alert" setting, and no built-in antenna. To hear anything, I'd just plug a tape adapter into the headphone/antenna jack and pop it into my tape deck. That helps the reception and you can hear it anywhere in the car.

I also have a handheld Oregon Scientific that I'm in love with. It was $20 when I bought it and has lasted through 5 years of torture (albeit with some duct tape and aluminum foil). I think OS discontinued it a few years ago, which is a shame. Another good model is the Radio Plus WA-01. It is a desktop/portable radio with AM/FM/WX reception and AC or battery power. At $14 dollars, it was a steal, but I haven't seen one like it in years.

Digressing, why the heck don't department stores sell wx radios anymore? Both my Oregon Scientific and Radio Plus models I bought a Meijer. The only time a see a wx radio in a department store anymore is when they're built into FRS/GMRS radios.


Ben
 
Ben Cotton writes:

I have a Radio Shack wx radio...I don't remember the brand offhand. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. It receives AM/FM/TV/WX, and that's about all I can say postive for it. There's no \"Alert\" setting, and no built-in antenna. To hear anything, I'd just plug a tape adapter into the headphone/antenna jack and pop it into my tape deck. That helps the reception and you can hear it anywhere in the car.

Maybe you should have gotten a radio that was specifically a weather radio-nothing else. You might have had better luck. ;)

I also have a handheld Oregon Scientific that I'm in love with. It was $20 when I bought it and has lasted through 5 years of torture (albeit with some duct tape and aluminum foil). I think OS discontinued it a few years ago, which is a shame. Another good model is the Radio Plus WA-01. It is a desktop/portable radio with AM/FM/WX reception and AC or battery power. At $14 dollars, it was a steal, but I haven't seen one like it in years.

If I had money, I wouldn't mind picking up an Oregon Scientific weather radio out of curiosity.

Digressing, why the heck don't department stores sell wx radios anymore? Both my Oregon Scientific and Radio Plus models I bought a Meijer. The only time a see a wx radio in a department store anymore is when they're built into FRS/GMRS radios.

Ben

In my neck of the woods, the only place you could buy a weather radio was at Radio Shack. But I've been using their weather radios for nearly 30 years, and I don't have any complaints. (shrug)

8)
 
Originally posted by Tony Laubach
Saul, first of all, let me vouch for Radio Shack. I have Radio Shack equipment everywhere; weather radios, scanners, CBs, HAM radios, portable TV, etc. I've been nothing but happy with Radio Shack brands. Heck, half my car is wired with Radio Shack gadgets! *LOL* All my antennas that didn't come with radios are all radio shack. I'll vouch for them on all their stuff I've used, including weather radios.

I can't remember the model right off hand, but I have a desktop WX radio which I got on clearance which is terrific! I also have a portable WX radio from radio shack which I use all the time for chasing (and whenever else I'm mobile). Both have worked wonderfully and I'm very happy with both of them! My portable HAM radio (my little 75mW) also has WX frequencies in it, and that, too, works well (minus not having SAME).

Stick with Radio Shack brands!

I bet you own Radio Shack stock, too. ;) :D

Radio Shack is a cool place. They've made a considerable amount of money off of me, too.

8)
 
Probably the best wx-radio I've had so far is a desktop radio from Maxon. This was in 1990-91 though so I don't know the exact type of radio it is, or if it's even still made. But it's the only radio I've had so far that I could get a clear reception more than 50 miles from the transmitter.

Worst I've had is a marine radio/wx radio combo made by Jensen. The reception on the wx radio was very limited - perhaps only 15-20 miles.

The handheld Oregon Scientific radio has some limits as far as reception goes as well, and the 3 AA batteries it runs on need to be replaced every month if listened to on a daily basis....especially if it's kept in standby mode.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Wear
Probably the best wx-radio I've had so far is a desktop radio from Maxon. This was in 1990-91 though so I don't know the exact type of radio it is, or if it's even still made. But it's the only radio I've had so far that I could get a clear reception more than 50 miles from the transmitter.

Worst I've had is a marine radio/wx radio combo made by Jensen. The reception on the wx radio was very limited - perhaps only 15-20 miles.

The handheld Oregon Scientific radio has some limits as far as reception goes as well, and the 3 AA batteries it runs on need to be replaced every month if listened to on a daily basis....especially if it's kept in standby mode.

I had a Maxon Weather Radio as well, it was square and white with two buttions (and a switch on the bottom to change frequency, excellent reception and a very loud alarm.
 
Originally posted by Tim Stoecklein
All of my weather radios are Midland. The handheld version I have is nice, but doesn't handle \"extreme\" temperatures very well. Being a ham I could start in on Radio Shack (discontinued all ham gear), but I won't :? Amen Tim...If it werent for hams...there would be no radio shack stores left to morph into the present electric toys and junk store that they are today. I only go there as a last ditch effort to get something....I will go to walmart before radio shack. When they ditched the ham operators..and CBers..that was their fatal blow....If you need gang banger stereo speakers or crappy batteries..then go to radio shack. In my books from the 1970's they were a TEN...now they are a Two in rating...I hope I said all the things you wanted to. :evil:

Tim
 
I don't know about other Radio Shack stores, but I stopped going to our local one when the guy at the counter didn't know what a coaxial cable is... Seems like they should do better screening of employees, at least at the one near my house...
 
Hahaha, Alan I'm not bashing you when I say this, but your post looks like I wrote the whole thing :lol: Those quote buttons can be tricky. Though I do agree with you.

Ben, I picked up my handheld WX radio at Walmart. When I was in Michigan I walked into Meier and asked where their weather radios were. They sent me to the section with the WX/AM/FM alarm clock radios were, and those only had THREE of the NWS channels on them. You'd think the EMD's who are preaching to people to go buy them would make sure they were making available some radios that would work in the area. :?

Tim
 
Originally posted by rdewey
I don't know about other Radio Shack stores, but I stopped going to our local one when the guy at the counter didn't know what a coaxial cable is... Seems like they should do better screening of employees, at least at the one near my house...

**snicker**

Don't you HATE that??? :D :laughing3:

Lately, I've been nostalgic about my first weather radio, since I could listen to other things like I described. I'm thinking about getting a hand-held scanner from Radio Shack

I just hope I don't get a dunce for an employee.

:evil4:
 
I guess I have a lot of luck with my local radio shack store. For those in the area (or just curious), it's the Southwest Plaza (in-mall) store. Ron, the store manager, is a radio operator himself and is good friends with the guys at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Aurora, so I can at least go to him for advice on radios. As for Radio Shack brands, never have I had to return one for defects, so I've had nothing but good experiences with them! :)
 
Originally posted by Tony Laubach
I guess I have a lot of luck with my local radio shack store. For those in the area (or just curious), it's the Southwest Plaza (in-mall) store. Ron, the store manager, is a radio operator himself and is good friends with the guys at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Aurora, so I can at least go to him for advice on radios. As for Radio Shack brands, never have I had to return one for defects, so I've had nothing but good experiences with them! :)

Yeah, we need a Radio Shack like yours, where the manager of the store isn't some yellow haired pin-cushion who can't stap yapping on the cell phone (and all of his friends working there) LOL. I have been to other Radio Shacks where the employees are intelligent and helpful, and they do sell good products.

Seriously though, when I asked the guy if I could get some bulk coaxial cable, he had to ask another employee what that was, and the other employee replied "I don't think we carry that", then I decided to go somewhere else...
 
The main problem I have at Radio Shack is that I won't need help when I first walk into the store. But over the next several minutes, 2 or more people will invariably walk in from off the street directly to the counter and will need all kinds of complicated help (like starting a cell phone service, finding an item, etc). Then I just want to get the heck out of there, and will wait in line to be checked out.

Tim
 
I've had a Midland handheld (250 SAME) since 2003.... and an Oregon Scientific before that for several years. Both were nice. The Midland has been more durable than I thought it would. The antennas leave much to be desired.

I'm curious, does anyone have a Midland WR-300 base station? Good/bad?

And yes, Radio Shack is terribly annoying with their sales model. I rarely shop there anymore due to being treated like fresh meat every time I walk into the store.
 
I'm using a radio shack desktop weather radio with SAME, a backlit display, and a remote temperature sensor (which I don't use). I got an adapter to run it off the car's power, but it also has a battery to keep the time. Some adhesive velcro on the bottom keeps it securely seated on the center console.

The radio is nice in that it automatically finds the channel with the strongest signal for you. Its not meant as a mobile unit, so when you have to switch stations while on the chase, going through the menus can be a pain. My work around for that is to pull the power plug and push it back in. The radio resets itself and finds the best channel.

I actually find that annoying tone useful. It goes off without having to listen to constant cycling of the dialogue, and a tap of the button turns it off and switches to the warning The display lights up with the warning type as well.

The reception is decen't, but doesn't compare to what my ham rig can pick up with the external antenna. I managed to snap the antenna off on my weather radio while fumbling around in the dark during a chase in Minnesota. Now its held on by electrical tape, but still picks up a signal. I'm thinking about replacing it with an external antenna, which I'll probably have to make myself. Then I'll get good reception and not have to tie up one of my ham receivers when I lose reception.
 
Thought I'd bring this back up to the top since storm season isn't too far away and people might want to consider adding a wx radio to their equipment list, if they don't have a wx radio already.

My first was a Radio Shack (actually it was a Realistic, which tells how old I am). It was cube-shaped, small tuning knob on the bottom, a bar along one side toggled on/off, no alert feature.

Now all of my ham rigs have three memory channels with the NWR freqs used in Oklahoma in them. That way I don't have to carry my handheld Midland wx radio with me, unless I want to pick up NWR and still monitor other freqs.

Then, I could carry my PRO-95 scanner. I set WX as the priority channel.

I mainly use the Midland handheld to listen to while getting dressed in the morning. Of course, I try to catch the Hazardous Weather Outlooks during storm season, since I effectively don't have Internet access at home.

I also have a Midland desktop model, new and unopened. I won it at a ham radio club Christmas Party, just like I won the handheld a few years ago.
 
My first NOAA WX Radio was a Midland base model bought by my family in 1982. It was one of the funny shaped ones that sat on a base, the top portion was thin and narrowed toward the top and had a brown colored case. It was used for years and provided good service.

Sometime around 1990 I bought my first police scanner and haven't used a traditional weather radio since. The one I currently have is a 100 channel Uniden Bearcat that has the tone alarm feature. Interestingly, the alarm on mine sounds like a cow mooing. LOL. It will most definately wake you from the deepest sleep however.

For travel use (and for taking to my storm cellar), I have a Uniden 100 channel SportCat portable/rechargeable that I use.

I prefer scanners since they can be used for so many other things (monitoring of HAM nets, police, fire, EM, etc). They just seem like more bang for the buck.

-George
 
i have no problem with RS.we have two of them and in both places,they know me.i have taken them out to my car and showed them the inside and outside.since then,when i walk in,they all go out of their way to help me.they even call other stores in the surrounding areas to find what i need.
the best cb/wx radio that i have is my Cobra 25 which i bought off one of my friends back in 99' for $25.it has a built in tone alert that goes off(even when not in use)to alert for weather alerts.
it has been in three car wrecks and got a bath during one chase and it still works.been with me for 6 years now and still going strong.
 
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