Weather Radio

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by Econ, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    We do not keep up with the latest tech. Does anyone have suggestions for 1) a portable weather radio 2) a good FM-AM radio that will pick up at range.

    We went camping last week and checked the weather for the campground before leaving. All was good. We were a 100 miles from the "big city". The campsite had an occasional 1 bar of cell phone reception. We did not have a TV with us. The campground was sparsely populated. We have an old AM/FM radio in the camper that came from an Estate Sale.

    On night two the camp host came by at dark thirty. There was a tornado warning, 60 mph Straight line wind Watch, thunderstorm watch, hail watch, etc that night. He gave us a list of very local radio stations.

    The next two hours were spent bandscanning for radio stations. The only few that could be received were to the east and they weren't in the tornado box so they had regular programing. Tornadoes in the deep South come from the SW.

    At home we have a tornado radio that you punch your zip code into. This would be difficult if you were on the road camping. On the motorcycle there is a weather band radio that scans 7 frequencies for a broadcasting NOAA station.

    What I like about the Midland tornado radio is the external antennae jack. Is an Aliner with an aluminum frame nothing but a Faraday Cage?

    So what do I want??? I was wondering someone has done the research on weather radios and has a good suggestion. We don't mind paying for quality.

    At home you have access to the TV. This was our first occasion to have a warning while camping. The lesson learned is to make a list of radio stations 80 miles SW of any campsite we will be staying at.

    Thanks
     
  2. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    We have a Midland NOAA weather radio in the camper. You can get an up-to-date weather report on demand or set it to alert you of impending storms or other severe weather.

    Midland-WR120-Weather-Radio_250x220.jpg

    Midlandusa.com/product/wr-120-weather-radio/
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  3. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    it matters less what you get than you test it before needing it, ours has a battery and a crank charger, AM, FM, Weather , light , mini-USB charging input
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    We have an emergency crank radio. Have had it for 15 years ...... other than testing it now and then never used it. Our tow vehicle radios always worked way better than anything else.
     
  5. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    We use the same NOAA WX Receiver as KCSA75. This works great and will respond to selected counties etc...

    In my POPUP trailer I have a NOAA RECEIVER that tunes to an ACTIVE WX CHANNEL when you first power it 'ON'. It is always ON when we are setup at the camp site. Sounds off good and loud alert tones etc... Would not be without a NOAA WX ALERT setup.

    The camp area may or may not have any emergency place to go to. You want to have as much early warning as you can get. Our OTA local TV setup is a hugh help in this regard as well...

    Our TV setup is using the Winegard BATWING antenna up on a antenna setup we put up as soon as we setup for camping. The BATWING is manually turned to pickup local TV reception. It is very rare we will not pick up something...

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image

    I am also an avid Amateur Radio operator and have a Ham Radio in both our truck as well as in the POPUP trailer.

    WX Information is a high priority for us in our OFF-ROAD Camping...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  6. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I picked up this radio at an Estate sale for a whopping $2.00. It was brand new in the box and works fantastic. It is powered by a battery that can be charged by Solar or a hand crank. You can also plug it in to an AC or DC power source.
     

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  7. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    How about buying a cheap Baofang UV-5R handhelds off of Amazon....crazy long battery life and has a built in dedicated button for weather.
     
  8. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Hey Grandpa Don - I assume this is your radio "Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power,Dynamo Crank, Wind Up Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio"
    [​IMG]
    Google image

    I probably should pick up something like this. The ones I have are physically mounted in my house or off-road POPUP trailer. Need to carry something like this in my truck. I notice it says it has 7 pre-programed WX CHANNELS. Curious how this works for you when you go into different areas. I suspect you may have make program changes for the different areas you go to when on the RV trips...

    I also see these may have the same problem I have with my CC POCKET AM/FM/NOAA radio. You can't listen to FM CHANNEL and select ALERT to come on when the NOAA is activated. My CC radio is suppose to do this but I have never got any of that to work haha

    I like the different ways of powering up the emergency radio. Should work for you in about all of the situations you may get into when in travel mode.

    I see this is available from my favorite store being AMAZON haha... I will pick the YELLOW color though haha...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  9. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    Our motorcycle scans the 7 NOAA channels for one that is receiving and locks onto it. They set the transmitters apart enough so you can only pick up a couple of frequencies at a time

    Keep the replies coming!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  10. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Actually mine is also Yellow. But I could only find a picture of a Red one on the Web. There is a knob to select the different weather channels. I haven't played with this one very much, so I am not really familiar with all that it can do. I just know that for $2.00 it was a Hell of a deal.
     
  11. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I noticed this on one of our local TV station weather sites and thought it may be of interest. Probably no good if you don't have cell service, but interesting nonetheless.
    Stormshieldalerts.com

    Named one of the best in the nation, Storm Shield App is available for iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store, and Android on the Google Play Store.

    Storm Shield App provides storm-based alerts for tornado, hurricane, flood, thunderstorm, winter storms and other life-threatening weather events via voice and push notification.

    "Storm-based alerts help reduce false alarms by alerting you to severe weather based on your exact location within a county," according to Storm Shield's developers. "Conversely, traditional county-based alerts can result in false alarms, warning you when your location in the county is not within the threatened area."
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  12. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    One of the local politicians wanted to discontinue the local tornado sirens and go strictly cell phone based. Do you want to be dependent on a strictly tower based warning system? What are the first things to go in a tornado?

    I called the local weather bureau a couple weeks ago. They had never thought about campers and their needs.
     
  13. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I have the MIDLAND WR-120 model from WALMART here in my radio room and I put in the settings it needs and next time I look at it the settings are gone. It still picks up the NOAA station but doesn't go into alert mode now... Used to haha...

    I'm ready to change it for something else...

    I think my neighbor has some thing like you radio. Its yellow anyway... He has it on the hood of his car when he is working on something...

    I got an order going to AMAZON today so think I will add this one... Its around $45 or so...

    ADDED UPDATE: Just ordered it - will be here in the morning at 10PM... Have no idea how they do that haha... geesch

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  14. jbirdt2001@yahoo.com

    [email protected] Active Member

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    We have a dedicated NOAA weather radio from Motorcycle camping years ago also 4 walkie talkie with FRS weather channel for grand kids
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  15. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Well-Known Member

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    I installed a AM/FL/Bluetooth/Weather band "car stereo" in place of the stereo that came with the Niagara. I also pigtailed the existing antenna (it was wound around some pegs behind the mwave) so I can stretch it out through the storage door and gives me 7-10 feet of antenna. Works pretty well.
    I also have a pair of Motorola Talkabouts that have Wx band, but their range isn't that good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  16. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    This one has an alert feature, but I have never heard it go off. I don't really turn it on much. As I said, I got this one at an Estate Sale for only $2:00. It is brand new still in the box. I don't think who ever owned it had never even taken it out of the box. It's a pretty darn cool radio.
     
  17. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    I have decided I will find a tornado radio locally and buy it. Midlands are sold by everybody locally - this is tornado alley.

    Most radios are made by China and the virus has been so politicized the info about how long it can survived on a hard surface is suspect. If my choice is bad reconsideration will happen this summer.
     
  18. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Many of the Midland and Motorola 2-way FRS/GPRS radios have weather receivers with SAME built in (automatic alerts). Weather radio broadcasts are pretty reliable to pick up, in my experience; I don't recall the last time I found myself somewhere that reception of at least one of the broadcasts wasn't available. I like the 2-ways for this because of their portability, and because they also help if I need to stay in touch with kids or something. Although nobody really monitors FRS radio bands for emergency purposes, it is possible that if I were to go missing someone might pick me up on a scanner, too. So there's the safety aspect as well.

    They're not super expensive either; $35-$75 will get a pretty good set of radios. If you really want to throw down some money you can get one with a GPS built in, too. That's always seemed a little lavish to me though.
     
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