WEATHER_RADIO_LISTENERS_NEWSLETTER_ISSUE 9_DECEMBER_08_2013 and updated and remastered March 2, 2017
Welcome to the ninth issue of the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. In this issue, we have some updates on the newsletter net and the newsletter itself. There is a lot of material that you will expect and some that will be a surprise to you in this issue, so please read on and enjoy. 🙂
This is your friendly author, welcoming you to the second anniversary issue of the newsletter. It has been a ride so far and it continues to be a labour of love for me. I have been honored to have been able to do this for you and to receive help from you when needed.
As for the Weather Radio net, it has moved again. I wasn’t happy with the turn out at times and I also found that it was becoming too much like it had become on Saturday, before moving it to Wednesdays. Now that it has moved to Thursdays at 6:30 P.M. ET, it is much like it has been before. However, I expect to build a much more rounded check in count from both Canada and the U.S.A.
I am still working on other projects for the net in the future and that will also make their way into the newsletter. Check out the next section after the advertisement for Durham Radio. I briefly mentioned my intentions to inject Something different into this issue and well… I have.
Again, thank you all for your support throughout the life of the newsletter and may your support continue through the rest of its and my own life.
Celebrating 20 Years in Business – Durham Radio was founded back in 1993 and is one of the oldest stores of its type in the entire country! Celebrate with us by subscribing to our Flash Deals and get in on special deals on the 20th of every month for the rest of the year!
For more information on the store, please click on their link in the links section of the newsletter and sign up for their newsletter and Flash Deals.
NOW HERE’S SOMETHING COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED – THE SIMPSONS
Weather is a nearly universal subject among humans. It is talked about in many ways and this includes satire. One of the most popular TV show’s right now is The Simpsons. They are no stranger to doing episodes on weather events in their universal town of Springfield. These have included: a hurricane named Barbara in the episode “Hurricane Neddy” (Season 8), blizzards in the episodes “Bart Gets An F” (Season 2), “Mr. Plow” (Season 4) and “Skinner’s Sense Of Snow” (Season 12), an avalanche in the episodes “Mr. Plow” (Season 4), ” Mountain Of Madness” (Season 8) and “The Simpsons Movie” (2007) and a tornado in the episode “Changing Of The Guardian” (Season 24.
As a fan of the show, I have always liked it but never had much of a chance to explore it until now, thanks to my IPhone and the internet. If you want to find out more about the show and make yourself “s m r t”, I mean “s m a r t” in regards to The Simpsons, there are a lot of places to find information on the show. However, here are a couple of options.
And as a bonus, wikisimpsons https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Main_Page
There are a lot of links to go through and a lot of things that I never even knew about until now about the show and its characters. Speaking of which, the show has recently suffered the loss of one of the recurring voices. Marcia Wallace voiced (schoolteacher of Bart Simpson)Mrs. Edna Krabappel in the series until now. She passed away on October 25th due to pneumonia. The show runner Al Jean has said they would retire Mrs. Krabappel like they have done with other characters in the past, due to their unfortunate deaths such as Phil Hartman and his main characters Troy McClure and Lionel Hughtz, among others. She was also known as the receptionist on The Bob Newhart Show. She was 70 years old. We will miss you Marcia. Thanks for making millions laugh over the years.
On a lighter note, The Simpsons has recently announced that they have been picked up for a 26th season. Who knows what may happen. Another weather event maybe? Maybe a character gets killed off? It could happen sometime. I’m sure there are many story lines that have been pitched. Maybe just maybe another snow or wind event or two to give Bart another snow day.
After a long absence in the consumer electronics market, Motorola is now offering the MWR839 Weather Radio, with AM/FM SAME technology. They have been known for their Cell Phones and two-way radios. Some of which have the weather channels and the basic tone alert on them. They have also made Weather Radio’s as late as the 1980’s and as early as the 1950’s to the 1970’s. These units were crystal controlled models. It will be interesting to see how it performs and if this product will take off and spawn more WX radios.
THE WATCHDOG REPORT
If you hear anything that doesn’t sound right on your local Weather Radio transmitter, there are various ways to report a problem that depend on where you live. If you live in The United States, you can call 1-888-697-7263. You can email NOAAat email@example.com, or on the web at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr. If you live in Canada, you can call 1-877-789-7733. You can email the Meteorological Service Of Canada at ECWeather-Meteo@ec.gc.ca, or email the National Weatheradio Canada Team at Wxradio@ec.gc.ca. You can also go on the web at http://www.ec.gc.ca/weatheradio.
On Sunday August 4th, at 1:53 P.M. the Pembroke (WXR VAV559) 162.475…. along with Renfrew (VEA549) 162.425 MHz have both gone into watchdog mode. The tower in Pembroke just cried for help via a network notification message saying it is down. It came back on Tuesday August 6th. Thanks to Jason L. for his contribution.
On Sunday August 11 at 3:16 A.M. the St Catharines WXR VAD320 has just gone into watchdog mode. It came back at 4:58 A.M. the same day.
On Monday September 2nd at 1:12 A.M, the WXR (network in Ontario) has just gone into watchdog mode. Ramond Lee says: “Weatheradio Canada station XMJ225 in Toronto just went down. That station just cried out for help with a Network Message Notification message.” The same thing happened throughout the rest of the province and it also affected the ATAD’s. The author also put out the word on his Twitter account. It all came back around 10:00 A.M. the same day, despite it being Labor Day.
Also on September 2nd it was reported by Harlan Stockdale that the Peterborough WXR VEU671 Weather radio should be showing a watch, but isn’t. To the north-west, severe Thunderstorms are happening, with no alerts on the Weather Radio. He is located just east of Peterborough Ontario.
On Saturday September 7th I received the following email. This was also posted on Facebook. Temagami CFE261 was off the air for days. I was told that the folks at Weatheradio Canada know about it and are working on it. It was reported to have been restored on September 12th. Not sure what time it went down or when it went back on line.
On Monday September 9th Toronto XMJ225 has gone off the air at an unknown time. This was due to a Bell line going down. It came back to life around 3:54 P.M. on Wednesday September 11th.
On Sunday October 6th at around 7:00 P.M. the Toronto WXR XMJ225 had a data corruption problem at the CN Tower site. It was reset at 6:58 A.M. on Monday October 7th. If it had gone on any longer there may have been another watchdog event.
In this issue going forward, you get a chance to sound off on a particular Weather Alert Radio you have bought over the years. If you want to contribute your own review of any Weather Radio Receiver you own, just send it to the author and it will appear in a future issue. We will accept anything weather it’s a marine radio, scanner, crank radio, or just a standalone Weather Radio. However, we won’t allow any reviews on your amateur radio transceiver because not everyone receiving this newsletter is a licensed ham at this time, but most people that go out on the lake during the warmer months may have a marine radio on their boat or in their possession and may also have their Restricted Operators Certificate (Maritime), in order to legally transmit on the VHFmarine band.
The following are reviews of various Weather Alert Radios that are strictly those of the person writing them and not necessarily the author, unless noted.
FRX2 CRANK RADIO from Eton Corporation
I recently picked up a small compact Crank Radio with AM, FM, and Weather band on it. However it doesn’t have the Weather Alert option on it. This unit also has a Smart Phone charger and a flashlight in order to have a source of light while camping or away from home outdoors. It also has the crank to give the internal battery power, when needed. There is also a solar panel to charge the battery in the sun.
My review of the radio is that the Weather Radio reception is less than good, unless you are near a transmitter. However, the Smart Phone charger is useful but be warned that it will charge once before the radio needs to be cranked up for more of a charge. Also, when it is charging it will run down the charge taking battery power with it. For example: if you are charging a Smart Phone and the power of the battery is currently 100 percent and you use it, it will say it is charging but the power will be less than the original. So, the best thing to do when you are charging your phone with it is to let it sit until you really need to use it or just crank and crank while charging up your phone.
I haven’t mentioned the Weather Radio very much because unfortunately there isn’t a lot to say about it, besides what I said earlier in this review. If you are thinking of purchasing this unit make sure you are close enough to the transmitter that it will pick up a Weather Radio signal. Otherwise, the AM and FM reception isn’t too bad on it. However, you need to be careful with how slow you turn the tuning knob to find a radio station to listen to on this unit.
I recommend it but am aware of what was stated above and judge for yourself how you want to use this unit.
WEEKLY/MONTHLY SAME/1050 TONE ALERT TEST REPORTS
The following are reports from listeners on the weekly (RWT), monthly (RMT) SAME tests sent to each site in Canada. However, it is not complete so we need you to send your reports to the author as well as Wxradio@ec.gc.ca. Remember, the 1050Hz Tone test and SAME Required Monthly Test is performed on the first Wednesday of each month just before noon local time. The SAME Required Weekly Test is performed every Wednesday around 11:50 local time.
Date, Call Sign, Tx Frequency (MHz), Name, Alphanumeric or Basic Tone Alert, Test Alarm, Time
Wednesday August 7th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 TONE) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM, (RMT) 11:59 PM, (1050 TONE) 11:59 PM local.
Wednesday August 14th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday August 21th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday August 28nd, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Normandale (VFI621 162.450 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday September 4th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 Hz. tone) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM, (RMT) 11:59 AM, (1050 Hz. tone) 11:59 AM local.
Wednesday September 11th, no report due to VHF band conditions and the Toronto WXR XMJ225 being off the air as stated above.
Wednesday September 18th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Normandale (VFI621 162.450 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday September 25, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday October 2nd, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 Hz. tone alert) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM, (RMT) 11:59 AM, (1050 Hz. tone alert) 11:59 AM local.
Wednesday October 9th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday October 16th, Ottawa (VBE719 162.550 MHZ) (RWT) 11:52 A.M, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday October 23rd, Ottawa (VBE719 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:53 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday October 30, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Normandale (VFI621 162.450 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 A.M. local.
THE CANWARN/SKYWARN REPORT
CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a volunteer organization of amateur radio operators who report severe weather and damage reports to Environment Canada when they see it. Weather reports from amateur radio operators help confirm on the ground what satellites and radars see in the atmosphere. The information gathered from CANWARN is also used to update and fine tune weather warnings, fill in gaps in current observing networks and is also valuable in forensic storm analysis. When Environment Canada issues severe weather watches or warnings, they may alert the CANWARN volunteer Net Controllers in the affected areas. The volunteer Net Controllers contact other CANWARN members on the amateur radio, tell them a watch or warning has been issued and ask them to report signs of approaching severe weather. In the US SKYWARN is the American counterpart to CANWARN in Canada and the purpose for it is exactly the same.
For this section of the newsletter, we will explore how different CANWARN and SKYWARN groups operate in their local region. There is some SKYWARN information from meteorologists in this issue and some tips on how to report severe weather for both CANWARN and SKYWARN. We may not agree with everything that is written here, but it is important to hear from others to see how different groups operate throughout North America.
In this issue, there is nothing new to report.
SKYWARN TRAINING SCHEDULES
As for SKYWARN training schedules, you can go to either of the following sites: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/skywarn/ http://skywarn.org/https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=3D23 http://spotterguides.us
There are many links for you to look at on these sites. 🙂
SPOTTER REPORTING TIPS
How To Make A Report
Amateur radio network (if applicable) – Amateur Radio Condition
in Ontario by email at storm firstname.lastname@example.org
Condition Codes: Code Green Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Code Yellow: Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Watch
Code Red: Tornado Warning
Twitter With Hashtag #onstorm
If you are CANWARN trained you should give the following information to the weather office in order to help them ground truth: Your name, CANWARN ID, contact number, Where you are located and the approximate location of what you are reporting’ Describe what you are witnessing/what you have witnessed, the time of occurrence of the event and duration, its movement (where the phenomenon came from and where it is going).
In the spring/summer severe weather season, please report the following:
Hail (use coins to describe its size such as dime, nickel, quarter, loonie for larger hail, golf ball etc.), Heavy rain that has resulted in local flooding, Damaging winds (damage from tree branches down to more significant tree or structural damage), Large scale rotation in a thunderstorm such as: Wall Cloud – Funnel Cloud, Waterspout and Tornado, Dense fog, visibility less than 1 km
Note: if you are unsure of the rotation or presence of a wall cloud or funnel cloud, watch the area for a few minutes if it is safe to do so to verify the situation.
For the fall / winter, please report the following: Dense fog (visibility less than 1 km), Any occurrence of freezing rain or freezing drizzle, Heavily accumulating snow (2 or more cm/hr), Whiteout conditions in snow / blowing snow (visibility near zero), Rapid freezing of water on road surfaces, or black ice.
For SKYWARN spotters, you should report: Tornadoes or funnel clouds (be very wary of look-alikes; watch for rotation) waterspouts, Wall clouds, especially if they are rotating Hail (Be specific with regard to size; however, YOU SHOULD NOT report MARBLE size) Winds (40 mph or greater; specify whether they are estimated or recorded), large branches downed (specify the diameter of the branch), Trees/power lines downed, Structural damage to buildings such as roof, windows, etc. Rainfall (1 inch or greater in an hour) (NOT a 1″/hr. rate for 10 minutes), 2 inches or greater storm total, Flooding — Streams/Rivers — also, when nearing full bank — Coastal — Street (Road Closures/Washouts, Cars Stuck due to flood waters. Minimum of 6″ of water covering an entire roadway or lane of a major route / highway).For Winter Weather you should report: Precipitation type change (rain to sleet/freezing rain/snow, when the change has “taken hold”), Thunder when it is accompanied by snow, 1/4″ radial ice accretion (from twig outward; not circumference), New Snowfall from the First 2 inches; every 2-3 inches thereafter, 1 inch per hour or greater. If it is less than 2 inches total, give the final total only Give final total: no partial reports please) Report any snow/sleet/freezing rain if not in NWS forecast!
Note: for the email address or Twitter account for your local CANWARN group outside Ontario or local SKYWARN group, check with the local group or Amateur Radio club.
RESULTS OF RECENT WEATHER RADIO NETS
Wednesday August 7th there were 14 check ins, Wednesday August 14th there were 16 check ins, Wednesday August 21st there were 14 check ins, Wednesday August 28th there were 6 check ins, Wednesday September 11th there were 8 check ins, Wednesday September 18th there were 3 check ins, Thursday September 26th there were 10 check ins, Thursday October 3rd there were 4 check ins, Thursday October 10th there were 8 check ins, Thursday October 17th there were 5 check ins, Thursday October 24th there were 9 check ins, Thursday October 31st there were 9 check ins due to the net being canceled because of Halloween.
WHERE TO PURCHASE WEATHER RADIOS ON THE INTERNET
Weather Radios can be purchased at various electronics stores that specialize in radios and other equipment such as:
BML Communications at http://www.bml.ca/
CB World at http://www.werecb.com/
Universal Radio at http://www.universal-radio.com/
Durham Radio at http://www.durhamradio.com/
Radio World at http://www.radioworld.ca/
Burnaby Radio at http://www.burnabyradio.com/
Ambient Weather at http://www.ambientweather.com/
Weather Radio Store at http://www.Weatherradiostore.com/ and many more retailers Throughout North America.
When planning to purchase your first Weather Radio, it is highly recommended to look for the Public Alert identification logo. 🙂
WEATHER INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
In Canada visit: http://www.weather.gc.ca
Weatheradio Canada webpage at http://www.ec.gc.ca/weatheradio
DX Info Centre at http://www.dxinfocentre.com/
to hear what Weather Radio sounds like before buying your first receiver, visit YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/
The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Newsletter is published four times a year. There is some seasonal information to notify recipients of additional weather information available to them that they may not know about (most of which can be found on the NOAA Watch web site http://www.noaawatch.gov/ . At this site you can also subscribe to various weather feeds. The rest of the newsletter remains relatively unchanged due to outreach requirements. The current newsletter is available at the NOAA Weather Radio website http://www.weather.gov/nwr/news.htm At this time, there is no newsletter mailing list to subscribe. If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail email@example.com here is the link to the answers website; http://findanswers.noaa.gov/noaa.answers/consumer/search.asp.
Weatheradio Chat groups, NOAA, FACEBOOK, YAHOO,etc. on the Internet:
WXtoIMG at http://www.wxtoim.com/downloads/
NWS Taunton Amateur Radio SKYWARN Station home page at http://www.wx1box.org
The Maritime Amateur (Ham Radio for Maritimers by Maritimers) http://www.maritimeamateur.ca
VoIP Hurricane Prep Net – Saturday 9pm Atlantic Time / http://www.voipwx.net/
Phil Chadwicks blog at philtheforecaster.blogspot.com
WEATHER RADIO MANUFACTURERS / SUPPLIERS
There are many reliable manufacturers and retailers of Weather Radios sold in Canada and the USA. Below is a list of the recommended models currently for sale.
Note: This list of suggested weather radios is strictly for informational purposes, and not as an endorsement of any specific model or manufacturer.
Midland Radio Corporation http://www.Midlandradio.com W-r300, W-r100B, W-R120, HH54VP, HH54VP2, ER102, Nautico 3 and W-R11 are all manufactured by Midland and sold in North America.
Oregon Scientific http://www2oregonscientific.com W-R601, W-R203 and W-R602 are currently sold in North America.
Uniden Corporation http://www.Uniden.com BC75XLT, BC95XLT, BC125AT, BC346XT, BCT15X, BCD996XT, Homepatrol, and BCD396XT are currently sold in North America.
Sangean USA http://www.Sangean.com CL100, DT400, and PRD9W are manufactured by Sangean and currently sold in North America.
Reecom Electronics Inc. http://www.reecominc.com R-1630 and R-1650 are manufactured by Reecom and currently sold in North America.
Kaito Electronics Inc. http://www.kaitous.comd/KA500, KA101 and KA600 are currently sold in North America.
Alert Works http://www.alert-works.com/ Alert Works desktop model EAR-10 is currently sold in North America.
COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, HOW TO CONTACT ME
If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you wish to submit an article, please email the author Gord at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I would like as usual to give special thanks to those who constantly make contributions to this ninth and other issues, as follows: Jason L, Harlan Stockdale, Bob Robichaud, Denis Paquette, Peter Staples, Malcolm Kendal, Ramond Lee, Ward G Kenedy, Joey Shynn, Gregory Zwicker, Phil Chadwick, Geoff Coulson and Marc Fitkin for their help and contributions to the newsletter, and finally Dennis T. Paganin who has been our web master and co-editor for two years now.
Best and sincere wishes for the holidays, and all the best for 2014.
Sincerely, Gord The Old Reliable.