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Old 07-07-2003, 12:51 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Midland Weather Alarm Clock

During this long weekend of severe thunderstorms and floods that preempted all the local fireworks displays, as well as most of the gas and hot-air balloon activity at the AF museum, my new alarm clock/weather radio with SAME capability got a good workout!

It the Midland 74-200 and I got it from Camping World. The features I like most about it is that it is 12V compatible, and it has an external antenna jack as well as its own antenna. I'm going to wire a 12V cigarette lighter receptacle into the wall sconce light by the bed, and get the appropriate DC plug to lighter plug cable. If necessary because of the Airstream's metal shell, I'll put up an external antenna for it.

It has a 9V backup battery, so it doesn't lose its programming if I move it to another room. I also like that it supports the new alert codes, such as Amber Alert, and all the law enforcement alerts, i.e. terrorism, in addition to man-made disasters, such as chemical or nuclear events.

I programmed in our NOAA county code, and one county to the west, plus the county above and below each, since that's where storms come from. As each county went under watch or warning, it went off with a slow or fast siren, and a yellow or red indicator. The NOAA radio channel came on long enough to hear the alert, then shut off, with the red or yellow indicator on, and the type of alert scrolling across the digital display. It's also loud enough to be heard in the front of the trailer from in the bedroom. The SAME coding is nice so you don't get alerts from counties you aren't interested in, but that are covered by your chosen NOAA station.

This display is backlit with a soft green glow. The only thing to get used to is that it displays the time a little oddly when in the clock mode. For example PM0830 for 8:30PM. I can live with that for an alarm clock that'll wake me up if a tornado is coming! The instruction manual is on-line if you want more info.

I'm very pleased with this unit so far, and can't imagine living or sleeping in an RV without one.
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Old 07-07-2003, 01:10 PM   #2
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Maurice,
I'm using an Oregon Scientific model. http://www.weather4sure.com/product....partmentID=453

I run this off of the internal batteries which are 3 AA's. This lasts about a month. What I like about this is the fact that most adjoining counties operate off the same frequency so I can load up several counties, like you did, and hear the storms warnings prior to the county I'm in. Now this won't work if the county happens to be on a different frequency. I'm glad that the unit you found works on 12 volts since I have a 12 volt plug next to the cabinet which splits the twin beds in my Safari.

You will find that the Trailer Life directory in most cases now lists the county of the campground so its easy to go to the NOAA site and get the specific county code needed. I normally preload my radio before we depart so that the county codes are all loaded for the locations we will be staying at. I also keep a listing that I print before each trip of all the codes in the state, in case I loose the settings.

These are great little tools and give me a sense of security when I'm in unfamilliar territory.

Jack
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Old 07-07-2003, 01:45 PM   #3
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plug in

maurice, radio schack has the plug with good length of cable on for about 7 bucks... i plugged mine into the game recepticle behind the drivers seat of my van and mounted my cb under the seat...saved me the hassle of running a wire to the fuse block in the engine compartment. norby....
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Old 07-07-2003, 02:10 PM   #4
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Thanks, Norby. MCM Electronics lists them for $2.89, but I may wind up with the RS one out of convenience.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:10 PM   #5
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Hey, Jack. I've seen 12V to 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, and 9V adapters. Maybe you could use one of those to plug your radio into your lighter outlets.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:44 PM   #6
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Yes, I have seen these but I do like the one you talked about since it can run off the trailer's 12 volt circuit.

The problem with running my current radio off an adapter is whether the presence of the jack into the radio keeps the battery circuit disabled. I want this unit to operate even if the electric is out....something that I may not know if I'm asleep.

Jack
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:51 PM   #7
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Here's what I had in mind.

They're out of stock on the one that does several voltages.

This would let you run your unit off the trailer's 12V.
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:34 PM   #8
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I like this! Problem is its 4.5 volts and I need 7.5. I'll look and see if they have a unit that runs this voltage.

Jack
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:46 PM   #9
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AA batteries are 1.5V 3X1.5=4.5V
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Old 07-07-2003, 06:18 PM   #10
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One always pays for convenience....dont cha know.....norby
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Old 07-07-2003, 07:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKingMoe
AA batteries are 1.5V 3X1.5=4.5V
I do realize that but embossed on the cover for the jack it says DC 7.5 volts. You think they have something inbuilt to step the power down since there are figuring that there aren't many 4.5 volt adapters out there?

Jack
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Old 07-07-2003, 07:28 PM   #12
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Sounds like it has it's own regulator in there. Here's the multi-voltage model. Earlier today it said the web store was out of stock. Maybe you can find a local store that has this one in stock.
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Old 07-07-2003, 07:32 PM   #13
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I have a R.S. about 2 miles from here. I think I'll stop by tomorrow and see if they have one. It sure will be nice to use that 12 volt recepticle to power the radio. Thanks for the links. I didn't know about these DC to DC plugs.

Regards,

Jack
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