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Old 05-05-2004, 10:57 AM   #1
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Weather Radio on eBay

Midland 74-200 Weather Radio/Alarm Clock on eBay.

This IS NOT MINE but is the same one I paid about twice that for at Camping World. All you need is an adapter cord from Radio Shack to run it off 12VDC.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:58 AM   #2
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My wife and I bought a small bright yellow handheld weather radio from Walmart for I think $20. I think it was a Midland. It also had an alarm clock and 12V plug. But then we were in Best Buy and we found a kewl set of handheld walkie talkies with a 7 mile range (yeah right) AND each function as a weather radio. The set I believe was $50--Uniden brand. The radios work great when we're doing any backing in a campsite or a parking lot. I also like having the radio along when I go kayaking. If my wife is on land I can chat with her and also keep track of the local weather. Very handy package! The only thing missing is the alarm clock. Also no 12V DC. They use 4 AA batts and we use NiMh batteries for them. We have dozens of those batteries everywhere. We also use these really nice Sanyo chargers that have a 120V plug built in that folds down when not in use and it comes with a 12V cord and a set of 4 NiMh batts all in a compact package for $20 from Walmart. I saw a set of Motorola radios with weather bands AND lithium battery packs and charge bases at Sam's once. They weren't cheap though. I think they were $90 to $130 for the set.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:16 AM   #3
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We have weather on our marine VHF and handheld CB also, but they're not the same.

First question is, will your weather radio wake you up for a tornado warning at night? i.e. does it have an alert?

Second question is, will it let you sleep when an alert goes off from the weather station you're tuned to, but for an area (county) you've chosen not get get alerts for. i.e. does it have SAME technology?

The Midland sits quietly until there is an alert in one of the areas I've programmed in. This ensures we get the alerts that apply to us and DON'T get the alerts from areas other than the ones I've programmed in.
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:51 AM   #4
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I...well er uhh...let's see it's got double AA's... Well the little yellow handheld Midland we got at Walmart for $20 was exactly as you describe. I can say it needed the 12V power cord because it would only last for one night on battery power. I suppose you could change the batteries everyday and be ok. As for the Uniden set it has a weather alert mode. You set it to alert mode and it functions as a regular GMRS/FMS and monitor the weather channel silently at the same time. You can choose between 7 different weather channel/frequencies so you only get the alerts for your area. Don't think it has the 15 county thing you refer to but sheesh I don't like fiddling with things to that extent. Probably wouldn't use it if it had it! It's enough to figure out which weather channel to monitor.

Here is the feature list:


General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
Range Transmits Uo to 7 miles (yeah in a vaccum chamber!)
22 Channels (15 GMRS, 7 FRS)
MAX Power Boost Button
38 CTCSS Privacy Codes
Backlit LCD Display
Battery Strength Meter
VOX (Voice Activated Transmit)
NOAA Emergency / Weather Channels
Emergency / Weather Alert
Keypad Lock
Channel Scan
Channel Monitoring
5 Call Tones
Belt Clip Included
Headset Jack
8 Duracell Ultra AA Alkaline Batteries Included

They have another model that comes with two AA chargers just like the ones I got from Walmart and a set of VOX headsets. Here's a link:

http://www.uniden.com/product.cfm?product=GMRS720-2

Tried to find the Midland radio at Walmart but it's not listed. I've seen it in numerous Walmarts in the electronics section.
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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Is this your Midland?

A particular weather channel covers a huge area... many counties. Alerts from many of those don't apply to the area you are in. You can become a bit desensitized to alerts when many of them don't apply to you. It's worth having, and making the effort to learn how to find and program the SAME codes.

Besides the 12VDC capability, the 74-200 also has an external antenna jack, if you find the Airstream body interfering with reception of a distant station.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:12 PM   #6
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Yup that's it! Only it's....oops now that I think of it it was $40 at Walmart! Sorry folks! I was thinking $20 But I remember now we got the Unidens for the same price as that one but it had the two-way radio feature. I like the Uniden two radio/weather combo over the Midland handheld. There is no question the 74-200 is the one you would want to have next to your bed. I didn't know you could narrow it down so close to your exact county. I'm curious how complicated it is setting it for your particular location though?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:16 PM   #7
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...I wonder how fast a 2x4 needs to be going to breach an AS...

Of course, that is the least of your worries -- that 75 foot silver maple tree you are under is probably hazard #1...

Maurice, I am glad you reminded me -- I planned on upgrading our radio with one of these, and I just plain forgot with the warranty issues and such.

-RobH
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Old 05-07-2004, 08:49 AM   #8
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It isn't difficult to set up the SAME codes, but it varies on make and model of radio.

Go here to find the SAME codes for the counties you're interested in.
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:33 AM   #9
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This is the Oregon Scientific unit that I use. http://www2.oregonscientific.com/catalog/2_11_241.asp

One of the major advantages of this unit over the similar looking Midland is that it will monitor six different S.A.M.E. codes at the same time. This is great when I go on trips. I preload in the codes for the locations I am staying at. No need to remember to change to monitor a specific code when I arrive at my destination.

The major problem with this radio is a weak clip which secures the rear cover of the unit. In the standby monitor mode (which is where you normally will be in when you are camping) the 4 AA batteries will last about 1 month. Repair from Oregon Scientific is non exsistant for this radio. If it breaks (and you are out of warranty), you throw it away.

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Old 05-07-2004, 11:27 AM   #10
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The Midland 74-200 can monitor 16 SAME codes simultaneously.
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:47 AM   #11
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That SAME setting looks easy enough. This is probably a dumb quesiton... But I can't help but wonder if a storm is blowing in another county and I have it tuned only to the county I'm in so I can sleep am I going to get an alert when the storm is right on top of me?
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe
The Midland 74-200 can monitor 16 SAME codes simultaneously.
Yes that is a nice one.

The 74-250C is the one that I think Wal-Mart has sold that is the yellow hand held model. I bought it on clearance for $20 and ended up taking it back once I found it could only monitor one SAME code at a time even though the unit stored multiple codes.

The Trailer Life Campground is nice in that they list the counties that a city is located in. That way you can do an easy lookup on the NOAA site for the county code.

Jack
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:52 AM   #13
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By the way I noticed Walmart has the 74-200 listed on their website for $42.37 with AC adapter. Had an out of stock notice on it. Must be selling like hot cakes. Course hot cakes don't sell like they used to...
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joossens
That SAME setting looks easy enough. This is probably a dumb quesiton... But I can't help but wonder if a storm is blowing in another county and I have it tuned only to the county I'm in so I can sleep am I going to get an alert when the storm is right on top of me?
When alerts are issued they usually are far enough in advance that the county you are in will be in the warning or watch area. Now you may not get a big advance warning but you should get some advance notice, unless its developing right on top of you.

If you are really concerned you can program the surrounding county codes into your radio. The key is that the radio needs to monitor all the codes you put in at the same time. Not just one. Some units talk about the numbers of codes that can be stored but in essence only one code can be monitored. That's not what you want.

One argument against adjacent county monitoring is the fact that all storms in that county may not be heading for you. Dependent on county size, it may not be anywhere close. That's why the SAME technolgy was developed to keep you from getting false alerts.

Now some counties have their own standards on triggering alarms. For example in St. Louis County the tornado warnings are triggered when a tornado is spotted in any adjoining county. We don't get triggered though for other storms if the storm path will not involve our county.

Jack
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