Author Topic: Acurite weather alert radio  (Read 24138 times)

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Offline Rhino

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2012, 11:00:21 AM »
Hi Steve- Glad to hear you like your 08550 radio- we spent a great deal of time working with the test labs tuning the reception on this portable unit. We are hearing lots of positive comments on reception quality.

To answer your question- yes, when the radio is placed in the base/cradle, it automatically switches to AC power.

Offline smorris

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2012, 02:43:49 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

That blue background light sure is bright in the bedroom at night. I'd like an option to turn it off or dim it on future versions.

Steve
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Offline WXman

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2012, 11:36:59 AM »
I went through the manual setup options, and sure enough the alert for Tornado Watch, Svr Thunderstorm Watch, etc. were defaulted to off.   #-o  So now I have them all turned on and we'll see how it works during the next severe weather outbreak.

Thanks for the tip.  I'd never have imagined that something like a Tornado Watch would be defaulted to "off".  That's why these forums are great.
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Offline Kyfan

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2012, 10:30:13 AM »
I bought one of these at Walmart. I was impressed with its sensitivity, its sound, its display, its menu system. At first, the only negative I found was the belt clip. It was too flimsy to serve as an actual belt clip, plus it was hard to remove when I put in batteries. I thought I had found my perfect weather radio. But then I discovered that there's no way to turn it off. The listen button lets you turn the radio on, auto on, and silenced. I figured silenced meant the radio was silent: no audio and no alarms. That was what I wanted. I have sensitive hearing and I can't tolerate loud noise. I was hoping that there was a way that I could defeat that alarm from happening. I called Chaney Instrument's customer service and told her my problem. She said there is no way to keep it from alarming. She said the only way it would pass NOAA certification was to keep keep the alarm active at all times. She said there's only one way to turn it off: unplug it and take out the batteries. That seemed like a lot of trouble to be, having to put batteries in it just to find out the weather. I already have two other weather radios at home that would serve my purpose much better, so I took this one back to Walmart.

Offline LFWX

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2012, 01:46:11 AM »
I bought one of these at Walmart. I was impressed with its sensitivity, its sound, its display, its menu system. At first, the only negative I found was the belt clip. It was too flimsy to serve as an actual belt clip, plus it was hard to remove when I put in batteries. I thought I had found my perfect weather radio. But then I discovered that there's no way to turn it off. The listen button lets you turn the radio on, auto on, and silenced. I figured silenced meant the radio was silent: no audio and no alarms. That was what I wanted. I have sensitive hearing and I can't tolerate loud noise. I was hoping that there was a way that I could defeat that alarm from happening. I called Chaney Instrument's customer service and told her my problem. She said there is no way to keep it from alarming. She said the only way it would pass NOAA certification was to keep keep the alarm active at all times. She said there's only one way to turn it off: unplug it and take out the batteries. That seemed like a lot of trouble to be, having to put batteries in it just to find out the weather. I already have two other weather radios at home that would serve my purpose much better, so I took this one back to Walmart.

You need the Midland HH54VP2, it offers three alert modes - Tone / Voice / Silent

...and you can turn it OFF to save your batteries when you are not using it at all.
Station: Davis Vantage Pro2 Fan Aspirated
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Offline WXman

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2012, 09:50:16 AM »
I called Chaney Instrument's customer service and told her my problem. She said there is no way to keep it from alarming. She said the only way it would pass NOAA certification was to keep keep the alarm active at all times. She said there's only one way to turn it off: unplug it and take out the batteries.

Is this a new NOAA standard?  If not, why does my $30 Midland radio have a switch on the side that totally silences everything instantly, IN ADDITION to selections in the menu that allow me to not get warnings alerted for?   :?:
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Hoping to get it online soon!

Offline Sigdigit

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2012, 12:11:34 PM »
Hey, I just appreciate Rhino actually participating in customer feedback!  You never see anyone from Davis on here.

Offline larryf

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2012, 02:02:38 PM »
I don't know who decides the standards for a weather radio....   But here's a few links that would probably explain some things:

NOAA Receiver Consumer Info
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm

Down the page, a link redirects you here:
http://www.ce.org/Standards/2946.asp

They have a downloadable pdf there. It looks like a company pays 1000/year for each product they sell to have the 'Public Alert' logo. My guess (and maybe Rhino can answer this), is that the weather radios have to meet certain criteria to display the logo.

I like the radio and like the price, but if all new radios adhere to a standard that doesn't meet your expectations you may have to get an older one from Ebay.

Larry

Offline LFWX

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2012, 06:09:10 PM »
My Midland HH54VP2 can be turned off and it has a "Public Alert" logo on it.
http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=12728.msg147221#msg147221
Station: Davis Vantage Pro2 Fan Aspirated
Software: Virtual Weather Station V14.00p64
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
www.LFWeatherCenter.com
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Offline Bigred

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2012, 10:30:57 PM »
I just bought one of the Acurite Model #08550 weather radios at Walmart. The radio calls for a 6-digit FIPS code but the FIPS codes at weather.gov only have 5-digits.  How do you enter it?  Leave the first or the last digit zero?  Anyone know?

Offline BigOkie

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2012, 03:19:38 PM »
I just bought one of the Acurite Model #08550 weather radios at Walmart. The radio calls for a 6-digit FIPS code but the FIPS codes at weather.gov only have 5-digits.  How do you enter it?  Leave the first or the last digit zero?  Anyone know?

First digit is zero.


Current setup: Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus Wireless
Weather radios:
Reecom R-1650
Sangean CL-100

Offline Rhino

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2012, 01:44:32 PM »
The 08550 handheld alert radio backlight will be on by default when you place the radio in the powered cradle-this helps to confirm that you have placed the radio back on the powered dock in the middle of the night. You can turn the backlight off when the radio is docked by pressing AND HOLDING the "OK" button for a few seconds. Then the backlight will stay off in the dock. THis is also outlined in page 14 of the user manual if you would like more information.

Yes- to have the Public alert" certified logo, one has to pay the fee and also pay to have the radio tested by NWS and NOAA labs with flying colors. Our radios passed and did very well.

One of their requirements are that the unit has to be able to receive any and all WARNINGS by default.

Also, we do have a new Radio/Flashlight Combo unit now that has all the same functionality, but is classified primarily as an emergency flashlight. Because of this, the NOAA radio function can be turned off completely if desired- saves batteries. It has a dynamo crank for emergency power, an internal rechargeable battery, a compartment for standard batteries, and an option to use an external power adaptor. This model (#08560) is hitting walmart stores soon, and is available in many stores already.

http://www.acurite.com/weather/noaa-weather-alert-radio/weather-alert-noaa-radio-led-flashlight-with-hand-crank-08560.html

We will continue to develop Weather Alert Radios that serve the needs of the customers, while providing advanced features for those who want them at a great value. Please continue to let me know what you think- I am listening and I am deeply entrenched in the product design and development at AcuRite. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Offline Rhino

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2012, 02:01:45 PM »
One more thing- the radio will automatically turn on when it receives the coded signal from the tower- then it will simply play through whatever audio NOAA is broadcasting- including the initial preamble message alert tones which are part of the recorded message that is sent out by NWS.

Some NWS broadcast stations use different tones, and in some cases NWS broadcast stations do not broadcast a preamble alert tone at all. That would be the only reason you would not hear a tone before a message.

Some competitor radios choose to create their own tone when the coded signal is received- before the audio voice information plays through. That is an option we did not pursue in order to allow for future changes to the alert by NOAA and to further ensure none of the message is cut-off and is delivered in the most timely manner.

I hope this helps to clear things up.

Offline LFWX

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2012, 09:11:00 PM »
One more thing- the radio will automatically turn on when it receives the coded signal from the tower- then it will simply play through whatever audio NOAA is broadcasting- including the initial preamble message alert tones which are part of the recorded message that is sent out by NWS.

Some NWS broadcast stations use different tones, and in some cases NWS broadcast stations do not broadcast a preamble alert tone at all. That would be the only reason you would not hear a tone before a message.

Some competitor radios choose to create their own tone when the coded signal is received- before the audio voice information plays through. That is an option we did not pursue in order to allow for future changes to the alert by NOAA and to further ensure none of the message is cut-off and is delivered in the most timely manner.

I hope this helps to clear things up.

This seems to be something the NWS needs to work on - they should have a STANDARD method!

Having the Weather Radio "create it's own tone" allows for the warning tone to have a volume you can set-up, separate from the volume of the the actual "audio voice information".
Station: Davis Vantage Pro2 Fan Aspirated
Software: Virtual Weather Station V14.00p64
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
www.LFWeatherCenter.com
CWOP: DW1039
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Weather Underground: KOHHAMIL7
Weather For You: DW1039
Midwestern Weather Network

Offline laustin99

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2012, 10:03:55 PM »
I just bought mine yesterday, got it setup.  The only thing is my radio didnt go off to let me know that we were under a thunderstorm watch.  I followed the instructions and I dont know why it didnt go off.  The light didnt even show.  Please can you help me??

Offline Sigdigit

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2012, 09:53:42 AM »
NWS doesn't send alerts for thunderstorms unless it is a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning.  They also don't send alerts unless it a short-fuse event, meaning there hasn't been much time to put in in the usual forecast.

Offline laustin99

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2012, 02:10:31 PM »
It was for a sever thunderstorm watch, sorry I didn't put that in my last post.  We didn't get the bad weather but I am here by myself a lot while the hubby is at work.  We live in a mobile home and our town was hit with a tornado just 6 yrs ago and I bought it to feel a little safer knowing I will have time to get to safety.  I am just worried that it won't go off when it should...any suggestions?

Offline Sigdigit

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2012, 08:06:25 PM »
Make sure you have the correct codes loaded for your county, or set it so it alerts for all areas.  If you've already done that, make sure you are at least getting the weekly test alert every wednesday to ensure you are getting proper reception.  If you get the weekly test, you should be able to recieve any alert they decide to put out.

Offline WXman

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2012, 04:12:45 PM »
OK, now I have another question.  My Acu-Rite stays in it's included desktop stand 99% of the time.  But when I set the volume where I want it and then put it on "Auto On" mode... it will still go to full volume when a watch or warning is issued.  Then I have to turn the volume back down again manually..    then it automatically goes back to full volume when the next watch/warning is issued. 

WHY is this happening?  It's incredibly annoying.  I don't need full volume because it's next to my head when I sleep at night!  First time thing thing does this at 3:00AM my wife is going to be scared out of her skin and I'm going to toss this radio out the window.  Why won't this unit remember the volume I set it to? 
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Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station
Hoping to get it online soon!

Offline Rhino

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2012, 04:07:42 PM »
Hey all- sorry for the late feedback here- I wanted to get some info out here- bear with me here ;)

The radio is required to be turned on (activated), even if it is silenced, for all warnings and SOME watches:

"Tone alarm: The National Weather Service will send a 1050 Hz tone alarm before most warning and many watch messages are broadcast. The tone will activate all the receivers which are equipped to receive it, even if the audio is turned off. This is especially useful for warnings which occur during the night when most people are asleep. (Public Alert - required)"

Here is some more general information about residential use radios:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm

And more information about approved use of the "All-Hazards" logo:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/conditions.htm

Regarding the high volume of the automatic alert, when the receiver receives the tone to "activate" (turn on) because of an official WARNING (and/or some watches), the receiver must set audio at a high level, as also described in "public alert requirements" This is the specification for audio level (db):
"Voice out put at least 77 dB at 1 meter when receiving a 1 kHz tone Audio Alert out put at least 77 dB at 1 meter over 500 to 1500 kHz range"

Basically, regardless of what audio level you have chosen on the radio, WARNINGS and some WATCHES will always activate the tone/audio at a predetermined volume as required and tested by the NWS. We tested all of our weather radios for compliance last year and passed- so I am confident based on testing and the fact that it is outlined in public documentation as well, that AcuRite radios operate in accordance with the latest NWS compliance requirements.

Offline WXman

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #45 on: July 20, 2012, 08:42:42 AM »
Rhino..   thank you so much for taking the time to explain that to me.

Unfortunately, that's going to be a big problem for me and I will likely go back to using my other brands of radio.  I do not like the extremely loud volume when the radio is 2 feet away on my nightstand.  It's overkill. 

Many of these "features" are things I only experience with my Acu-Rite radio.  I wonder how the "other guys" can escape these guidelines and build radios to be user friendly?
B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology

38.02455N, 84.91421W
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station
Hoping to get it online soon!

Offline tweeks

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2013, 11:22:28 PM »
Regarding the high volume of the automatic alert, when the receiver receives the tone to "activate" (turn on) because of an official WARNING (and/or some watches), the receiver must set audio at a high level, as also described in "public alert requirements" This is the specification for audio level (db):
"Voice out put at least 77 dB at 1 meter when receiving a 1 kHz tone Audio Alert out put at least 77 dB at 1 meter over 500 to 1500 kHz range"

Hey Rhino..
Nice job on the frugal SAME/NOAA radio! I've had mind (8550?) for over a year now and it's been a great benefit in the hills of SW VA!

One thing.. the power level or  constant, piercing tone of the alert tone is blowing your little 1.5w coil based speakers. I thought my radio had died until I plugged headphones into it and found it was still doing its job. I figured it was an intermitting 1/8" jack bypass switch.. so I cleaned that out and resoldered it. No dice. Checked the 8ohm q.5W speaker.. open.. hmm.. hooked up a headphone to the speaker terminals.. bingo. Bad speaker.

I replaced your design with a bit beefier 3w/8ohm 1.5" driver out of an old Rat Shack tape recorder. Works like a charm now.

If you all have got a fair measure of them in, then maybe you should beef up that speaker a bit.  Let me know if you want the serial# off my unit.
(it's upstairs and I'm down.. ;)

Tweeks

Offline Rhino

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2013, 04:35:27 PM »
Thanks for the feedback!

We actually do test each speaker on the production line to make sure it can handle it.

Thanks for the info- we will keep an eye on that!

Thanks,
Ryan from AcuRite

Offline W. Smith

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2013, 04:53:33 PM »
The 08550 handheld alert radio backlight will be on by default when you place the radio in the powered cradle-this helps to confirm that you have placed the radio back on the powered dock in the middle of the night. You can turn the backlight off when the radio is docked by pressing AND HOLDING the "OK" button for a few seconds. Then the backlight will stay off in the dock. THis is also outlined in page 14 of the user manual if you would like more information.

Yes- to have the Public alert" certified logo, one has to pay the fee and also pay to have the radio tested by NWS and NOAA labs with flying colors. Our radios passed and did very well.

One of their requirements are that the unit has to be able to receive any and all WARNINGS by default.

Also, we do have a new Radio/led Flashlight Combo unit now that has all the same functionality, but is classified primarily as an emergency flashlight. Because of this, the NOAA radio function can be turned off completely if desired- saves batteries. It has a dynamo crank for emergency power, an internal rechargeable battery, a compartment for standard batteries, and an option to use an external power adaptor. This model (#08560) is hitting walmart stores soon, and is available in many stores already.

http://www.acurite.com/weather/noaa-weather-alert-radio/weather-alert-noaa-radio-led-flashlight-with-hand-crank-08560.html

We will continue to develop Weather Alert Radios that serve the needs of the customers, while providing advanced features for those who want them at a great value. Please continue to let me know what you think- I am listening and I am deeply entrenched in the product design and development at AcuRite. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

It is quite interesting one. There is some useful features in it. I like the emergency light backup thought.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 03:19:24 AM by W. Smith »

Offline ThePontificator

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Re: Acurite weather alert radio
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2013, 11:56:30 PM »
The Wal-Mart website shows the black model priced at $29.99 but the same model in "Fire red" or "camo" is $50.99

(local Wally World does not have any Acu-Rite radios in stock at this time)