Author Topic: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?  (Read 373 times)

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Offline Red-Dave

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Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« on: February 09, 2019, 08:35:38 PM »
Hey all.
You weather geeks might get a kick out of knowing that I picked up a WR-300 at a local used computer shop today for the whopping grand total of $8!!
Everything went fine through the setup process until I tried to listen to my local NWS broadcast. My local frequency is 162.55 so that's channel 7 according to the manual. Not a sound. It's not likely to be a reception problem as I can see the beacon from the top of what I think is the transmitter site right through my window, about 2 miles away.
Can someone think of a setting in there which might cause the WX radio to be muted? The AM/FM part works fine.
Please tell me my precious $8 wasn't wasted!!  :grin:
Thanks!!

Offline lddaly

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 09:45:54 PM »
I purchased a new WR-300 in 2009. It worked for a short while, then the weather side stopped working just like yours (AM/FM was fine.) Because it was new, I contacted Midland and they replaced it. The replacement WR-300 is still functional today and is streaming KEC56 at http://www.planoweather.com/wxradio.php.

I seem to recall this being a common problem with a batch of WR-300's around that time period. Maybe someone else can confirm.

UPDATE: I found this old thread: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=8474 Mine wasn't silent, it made a high pitched squeal on all weather channels. Maybe yours is a different issue.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 10:40:50 PM by lddaly »

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 11:26:27 PM »
So, when the radio stopped working for you, did the WX alert function still work? I could stand missing the radio as long as it still displayed and processed alerts properly.
Thanks.

Offline lddaly

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 11:53:38 PM »
I do not recall #-o, but according to my post from 9 years ago, it did not alert.

I checked my WR-300 yesterday when it did not alert for a thunderstorm warning and it is doing the EXACT same thing... high pitched squeal on the weather channels. It sounds like a feedback loop. #-o Mine is about the same age as yours.

Offline rdsman

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 10:38:49 AM »
Quote
So, when the radio stopped working for you, did the WX alert function still work?

If you can't hear audio, it will not process alerts.  Have you tried any other frequencies?  Maybe the station you are trying to receive is off the air......

Ray

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 04:17:53 PM »
Yup. Every channel = silence. Thinking about opening her up and checking the antenna lead. But, again, AM/FM works. Though it seems like not the strongest reciever.

Online galfert

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 08:32:17 PM »
I recall reading that it was common for the frequency crystal to go bad. FM radio would work but not the weather band. If you are handy with a soldering iron open it up and find the crystal and order a replacement.

I briefly had a WR-300 years ago...hated it. Gave it away in still working order. Love my Sangean CL-100 much better.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 08:36:04 PM by galfert »
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Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 09:53:47 PM »
I would take a stab at that repair if I was sure that would fix it. I had it opened up, should have checked that number. Hmmmm.
What do you like better about the CL-100?

Online galfert

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 10:41:11 PM »
The CL-100 is just better quality. It looks better (subjective), it has nice feeling rubber buttons instead of hard plastic. The CL-100 has a really nice dot matrix display and is dimmable and looks good in the dark without being blinding. As I found the WR-300 blue light annoying. The CL-100 volume fades in automatically on alert instead of blaring out alerts at sudden full volume. Volume fade in also works for wake up alarm. The CL-100 has a nicer menu to navigate and set functions. The CL-100 has RDS for radio broadcast so if you are going to use it to listen to music it is a nice touch to read artist and song title or whatever the station broadcasts via RDS. And the best part of having RDS is that the clock is always synced similar to having WWVB Atomic Radio Controlled Clock (RCC). The speaker quality has more bass on the CL-100 and the WR-300 sounded just like you'd expect a cheap radio to sound flat and tinnier. Most annoying too is the the WR-300 ignored the End of Message signal, meaning it just keeps playing after being triggered by an alert, but it does quiet after some time (maybe a minute or 2), where the CL 100 shuts up at the end of the alert because it recognizes the End of Message signal. There is probably more but I really want to forget the WR-300 and that was some years ago.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 06:12:42 AM by galfert »
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Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 11:26:49 PM »
Ha! Thanks for the thorough and entertaining answer. Love and totally get the enthusiasm. Sometimes a product just clicks for you.
I'll spend a bit more energy trying to preserve my $8 bargain. Failing that, I might properly invest in a unit which I should have done long ago.
Thanks for the input!!

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 01:08:36 AM »

Which one of you would be kind enough to identify the crystal that should be replaced?? There are two.  One is marked 1.8432 MHz and might be for the clock? The other says CQ 10.25 on it and it really hard to get to. Not what I expected to find.
You are all smarter than me. What do you say?

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 01:10:01 AM »
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Here's the other one.

Offline rdsman

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 01:09:07 PM »
In your first picture there are two crystals:

The 1.8432 Mhz is most likely for the microprocessor.  The silver cylinder  beneath it is a 32.768 KHz watch crystal feeding a RTC chip.  If the display and function keys work as well as keeping time, these are good.

The second picture showing the 10.25 Mhz crystal has a 455 KHz resonator beside it, these are in the AM/FM IF circuitry.  If it receives AM/FM, these are good.

If you look at the board where the rod antenna is soldered, about an inch down and on the opposite side, from there is one more crystal.  Mine has no markings on it.  I suspect this is the WB circuit.  You might try touching it up with a soldering iron.........

 
Ray

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 01:53:21 PM »
rdsman, you are the man!

I will use your guidance and check it out when I can. And yes, the weather band is the only thing that does not function. If the crystal is unmarked, how would someone go about getting a replacement?
I'll report back with the results.

Online galfert

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 02:20:11 PM »
You can test a crystal with a multi-meter that has Hz or Frequency function...or an oscilloscope.
But if it isn't labeled then you don't know what it should read. Sometimes the labeling is where you can't read it because of being soldered on to the board...meaning it is on the underside against the PCB.
 

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Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 05:40:09 PM »
Well, I don't have those tools. But, here is the solder-side under the component I think you are referring to. Makes sense- 7 leads, 7 channels. It's so tiny though, I'm thinking I would probably do more harm than good if I started monkeying around with my soldering iron.  :-|
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Offline rdsman

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 08:32:32 PM »
I think you are looking at the wrong device........

The crystal I am referring to is on the same side of the board as the 10.25 Mhz crystal.  As I recall it had three pins.  Most likely an IF filter.....

Ray

Online galfert

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 10:01:41 PM »
This is not quite at the level of my Fluke 87 V but it probably will do for a hobbyist and is just $20. It has the Hz function. Unbelievable that they can sell an auto ranging 6000 count True RMS multimeter for this price. Looks good too because they practically are ripping off Fluke design.

Thsinde 18B+
https://www.amazon.com/Ranging-Digital-Multimeter-Battery-Alligator/dp/B06ZZG2F2N/
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 06:42:03 AM by galfert »
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Offline PaulKTF

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 03:36:44 AM »
I hate that the WR-300 doesn't observe the End Of Message signal. I'd just replace it with the WR-400 (which does) for that reason and/or if the WR-300 stops working.
-Paul.

Offline Red-Dave

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Re: Midland WR-300 NWS Radio Not Working?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 02:25:07 PM »
I agree, of course. But, the game I am playing is to realize the lucky $8 I spent on this one.
Dropping about $1900 on a major car repair today, so I'm not eager to go shopping for other toys at the moment. However, I've learned a lot lately about what the favs are when I finally do.
Looking for time to check out rdsman' s latest guidance. Life sure gets in the way.

 

anything