Weather Alert Radios : Thinking Outside the Box

For General discussion,

Does anyone know of a Weather Alert radio that the volume level of the alert and associated siren can be adjusted?
For those looking for a Weather alerting radio, I am currently using a REECOM R-1650-D.
It has features that include E.O.M and S.A.M.E. capabilities along with a backlit display, and when the radio receives an alert message, it will display the “Effective time” frame of the alert (with an auto-count down function) to let you know how long the alert is valid for.

That being said, the only drawback, in my case, is that due to a NOAA "mandated " requirement to manufacturers here in the U.S., the volume level of specifically issued Tornado watches and warnings are to have the message and associated radio siren function to such a high Db volume level, that it will either “wake the dead” or “give you an instant heart attack” if it should go off in the middle of the night !

Note that this is only for “Tornado” alerts and does not apply to severe Thunderstorm or flash flood messages.

As you can imagine, this will be a problem since I also have a unit on the bedroom night table, in case of an overnight message, which is when you need it the most ! .

Note : Believe me, I get it, I understand the importance that the radio should be able to wake you in case of an actual overnight event, but I think that people that are lighter sleepers should have the option to be able to adjust the volume of those messages and radio siren, as to wake you, but not to severely startle you.

If someone knows of a solution to this dilemma, please feel free to make constructive comment or suggestion, or perhaps a work around.

Thanks for your responses.

Regards,
DD

No idea if it helps, but have you seen the thread here?

Bitsostring, thank you for tip!

It appears from what I read, that all of those radios have a
built-in siren, and due to the mandate from NOAA , they have to have that siren set at a very high-volume level when signaled for a Tornado message.
The real dilemma, and irony is that It’s a good thing to have an alert radio nearby when you are sleeping, but the fact that when these radios go off in the middle of the night, there still should be a way to adjust the siren’s volume to a level that the Individual user is satisfied that they will be awakened, but not startled by a consequent heart attack.

I am surprised that the folks that mandated this action (could not think outside of the box) would at least put some faith in the general public, especially those of us that are weather enthusiasts (like us here in the forum) and the folks that live in tornado prone areas would ensure that they would be awakened, but not scared to death.

Food for thought: would you gift your 75+ year old grandparents, those who particularly live in a Tornado prone area, one of these radios, that you know they’re going to put by their bedside?

Regards,
DD

Probably not. . . but, hey, I’m 75+ and we don’t get many tornados on this side of the pond :laughing:

From the WR300 user guide, the siren volume can be set to high or low:

Setting the Alert Volume:
a. To set the alert volume, press the “MENU” button.
b. Press the “UP” arrow until “SIREN LEVEL” is displayed.
c. Press the “SELECT” button and “LEVEL HIGH” or “LEVEL LO” will start blinking.
d. Then press the “UP” arrow to choose “LEVEL HI” or “LEVEL LO” volume.
e. Press the “SELECT” button to save your setting

Or you can choose a voice alert instead of a siren:

Choosing an Alert Type (Voice or Siren):
a. Press the “MENU” button to open menu options.
b. Press the “UP” arrow until Alert Mode is displayed on the screen. Press the “SELECT” button
and “VOICE” will start blinking.
c. If you want the voice alert, press the “SELECT” button.
d. If “VOICE” is chosen, the alert would sound for 8 seconds followed by 5 minutes of weather
broadcast.
e. If you want the siren alert, press the “UP” arrow until “SIREN” is displayed, then press the
“SELECT” button to save your setting.
f. If “SIREN” is chosen, alert tones will sound for 5 minutes or until the “ALERT ON/OFF” button
is pressed

Reecom R1650 has 24 siren volume levels and 24 voice volume levels:

weather radio R-1650 , Reecom Electronics, Inc. (reecominc.com); and

R-1650D pdf (reecominc.com)

Is that setting overridden for tornado warnings?

I current am using the Reecom R-1650-D radio which I opted for just to have the voice activated so I get only the 1050 Khz tone and message for Thunderstorm and flash flood messages, but when there is a tornado message, it activates the built in siren at deafening volume.

BOS
Are you going to get one then??? :rofl:

1 Like

Sorry, can’t hear you, there’s a siren going off somewhere. . .

I can hear it from here!

novawx,

Thank you very much for your response, I will check it out.
However, are you sure that it can adjust or defeat the built in siren for Tornado messages?
Due to a mandate here in the U.S. it seems that all radios must automatically switch from the adjustable voice and tone volume option to a high (and I mean high) decibel siren alert for specifically the Tornado watches and warnings.

In fairness to a lot of manufacturers, many have included an output connection to attach a strobe light option, (which may or may not defeat the siren) but when your sleeping, is that going to be enough to wake you ?

The bottom line is that, so far, I do not believe that any radio can defeat the siren option for Tornado alerts.

Thanks ,
DD

I find that very hard to believe. If true, it must go against all sorts of “freedoms” that Uncle Sam is so fond of telling us about. You must be able to choose whether or not to listen to a warning on a personal device.

What about the setting mentioned on page 4 of the Reecom R-1650D manual?

bitsostring,
Don’t believe everything you hear! It’s becoming all about Control, Control and Control.

But anyway, I digress, I do have the Reecom R-1650-D radios and I read the settings, and that’s what I thought also, but what they don’t tell you is that a lot of messages can be siren muted, but not for specifically the Tornado messages.
I found out the hard way last week when I received a Tornado message.

I will re-read my manual to see if I missed something.
Also, I will try (if possible) to contact Reecom’s Technical support to see what their take is on this.
If anyone out there has the Reecom R-1650D radio, and has actually received a Tornado alert, can you verify my thoughts on this ?

Thanks for your responses, they are most appreciated.

DD

Looking at a copy of the manual I found online it appears to distinguish between critical and non-critical events. You can mute/volume change the siren for non-critical events, but not critical events. There were about 20 event types that appeared to be critical, but many of them were pretty rare events, so I suspect the the tornado warning is probably the most common one. So I suspect you’re out of luck with trying to change the tornado siren on the Reecom radios.

Chris,
Always good to hear from you, my friend !

Yes, I read that also, and due to a mandate here in the states, there is not much you can do to modify the loudness of those “critical” messages.
I am using the audio output to attach a volume adjustable speaker to mute the radio’s internal speaker and siren. When set to "voice " only, it works well for the non-critical alerts, but those “critical” alerts still activate the radio’s dreaded siren at full blast even when using the output.

I really would prefer the 7 second 1050 hz alert tone at the beginning of the message for all alerts as opposed to that screeching siren produced by the radio itself.

Cheers,
Dave