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Recently in Weather Radios Category

Recently in Weather Radios Category

May 25, 2016

Midland EX37VP Emergency Radio Kit unboxing video

Midland is well established as a manufacturer of consumer FRS/GMRS two way radios, and their GXT1000 and LXT600 value packs are popular among outdoor enthusiasts such as hikers, campers and hunters. The company is also well respected for their line of quality emergency weather radios, and many of these products, most notably the WR120 and WR300, are often mentioned or recommended by meteorologists and other weather professionals.

Midland has now combined elements from both product lines to create a new series specifically designed for emergency preparedness. Called Midland E+Ready Emergency Solutions, products in this series include the Midland EX37VP Two Way Radio Emergency Kit.

In this exclusive unboxing video, Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios opens up the kit, gives you a first look at everything included and offers his first impressions of this emergency communications solution that, according to Midland, is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security.

March 21, 2016

Get a $10 rebate on select Midland radios!

Note: This promotion expired April 2, 2016 and is no longer available.

Midland-Rebate-Q1-2016-2.pngSpring is in the air, and so are the savings with rebates on select Midland FRS/GMRS and Emergency Weather radios!

Purchase a set of Midland GXT860VP4 Two Way Radios with Headsets and Charger or a Midland WR300 Weather Radio and get a $10 rebate! This mail-in offer direct from Midland is available exclusively from Buy Two Way Radios for a limited time only.

This mail-in offer is fulfilled by the manufacturer and will be mailed to you after Midland receives your rebate redemption form. Offer valid on up to 2 radios purchased through April 2, 2016. Limit of two rebate redemptions per household. Click here for the rebate form. Rebate must be mailed by May 2, 2016. To track your rebate, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

The following models qualify for this special offer:

Model Max Purchase Option
Midland-GXT860VP4 Midland GXT860VP4 Two Way Radios with Headsets and Charger 2 packs $10 Rebate per pack
Midland-WR300 Midland WR300 Weather Radio 2 radios $10 rebate per radio

NOTE: Radios must be purchased between March 20, 2016 and April 2, 2016 to qualify. Offer valid for U.S. residents only. Rebate will be issued in U.S. funds.

December 9, 2014

Choosing the right NOAA weather channel

Weather channels and weather alerts are considered standard features in many makes and models of consumer FRS/GMRS two way radios and CB radios available today. Cobra, Garmin, Midland, Motorola,Olympia and Uniden all offer NOAA weather channels in many of their FRS/GMRS products, and a couple even offer them in a few models on the low end.

These are no doubt useful and potentially life saving features in portable handheld two way radios. But how do they work? How do you use NOAA weather channels on a two way radio or, for that matter, on a dedicated handheld or desktop emergency weather radio?

There are seven radio frequencies on the VHF band designated specifically for NOAA weather broadcasts. These frequencies are used by a network of transmitters across the US to broadcast weather information, warnings and alerts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Some two way radios even have three additional weather channels, two of which are used by Canada for marine weather broadcasts. The seven NOAA frequencies are listed as follows:

  • 162.400
  • 162.425
  • 162.450
  • 162.475
  • 162.500
  • 162.525
  • 162.550

There is no standard channel assignment for weather frequencies on two way radios. For instance, The weather frequency 162.400 MHz may be assigned to Channel 1 on one make and model radio and assigned to Channel 4 on other one. Radio manufacturers program channel assignments with weather frequencies at their discretion. While it may seem confusing, the question of which frequency is on which channel can usually be resolved by referring to the owners manual for your particular radio. The manufacturer will typically print a list or table of the weather frequency channels in the manual, along with instructions on how to access them.

The real trick is to find out what frequency is most relevant to your area of operation. That's where the National Weather Service comes in. The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards web site provides a complete listing of all weather station broadcast frequencies in the US.

There are two ways to search for the NWS transmitter most relevant for your area. The first option is to search the NWS Nationwide Station Listing Using Broadcast Frequencies. Simply click on your state, locate the name of the area closest to you on the list, and note the call sign and its corresponding frequency. Clicking on the call sign will take you to another page with additional details about the transmitter and a geographical map with a graphic depiction of its broadcast coverage.

The second option is to go to NWR Transmitter Search, enter the name of an area or state in the search box, and click on the icon displayed on the map for information and details about the transmitter.

Once you know the frequency of the transmitter in your area, it's just a matter of locating the channel on your radio programmed to that frequency and then activating it according to the instructions in your manual. That's really all there is to it.

For an example of how to activate weather channels on a handheld walkie talkie, watch our Radio 101 video How to activate weather alerts on Motorola Talkabout MS Series radios. While the video is specific to some Motorola Talkabout FRS/GMRS radios, it may provide a general overview of how the process works on other radios as well. Consult your owner's manual for the specific steps required to activate weather channels and alerts on your make and model of radio.

December 5, 2014

What is SAME technology?

If you own or have ever shopped around for an emergency or weather radio, you may have heard the acronym S.A.M.E, or the term SAME. It's often thrown around in product descriptions and mentioned in marketing brochures for NOAA weather radios or even some consumer two way radios with weather channels and alerts. But what is SAME? What does this technology do? How does it work, and why is it considered such an important feature in a weather radio?

What is SAME?
SAME is an acronym for Specific Area Message Encoding. It is a digital protocol or code used to send a 1050 Hz warning alarm tone and encoded alert message for audible and/or visual reception on radios equipped to receive and decode such messages. It was originally developed by the National Weather Service in the late 1980's and was eventually adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 1997 as part of the EAS (Emergency Alert System). Today the SAME protocol is used in both the United States and Canada as a standard component of national emergency weather alert broadcasts in these countries. It is used as part of the NWR All Hazards Alert network of weather radio stations that broadcast weather and other emergency information across the United States.

How SAME works
A SAME alert message includes a digital header with a SAME code designating the type of alert being sent and the affected area (or county) to which it is being sent. A radio equipped with SAME technology receives the code, decodes it, activates a 1050Hz warning tone to get the attention of the listener, and proceeds to activate and/or display the message being broadcast.

The NWS emergency broadcast transmitters typically cover about a 40 mile radius, although coverage may be considerably less in more remote or mountainous areas. Each area or county in the NWR network is assigned a six digit SAME code unique to that specific area. To receive warnings and alerts for a designated area or county, the proper SAME code must be programmed into the radio. Some radios may allow the user to program multiple SAME codes to allow the radio to receive warnings and alerts for more than one area. This can be quite a handy feature, especially when traveling to other areas outside your primary location.

Once the SAME code for a specific area is programmed into the radio, an emergency or alert broadcast from an NWS office with that code can activate the SAME receiver and transmit the alert message through the radio.

Why SAME is important
There are many radios on the market today equipped with weather channels and alerts, and that's a good thing. Whether you're indoors or out, you need to stay informed of changing weather conditions, especially when things become potentially hazardous.

It isn't just weather, either. Other emergency situations can arise, and you need to be alerted to them, as well. In such situations, an emergency radio isn't just handy, it can potentially become a lifesaver.

However, every emergency situation or alert does not affect everyone, and a sweeping radio broadcast over a broader area may not even apply to yours. Just because you hear the message doesn't mean it is intended specifically for you. But how can you know?

That is where SAME technology comes in. With a specific code designated for a specific area, SAME aims specific alerts directly to their intended audience. Those 3 AM weather and other emergency alerts intended for your area can wake you, keep you informed and at the ready, while alarms and alerts intended for other areas won't interrupt, annoy or disturb you.

Of course, to program the SAME radio, it is necessary to know the correct code for your area. It's easy. All you need to do is visit the NWS NOAA web site and look it up. You can search for County Coverage Listings by State or download a complete list of same codes for all states and counties in simple text.

Weather Radios with SAME
Here is a chart of popular radios equipped with SAME technology:

Make/Model Type Band SAME Two Way
Motorola MWR839 AM/FM
Weather Alert Radio
base station AM/FM/Weather YES No
Midland WR-300
Weather Radio
base station AM/FM/Weather YES No
Midland WR-120
Weather Radio
base station Weather YES No
Midland HH54VP SAME
Handheld Weather Radio
handheld Weather YES No
Midland HH54VP2 SAME
Handheld Weather Radio
handheld Weather YES No
Cobra MR-HH450 DUAL
Marine and GMRS Radio
handheld GMRS/VHF Marine YES YES
Garmin Rino 655t
Two Way Radio w/ GPS
handheld FRS/GMRS/Weather YES YES
Garmin Rino 650
Two Way Radio w/ GPS
handheld FRS/GMRS/Weather YES YES
Uniden BCT15X
Beartracker Scanner
base/mobile Multiple YES No
Cobra Marine MR-F80B-D
Submersible VHF Radio
fixed mount VHF Marine YES YES
Uniden Oceanus D UM415
Submersible VHF Marine Radio
fixed mount VHF Marine YES YES
Uniden Solara D UM380
VHF Marine Radio
fixed mount VHF Marine YES YES

Want a more in-depth discussion about weather radios, including those with SAME technology? Listen to The Two Way Radio Show Podcast episode TWRS-13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

August 2, 2013

The perfect gift - the Midland WR-300 weather radio

Looking for the perfect gift for a family member or a friend? Give the gift that shows you really care about their safety and well-being, the Midland WR-300 Weather Radio!

We have emergency and weather radios for every budget at Buy Two Way Radios.

July 31, 2013

Stay safe outdoors with an emergency weather radio

Whether camping with the family, hiking with friends or out on a fishing or hunting trip, stay informed of changing weather conditions with a Midland NOAA weather radio. Need one? We have a full selection of emergency and weather radios in our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

July 29, 2013

Keep your family safe with an emergency weather radio

A weather disaster can occur anywhere at any time. That is why it is important to always be prepared. Emergency communications is important to that preparedness. In fact, FEMA places an emergency weather radio near the top of their Basic Disaster Supplies Kit checklist.

An emergency NOAA weather radio can alert you to potential weather disasters and help keep your family safe. A complete selection of emergency and weather radios is available for quick delivery from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

July 26, 2013

How NOAA broadcasts emergency weather alerts

Ever wondered how the National Weather Service broadcasts emergency NOAA weather and S.A.M.E. alerts to your emergency weather radio? This video produced by Midland is an interesting inside look at the process and how it works.

A wide selection of emergency and weather radios is available for fast delivery from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

July 24, 2013

How to program the Midland WR-300 weather radio

The Midland WR-300 is one the most feature-packed weather radios currently available. This video produced by Midland shows us how to program it quickly and easily. The Midland WR-300 is available to ship directly from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

July 22, 2013

How to program the Midland WR-120 emergency weather radio

the Midland WR-120 is one of the most popular and economical weather radios around. This video produced by Midland show us just how quick and easy it is to program as well. The Midland WR-120 is available to ship directly from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.