Emerson AM/FM Portable Instant Weather Radio
Copyright © December 1, 2010 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.
During a hard times event it would be extremely useful if you could obtain current information about all the following:
A portable battery-operated radio could provide you with all the above information during a hard times event, even if the electricity was not working. Therefore almost any type of battery-operated radio would be better than no radio or an electric radio.
- Local News: Being able to quickly find out what was happening within a 25-mile radius of your home.
- Regional News: Having periodic updates of important events within a 100-mile radius of your home.
- National News: Being aware of major political and economic events that could impact your decision making process.
- International News: Staying informed on what is happening in the rest of the world and how it might eventually impact you.
- Local Weather Forecast: Knowing exactly what the current local weather conditions are and how the weather is expected to change over the next few hours and the next few days.
In addition, a portable radio could provide some with some entertainment because you would also be able listen to your favorite music.
The Emerson AM/FM Portable Instant Weather Radio
The portable battery-operated Emerson AM/FM Weather Radio can be purchased at most WalMart stores for approximately $20 to $22.
The Emerson Radio will operate using any of the following power sources:
I tested the radio using all three of the above power sources and I could not detect any difference in the quality of the sound or the number of radio stations that could be heard when using the different types of batteries versus ordinary house current.
- Ordinary 120-volt AC house current using the power cord that is included inside the rear of the radio, or
- Two Alkaline or two Lithium AA Flashlight batteries (1.5 volts each), or
- Two Rechargeable Ni-MH AA Flashlight batteries (1.2 volts each).
The radio was tested during a severe rain storm at night and the weather channel could be heard faintly but when I turned up the volume I could hear the weather channel clearly. I also tested the radio during good weather during the day and the weather channel could not be heard as clearly as at night. In fact, during the day the weather channel would fade in and then fade out completely. Therefore night reception of the weather channel will probably always be better than daytime reception of that same channel.
If you can afford it then you should also purchase a set of four Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries for approximately $10 and store them for a future emergency. The Ultimate Lithium batteries will last longer in storage than other batteries, and they will operate longer once they are put into active use. Therefore, they would be a good investment if you can afford them.
If you can afford it you should also purchase eight Rechargeable AA batteries and a Solar Battery Charger. With this combination you would be able to listen to your radio for a very long time even if the electricity were to fail for some unexpected reason.
Electronic devices are no longer being manufactured with life expectancies of ten or twenty years. In some cases the equipment is intentionally engineered to fail after two or three years in order to force us to purchase a new item. Therefore it would probably be a good idea to have more than one type of emergency battery operated radio at your home or retreat location. The Emerson radio would be a good choice as one of these emergency radios. It is affordable, it is reliable, and it easy to operate.
Now let's examine some of the nice features of the Emerson Portable Radio:
- It provides reasonably good reception on both the AM and FM radio frequencies.
- It has an internal AM antenna and a 16.5" telescoping FM antenna.
- It has a weather button on the top of the radio.
Note: To access the weather channel the top weather button must be in the down position and the radio power switch must be in the "on" position. If you only have the weather channel button pressed down and you do not have the power button on then all you will hear will be "static."
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has more than 750 transmitters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.
- The local weather forecasts are transmitted on frequencies from 162.400 to 162.550 MHz.
- In order to receive the weather forecast for your local area you will need to rotate the weather fine tuning knob on the rear of the radio until you can clearly hear the "local" weather forecast.
- Once you have this knob adjusted on the rear of your radio you will be able to immediately hear the weather whenever you push the weather button on the top of the radio.
- However, the weather channel does broadcast at a lower power level than conventional radio stations so you may need to turn up the volume control on your radio while listening to the weather.
- Being able to immediately access the weather could be a significant advantage during serious hazardous weather conditions that could impact your survival.
Note: If the weather button is in the down position all the other functions of the radio will be deactivated and the weather channel will be activated. If the weather button is in the up position the weather channel will be deactivated and all the other functions of the radio will be available.
- It has a digital clock with a date and time function.
- It has an earphone jack on the side of the radio. Therefore, if you have earphones, you can listen to the radio privately.
- It has a convenient carrying handle that allows you to easily move the radio to a different location.
- The radio measures approximately 8.75" long, 2.5" wide, and 5.6" tall.
- The radio weighs about 26.5 ounces without any batteries in the radio.
Note: I don't mention the problems I encounter to demonstrate my level of intellectual incompetence. The reason I mention my mistakes is to help some people avoid making the same mistakes.
- When you slide the rear battery compartment cover off the back of the radio you will find the permanently attached AC power cord and a space for four AA batteries.
- One battery is inserted in a small lower battery compartment.
Three batteries are inserted in a straight line directly above the first battery.
- The polarity illustration for the three batteries in the upper battery compartment is clearly labeled and easy to understand.
- However, if you look at the illustration for the one battery in the lower battery compartment you might become confused as I first did.
The lower battery compartment illustration shows "two" batteries, one on top of the other.
The top battery is for the battery in the row of three batteries on the upper level.
The partially hidden battery illustration is for the battery in the lower compartment.
The one battery in the lower compartment is inserted in the opposite direction from the three batteries in the upper compartment.
- When I first put the batteries in the radio I did not notice the "double" battery illustration in the lower compartment and I inserted the lower battery in the wrong direction.
The radio would not work.
Then I removed all four batteries and very carefully looked at the battery illustration in the lower compartment.
That is when I noticed that there were actually two batteries being illustrated and that the clearly visible battery was for the upper battery, and that the partially hidden battery that was difficult to see in the illustration was for the lower battery.
- When I reinserted the one lower battery in the opposite direction to the three upper batteries the radio worked perfectly.
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