BCD436 Weather priority alert problem

Status
Not open for further replies.

Macscanner436

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
27
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
When I set my weather Alert which is confirmed by viewing the "WX" symbol in the bottom right I noticed that it chops up received audio(5 seconds on 1 second off of audio). I am aware of how priorities work and this can be caused the choppy sound but for the weather channel alerts which is on 24/7 I don't think this should disrupt my everyday scanner listening. My thinking is since weather alerts are repeated the scanner could easily pick up the alert when no radio receptions are playing on the scanner. My scanner is configured with a couple SAME values. Can the BCD436 be configured for weather monitoring with no scanner audio interruptions?
 

mdulrich

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
1,610
Location
Van Wert, Ohio
The scanner needs to receive the alert tones to know there is a weather alert. The tones are only set off at the first alert, not when the audio of the alert is repeated periodically. If the tones aren't received, the scanner has no way to know there is an alert.

Mike
 

N0UDG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
850
When I set my weather Alert which is confirmed by viewing the "WX" symbol in the bottom right I noticed that it chops up received audio(5 seconds on 1 second off of audio). I am aware of how priorities work and this can be caused the choppy sound but for the weather channel alerts which is on 24/7 I don't think this should disrupt my everyday scanner listening. My thinking is since weather alerts are repeated the scanner could easily pick up the alert when no radio receptions are playing on the scanner. My scanner is configured with a couple SAME values. Can the BCD436 be configured for weather monitoring with no scanner audio interruptions?
To monitor the Wx Service for Alert Tones without interrupting your audio would require two receivers.

With that said I have never had my Wx radio go off before the Public Safety people announced the event. However, I do monitor the CD and Storm spotters and they are in direct contact with the weather service. Indeed, it is what they report that is often the reason the Wx Alert radio goes off.

However, it may depend on what you are monitoring as one night a Chicago police officer called in to the dispatcher to announce that he was in heavy rain, hail, wind and he and the citizen he had pulled over had to take refuge in his car and was wondering if there was anything he needed to know since the tornado sirens were now sounding. He was told he might want to seek shelter, he responded it was too late for that as he could not see to drive.
 

davenlr

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
637
Location
North Little Rock, Ar
For the cost, I would highly recommend a dedicated weather alert radio vs trying to monitor for weather alerts while using the device for listening to something else.
 

JamesO

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
1,813
Location
McLean, VA
The BCD436 is designed to receive Weather alerts. It should not interrupt regular listening for infrequent alerts.
You cannot squeeze blood from a turnip!

So until you can defy the laws of physics, you have to live with this, this has not changed for any scanner manufacturer for many years.

The only option I would see as a possible work around would be if Uniden would allow a 1050 Hz CCTSS option for the Weather Alerts. This way you could set up the scanner to scan the Weather frequencies normally. The downfall is the FALSE sense of security that you would catch all weather alerts because of the scan time to revisit the Weather Frequency or a long winded dispatch or response. You could try and counter this by adding a lot of Weather frequencies in a scan list of lists, but then there would need to be a trunking pause option to go to conventional or Weather frequencies.

If there was a Weather Priority option only while scanning and not stopped on an active channel, you would not have disruptions, but you would likely miss weather alerts. This set up would be very similar to the above idea.

No free lunch here my friend.

If Weather Alerts are this much a priority, time for another dedicated radio as mentioned.

Or you might check a smart phone App like this one for Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.globalcanofworms.android.simpleweatheralert&hl=en
 

Macscanner436

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
27
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
The DND function seems it would apply to Weather alerts. The manual states

Priority DND – The scanner checks priority channels, based on the Priority Interval and Max Channels settings, only when not receiving other conventional channels so there is no interruption in scanning with conventional systems.

Now this does not seem to be applied to weather alerts, but I do not see any reason weather channel alerts can' be made low priority without interrupting scanner listening. When the radio starts scanning and now signal is found and a weather alert exists it changes to the weather alert channel. This would prevent any interruption in regular scanning listening.
 

davenlr

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
637
Location
North Little Rock, Ar
Fire Department A puts out a dispatch to a house on fire about 20 miles of your current location. Dispatch takes about 45 second from tone outs to units to respond plus actual dispatch. 5 seconds after that dispatch starts, weather service issues a tornado warning. The tone lasts 10 seconds. You have DND turned on, so the scanner never hears the tone from the NWS. By the time the scanner releases the fire dispatch, the tone from the NWS is over, and you have a tornado coming right toward you. Hopefully the info will be repeated multiple times on other channels you are scanning.

Get a dedicated weather radio for alerts or use a cell phone app. A scanner would be the last thing I would use to warn me of a tornado coming toward me if I was using it to listen to other things.
 

N2MWE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
2,462
Location
New York State, Land of King Putz
The BCD436 is designed to receive Weather alerts. It should not interrupt regular listening for infrequent alerts.
I don't think the makers of this scanner, nor the amateur radios with alert, meant for the radios to be on full time WX alert. As another poster said, if you're home, use a weather radio. WX Alert is geared more for those who take the radios on hikes, walks, camping, etc. Hence, you're going to want it to check every five seconds for an alert. Just my humble two shekels
 

Macscanner436

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
27
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
My priority is scanning not the weather. But the option for setting a priority for waether over asay a Fire alert appears to be a valid function of the scanner. Why do you think it should not be able to set a weather alert over say Fire or Police broadcast?
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
How many of us don't have a dozen scanners all capable of tuning NOAA weather radio? Chances are you've got a radio already lying around that can be set to WX Alert and left like that for days or weeks at a time. I know I do. Many of my older scanners sit completely unused. I could easily set one up for WX alerts. If you don't have one, chances are you can find one on eBay for $50 or less, or just buy a dedicated WX radio on Amazon for about the same price.

-AZ
 

N2ZGE

Active Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
1,820
Location
Roselle Park, NJ
You can easily go to your local accu weather or weather channel website and set what type of alerts you would like them to email or text to your phone. But, it may not be sent at the exact same time as the NOAA alert tone. I do notice their alerts are slightly delayed. However, I do agree that for the price of the scanner, they should have somehow manufactured it in a way so that the SAME alerts are DND mode.
 

Macscanner436

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
27
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Reviewing interruption of audio

The weather WX does occasionally pick weather warnings but continues to interruupt non-weather audio as the weather priority "wx" is set. The manual does not state this could occur. the interruptions are about 1 second blank audio occurring for every 5 seconds of listening.
 

Macscanner436

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
27
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Priority ?

why would the blocking of regular listening of other channels even for a couple of seconds be acceptable? By that I mean you could be listening in on a clear channel and then there is a 2 second blank sound masking the communications.
 

Voyager

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
12,043
If you find the gap unacceptable, just disable the WX priority. If the weather alerts aren't important to you, you can monitor without any gaps at all.

Easy fix.

Fact is the scanner has to tune to the WX channel and monitor it for the alert tone. That takes time. Time creates gaps.

With what you propose, the scanner may never hear the alert tone. Then, people would be complaining that their WX Priority doesn't work at all when it was the amount of traffic they monitor that creates the issue.

So, in short, you need to decide which is more important to you: Weather alerts or no gaps.
 

Voyager

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
12,043
How can you remove the pause if the receiver is tuned to the weather channel?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top