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Weather alert capability

K4RBT

Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
89
In my move to Spartanburg, SC, I want to have the best portable weather alert monitor I can get. I am already looking in to the Unication G5. Can SAME alerting sequence be programmed in to it? I used to fire buff, but have gone to weather buffing as it covers a wider range of scenarios. I am into weather photography and video. I would rather not have a brick as I will be carrying either my camera bag or the video camera bag
 

w2lie

New York DB Admin
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Long Island, NY
SAME weather cannot be programmed into a G5. But what you can do is set a 1050hz tone on the NOAA Frequency and have the pager alert to that long tone.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
Messages
89
The problem with that is alerts on multiple incidents and all the things they have piled on a system not meant to have it. I still have not programmed my Midland to take a lot of the fluff alerts that cannot be bypassed. A tsunami alert for the Blue Ridge mountains?
I am not sure who maintains the weather transmitter here in Roanoke. While a technician for the Virginia State Police, we had it. Keep moving it because of the intermod it caused. One site was great as it was the only transmitter at they site. We found out it was not a good site as every thunder storm that came through the area, a strike would take out the power supply and sometimes the final tubes.
Monitoring it now, the audio is distorted. It is like rf is getting into the unit. I believe it is back on Poor Mountain along TV/Radio Row, as we called it. Rf voltmeter on an aluminum can on the ground showed 3.4 volts! Problem is that it has to cover into West Virginia and North Carolina, and Poor Mountain is the only place it would do so.
Also, will the 1050Hz work if the tone is not a sine wave?
 

K4RBT

Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
89
Will the Unication alert on a non-sine wave tone? As the 1050Hz is just a tone to alert you, it might be any kind of tone, possibly a square wave (gets your attention, just like the electronic sirens).
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
Messages
89
I am having a real problem learning to do a proper post. I keep loosing them and starting over. Then find out it was posted.
 

w2lie

New York DB Admin
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The Unication Pagers will alert on the 1050hz tone. I've programmed up several and they all alert for the weekly tests.
 

k3sls

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
251
Location
FM03qu North Myrtle Beach SC
There are several better ways to do weather alerting. Run your own weather server using Weather Message Software LLC > Home with a direct feed from NWS Weather Wire or your own dish/receiver. Completely configurable by county/zone/both and alert types. Alerts can be sent via SMS/Paging/eMail/FTP/HTML. Alerts are delivered in 2-5 seconds from NWS dispatch. Runs on just about any Windows PC and cost is about $80 one time charge...free updates included. No cost solution is the free FEMA app for Android or iOS. Also fully configurable for up to five counties and alert types. Alerts are delivered in about 8 seconds from NWS dispatch. Both of these methods typically are delivered faster than alerts are broadcast over NWS radio. While both methods require data service on your phone (SMS/eMail), even the crappiest service reliably receives the messages. The FEMA app also includes active/available shelter info for emergencies and even allows you to start a claim or request for assistance.
 

bob550

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Apr 5, 2005
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Albany County, NY
No cost solution is the free FEMA app for Android or iOS.
I absolutely agree that this is a great alternative, depending on whether you have a smartphone of course. Smartphones have replaced dozens of devices of yesteryear including cameras, tape recorders, standalone GPS devices, address books, photo albums, light meter, sound meter, and of course, weather radios.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
Messages
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I looked at some of the "apps" (are we that obsessed with speed to murder the English language) then my "smartphone started cutting out the audio. Went to a newer model and it is doing weird things. I equate the cell store people with the "Apple Genius", even PHds are not geniuses, I worked with a whole bunch at Virginia Tech.
Having worked for Motorola when the "brick" came out, I have seen an obsession with the mundane. I have learned when you put all of your eggs in one basket, you drop the basket.
I laugh at the videos taken by cellphones and the massive black borders and the shaking. My "app" to control my hearing aids was a flop and the company did nothing to fix it, probably had someone working out of his bedroom do the software. They do not answer e-mails.
You cannot link the GPS to a standalone APRS system, no NEMA output. Plus, they do not work for all of the satellites in use, only ours.
Since I shoot RAW, I cannot use the phone for a photo album. You have to use the camera in the cellphone. My sound meter had to work with my hearing aids, never worked right. I carry a handheld amateur radio. Why duplicate the WX receiver with another?
When I move, I am going back to wireline as I rarely go out to need an overpriced cell service. I bet when they go 5G (already talking about 6G)
you can bet the higher speed will cost you. They are not in the business to make friends, but to make profit. I do not need 5G as I only use it as a telephone, but I will have to take it. Just try getting some of the "extras" removed to lower your bill, it will not happen.
 

bob550

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They are not in the business to make friends, but to make profit.
Well, that describes most companies. That said, wireless carriers are increasingly challenged to find new ways of generating profits, especially since the subscriber growth of the early days has flatlined. Increasing functionality in handsets is one way to attract new customers. I'd suspect that far fewer people use their phones for making actual phone calls these days. I certainly don't. I also suspect that if you put a smartphone head-to-head against a standalone device, be it a 35MM digital camera, Garmin GPS, or sound meter, you'd find the phone lacking in performance and features. But as someone once said, somewhat dismissively I think, "the best camera is the one that's with you".

Regarding your original question, you could also consider one of the many available portable weather radios on the market. They're roughly the same size as your average FRS or GMRS radio, and would add minimal weight to your bag. I think you'd have a long wait for Unication to give you this capability simply because not every G-series pager has the required VHF coverage. At a minimum, you can program the NOAA WX channels in to a G5 with VHF. I've done that and reception is fairly good considering that the internal antenna receives the VHF signal.
 

k3sls

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
251
Location
FM03qu North Myrtle Beach SC
Well, that describes most companies. That said, wireless carriers are increasingly challenged to find new ways of generating profits, especially since the subscriber growth of the early days has flatlined. Increasing functionality in handsets is one way to attract new customers. I'd suspect that far fewer people use their phones for making actual phone calls these days. I certainly don't. I also suspect that if you put a smartphone head-to-head against a standalone device, be it a 35MM digital camera, Garmin GPS, or sound meter, you'd find the phone lacking in performance and features. But as someone once said, somewhat dismissively I think, "the best camera is the one that's with you".

Regarding your original question, you could also consider one of the many available portable weather radios on the market. They're roughly the same size as your average FRS or GMRS radio, and would add minimal weight to your bag. I think you'd have a long wait for Unication to give you this capability simply because not every G-series pager has the required VHF coverage. At a minimum, you can program the NOAA WX channels in to a G5 with VHF. I've done that and reception is fairly good considering that the internal antenna receives the VHF signal.
While 2G/3G cellular sunset is within the next 2 years, 4G sunset is at least a decade away...so K4RBT shouldn't be concerned about cellular profiteers shoving 5G service down his/her throat. And to smartphones, they aren't needed to receive SMS messages. There are numerous sources delivering weather alerts via SMS (including Weather Message Server as I mentioned previously) which will work fine on a basic phone.

I agree that smart phones may not do some tasks as well as a single task device...but they do a whole bunch of different things well enough that I rarely need to carry the single task device. I can send APRS info, get RAW camera output, use VOIP for digital amateur radio, listen to music, watch my home security system/cameras, navigate to a location, watch a game, etc...and oh yeah...make a phone call. The list goes on and on. And I gave up my wireline because I don't need to buy an extended car warranty, my Microsoft is not about to expire (unless I pay $299), and my Medicare supplemental plan is free through my retirement plan. Sliced bread doesn't compare to a smartphone in my book...the smartphone definitely beats it!

I suppose I'm lucky in that we have a Verizon plan giving us unlimited everything, including data, for $30/line. The plan is no longer available...but we can keep it as long as we want.
 
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DJ11DLN

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Premium Subscriber
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Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,061
Location
Mudhole, IN
Locally any weather alerts are also broadcast by the 911 center to all agencies.
They (mostly) do that here too...but there can be anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes delay before they get around to it. If the Dispatcher has other irons in the fire, they get forged first.
 

K4RBT

Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
89
I researched cell service where I am relocating and was surprised. AT&T (The Death Star) was at the top, but because they do not have the worst service. Verizon was next, followed bu T-Mobile and Sprint (bought by T-Mobile). I searched out the towers, by the way, are NOT owned by the service provider. There are three companies that bought the tower and equipment and lease time on it. That is the reason Verizon was #2, lousy tower locations. There is no mandate that they supply service, good or bad, strictly profit. I am glad I do not invest in communications, they are bottoming out. The COVED-19 is over taxing their systems, a people are jumping services to try and stay connected. I read too many trade journals and websites!
After being hit in a head on collision, I fear driving, not because of my capabilities but the morons that are on the road. And, around here, there is no law enforcement.
As for the weather alerts, I called in a hail report, pea sized but lots, They did not see it on their radar. So much for technology.
 
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