Weather Radio false alarm?

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n5usr

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Anyone else in the OKC area have a weather radio that has SAME configured just for Oklahoma County (or maybe Canadian County)? I've double-checked, and mine has only those two set yet tonight it went off for the Severe Tstorm warning that was for McClain / Cleveland counties.

I haven't had SAME set up until recently, and it seemed to be doing fine until tonight. Just wondering if this is something that "just happens" or is what I get for buying a relatively cheap weather radio... :p (Got a Midland WR-100 which isn't the spiffiest unit around, but the price was right...)

It did also go off for the Tornado Watch, which included Oklahoma County.

I guess if it keeps doing this, I'll configure one of my scanners with the SAME codes as well, and see if it does this too...
 

woodyrr

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I have a Midland WR-300 with alerts restricted to Oklahoma County and although it would not have audibly alerted for a severe thunderstorm warning, any message received should be retained in the memory. I stepped back through the last few alerts and did not find a severe thunderstorm warning.
 

HogDriver

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I have a WR-100 set up the same way and the only thing mine went off for yesterday was the watch. Make sure you only have single county activated and not multiple county. If you have the code loaded for any other county, maybe you should delete it as well.
 

n5usr

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Well, I do have it set to multiple-county, but I only have the codes for Oklahoma and Canadian in it. Considering I live 1 1/2 miles from the county line between the two, I want to know what's up over there too!

Selecting "multiple" by design takes it off "any" - since you toggle the type first, then go set counties. And all the slots are empty except the first two with:
040109 - Oklahoma County
040017 - Canadian County

Hm, just double-checked the NWS county list, and I notice that Cleveland County is 040027 - anyone know how the counties to be alerted get selected? Is it possible someone fat-fingered a "17" instead of "27"? (In which case, the question - did they get a false alert - would then be for people who live in Canadian County.) Or is this automated somehow?

Anyway, I'll just have to wait for the next round of weather and see what happens...!
 

plaws

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n5usr said:
- anyone know how the counties to be alerted get selected? Is it possible someone fat-fingered a "17" instead of "27"?\
You maybe? :lol:

Without looking at the software to be certain, I'm confident that the forecaster generating the warning does not manually enter the FIPS code - the software does it for him/her based on the counties listed in the warning.

Someone who reads this forum at least occasionally could actually give a definitive answer. Perhaps he'll PM me if he wants to stay cloaked and I'll relay.
 

n5usr

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No, I didn't. I've checked probably 5 times now! :p

And I got another "false" alert tonight. The first one was good, as the storm moved into Canadian and Oklahoma County, but I just got one about 1/2 hour ago that was for up around Enid.

I have one of my scanners set to decode as well now, but looks like the storms are played out for tonight. Have to try to catch the next one...
 

HogDriver

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n5usr said:
Well, I do have it set to multiple-county, but I only have the codes for Oklahoma and Canadian in it. Considering I live 1 1/2 miles from the county line between the two, I want to know what's up over there too!

Selecting "multiple" by design takes it off "any" - since you toggle the type first, then go set counties. And all the slots are empty except the first two with:
040109 - Oklahoma County
040017 - Canadian County

Hm, just double-checked the NWS county list, and I notice that Cleveland County is 040027 - anyone know how the counties to be alerted get selected? Is it possible someone fat-fingered a "17" instead of "27"? (In which case, the question - did they get a false alert - would then be for people who live in Canadian County.) Or is this automated somehow?

Anyway, I'll just have to wait for the next round of weather and see what happens...!
After reviewing my instructions, it appears that if you have selected "Multiple" and only have OK and CN counties programmed and you recieved Enid, then something is not right with your radio. It should only receive Enid and everything else if you have "Any" set in.
Enid's xmtr is also on 162.475 so I'm not sure why you would be picking that up if you have 162.400 set in your radio.

I would go over your instructions step by step again to make sure you have skipped anythng or did something you were unaware of.
 

n5usr

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As I said, I've already gone through all that quite a few times. I'm sure it's the radio itself at this point too - which may also explain to me why so many people I know have turned off their radios because they "are always going off".

Unfortunately, this model seems to be a pretty common "promotional" one (which is where I got mine, Homeland had a display of them with Mike Morgan's face over it ) so if they have a propensity to do this... The lady at the register said they had sold a LOT of these things, they had ordered a second "truckload" (I can't imagine they actually had a whole semi load, though).

I had figured the people I was talking to simply hadn't programmed SAME (left it on "Any") but now I wonder if they may be having the same issue. It certainly isn't letting any and all alerts through, last night I did hear a couple of alerts go out on another radio (set to "All") while this one stayed silent. I just can't quite figure out the pattern (if there is one) yet.

I suppose it could just be my particular unit - that would be about my luck. Of course, one perfectly valid solution is simple - go buy something other than low-end! ;)
 

woodyrr

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Do you still have the receipt? I remember that the first S.A.M.E capable weather radio that I bought years ago was a Midland and it had a propensity to lock up after a while. I exchanged it and the replacement worked flawlessly until something went wrong with the AC adapter jack after years of plugging it and unplugging it when I took it with me out of town.

My real question is: Are you using a scanner other than Uniden? I think that it is great that Uniden includes the ability for their scanners to react to the 1050 Hz tone or S.A.M.E. codes broadcast by the NWS, but I wish that they would give the end user some control over the volume of the alert tone. Under the circumstances where a scanner is a suitable substitute for a dedicated weather radio, a deafening siren alert that can be heard in the next county is usually inappropriate. such as at work, traveling with friends, staying in a hotel room, or staying as a guest at someone's home. I understand the rationale behind not allowing the consumer to control the alert volume, but in my opinion, a quiet alert with the feature activated is better than no alert at all if you can't turn it on in the first place.
 

n5usr

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I probably don't have the receipt - but then I don't care too much. It does function "well enough" for what I wanted - sitting here on the desk, ready to go off so my scanners can be freed up. I'm not really interested in having one in my bedroom yet, so the false alarms aren't a big deal to me, I'd just like to see if the ones purchased by the people who complained about them are doing the same thing.

And I do know what you mean about the alert tone! My PRO-433 (which is a Uniden-made model) has the BLASTING LOUD alert tone too, annoying as ____. My PRO-164 (GRE model) does not, and is much appreciated! :p
 

mam1081

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n5usr said:
Anyone else in the OKC area have a weather radio that has SAME configured just for Oklahoma County (or maybe Canadian County)? I've double-checked, and mine has only those two set yet tonight it went off for the Severe Tstorm warning that was for McClain / Cleveland counties.


It did also go off for the Tornado Watch, which included Oklahoma County.
For warnings, I belive the NWS now uses polygon warning areas, as opposed to just specifying a county. If the warning barely crosses over the county line, perhaps the software they use knows which counties to include in the warning. I belive mine went off also for that event - and mine sounds programmed similarly to yours.

Eventually, we should be able to specify which part of the county we want to hear warnings from. This is not active yet, but the polygon warnings will help with that in the near future (ever wonder why that first digit in the SAME code is "0"???) :)
 

plaws

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mam1081 said:
Eventually, we should be able to specify which part of the county we want to hear warnings from. This is not active yet, but the polygon warnings will help with that in the near future (ever wonder why that first digit in the SAME code is "0"???) :)
"Watch by county" was first a few years back and now, yes, storm-based warnings. I think there is some info about it on OUN's page.

The problem with the FIPS codes is that there are only 10 possibilities for that first digit, and 0 means (IIRC) "the whole county". So really, only 9 subdivisions. So even that doesn't help much.
 

HogDriver

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mam1081 said:
Eventually, we should be able to specify which part of the county we want to hear warnings from. This is not active yet, but the polygon warnings will help with that in the near future (ever wonder why that first digit in the SAME code is "0"???) :)
'cause the government like to work with even numbers! If there wasn't a zero, it would be odd and the government has ENOUGH odd things already!
 

n5usr

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plaws said:
The problem with the FIPS codes is that there are only 10 possibilities for that first digit, and 0 means (IIRC) "the whole county". So really, only 9 subdivisions. So even that doesn't help much.
Hey, I'll take it! Good grief, the weather radio is driving me nuts tonight. I lost track of how many times this thing has gone off tonight, and I think only ONE has been relevant to me!

They can just grid the county into a 3x3 grid, and I'll only enter the ones over here on my side! :)

Maybe they can include the sirens in that smaller gridding - they sounded the sirens over here on the western edge of the county at least once (that I heard - I can only *barely* hear the things in a quiet house) for a warning that was over at the eastern edge... Now I think of it, the Bethany officers were asking what was up because they heard sirens - so they must have gone off more than once.

On the plus side, the weather radio HAS been going off correctly tonight. (Or, at least, I haven't had any that didn't list Oklahoma or Canadian.)
 

woodyrr

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Mine received three alerts: First, a Tornado Watch, then a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, and finally, a Tornado Warning.

In the vicinity of SE 15th and Air Depot in Midwest City, we had tennis ball sized hail that dented the ---- out of my vehicles :mad: . I guess that we are lucky in that I heard that there was baseball sized hail a mile or two to the east.

The center of rotation went directly over my house and I took a picture looking straight up at a peculiar spiraling feature.

As was not the case with the EDACS radio system, Oklahoma City, in my opinion, made the correct decision to select Whelen over Federal Signal for their electronic outdoor warning siren system. On the opposite side of that coin, and beyond my ability to comprehend, they activate every one of the 182 sirens regardless of the location of the threatened area. I guess that they figure that if they always set them all off someone can’t pitch a fit that there was a tornado somewhere in the State and the siren near them didn’t go off. :confused:
 
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I live in west OKC and the sirens never sounded in my area. I definitely would have known because the there is a whelen system in my neighbors back yard.

On a side note: Anyone hear the fiasco on 145.41, ie hams yelling on the radio, net control being ran from someone that lives 70 miles away from OKC in the opposite direction of the risk area, the same person giving updates to OUN via "his TV". I've been down to the weather center they have more tv's than the average sports bar. Just wanted to vent my frustration, we as radio/scanner/ham enthusiasts should concentrate our efforts more and organize a group to handle these types of situations. JM2C
 

grack

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n5usr said:
(that I heard - I can only *barely* hear the things in a quiet house)
Sirens these days are only intended to be a warning system for those outdoors. Houses are built too tight these days for the sound to make it through.

But in all fairness, some of these newer sirens are pitiful compared to the old civil defense systems.
 

n5usr

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grack said:
Sirens these days are only intended to be a warning system for those outdoors. Houses are built too tight these days for the sound to make it through.

But in all fairness, some of these newer sirens are pitiful compared to the old civil defense systems.
Yeah, I've heard that. I'm not complaining - I actually like being able to sleep through the storms! :p For that matter, if I were to get up and move to a "safe place" during a storm, it would be about six feet, so I'm not sure it would make much difference anyway... (Me, go to a safe place? I'd be out at the radio bench listening in!)

On the other end of the spectrum, my sister's last house was two doors down from one of the new style sirens and you could feel the vibrating in your bones when it went off there! Ye-gods! All you could do was sit and stare dumbly at each other until it was turned off...
 

n5usr

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Oh, and I managed to sleep right through the excitement on the west side last night! Got up and headed to work this morning, today I was at a school on the far NW side, and couldn't figure out why so many street lights were flashing red and the school had no power...!
 
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