Oregon Scientific WR102
S.A.M.E. Weather Radio
About a year ago I was in need of a new Weather Alert radio to replace an older unit that I had been using since the 1980's. On a trip to the Bass Pro Shop in Atlanta I came across this particular radio and decided to give it a try, think the price at the time was $19.
The WR102 operates on 7 N.O.A.A. frequencies that are used by the National Weather Service to provide up to date weather, alerts and warning to all 50 states in the USA. Average reception range for each channel is around 40 miles depending on the strength of the transmitting station. I have driven from South Carolina to Florida and never had a problem with reception, as soon as one channel started getting weak I could easily change to a stronger channel.
The S.A.M.E. feature is what I like most about this radio. Basically this allows you to program the radio so it sends out alerts or warnings for the counties you specify, this keeps things simple and allows you to receive only warning or alerts for the programmed area instead of the entire region. My radio is programmed for my county and the surrounding two counties. When I go camping or hunting I program the extra channels for those area's too.
Its fairly small, portable and comes with a belt clip holster and wrist lanyard. I can toss it in the GHB bag, clip to the belt, visor in the vehicle or just sit it on the counter or pc desk for home use.
Inexpensive when compared to other radio's of similar size and feature offerings.
Great reception, good volume control and the buttons are easy to use and well placed on the unit.
Battery life is somewhat short due to the fairly large always on LCD screen. If you use the backlight the battery life gets even shorter. Get a lot of alerts or use the radio a lot for catching the weather and again the battery life is reduced. At present time my three 1.5v batters have been installed for a week, so far so good but I have not used to backlight yet.
The battery cover has a very thin o-ring type gasket, can be aggravating to get it back in place after changing the batteries.
NiCad and NiMH batteries have really short run time in the unit, at least the rechargeable ones I have.
It's always on and has not On/Off feature other than removing the batteries and loosing all the pre-programmed S.A.M.E. codes.
Good for my needs, but I would prefer a model that had a smaller LCD screen and longer battery life but with similar features.