Reecom Weather Radios and More

Of the Featured Image at the Top. Yes, on Top of the Scanner, as I hang my head in shame, is Dust. No, the Dust is no longer there, but I wish I knew it was before taking the picture. Also, see the Honorable Mention on the Clock at the end of this Blog. 

Weather Radios. Why? Pittsburgh is not known for Tornados, yet they have occurred, infrequently. My wife and I began renting a home in a country setting, full time, for 5 years, about 125 miles north of Pittsburgh (for Weekends and Holidays). Historically, An EF-5 tornado wound its way through the area a number of years ago. An Amish man decided to sit on the porch, he was very old and never saw a tornado before. The rest of the family sheltered. The man didn’t survive to tell his story.

Are Weather Alerting Radios just about Weather? Not at all. Below I’ll write about Reecom Radios. On their site, common among the Models they offer, are these Alerts that can be received, and many of these can be Turned-off, as I have done on Avalanche, Amber Alerts, and more: 

Responding Events:  

  • Child Abduction Emergency (Amber Alert)
  • Tornado / Hurricane / Severe Thunder Storm 
  • Flash Flood / Flood / Special Marine / Blizzard / Winter Storm
  • High Wind / Tsunami / Avalanche 
  • Fire / Wild Fire / Volcano 
  • Chemical Spill / Radiological Hazard / Hazardous Materials
  • Emergency Action Notification / Civil Danger / Shelter In Place
  • Nuclear Power Plant Warning / Immediate Evacuation
  • Civil Emergency Message / Local Area Emergency 
  • Earthquake / Land Slide 
  • 911 Telephone Outage / Power Outage
  • Dust Storm / Tropical Storm / Dam Break / Food Contamination
  • And More…Indispensable in school, childcare centers, health care facilities, business and homes 

It’s not just about Weather!

The Motivation my Wife and I had to get an Alerting Weather Radio:

Incident 1: My wife and I rented a room in a small motel right on the edge of Lake Erie. That night, a water spout landed not far away, as we slept.

Incident 2: At the home we rented 125 Miles North of Pittsburgh, as we slept, in a town about 15 miles away, in Ohio, a Tornado struck, likely an EF-1, there was damage, tree limbs down, but no structural damage to buildings concerning their integrity.

Had we been awake for these tornados, we still wouldn’t know they were occurring. The area near our rental home had tornado sirens, but we wouldn’t have understood the alarm. The only options that Made Sense to us were Weather Radios and Weather Notification Services.

The Notification Services at the time, I don’t think were very sophisticated, and the Weather Radios were fine for stationary locations, more so with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), or if you’re traveling with one and have it set to Alarm on any Broadcast Alerts, with a map and a little figuring, you could see if your current area might be involved. 

Radios were available as Simple Receiving Radios, Alerting Radios that Alert on Any Received Alerting Code, and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) that only Alerts when the Specific Area or County Code that is encoded into the Alerting Signal is received, this prevents Alerts for areas distant from your location.

Our first Weather Radio was the Radio Shack 12-251. We were well satisfied with it. 

The Radio Shack 12-251 uses Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) that is based on the reception of FIPS Codes (Federal Information Processing System) so that the Radio Alarms for the programmed area only. The radio will receive all 7 Weather Frequencies and All Alerts before having a Specific County programmed into it. To limit the Alerts to your county, one FIPS code is used. For 2 counties (you may need to be aware of weather in another county nearby, or a county where your weather typically comes from) a second code could be entered. The radio accepted a maximum of 2 FIPS codes.

Radio Shack 12-251

Years later, we Purchased a Reecom R-1630. I recommend Reecom products, we were very pleased with this model, still in production. I recommended it to my employer, and one was installed in the Control Room of a Chemical Plant, they made minor changes in operation when storms threatened.

Reecom R-1630

Model: R-1630
NOAA All Hazards / Weather Alert Radio


S.A.M.E. Features:

  • Monitor alerts for single county, up to 26 specific counties or ALL Areas.
  • Respond to Amber Alert, All Hazards Alert and E.A.S Alert
  • Voice Alert with EOM (End Of Message) Detection
  • Defeat Siren / Event Blocking Function – Defeat siren for up to 48 events not of your interest
  • 25 Event Memories with date / time stamp

Alert Message Display / Indicators:

  • Display Event Message and Effective Time on the LCD at a Glance
  • LED flashing light for Warning, Watch or Advisory / Statement
  • Displays Effective Time – Auto Count Down for up to 25 active events concurrently
  • Continuous LCD Backlight Display Selectable

Alerts (Siren, i.e. an Audible Alarm) occur with this radio, “Statement, Watch, Warning” LED is Set, AND, there is a Message in Text as to the Nature of the Alert and a History Kept of these Alerts. Though the Radio Shack 12-251 did similarly, it had no LCD Display to show the cause of the Statement, Watch, or Warning and no History of Events. 

Years later, we purchased another Reecom. After looking online, in my Searches, it seems that the attention to Table Top Weather Radios have dwindled by most manufacturers over the years. Yet I knew that Reecom is a Solid Product, and I trust them. Midland seems to be the only serious competitor to Reecom that I saw. They too have some seemingly fine Weather Radios. Lastly, Sangean has a Model I always wanted, but there was a problem with it draining batteries, and I can’t determine if they have corrected it. So for the time being, Reecom and Midland would be my suggestions. 

I have a working Reecom, why another? Good question.

Pittsburgh just went through an outage of the National Weather Radio System for almost 2 months to the day. I only became aware of it because I had received a Severe Weather Alert for my area on a cellphone app, but not on the Weather Radio. I initially thought that the radio was no longer working. I didn’t expect to find the radio was fine, but the govt. transmitter was not working. The newer Reecom includes a Notification to Check the System Operation if it goes 10 days without Receiving a Test Signal or Actual Alert from the National Weather Service, the older one didn’t. I also noticed that the Firmware in the Newer Reecoms has been updated to include certain Wind Events, and my original Reecom Product has older Firmware. 

Reecom Electronics Incorporated 

A note on the Reecom Website. It looks dated, it’s not written using the more Secure Website Technologies, but there’s a reason that’s ok. They don’t sell their product on their Website, they use Amazon, and Amazon will have all the Security Bases Covered. Read the Technical Information on the Reecom Website, they seemingly know their stuff. And I have seen them answer comments on their Amazon Listings, that’s how I found out my original Weather Radio Firmware is getting a little old. 


My newer Reecom Product, with a surprise I didn’t expect. It’s a tiny radio. But I fell in love with it, it works great. Robust performance in a tiny package will certainly appeal to others too. 

R-200 - 4 - 1

R-200 - 3 - 1

Model: R-200
Multi-Channel Watch NOAA All Hazards / Weather Alert Radio


S.A.M.E. Features:

  • Not only monitor Home channel alerts (single watch), but also  Multiple Watch other receivable channels in standby mode
  • Monitor alerts for single county, multiple counties, up to 26 specific counties or ALL Areas
  • Respond to Amber Alert, All Hazards Alert and E.A.S Alert
  • Voice Alert with EOM (End Of Message) Detection
  • Voice Alert with Timer (up to 60 minutes)
  • Siren Alert with Timer (up to 60 minutes)
  • Defeat Siren / Event Blocking – Able to defeat siren for some events not of your interest
  • 51 Event Memories with date / time stamp

Alert Message Display / Indicators:

  • Display Event Message and Effective Time on the LCD at a Glance
  • LED flashing light for Warning, Watch or Advisory / Statement
  • Displays Effective Time – Auto Count Down for up to 51 active events concurrently
  • Display Number of Active Events
  • Display Alert Receiving Channel
  • Continuous LCD Backlight ON / OFF Setting
  • Levels Back Light Brightness Control

The Display Showing the Date, Time, Channel Selected, SAME Status (Single County), and Alarm Style of Voice (i.e. an Audible Alarm occurs for a specific period of time, then the Radio Switches on and the Radio Broadcast can be heard). 

R-200 - 5

The Frequency of the Selected Channel can be briefly shown by pressing the Radio Button, and then the display reverts to the above display. 

R-200 - 6

Below: My Radio Menagerie, the Reecom R-200, Uniden 785D Digital Police Scanner, and the Palstar R-30 Shortwave Receiver. The FM Only Stereo Receiver was mine from childhood (making it 50+ years old), a Ferguson 3426 Made in England, more can be seen in the Featured Image at the top of the page.

The Reecom R-200 is shown next to my IPod Nano. It’s a Very Small MP3 Player, and as you can see, the Reecom R-200 is really not that much larger when comparing the face of each device. 

R-200 - 2

Honorary Mention (In the Featured Image at the Top of the Page: 

The Alarm Clock is a Timex T402. It has a Removable Lithium Battery that can be used to Charge Cellphones. With the proper container for the Battery, it could be carried during the day to use to charge cellphones with their USB Style Cable. And the Alarm Clock also has a USB Changing Port at the Lower Right Side, so the Clock Itself can be used to Charge Cellphones. I use the Battery Often to Charge an LED Camp Light that I have, have used it on my phone, and on my tablet (not all at once, of course, it was recharged between each individual use). 

Timex T402


Bottom Line: 

  1. Consider purchasing, learning how to use, and using an All Alerts Weather Radio. 
  2. Consider Reecom when looking at products, the R-1630, the R-1650D (Like the 1630 but with AM/FM Reception as well), the R-200, the R-500 (Like the R-200 but with AM/FM Reception as well) are all fine radios. Midland is another All Alerts  Weather Radio worth a look. Sangean makes a nice All Alerts Weather Radio with AM/FM, but at one time, had a Battery Drain Issue, look for Reviews before purchasing. 

Resources and Information:

“NOAA Weather Radio”

“The History of the NOAA Weather Radio”

“The Radio System That Keeps Us Safe From Extreme Weather Is Under Threat” NOAA Weather Radio needs some serious upgrades. 

“Weather Receivers and Amateur Repeaters…”
Information and Legalities


Author: Dr-Artaud

A Doctor that is not a Doctor, but named after a character in the movie "No Such Thing", as is the Avatar.

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