View Full Version : Sign of the times or Shades of Conelrad


heathkit tv
07-01-2004, 11:17 PM
Alert (http://www.rca.com/content/viewdetail/1,,EI700443,00.html)

Press Release (http://www.rca.com/content/viewdetail/1,2811,EI700548-CI258,00.html?)

Anthony

kc8adu
07-04-2004, 10:15 AM
just a same reciever integrated into the set.
would not be a bad idea.if it gave you an extra 30 sec to take cover as the tornado came thru it would be worth it.
severe weather is the biggest threat.
the same recievers have been around awhile but most folks have never heard of them much less own and use one.

Jeffhs
07-04-2004, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by kc8adu
the same recievers have been around awhile but most folks have never heard of them much less own and use one.

I bought a Midland SAME receiver four years ago. Programmed the decoder for my county of residence, and the set works just great. The only thing I don't quite understand about these receivers is why some have an "all county" setting for the programmable decoder, as mine does. Who on earth would need or want to hear, for example, every single severe weather warning for every one of Ohio's 88 counties? In larger states with more counties, such as California or Texas, et al. the problem is worse when ordinary weather receivers are used. I can see where a SAME receiver, with its decoder set to respond to every county's weather warnings, could become an insufferable nuisance when it would sound off every five seconds (almost literally), especially at night, every time one or more severe weather warnings were posted for any county within 200+ miles of the unit.

One big reason the SAME system was developed in the first place was to eliminate annoying "false alarm" warnings for severe weather in counties other than that in which the owner resides. The SAME system works by encoding each county's emergency weather broadcasts with a special signal to which a SAME weather receiver with a specially programmed decoder will respond. If the decoder is programmed correctly for the user's county of residence, it will allow the receiver to operate only upon receipt of a severe weather warning for the county for which the unit has been programmed. The only exception to this will be when the weather alert system is tested, as is required by FCC edict (the same schedule as for the old Conelrad and EBS, and the current EAS, emergency warning alert networks). These tests are conducted weekly, usually (at least here in Ohio) on Wednesday mornings, and last about a minute. The tests are inaudible for the most part, except for very short bursts of digital code (the same as the required monthly EAS tests on radio and TV).

Note as well that EAS tests and alerts will be heard over your local cable system's digital music channels, if such channels are available--not to mention regular TV programming. The alerts/tests will break in on the music, etc. programming, returning to said programming after the alert or test ends. The reason this happens is that most if not all digital cable boxes are designed to automatically switch to a designated EAS alert station (typically a local television station) when an alert or test is issued; this will occur even if your digital set-top box is tuned to a cable channel such as ESPN. This is meant as a fail-safe measure to insure that emergency warnings are heard, regardless of what other broadcast or cable channel the box is tuned to.

RCA (Thomson) Alert Guard (r) televisions are equipped with a SAME receiver which works identically to stand-alone receivers. The difference is that the SAME receivers in Alert Guard sets are designed to operate independently of the television, whether or not the latter is even switched on, the same as stand-alone receivers. The only requirement is that the TV set must be plugged into a live AC outlet.

The TV set does not even have to be connected to an antenna or cable, as the SAME receiver has its own antenna. Since the emergency alert signal is broadcast by the same NWS (National Weather Service) stations which disseminate weather warnings, and most cities, towns and areas have at least one such station within their boundaries, their signals are usually quite strong, being receivable on most SAME receivers and Alert Guard (r) TVs using built-in antennas.