For the record, I do not own the featured image on this page, rather I downloaded it from eBay and I give credit to whomever credit is due.
As you, the reader, can probably tell, I have an strong interest in Weather Radios.
I first read about a NOAA Weather Radio in the Summer of 1997 at the age of ten and a half whilst reading a hurricane preparedness pamphlet.
I wouldn’t actually own a NOAA Weather Radio until December of 2001 at the age of fourteen going on fifteen.
However, once I owned one, I would be completely fascinated.
My parents thought there was something wrong with me because of it.
Well technically there is something wrong with me, but when I was a teen, I was the only teen I knew of that was interested in radio electronics.
Nowadays, there are plenty of teens who are interested in radio electronics, especially weather radio, and sites like YouTube are living proof.
Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong generation and should have been born ten to fifteen years later.
It was in my mid-twenties that I began to collect weather radios.
Now at the age of thirty-two-going-on-thirty-three, I am frequently visiting thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops, and hamfests to purchase gently-used vintage weather radios.
On November 2, 2019, I had some cash on me and went to my local GoodWill.
It was as if God Himself was telling me to go there because I would find a weather radio.
And in the electronics/appliances section, I found an Oregon Scientific WR601N in very good condition, but selling for only $1.97+tax.
I had been wanting one of these for a couple years but didn’t want to pay the MSRP.
This piece will be a review of that aforementioned weather radio.
What I purchased at GoodWill only included the radio, battery door, and lanyard. There was no manual, cradle or AC adaptor.
Still, for $1.97+tax, I’m not going to complain.
Performance-wise, this radio is a true winner:
The size is very compact and can be carried on your person or in a backpack without weighing the user down.
The antenna is short and stubby, but is rugged and pulls in the Weather Radio broadcast very well, even from forty miles away!
The speaker audio is clear and crisp but can be annoying when there is noise in the signal.
The radio runs on 3 AA batteries and the runtime seems generous.
There are a clock and calendar which I must say keeps time very accurately, like +/-1 second in a week!
There are two separate alarm times that can be set and the alarm is loud enough.
The radio receives all seven weather radio channels.
The radio is equipped with S.A.M.E. technology and can store up to six administrative divisions or monitor all six.
The blue backlight lights up the display brightly and evenly. It is activated by pressing the snooze button.
The housing seems to be built very well and could probably survive a few drops.
Also, the face of the radio is yellow, meaning it can be easily found in a dark room or cluttered baggage.
There is an external speaker jack.
The display can be expressed in English, French or Spanish.
There are only three real [albeit minor] complaints I have and they are:
The radio can be a bit tricky to program and operate and takes some getting used to.
The radio also has trouble standing by itself, even on a flat surface.
The radio should have better noise limiting circuitry since it will not work well near any source of electrical noise.
However, at the price I paid, I’m not going to make any case about the complaints.
Even though I didn’t buy it brand new and I don’t have all the right accessories, I have been EDCing this radio for the past week and I am totally satisfied.
While Midland is my favorite brand of Weather Radios, I’ll admit they could learn plenty from this model.
What I like most are the rugged and compact build and clear crisp reception.
It is good to have S.A.M.E., but I could take it or leave it since I would use this for traveling or outdoor activities, where S.A.M.E. isn’t always necessary.
Like other compact portable models, the WR601N would be well suited for an EDC bag, a bug out/bailout bag, or a safe room, all for monitoring the progress of the weather, without needing line current.
I’m really impressed all in all and this is a vast improvement over the Oregon Scientific WR-8000, which actually was the first weather radio I had ever owned.
I give this product a 4.7 out of 5 stars!
PS, Here is a YouTube video of this device in action