Just for the record, I don’t own the featured image. It is the property of Radio Shack.
I have been fascinated and intimidated by the weather since I was a toddler.
Likewise, I have been interested in electronics and gadgets since I was a toddler as well.
The overwhelming majority of my childhood took place in the 1990s, so I do have a fondness for certain electronic devices that were made during that time.
Now, the first time I ever set foot inside a Radio Shack was on December 26, 1994, and all I did was look at a few computers.
I wouldn’t shop at Radio Shack again until November of 2001 and I wouldn’t shop at Radio Shack on the regular until some point in 2002.
After that, I was in Radio Shack all the time, until most of them closed down in the mid to late 2010s.
When I was in my 20s, I discovered that there was a website that archived almost every Radio Shack Catalog ever printed.
That website is http://radioshackcatalogs.com/
I have since frequently used it as reference material in my research.
When I was in either my late 20s or early 30s, I was looking at the 1998 Radio Shack catalog on that aforementioned website and noticed a neat portable Weather Radio, The Radio Shack 12-248, of which this piece will be a review.
For the next few years, I had wanted one and frequently checked eBay for it.
However, either the price was too high or it was too beat up to be used.
Then in late April of 2020, there was one that appeared to be in very decent condition and selling only for $15 even.
I couldn’t pass this up.
So, on the evening of April 30, 2020, I made my purchase and it came in the mail on May 7, 2020.
The transit times with the Postal Service are agonizingly slow right now, but I think we can all chalk it up to this wretched Coronavirus.
While I have only had this radio for a few hours, I am still thoroughly impressed.
Some of the features are:
Rugged, Water Resistant Design-This makes it ideal for outdoor use, especially boating in stormy weather.
Bright Yellow Cabinet-This allows it to be easily located.
Standby Alert Feature-Allows the radio to stay quiet until a Weather Alert is broadcast.
Alert Lock-Allows the end-user to know there was an Alert issued even if he/she wasn’t near the radio when it occurred.
Receives All 7 Channels-Will provide Weather Radio coverage almost anywhere in The United States but also parts of Canada and Mexico.
I read the instructions and learned that while it is water-resistant, it is not waterproof. This means that it would probably be ruined if it went overboard. However, it could probably stand up to light rainfall, which I mean it was designed for keeping track of severe weather while outside.
Speaking of that, the rod antenna is considerably long, so maybe that would be a lightning strike hazard if used outside during an electrical storm.
The price was a bit high, especially for 1998 ($49.99) but a lot of Radio Shack products in the 1990s were overpriced. However, they were built very well!
I’m not sure if the channel selector is a PLL tuner or if it’s crystal-controlled, but it pulls in station KIH23 loud and clear from about forty miles away. Even with the antenna retracted, the signal is still intelligible. Granted I am on the second floor, but most of my other weather radios don’t perform this well. The station even bleeds over into adjacent channels, even from about forty miles away.
I tested the alert feature and it is very oud and will get the end user’s attention.
All in all, it seems to be a good weather radio.
I cannot understand why Radio Shack only sold it for a year.
Maybe it was the high price?
One could go make a week or two worth of groceries in 1998 for that price.
As I stated on social media while talking about this weather radio:
“While I don’t think the Gorton’s Fisherman is a real person, however, if he was, I wouldn’t be surprised if he EDCed one of these [a Radio Shack 12-248] in his raincoat pocket while sailing in US or Canadian waters.”
Gorton’s Fish, especially the Beer Battered variety, has been on my mind a lot lately, and now I can eat it as I please. Both my ex-wife and my ex-girlfriend didn’t like to eat it. Now that I am single I can eat it all I want and not hear anything.
I could picture any fisherman carrying this radio though, and what would be cool is if another company would reboot this design but make it truly waterproof and maybe have a more compact rubber duck antenna tuned to the Weather Band. Another idea that I could change it to have a scan feature that automatically pulls in the strongest weather station, instead of a channel selector knob. Other than that it is a great radio and for its time it was excellent.
Nowadays one can get a portable and waterproof VHF Marine Radio with Weather Band and Standby Alert built it for around what this costed in 1998, maybe even cheaper if inflation is considered.
For those that can get one second hand and want to go fishing either inland or in the coastal waters, this seems to be great, if one can get it in decent condition. There have been quite a few Special Marine Warning issued in my area within days around the time of writing this piece.
I imagine that this radio would be great for those with a budget in mind, especially for other outdoor activities as well such as golfing, farming, or hunting.
I’m glad that God finally blessed me with one.
I give this product a 4.7 out of 5 stars because it isn’t truly waterproof and the antenna looks quite flimsy. Other than that, it’s awesome.
This, therefore, concludes my review of The Radio Shack 12-248 Sport Weather Radio.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.
Thank you for reading and may God richly bless you!