Here is my idea for the perfect EDC Weather Radio:
Does anyone besides me remember the Motorola i530?
For those who don’t remember, it was a rugged clamshell phone used on the Nextel System and maybe other iDEN networks.
I’m just realizing that some might not remember Nextel or iDEN.
Just Google it, because I have bigger fish to fry.
All in all, the Motorola i530 was partially inspiring for me to come up with this idea.
Due to writing the description in a video I posted to Youtube, I was discussing how I should design the perfect weather radio that would be used for travel and EDC. It could also be used for monitoring the progress of severe weather from a safe room.
Such a weather radio that I am envisioning doesn’t currently exist, but maybe a product designer is reading this blog and could apply my idea. I would be super thrilled!
I would want a weather radio that could run on either 3 AAA Alkaline/Lithium Primary batteries or have a proprietary Lithium-Ion battery that could be internally charged. The proprietary battery pack should have a charging port that features a USB-C or Micro USB connector. The charging port should NOT be located on the radio
The radio should be around the height and width of the Motorola i530 times 1.5. However, it should be more in a rectangle instead of a rounded shape. it should be able to easily and solidly stand up on a flat surface. The radio should be waterproof and buoyant. It would probably need to be thicker. And just for the record, it would be in a candy bar form factor, not a clamshell, like the Motorola i530.
The radio’s cabinet should be constructed of that same or very similar plastic that Glock pistols are constructed of. It should be all yellow except for the speaker, volume knob, channel selector knob and, power/listen/standby alert knob (more on those details in a bit.)
The battery door should be sealed, slide on, held on by a flat non-removable screw and, locked tightly.
The speaker should be front-firing and occupy the entire front side of the radio. The loudness should be comparable to other weather radios of a similar size and power source.
Another USB-C or Mirco USB port could be placed behind the battery for listening on line current or vehicle power.
The antenna design should also be proprietary and maybe feature two different antennas:
A removable stubby antenna for ease of carrying and durability. It should be properly tuned to quarter-wave in a coil to the weather band and housed in a hard plastic casing.
A removable telescopic antenna for extended range. It should be the same height as the stubby antenna when retracted but maybe ideally to a height of 18 inches when extended (quarter-wave on the weather band.)
The antenna connection to the radio should be female SMA with all appropriate gaskets to keep moisture and dust out.
All control knobs must be situated at the top of the radio and sealed, especially the volume knob.
There would be a knob to select between”Off” “Listen” and “Standby”
Off would of course be to save power when not in use.
Listen would be to hear whichever channel the radio is tuned to.
Standby would be to keep the radio silent until the 1050 Hz tone is broadcast, to which the user would turn the Listen setting.
The channel selector knob should be able to turn to all 7 channels, plus have an 8th position to scan automatically for the strongest signal available (perfect for traveling.) The name of the function maybe could be known as “Travel.”
To pay homage to the history of weather radios, I believe it should use the channel plan of:
8. Travel Scan
There should be a loud click any time the channel selector knob is turned or the power/listen/standby knob is turned.
The channel numbers and their corresponding frequencies should be stamped or molded on the back of the radio, quite possibly on the battery door.
All other marks and labels on the radio should also be stamped or molded in, not painted. This includes the serial number and date of manufacture, which should be on the back of the radio, possibly behind the battery door.
The brand logo, model number, and NOAA logo could also be stamped on the front by the speaker
The alert sound should feature something like an air raid siren or a series of loud piercing and shrill beeps to get the user’s attention.
As far as the circuitry of the radio, to save space, it should be PLL tuned instead of crystal controlled. There should be some type of amplifier to allow decent reception at 40-50 miles from a transmitter. There should also be either an atmospheric noise limiter circuit or a noise blanker circuit.
This could be marketed to people from all walks of life.
It would be especially popular with those employed in the transportation sector.
I could also see coaches, farmers, teachers, hunters, fishers, campers, or anyone who commutes a considerable distance to work getting some serious use out of this.
Finally, it could be a perfect solution for anyone going on vacation within The US, Canada, Mexico, or Bermuda.
I would be thrilled to see this device come to fruition.