Just to bring everything to light, I am not the owner of the image featured on this page. I am giving credit where credit is rightly due and in this case, I cropped it out of some Radio Shack literature.
I had wanted a sturdy pocket-sized weather radio since my late teen years and since then I have tried several.
I discovered the Radio Shack 12-259 at the age of twenty, though I didn’t purchase it at that time.
The model number was later changed to a 120-0522 or a 12-522, depending on the source, and given a red cabinet as opposed to an olive green cabinet.
I think Radio Shack was promoting the color red for some of their products to promote preparedness because the prepper mentality began around 2008 and has taken off full force since. Maybe they even partnered with the Red Cross and that was the idea for the color red. I think pocket-sized weather radios should be bright yellow, but that’s just me.
I am referring to it as the 120-0522 because that is how it is referred to in the literature which I acquired from Radio Shack and is so shown in the featured image.
Even though money was tight for Christmas of 2009, I was still given some cash by family members and went to my local Radio Shack to see what I could buy.
I don’t remember if it was on sale or if I paid the full SRP, but I saw one, and I bought it.
I also bought a tin that was filled with Enercell batteries.
I carried it in what was my EDC backpack for the next almost three years.
Then, sadly, sometime in 2012, it just stopped working. No matter which Weather Channel I tried tuning in to, nothing would be received. I had assumed it was dead and sadly chucked it.
I was highly disappointed because it seemed like the perfect pocket-sized weather radio.
In July of that year, I purchased a Radio Shack Weather Cube, which I had until a wicked woman named Ida did her very wicked deed.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, I purchased the predecessor model, the 12-259.
I even dreamed about me carrying it in my EDC backpack in a shopping mall, trying to stay safe during a tornado. I even attempted to make it into a story based on myself and a certain young lady that I was talking to. For the record, this event occurred between my ex-girlfriend breaking up with me and meeting my current [and I so fervently pray, forever] wife.
For those who are wondering, my 12-259 came off the assembly line in October of 2004.
First of all, let me say that I have tried quite a few pocket and/or travel-sized weather radios.
The closest competing model to the 120-0522 or 12-259 would be the Midland HH54/HH55 series radios and I will say right now that the Radio Shack 12-259 or 120-0522 had a better antenna skin. And this is shocking because normally I would say that Midland makes the best weather radios, hands down and Radio Shack in the 2000s to 2010s was very much a has-been.
I have only owned my 12-259 for about a year, but it has assisted me in tracking some severe weather, especially in the months following Hurricane Ida.
I even EDCed it in my backpack from time to time.
Both Radio Shack models are Public Alert Certified.
The reception range could be a little better but that would mean a longer antenna would be required.
There is also a travel and home setting, which would make this ideal for road trips to keep tabs on the weather or keep as a bedside standby radio when anticipating a power failure.
An optional AC adapter can be purchased, allowing the end user to conserve the batteries for a real weather emergency.
The speaker is loud and clear.
The cabinet is made of smooth but sturdy polymer plastic.
The dot matrix LCD is clear enough and even has a bright backlight.
I believe the backlight on the 120-0522 is blue whereas on the 12-259 it is indigo.
My chief complaints are that it eats batteries like a starving pit bull that was locked in a butcher shop and it loses the signal way too easily.
There is a feature that will alert a siren should it lose the signal in standby mode, but this proves more annoying than usual.
I would recommend this product on the following conditions:
If one is using it to travel at all (even commuting on foot.)
If one works, plays, or is otherwise frequently outdoors.
If one wishes to use this in a safe room to monitor the progress of inclement weather and lives close enough to a weather radio station. And when I say close enough, I mean twenty-five miles or less.
My 120-0522 is long gone but I still use my 12-259 from time to time.
In later years Radio Shack products seemed to be lacking in their quality, performance, and longevity. This was not the case in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Certain countries are better at producing electronics than others, but I digress.
If I were to give these weather radios a rating, it would be about 4.25 out of 5 stars and this is because of the frequent signal loss. It seems compactness and portability were traded for antenna gain.
All in all, I hope that you, the reader have been informed enlightened, and maybe even entertained.
May God richly bless you!