A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ Standby Tabletop Weather Radio

Before you read, please know that I do not own the picture featured in the piece, but Midland USA does.

I know I am several months late with it, but finally, I’m writing my review on the Midland WR-120EZ Standby Tabletop Weather Radio.

I’ve been planning and wanting to write this positively since August 16, 2018, but have had several distractions.

I guess I am better late than never.

Anyway…

I purchased this awesome device at my local grocer, Rouse’s, on December 26, 2017, and have been using it on and off since.

I say on and off because back then I lived with my wife, now ex-wife, I kept it on a table next to the sofa in our living room.

However, I left her a few weeks later on January 18, 2018, and thankfully was able to keep it and most of my other valuables.

I moved in with an older friend that same day and I applied for a new apartment a little over a week later.

While living with this friend, the radio was pretty much picked up.

I moved into my apartment on May 1, 2018, and this weather radio has been a bedside companion ever since.

My divorce was finalized on October 11, 2018.

Okay, enough about the details of my divorce and other personal details, I’m just thankful that all of it is behind me and now I am even more thankful that I have a wonderful lady in my life whom I love and revere immensely.

Now, let’s focus on the product review at hand once again.

This awesome radio cost me $29.99+tax, when I purchased it. By the way, that is cheaper than Wal Mart, who sells it for $32.99+tax and not every Wal Mart carries it either.

By the way, the MSRP of this radio is $39.99 according to Midland’s website, so I got it for roughly $10 off the MSRP.

Especially in the South and the Midwest, many grocers frequently sell Weather Radios and usually for very good prices.

Case in point, earlier in 2017, I got several of the portable standby Midland Weather Radios, the HH54VP2, on clearance for either $5 or $10 apiece at another location of my local and favorite grocer, Rouse’s. I gave a few as gifts that year.

The Midland WR-120EZ is Public Alert certified, which means it will only activate alert when the emergency occurs specifically in the area it is set for. Not only that though, it can also be connected to adaptive devices so people with various disabilities can still be successfully alerted to an impending emergency.

The Midland WR-120EZ is a slight variant of the WR-120.

The main difference is that the EZ model doesn’t neccessisarily require one to know the FIPS code, rather it comes preset for every Parish, County, Borough or other administrative division pre-programmed in it.

All one must do is select his or her geographic and administrative location and be done with it.

Also, alert selections are customizable, meaning that the user can turn off alerts for most emergency events that do not pertain to them except for a Tornado Warning.

The alert siren is very loud and distinct and will indeed get every the attention of every user on the floor of a residential unit.

The speaker has a very clear and crisp audio provided the signal reception is on par.

The blue backlight on the LCD display is bright which is great for low light conditions, but thankfully can be turned off to conserve energy and make sleep more peaceful.

The buttons are easy to press and are quite sturdy, plus the button beep feature can indeed be disabled.

The telescoping antenna pulls in signals from about forty miles away, but does need adjusting from time to time, especially at greater distances from a weather radio transmitter.

The radio is powered by line current but also can be run on 3 AA batteries as a backup or to take the radio into a safe room for monitoring the progress of severe weather.

There is also a switch to turn the radio off for leaving on vacation or conserving the batteries during an extended power failure without messing up the clock.

This radio has a very loud alarm clock which wakes me up on most days.

The clock keeps time pretty accurately but is a little difficult to synchronize properly.

There are three LED indicator lights on the unit to allow the user to determine if the bulletin being issued was a Warning (Red), Watch (Orange) or Advisory (Yellow.)

The cabinet is made of no nonsense white.

My one complaint about this radio is that it should have a better signal amplification circuit to pull in weather broadcasts easier. And maybe better noise limiting circuits for those who live in close quarters with their neighbors. One of these, either the noise limiter or amplifier doesn’t work well enough and that frequently gives me problems with reception every now and then and I have to move the radio around the room to correct the problem. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the noise limiting circuits, because I do live in an apartment complex and yes, myself and all my neighbors have WiFi and other stuff that generates significant amounts of electrical noise.

Other than that, I would reccomend this radio to be used in every single residence, business and institution that is located whithin range of a weather broadcast, yes I do believe that weather radios should be equally common as smoke detectors.

By the way, I give this product a rating of 4.8 out of 5!

Shopping at Target for Gentleman’s EDC Gear

Target can be an excellent place for purchasing a gentleman’s EDC items.

Well, this statement was even more true years ago, but still is somewhat true even today.

I know, most people associate Target shoppers with upscale suburban women, but there are quite a few items in Target that are perfect for a gentleman.

However, as I previously mentioned, this was even more true years ago than today.

Many of my current and former EDC items were purchased at Target.

I don’t know if I am truly a gentleman or not. I try my durn well best to be one and I hope at least my girlfriend sees me as one.

Okay, enough about me.

The first time I shopped at a Target was in August of 2002. I was fifteen and almost three-quarters years old and one had recently been built in my metropolitan area.

My parents brought me along with my brother and sister to check the store out.

I was interested in what electronics were sold there and was a little impressed that they sold the Motorola FRS and GMRS radios, but they were all out of my price range.

Later that day we went to Wal Mart and I purchased a BellSouth 2231 FRS/GMRS transceiver for about $10. I had EDCed this radio, mostly because, I didn’t yet have a working cell phone to keep in touch with family and I also liked to communicate with the maintenance staff at my high school on there. In these days, I didn’t carry a knife or a flashlight, just a two-way radio, believe it or not.

Fast forward to Black Friday, November 29, 2002, my mom, my sister and I went to a few stores just to look around. The only other time I had seen my mom go shopping on Black Friday was in 1992 at Southland Mall. As much as my mom likes shopping, she hates to shop on Black Friday. I was looking around in the sporting goods section at Target and for the first time, I had seen a real Swiss Army Knife in real life. I saw a whole bunch of them, in fact. In those days, Target had a much wider selection of Swiss Army Knives than they currently do. And those sold at Target came bundled with equally useful accessories. More on that in a little bit. Prior to that, I had knock-offs of Swiss Army Knives, but they were all flimsy and dull. I didn’t purchase any that day, because I didn’t have enough money on me and my parents being overprotective would have not been happy if I bought a knife.

I also saw the Swiss backpacks and luggage sold there, but all of those were way out of my price range. I had a very rugged duffel bag which I would take with me whenever I could, so I wasn’t really in need of luggage at the time. This bag’s zipper busted on me sometime in 2007, though, so that is when I began trying different bags to carry my EDC items in.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2005, I had secured a job assisting the maintenance crew at my high school and the way I became friends with them was by talking to them over their radios!

I was eighteen and a half years old and had a good bit of disposable income with no bills, notes or rent to pay. Also since I was eighteen I could own a knife whether or not my parents wanted me to.

After work, many times I would shop at Target in the sporting goods sections. One day, in July of 2005, I purchased my first Swiss Army Knife, a Victorinox Sportsman. At some point, I had upgraded and gave it my best friend and I hope he still has it now.

Also in 2005, my interest in flashlights was coming back. Target had a wide selection of flashlights in their household section and many of them couldn’t be found anywhere else. There were many rugged, Aluminum pocket-sized flashlights sold there that weren’t sold elsewhere. There was Coast brand LED flashlights. There were Mini Maglites in all sorts of exotic colors as well as the standard colors. There were Inova (as in Emissive Energy Corporation, prior to the Nite Ize takeover) flashlights both in plastic and Aluminum that were the brightest LED flashlights at the time. There were also some unique brands such as Rock River or River Rock. Target does not have such a wide selection these days and I think it’s a shame. All of these would have been perfect EDC flashlights for a gentleman’s pocket

On the afternoon of January 27, 2006, I was shopping at my local Target and looking at Swiss Army Knives, which came bundled with very neat and equally useful accessories. The Super Tinker model came with a compact pair of Simmonds Binoculars. The Recruit ii came bundled with a Mini Maglite (which this is where I was initially inspired to pair a Swiss Army Knife with a Mini Maglite, as I believe all gentlemen should EDC these items together.) The Climber came bundled with some high-quality German-made Victorinox Scissors. That is what I had decided to purchase on that afternoon. The package sold for ~$30, but I know the knife alone was worth at least that and the scissors had to be worth another $35-$40, but they were free! My mom sometimes sews in her free time, so I knew these scissors would be perfect for her. I was 100% right too-she still uses them almost thirteen years later at the time I am writing this. In fact, she recently used them to fix the hem on my pants. I would misplace that knife a few days later, but then my mom found it again in December 2010. Since that time, I have kept it in a secure place because of its sentimental value.

In April of 2006, I had some cash given to me as Easter presents from family members, so I was in Target after school and saw an Inova Radiant 2 AA LED flashlight. At the time, Inova manufactured the most advanced LED flashlights or at least in my humble opinion. Also, they were American made, not like today. I still have this flashlight but unfortunately, it doesn’t work anymore. However, this flashlight did come in handy multiple times for the rest of high school and the beginning of trade school. I would sometimes EDC it if I knew I was going to a very dark area or needed a light with a longer run time.

In December of 2006, I purchased from Target a Victorinox Super Tinker with Simmonds Compact Binoculars. I still have both.

Sometime in 2006, Target cleared out all of these Swiss Army Knives with neat and useful accessories and this was a big mistake in my opinion.

In January of 2007, I purchased my first Blue Mini Maglite from Target, as my Black one was getting very beat up. I had it until I misplaced it at some point.

In February of 2009, I was shopping at a Super Target and purchased an Energizer 3 Watt Tactical LED flashlight. I had EDCed both on my job and in leisure time until I traded it to my best friend sometime in early 2010. I hope he still has it.

In July of 2009, I purchased my first Wenger SwissGear backpack until I upgraded with another in March of 2010 and again in September of 2011. All three were purchased at Target.

In March of 2015, I purchased another Energizer 185 Lumen Tactical LED flashlight at a Super Target on Clearance.

Around this time, Target began to stop selling some of the Tactical flashlights they once sold, another big mistake in my opinion.

A year later, in March of 2016, Target quit selling the Mini Maglites, which I was able to get a Silver one on Clearance, for about $4, which I keep in my glove box.

Also, in March of 2016, I ordered a Casio G-Shock Wristwatch, which I wore until June of 2018, but still have.

In April of 2016, I managed to purchase the Victorinox Recruit ii and Mini Maglite bundled together in mint condition on eBay, but this was previously sold at Target a decade before.

In the past two years, most of the flashlights sold at Target were only appropriate for a domestic setting, though there are a few exceptions. Also, their selection of Swiss Army Knives has very much dwindled.

However, the said retailer still carries some decent items that are geared towards gentleman.

For example, in February of 2017, I purchased a Coleman Illumilast 2AAA LED flashlight at a Super Target, which I EDC on and off and I even wrote a blog entry partially about. In November of 2017, I bought another Wenger SwissGear backpack, which I still use AND In December of 2017, I bought a Wenger SwissGear bifold wallet, which I also still use.

There are a few EDC items in the sporting goods section, such as an OutDoor Products tactical LED flashlight with a strike bezel, I purchased one in October of 2018 and currently EDC it, though the pocket clip broke off. Also, a couple of Gerber products are sold in the sporting goods section, such as a Gerber Dime Multitool.

So, Target COULD be a place for a gentleman to buy his EDC gear still but imagine how much better it could be if the retailer would start carrying more items designed for EDC.

I think the company has reasons why they don’t carry some of these items anymore, but my post will become political if I begin to elaborate why.

But how about making Target a place not only for ladies to shop but also for their husbands and boyfriends to come shopping with them and not being bored to tears?

Those are my thoughts and experiences.

I hope, you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

A Review of the NiteCore MT20A LED Flashlight

NOTE: I do NOT own the featured image on this page, it is the property of NiteCore…

I am NOT an aviator by any stretch of the imagination.

I have only been on an aircraft four times and every time I was merely a passenger.

However, I am quite well rounded on the subject of flashlights as just about everyone who knows me is well aware of.

On this evening of November 16, 2018, I will write a review of the NiteCore MT20A LED flashlight and how I think it is the best aviation flashlight for the money.

I have owned one of these since January of 2018 and it is also featured in a short story I had wrote in February 2018. By the way, when I wrote that story, I had not yet been on an aircraft. No, it was composed and inspired strictly from my countless hours of researching flashlights.

I had purchased mine on eBay and I probably paid less than the MSRP, since the said website usually sells items for less than what they are suggested to sell for.

This flashlight only set me back $36.44 with free shipping. NiteCore’s website, to my knowledge, does not list an MSRP, but I would venture to guess it should cost no more than $50 brand new.

In other words, this flashlight should neither break the bank nor tie up too much of your credit line.

It is constructed of very durable Aerospace Aluminum, comes with a pocket clip as well as a lanyard, a ring, and a pouch. It features a forward clicky switch. The maximum light output of Turbo Mode 360 Lumens lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The light settings can be set to lower outputs of High Mode 240 Lumens for 2 hours and 15 minutes, Mid Mode 120 Lumens for 5 hours and 45 minutes, Low Mode 17 Lumens for 24 hours and Ultra Low Mode 1 Lumen for 180 hours. In addition to those diverse light settings, it also has a dedicated red LED for preserving night vision. And not only that, there is a tactical strobe for self-defense, an SOS strobe for emergency location when summoning help and a red beacon mode for locating the flashlight in a dark room. Settings are changed by pressing buttons on the side of the light engine module to cycle through the different modes. The flashlight has an incredible memory and will always switch on to the mode it was last used in. It is impact resistant for a fall on concrete at a height of up to 1 Meter. It also has a waterproof rating of IPX-8, which means it can be submerged to a depth of 2 Meters. If you aren’t sold as of yet, might I add that this flashlight runs on two common, everyday AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries? This gives it a clear advantage over Sure Fire’s American made Aviator flashlights which run on those expensive and exotic CR123A batteries. In my opinion, this flashlight is the best flashlight and possibly product in general ever to come out of Mainland China-change my mind!

I have edced this flashlight on an off since January of 2018 and it has had a permanent residence in my Swiss Gear edc backpack when not on my person.

As I have said before, I am not an aviator by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think this is an ideal flashlight for all aviators and I will back up my claim in the following sentences:

First of all, Turbo Mode is ideal for preflight inspection of the aircraft. This setting should allow the user to find any defects in the aircraft’s body that need to be corrected prior to flight.

Also, the High Mode could be used for doing maintenance and repairs on the aircraft and the technician or pilot would be able to see all of the dark areas of the aircraft’s mechanical features.

Yet, Mid Mode could be used when walking at night to and from the hangar or airport lounge.

There’s more, Low Mode could be used for navigating around in an unfamiliar hotel room at night.

Ultra Low Mode could be used for reading your favorite literature or using the remote control without disturbing your roommate in the hotel room at night.

The dedicated red LED light feature is probably what makes this ideal for aviators more than anything else as it allows the pilot to read instruments and charts or perform minor cockpit repairs during a nighttime flight without degrading his or her night vision. That feature alone should sell the flashlight to any aviator out there in need of a flashlight!

The optional red LED Beacon Mode will allow the owner to quickly locate this flashlight even in the most cluttered of baggage.

Wait, there’s more, and these next features would prove indispensable should the something catastrophic happen:

The Tactical Strobe could help fight off a hijacker, by disorienting him or her. Also, the lanyard holes that recess on either side of the tail cap could do some damage to the hijacker’s face, eyes or teeth if struck hard enough, further disorienting him or her. A hard enough blow to the hijacker’s temple or windpipe could completely neutralize the situation. Take this advice at your own risk as the hijacker may also be a skilled fighter.

The SOS Strobe could be used in the case of a downed aircraft either on land or at sea (because it is waterproof) to identify your location to rescue crews on a dark night.

So, to all my aviator friends out there, I hope you all can see that this flashlight is a useful and equally budget-friendly option for your occupational illumination.

And not just aviators, but anyone who works in the transportation and logistics industries at night would quickly fall in love with the NiteCore MT20A.

This flashlight could also be ideal for boat and ship captains in the wheelhouse, for similar reasons, provided they keep it out of the engine room and away from any flammable cargo.

Long-haul truck drivers and locomotive engineers could also appreciate this flashlight for nighttime operations, again provided they keep it away from any flammable cargo and make durn sure to turn it off while refueling.

The only gripes I have about this flashlight are two and they are:

Why can’t the main LED be a Warm White, especially for inspection and maintenance purposes, but also for Medevac pilots to better examine patients?

AND

Why can’t American companies makes something like this in an American factory?

This therefore concludes my review of the NiteCore MT20A, I hope you, the reader, are now more informed on your flashlight purchasing options…

A Review of the Texas Instruments TI-12 Math Explorer

As with flashlights, I have had a lifelong fascination with calculators.

I’ve frequently written about them in the past and I always carry one or two in my edc backpack.

This piece will be me reviewing a calculator that I formerly edced from 2012 to about 2016, the Texas Instruments TI-12 Math Explorer. It was initially introduced in 1987 revised in 1989, 1991, 1993 and finally 1997 (the version which I own) and still being produced by the mid-2000s, (mine came off the assembly line in February of 2005) despite an upgraded version, the TI-15 being released in February of 2000.

By the way, I would like to extend a big thank you to the wonderful people at the Datamath Calculator Museum for the photo of this calculator. I do not own the photo.

They are an excellent source of reference material pertaining to calculators and I have spent countless hours on that site, enriching my brain.

There are three to four other items which I had carried in conjunction with this calculator and they are a Blue Incandescent Mini Maglite flashlight, a Black Mini Maglite LED Pro flashlight (serial number: PG000107905), a single coping blade Cabon Steel Klein Electrician’s knife and sometimes a Black 3 D Cell Incandescent Maglite flashlight (serial number: D3049220554.)

The TI-Math Explorer was designed for elementary and middle school use. However, my sixth and seventh-grade math teacher (same person for both grades, Mrs. Phyllis Holman) was teaching us some cool math that was way ahead of the curriculum and was somehow able to get our parents to buy us each a TI-30 for her class!

In sixth grade, I used one of the many hand me down calculators that my mom’s students had discarded.

For seventh grade, I was able to convince my mom to buy me a brand new TI-30 XIIS (double line 1999 version), which I would carry in my pocket both during school and in the off hours. I would indeed sometimes carry it, but I didn’t everyday carry it.

When I was in school, I kept it in my school bag. When I was out of school, I kept it in my toolbox.

I had this calculator well into eighth grade then I misplaced it during the summer between eighth and ninth grade.

I had, believe it or not, lost interest in calculators (as well as flashlights) by this point!

It was in eighth grade that I had first learned about the TI-12 Math Explorer.

My math teacher and distant cousin, Mister Clarence Joseph Tastet, had several in his classroom which he would loan out to the students.

I never needed one of his calculators because I always had my TI-30 in his class.

By the way, one of Mr. Tastet’s amusing quirks was that he very matter of factly said, “Uh…Calculators don’t bounce!” every time a calculator fell on the floor.

He left Vandebilt Catholic High School after teaching me.

Many of the students were so durn ugly to him, I guess it was because of his temper and his no-nonsense approach to teaching. Even though we are like fourth cousins, we have the exact same temper when provoked. By the way, I will say that if you knew him outside of the classroom, he’s a really cool person and extremely smart.

At some point, I had even joked that VCHS’s math department had purchased the TI-Math Explorer in bulk because they matched the said school’s colors.

At the end of my sophomore year, I had found a gently used TI-83 Plus with no name in it, so I was able to keep it.

I would be needing one anyway for the next two math courses I was required to take.

Having this calculator briefly reignited my interest in calculators, but mostly for playing games.

During recess and class if we had free time, I would play games which I had downloaded, like 1943, Mario, Harvest Moon, and Duck Hunt. Of course, I also had to download the Mirage Operating System in order to run games written in the Assembly language on the TI-83 and TI-84 models.

I only got chewed out twice, believe it or not.

During my junior year, I had twice found a TI-Math Explorer laying on the floor.

Both times, there were the owners’ names written on the instruction card

One of them belonged to senior Katherine Mohana, which I immediately returned to her.

I forget whom the other one had belonged to, but I promptly returned that one as well.

Even back then, I guess I had fervently believed in always trying to be kind and honest.

Probably what reinforced this behavior, was that there were signs all over the school which boldly stated, “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.”

By the way, those signs should be placed in every school at every level of education, because they obviously work!

Around my senior year, I had begun to secretly covet a TI-12 Math Explorer.

However, there was only one place that sold them locally and they wanted over $25 for one.

That place was Lee’s Educational Supply in the Historical District of Downtown Houma.

Wal-Mart, Target, Office Depot/Max and even Radio Shack sold calculators that were considerably more powerful (TI-30, TI-34 and TI-36), not to mention their Casio and Sharp counterparts and the knock-off versions all for somewhat less, than what Lee’s Supply was charging for a TI-12 Math Explorer so I had hung up the idea of purchasing one.

I had other interests at the time such as collecting knives and radio equipment. My flashlight interest was also coming back. So that is what I focused my spending cash on.

Fast forward to around the age of twenty-five. I was frequently helping family, friends and now ex in-laws perform household and automotive do it yourself projects.

I was not the expert in the group, except when working on electrical or HVAC equipment, but I soon realized that a calculator which could do arithmetic with fractions, mixed numbers and decimals would be extremely useful.

Sometimes knowledge on what size socket was needed or a piece of wood needed to be cut to a precise amount or just basic arithmetic for a construction or electrical formula needed to be quickly carried out.

In November of 2012 or so, I had seen a used TI-Math Explorer in pristine condition selling for $6.99 with free shipping on eBay.

I had just enough money in my checking account, so I happily purchased it!

It came in the mail a few days later and I had begun heavily using it.

The TI-Math Explorer, while intended to be a classroom calculator, fit the bill perfectly.

Not only could it quickly convert fractions to decimals as well as add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers, it was rugged enough to be carried in a backpack or tool satchel.

It can also do exponents and has a Pi approximation constant of with a precision of 3.1415927, which is featured in lower end scientific calculators.

Furthermore, it runs strictly on solar power, which means it never needs batteries, nor will it be damaged by a leaking battery!

Due to the calculator’s rugged construction, which was to encourage use in the schoolyard, the solar cells and LCD were very protected, it made the perfect calculator for a tradesman or do it your selfer, which is virtually an unrealized market!

The keys and cabinet are made of hard plastic and it comes with a handy cover for protection when being carried or not in use.

I am, however, the only person I know of though, that used a TI-Math Explorer in a non-classroom setting.

In June of 2014, I had bought a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro, mainly for assistance in my experiments with weather instruments, but also for weight conversions when going to the doctor and assisting me with computer and radio scanner programming (the little that I know.)

I had kept my Math Explorer in my edc backpack though and would still use it up until about 2016.

In 2016, I had purchased a Craftsman Satchel to put all of my Craftsman tools and easily carry them whenever I needed to make a repair or assist in making a repair and I ended up placing my Math Explorer and all of the aforementioned gadgets I had carried with it in that bag.

In 2018, I had placed it and other gadgets that are sentimental to me in a tactical MOLLE pouch, that I keep near my bed.

For years, I had been wanting Texas Instruments to produce some calculators for tradespeople as other companies had done.

Lord knows their calculators are built very well, perform with high accuracy and precision not to mention they are very easy to use.

However, my opinion isn’t important enough and if it was, Victorinox would have also made a high precision thermometer for people working in the HVAC and food service industry and other companies would have made some cool gadgets that I had suggested.

When I was an HVAC student, I was playing with the idea of teaching myself machine language to write an app for graphing calculators for use in the HVAC field.

My professor, by the way, thought this was a brilliant idea, however, smartphones have become so common that they are used in place of calculators out in the field by tradespeople.

This calculator, The TI-12 Math Explorer goes above and beyond its original call of duty and my experiences with it are indeed very valid proof.

I give it a rating of 5 stars!

I guess I have a way of finding a use for devices where they turn out to be perfect solutions for situations which they were never really marketed far.

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Radio Shack® Touchscreen SAME Weather Radio with AM/FM

As stated before, I have been both afraid of as well as fascinated by the weather since I was a toddler.

I’ve also been fascinated by all sorts of technological devices since then.

I’m not sure if this interest was acquired or is it in my blood.

All in all, because of this interest, I frequently shopped at Radio Shack, until I no longer could.

In February of 2015, the Radio Shack in Southland Mall was shutting down and going out of business.

I went there to see what sales I could find.

I found an $80 for around $8, a Radio Shack 12-996.

In September of 2018, this radio is still going strong.

This particular model gets the AM (Medium Wave) and FM broadcast bands in addition to the Weather Radio channels.

It is “Public Alert” certified, meaning I can program the SAME code for any County or Parish and have it only go off for when there is an alert for that specific administrative division

It also has an alarm clock.

For power, it runs on either four AA batteries or an AD/DC wall adapter.

The front firing speaker on this radio has superb audio quality.

The entire controls on this radio are controlled by a touchscreen interface, something which required me getting used to. At the time of purchase, I didn’t even have a touchscreen phone.

However, once I had gotten accustomed to this device, it has become a faithful companion.

When I lived with my wife, this was a very useful bedside radio.

After her and I split up, and I moved out, I kept it and it became an equally useful kitchen radio.

As of now it rules my kitchen counter and keeps me entertained and informed while cooking, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires me to be in my kitchen.

Aesthetically, it reminds me of one of those kitchen radios that housewives had during the Golden Age of Radio. Granted it has an integrated circuit instead of vacuum tubes, a touch screen instead of knobs and buttons and a PLL tuner instead of a dial tuner, but the form factor still reminds me of one of those antique radios from that era. I’ll go as far as to say how I frequently think of a woman walking home with her family from church on December 7, 1941, then going into her kitchen and listening to the radio as she prepares Sunday Dinner. Soon she hears about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, then walks back to her church to pray for the victims and her country.

The radios of those days only received AM, however, this radio also gets FM and Weather.

Hopefully, it will keep me entertained and informed for years to come.

It faithfully picks up every weather alert I have programmed it to and blares a loud siren.

It also picks up every AM and FM station within reason and range.

This is one [recent] Radio Shack product that, I feel still has a superior quality.

There are only two things I don’t like about this radio and they are:
I wish the backlight could be turned off when the radio is on standby.

I wish the AM and FM tuners could have an international mode where FM tunes in 100 or 50 KHz steps and AM could be set to tune in 9 KHz steps while in other countries, but have the default 10 KHz when being used in North America.

I know the radio isn’t really designed for AM DXing, a better AM antenna should have been internally installed, but I myself am an AM DXer, so that is why I suggested this feature.

I would have never bought this radio at its MSRP, but since I got it on clearance, I do not regret my purchase at all.

These are a bit hard to find brand new these days, but eBay frequently carries them.

If you can get one, you will enjoy it.

All in all, I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Midland HH50 Pocket Sized Weather Radio

I have been both afraid of as well as fascinated by the weather since I was a toddler.

That is since about the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In the Summer of 2001, at age fourteen, I had become interested in all radio communications.

In December of 2001, at the age of fourteen going on fifteen, I discovered Weather Radios. I purchased my first Weather Radio at that time and have been listening to them ever since.

Fast forward to March of 2006, when I was nineteen, I had discovered a certain Weather Radio being sold at Academy Sports and Outdoors. I had decided to take a break from exams and go shopping.

The radio in question was a Midland HH50 and that will be the product reviewed in this piece.

At the age of nineteen, however, I couldn’t justify spending $25 or so on a very basic Weather Radio, though I wanted it.

For years I had seen videos of it on YouTube.

It wouldn’t be until June of 2015, at the age of twenty-eight, that I had actually purchased one for myself and at a discounted price of $10.

Unfortunately in December of 2017, my then-wife, now soon to be ex-wife, broke that radio in a fit of anger.

I had quickly ordered a replacement a day or two later. I was a few days shy of turning thirty-one.

It arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I have been carrying it in my EDC backpack ever since.

This Weather Radio does indeed have a Standby Alert feature which will allow it to remain Mute until an Alert is broadcast.

However, it lacks the S.A.M.E. feature, which means it will trigger the alarm regardless of what Parish, County, Borough or other Zone the alert pertains to.

It is an entry-level model and does not have all the bells and whistles that higher end weather radios have.

The Midland HH50 runs on three AAA batteries and should be able to receive any Weather Radio broadcast within forty miles.

I would recommend this model to anyone who is a pilot, mariner, hunter, golfer, farmer, hiker or anyone else whose activities are affected by changes in the weather.

It is also perfect for use traveling in areas where one might not know the S.A.M.E./F.I.P.S. code of the area in which he/she is currently located. It would be a decent item for the glove box of your vehicle when traveling out of state, but make sure the passengers, not the driver operate this radio.

I would also recommend one of these for the safe room of anyone who lives in tornado-prone areas, to monitor the progress of severe weather when grid power sources have failed.

As I stated before I carry mine either in my pocket or in my EDC backpack everywhere I go, but this would also be a staple for your bailout or bug out bag.

I would not recommend this as a main standby Weather Radio, however, I would recommend it’s bigger brother the Midland WR-120EZ, for that purpose, which I plan to write a review on very soon.

There are three reasons why I would not recommend this as a main standby Weather Radio:
1. Doing this will run down the batteries quickly and unnecessarily.
2. The alarm is probably not loud enough to wake a heavy sleeper.
3. It lacks an S.A.M.E. feature so, it will create plenty of false alarms which will do nothing but aggravate the user.

Here are the features of this neat little weather radio:
It has a decent front firing speaker that is clear and loud enough despite its tiny size.
It has a removable belt clip on the back, which is held on by a Philips or + screw.
To the left, it has up and down volume buttons and a Test/Scan button.
To the right, it has a three position switch of Off, On, and Alert, which is for Standby Mode.
On the top right it has a telescopic antenna and on the top and back left if has a nylon lanyard.
On the back of the radio is the battery compartment with a battery door that slides off.

To operate the radio:
After installing the batteries properly, extend the telescopic antenna all the way out. Then move the switch to the “On” position. The radio will then begin to scan for the strongest Weather broadcast available. This may take several seconds. When it locks on a strong enough broadcast, it will be heard on the speaker. If there is more than one broadcast available, press the “Test/Rescan” button to change channels. Holding this button down for a few seconds will test the alert siren. Pressing that button once again will return the radio to “Scan” mode. To use Alert Mode, have the first go to On mode and allow the radio to lock on to the strongest broadcast signal it can find. Then flip the switch to Alert and keep the radio in an area where reception is decent. When n alert is broadcast, the siren will go off followed by the broadcast information.

What I like about the radio:
It is compact and rugged for the most part and will give its end-user vital weather data when needed most.
It is fairly simple to operate.
It is most affordable to all but the lowest income brackets.
I wish Midland would build a passive VHF Hi Band and also a passive VHF Air Band radio in the same form factor as this Weather Radio.

What I don’t like about this radio:
My one complaint is that the belt clip should have been more rugged and maybe on a hinge.
Maybe a more rugged rubber duck antenna could have been installed instead of a telescopic antenna.
An earphone jack would also be nice.

All in all, I give this Weather Radio a 4.25 out of 5 stars.

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A Review of the [Incandescent] Mini Maglite

I have been a Mini Maglite owner since the evening of December 19, 2005. I was almost halfway through my senior year of high school when I purchased it.

I don’t think there is any other flashlight that I like more nor do I find more versatile.

Prior to that evening, I had been carrying small tactical flashlights on my person for the past seven months.

The school was about to let out for Christmas break so a friend and I were planning on a boating trip on Bayou Terrebonne the next day.

I was at the Wal Mart in Thibodaux, Louisiana, buying some supplies for that trip.

Hurricane Katrina was fresh in everyone’s mind and Maglite had partnered with the Red Cross to raise awareness for disaster preparedness.

Mini Maglites were on sale for less than $8. They came with batteries, extra bulbs, and a free Nylon holster.

I had assumed prior to this that Maglites were made in China, which was a very wrong assumption.

Still, something had caused me to take a closer look at the packaging and I had found out that it was American Made.

Right then and there, I decided to purchase it.

It would be my first of plenty of Mini Maglites.

After paying for the item, I drove home to Raceland, Louisiana and then set up my new flashlight.

Immediately, I was thoroughly impressed.

It was brighter than most LED flashlights of the time (remember this was 2005.) Not only was it brighter in terms of Lumens but also in Candlepower. Boy, could it throw a beam out! The beam travels very far at night in the marshlands of South Louisiana.

It was rugged, in fact, rugged enough to be considered tactical.

Truly this flashlight was and still is a pure genius design.

I had EDCed this flashlight for the rest of my senior year of high school and much into trade school.

I used to walk the halls during my off period, shining it in classrooms. Yes, I got written up for that and similar pranks during high school.

Since then I have purchased other Mini Maglites and the one I have had the longest was from August of 2006, it is in my Craftsman tool satchel.

I’ve had the Mini Maglite that I currently EDC with all of my computer tools since June of 2014.

The others that I have purchased are stored away in various locations, in case of an EMP attack on American soil. Simple incandescent flashlights will survive an EMP blast but I seriously think LED flashlights will perish.

Prior to me owning a Mini Maglite, my favorite flashlights from my childhood were the Garrity Mini Rugged Lite (R300G) and the Eveready Industrial 2AA model (IN-215.) Pocket-sized flashlights will always have a special place in my heart and have since I was seven years old.

What I like about the Mini Maglite:
It is definitely bright enough and its light beam gives excellent color rendition (great for medical professionals and tradespeople.)
It is delightfully rugged and durable-I’ve read stories of a Mini Maglite falling one hundred feet onto hard steel and still surviving.
It is remarkably simple to use, just a slight twist will turn it on or off.
It is surprisingly user serviceable-I’ve repaired mine several times but it is also covered by an extensive warranty.
It is totally waterproof to amazing depths->800 Feet-or so I’ve read.
It is refreshingly compact and could easily fit in a pants pocket and be forgotten about until needed.
It is highly collectible and truly an icon of American ingenuity.
It is completely affordable on almost any level of income (assuming one is buying the incandescent model.)

What I don’t like about the Mini Maglite:
The fact that the incandescent model is no longer widely available at many brick and mortar retailers as of 2018.

However, this is being done across the board with all incandescent flashlight and I am going to sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist if I say it is being done on purpose.

A Mini Maglite is still widely available at smaller hardware stores and on sites like eBay.

It is one of the most popular flashlights in the world and I hope and pray that it never gets discontinued.

As I have stated before:
“This (the Mini Maglite) was probably the flashlight that revolutionized the industry and was a trailblazer in the subject of all things EDC.”

As I’ve also previously stated:
“While (the Mini Maglite is) not on the bleeding edge of today’s flashlight technology; it is still a tried and true favorite around the world. This is a flashlight that can be used in both the medical and custodial arts and anything in between! It can meet the needs of a surgeon but still be affordable on a janitor’s wages.”

I would guess many special forces operators carried one, at least for backup.

Go out or online and buy one for yourself while you still can.

You will not be disappointed at all and it will at least make a wonderful addition to your EDC items!

By the way, I give this product a 5 out of 5 Stars!

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