Compliments of Firestik® Antenna Company Technical Support Team

Copyright © 1996 Firestik® Antenna Company

Without getting into a bunch of philosophical rhetoric as to why manufactures like to reinvent their products with seemingly useful add-on's, we would like to discuss the "everybody and me too" marketing of CB radios that have the ability to receive national weather service (NOAA) broadcasts.

First of all, we don't think that receive only weather band features add much value to a CB radio. The extra cost that is added to these radios would be better spent on a mobile scanner. Virtually all scanners have the ability to receive the weather broadcasts and much more. Secondly, the weatherband feature is not all that you might think it would be. You need to be aware of the fact that these broadcasts are made from metropolitan areas … mostly from major airports. The signal is transmitted at a fairly low power level and in an area that usually has a lot of structural interference.

You will start out thinking that the weatherband feature would be useful when you're traveling. However, you will soon learn that when you are away from the city and want a weather update that you will be out of the effective range of the broadcasting center. Then you'll turn on your AM/FM stereo and wait for the news to come on to learn about the local weather. Been there … done that!

If you use your CB in the city there may be some novelty value for the weatherband feature. However, if you have a motorhome or off-road vehicle and use it in the manner for which it was designed, you should be prepared for some disappointment when you leave the comfort of the city.

NEW INFORMATION (added December 2006)
Since this article was originally written, there has been some updates to the NOAA coverage in the United States. While there are still areas without coverage, mostly in the Western States, you can now look at the NOAA website and see a State by State pictorial that shows the strength of the broadcast coverage in different areas as well as those areas where NOAA broadcasts are lacking. Use this website URL to check in your area http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/Maps/index.php. This information will keep your expectations on the same line as reality.

Firestik Antenna Company - (Tel) 602-273-7151 - www.firestik.com

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