I was a little sad, because the transistor weather radio I had owned for decades stopped working.
I tried a few things but nothing I did changed its status. Its demise was terminal. I was fond of the radio and didn’t want to just throw it away in the garbage, but giving it a burial in the backyard didn’t seem appropriate either. That’s one of the dilemmas of our age.
I blame its passing on old age, and maybe it got dropped onto the floor once too often.
I think I bought it originally at Roy’s Electronics, two or three decades ago when the store was in the lower mall. I phoned various stores around town, but none carried them, and a few even questioned what a weather radio was. Obviously, the times have changed, and I ended up ordering one online. I hated to retire my old one but was excited to get a new one.
Now for those of you who may not be familiar with the weather radio, here is a brief explanation of how they work: scattered all across the country, the government has set up broadcasting stations to transmit the local area weather. Our station covers North and South Slave. You can get the local and area current conditions, five-day forecast, the marine conditions on Great Slave Lake and the three-day forecast.
So, if you are out on the lake or out camping, if you are within range, you can get the weather 24/7 in English and French. That’s assuming you have a weather radio. If you travel, you can pick up the local weather most places that you go.
It’s pretty obvious that they are recording the information somewhere in the south by people who really don’t know the North or how to pronounce certain names. It is F T Providence, Bay-checo, and Kay-kisa. So, they could brush up on their pronunciations. It is handy to be able to get the weather forecast when you are out of town though.
They have a phone-in version of this at 873-2734. However, they seem to have abandoned this part of the service, which is stuck on old dates and much colder weather. It will be interesting to see how long they keep that number running. Maybe years, decades or centuries.
This is all brought to you by the federal government’s department of the environment, atmospheric protection, climate change, and no one knows what else. The government likes long names, and they just keep getting longer to show that they care. The new weather radio I got is a leap forward in technology, so I think it is only proper that the network of weather radio stations needs an upgrade as well.
My old weather radio ran on replaceable batteries. It only had three channels: A, B and C. That was about it. The new radio has a rechargeable battery that can be plugged into a charger used on phones and computers. It has a small solar panel that will maintain the charge and a hand crank, just in case you run out of power. It would take hours to charge it up that way but easy enough to get power to hear it once.
It also has the entire weather band, plus AM and FM bands so it actually doubles and triples as a radio. It has a built-in flashlight and when I pressed a button, a very loud scary siren sounded. It startled me so much I almost dropped the radio, which would be ironic because that is why I had to get a new one. So, it is quite an improvement.
With the way things are going it’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with a weather radio, weather station that hooks into satellites and can track thunder and lightning storms, blizzards and accurate wind and forest fire smoke. I would throw in earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Plus, local fly conditions and solar radiation. Why not. That’s the trouble with being a weather junkie, one always wants more.