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Thread: A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* ericjohn's Avatar
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    Default A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ

    https://ericjohnmonier.com/2018/11/2...weather-radio/

    ...Above is a link to this piece as it appears on my blog...

    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!
    "When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight."

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ

    Thanks for the review.

    I am personally a big fan of the Sangean CL-100 weather radio, the radio has nice audio quality for listening to music and doubles as my alarm clock. I posted this review in the Small Portable Radio's? thread back in 2015. Amazon still sells the Sangean CL-100 priced at $56.87.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post



    The weather hasn’t treated us very well here in northern middle Tennessee over the last 48 hours, we have had a lot of snow and ice making some here including me wish spring would hurry along. But with spring comes a greater threat of tornados making a little ice seem pale in comparison. I always make a point in mid to late February to test and check my weather radio and of course make sure the batteries are up to the task. As I’m sure most people on the CPF who live in tornado alley can tell you tornado season can be deadly, we lost some people in our neighborhood just a few years ago. A couple of years ago I was sound asleep when about four O’clock in the morning my weather radio blasted a tornado warning, I had no idea about the pending danger but about ten minutes later part of a small building across the street struck the house. Fortunately there wasn’t much damage and everyone was OK but it could have been very different. Thanks to the weather radio when the tornado hit everyone in the house was aware of the pending danger and was in a safe area. A few minutes warning can make a huge difference.

    About four years ago I decided to replace an old weather radio and started doing some research on what was available. After reading several reviews I settled on the Sangean CL-100. Part of the reason I wanted to replace my old weather radio was I was constantly being woken up at night from alerts which didn’t poses a threat so when the alert sounded I would stagger rout of bed and deactivate the alert feature on the radio and try to remember to reactive the feature in the morning but of course there were times when I just forgot to do it. A weather radio is not much use if the radio is not listening for alerts. The Sangean CL-100 as some know has been discussed at length in this thread several times over the past few years and I believe most people who own the radio will agree the CL-100 should be on anyone’s shortlist when considering a weather radio. The CL-100 solves some of the problems and hassles of using a weather radio by providing three features that I believe are critical in someone keeping the radio in alert mode VS someone just shutting the radio off after being annoyed after receiving a bunch of none critical alerts.

    The first feature is SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) SAME filters out alerts that do not directly apply to your geographical location. As an example my old weather radio without SAME would wake me up when a storm warning was issued for a neighboring county even though the storm may be moving in a direction that poses no threat.

    The second feature is Selectable Alerts, this feature allows you to choose what alerts will sound an alarm on your radio when issued. An example may be that you may not want to be woken up at four in the morning if the police issue a child abduction alert. In one instant several years ago I was woken up when at 3 o’clock in the morning when a wind advisory was issued for the next day. Talk about wanting to throw the radio out the window. Being able to choose what your radio will alert you to is a great feature. I have all the alerts disabled on my radio except for server thunderstorm and tornado warning.


    The last feature is End-of-message (EOM), This feature will turn the radio off after the alert is broadcasted. Radios without this feature will continue to broadcast with a siren or weather information depending on how the radio is programed. The real benefit is if you are in bed and the radio is in another room will not have to get out of bed to turn the alert off thus being tempted to just turn the radio completely off. Alerts normally last for about a minute before the EOM tones are broadcasted.


    As you can see from the picture the radio has three different led color lights titled Warning, Watch and Advisory. Having the lights is obviously a benefit if you happen to be out of the house when the radio issues an alert and turns the sound warning off, you can easily see at a glance when walking into the room if something is going on and then read the display which will be scrolling the nature of the alert. The radio also keeps a history of the alerts, you can scroll through the last twenty alerts giving you date time and nature of the alerts. I will warn you and let you know when a tornado warning is issued the alarm volume is very loud and will wake the dead. Loudness comments are common in the reviews on Amazon. Reviewers of the radio will also mention the radio is relatively easy to program, I had no problem programing but I also previously had a weather radio so I already know what needed to be done.


    What makes the CL-100 exceptional is not just the weather alert capabilities which are excellent but the fact that the radio is also designed to perform equally well as a desktop radio and as an alarm clock. The radio is full of useful features and I should mention the build quality is superb. As far as a desktop radio goes the radio has as nice large speaker which produces a very pleasant sound and is far better than any clock radio I have owned in the past. I have found the radio to be reasonable sensitive thus picking up location stations is not a problem. While not a lot of memory the radio has 5 station presets for both FM and AM which for me is more than enough.

    The radio has RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System) capabilities giving the radio the ability to display time, song name, artist name and station name. You can use the RBDS information to program the radios clock and date function but I would recommend once programed you disable the feature. Some radio stations broadcast the wrong time and date and it is possible for the radio to reset its clock based on incorrect data being broadcast. This actually happened to me once. The display is excellent and has a wide viewing angle plus you can adjust the brightness. A small complaint I have is the display is placed in such a way which makes it difficult to see the time when waking up at night, I wish the display was on the front of the radio. The radio also has a line in jack so playing MP3 from the phone is easy and with the nice speaker the sound is really good. There are several jacks on the back of the radio so the radio should be able to accommodate most people’s needs. The jacks include DC power in, stereo earphone, AM external antenna, FM/weather external antenna, aux-in, external alert and grounding terminal. The radio is not a bad emergency radio and is feed by four AA batteries, as mentioned earlier in the thread by StarHalo monitoring for alerts will drain the batteries so make sure if you use the CL-100 as an emergency radio that you remember to flip the weather switch to the off position on the front of the radio to disable monitoring. You will get much better battery life out of a set of batteries. The last thing I will mention is the radio truly makes for a great alarm clock and I use it every day. The radio has two separate alarms and can be programed for different days of the week. When the alarm sounds in the morning it starts at a very low level and gradually builds up in volume. I hate being jilted out of bed so I love this feature. And for those who like dozing off listening to music the radio has a sleep timer which can be programed to 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

    As I mentioned earlier in this post the CL-100 has been mentioned several time in the past and will probably be old news to some in this thread. I post this mainly for the new readers of this thread and as a reminder to test your batteries if you already have a weather radio. If you are consider buying a weather radio I highly recommend getting a radio with SAME, you will not regret it even though you may never know how many time you were not woke up on a non-critical alert.


  3. #3
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ

    Thanks for the detailed review for this product

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