The Reecom R-1650 Weather Alert Radio, while not the best selling desktop weather radio, looks to be close to the best of a pretty good bunch in providing early information about developing weather and other emergencies.
It has sufficient memory to store up to 26 counties in the S.A.M.E. system, monitors over 80 weather and other emergency events and categories, and can save data for up to 25 simultaneous events.
Where it shines is in the way it can handle the incoming information. You can choose which warnings you want to hear, decide whether to be warned by a siren or voice message, instantly work out whether the alert represents a warning, watch or advisory by the sound of the warning and the color of the flashing LED display, and independently adjust the volume of the siren and the voice message to suit your situation. No other weather radio in this price range offers all this.
Reception of weather radio signals should be fine within 50 miles of a transmitter, provided there are no barriers to the signal such as hills.
You can connect the R-1650 to other equipment such as a strobe or pillow vibrator through the Alert Out socket. Using the Audio Out socket it can be easily connected to a PA system, making it ideal for schools, child care centers and work places. (If you work in these or similar organizations you may be able to get a firther discount from the manufacturer – check with Reecom)
And on top of all that, it doubles as a reasonable AM/FM clock radio including features such as scanning and push button station memory.
Find out more about the Reecom R-1650 Weather Radio below, or follow the link to Amazon for a great deal.
Weather Alert Radio or Clock Radio?
In other reviews I had a bit of a moan about expecting a weather radio to do a reasonable job of providing quality AM/FM reception and waking you gently through the clock radio alarm function. Basically my thoughts were if you need a weather radio to warn you about emergencies, don’t bother too much about secondary functions.
I retract most of what I said, in view of what Reecom have been able to do with their R-1650. It functions superbly as a weather radio, but apart from some slight deficiencies in sound quality on AM and FM, it is also a very adequate clock radio, with dual alarms, station scanning and programmable buttons.
However, if you don’t need or want a clock radio, then you have the option of the Reecom R-1630C, identical to the R-1650 in all other respects, and giving you up to 200 hours of battery life when the radio is in standby mode – that’s over 8 days. It’s also a little cheaper, and is probably the best option for schools and other organizations.
Reecom R-1650D Features
The Reecom R-1650 is an attractive desk mounted radio that ticks just about every box in the list of what a weather radio should do to provide you with timely warnings without annoying you or stressing you out with unnecessary noise and irrelevant warnings.
First some stats. You can program it to monitor up to 26 counties or parts of counties using the S.A.M.E. system, it will provide alerts for over 80 emergency situations, including dangerous weather, natural disasters and civil defence events, and can display up to 25 of them concurrently. It can also be programmed to silence the siren for many less important alerts, including watches and summaries. That’s as much or more than any other radio can provide.
Most owners will only want to know about severe weather that will directly affect them, and the SAME programming will let you do just that. You can include just your home county, add other nearby counties if you live near the border up to a total of 26, or leave it on default and you will get information on all counties.
Not only can you silence the siren for less important events, you can choose whether to be warned by siren or voice message, and you can independently select the volume at which the warning will be broadcast. In other words, you can decide what you want to hear, and how loud it needs to be to get your attention.
As well as the audible warning, the LED screen will flash, and is color coded depending on the severity of the emergency – warning, watch or advisory. I nearly forgot to mention that the sound of the alarm varies in a similar way.
And at the end of each message the radio will revert to its previous state – standby or broadcasting AM/FM. This is obviously a much better system than having the voice message repeat endlessly, and the message will still be visible on the display.
Need to know when its safe to come out from shelter? The Reecom R-1650 will also count down to the end of the emergency period, and you can also listen to the weather radio broadcasts.
The R-1650 comes with an AC adaptor, but also has a 185 hour battery life when in standby mode – almost 8 days. Batteries are not included, so you will need 4 AAs to keep it going when the power is out. But while you can use rechargeable batteries, they can’t be recharged from within the radio itself..
Two other things that will be important for some users – the Reecom R-1650 has two sockets for external equipment. One is for external alert devices such as strobes and pillow vibrators, while the other is an audio out socket allowing connection to a PA system. The Reecom R-1650 is therefore ideal for schools, playgroups and offices or warehouses in areas subject to dangerous weather, and in fact is widely used in schools.
Really there’s not much to worry or complain about in the Reecom R-1650, and most of it applies equally to other brands and models.
Initial programming is a pain and you will need the manual close by. It’s not too bad once you get used to it, but it’s not quick. There is room for improvement here.
The sound quality when in AM/FM mode is not perfect, and volume control may be a bit tricky. Reception is usually good, and you have both an inbuilt antenna and the capacity to link to an external one.
And it doesn’t have slots for wall mounting, but that’s about it.
If you check buyer reviews, you will notice some quite strong comments about Reecom’s customer service and replacement policy. It would appear that Reecom may have had someone on the help desk whose understanding of customer service was not real great. This particularly applied to customers who bought their radio between 2010 and 2012.
Quite frankly, some of these customer experiences were unforgiveable, but over the past year or so things seem to have changed, and the complaints have just about disappeared. As a consequence, the ratings on Amazon for both the R-1650 and R-1630 have lifted from just over 4 out of 5 to well above 4.5.
Of course things like this can change, so check the reviews out for yourself to see what buyers are now saying.
The Reecom R-1650 Weather Alert Radio is a seriously good desktop weather radio, which doubles as a more than adequate AM/FM clock radio, and you can find more information and a good price by following the link.
It has been designed up to meet the task, not down to meet a price, and it has a very good record of reliability – longer than the one year warranty.
So why isn’t it up there among the best sellers like the Midland WR300? Well it costs a little more, and perhaps Reecom’s marketing skills are not as strong as their design and manufacturing ability. In my view, along with the Sangean CL-100, the Reecom R-1650 is better all round than the Midland WR300.
By all means check out the competition but give the Reecom R-1650 very serious consideration as your next weather radio.
You can see a general review of Weather Radios at another of my weather sites.
Following some of the links in this post will take you to sites where you can buy the Reecom R-1650 and many other interesting items. You should know that if you do buy something while you are there, I will earn a small commission.