The Radio Shack 12-500 Weather Cube Radio is one of the most reliable and cheapest forms of safety insurance in which you could invest. It can alert you to the presence of earthquakes, tornadoes, strong thunderstorms, and any weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service; thus, giving you a little time to prepare for, and take cover from.
Non weather emergencies may also be received, such as AMBER alerts and boil-water advisories. Plus, you can listen to it anytime throughout the day, to get the latest weather reports and forecasts. The weather radio services can be received most anywhere throughout the USA, and typically broadcast twenty-four hours per day, on all seven days of the week.
Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages of the Radio Shack 12-500 Weather Cube
Attractive Bright Color Case
The bright red, silver, dark black coloring create a definite yet not overbearing color contrast.
Curiously Big Sound
Produces a surprisingly full and clear sound for all the bigger its speaker is; approximately two inches in diameter. It’s loud enough to be heard above the typical dins found in the average American home.
Batteries Easy to Replace
The required four AA batteries are easy to find for cheap, as AA batteries are so ubiquitous.
Whip Antenna Works Well
The six-section whip antenna is very effective at pulling in those weak weather stations in rural areas in spite of its notable shortness.
Costs a minuscule $20. Quite affordable.
It’s Reasonably Sensitive and Selective
Picks up NOAA weather broadcast stations from as far away as 25 miles.
Non Slip Feet
Fitted with anti-skid rubber feet that really grab the table upon which you place this device. The seem to work very well, even on very smooth glass surfaces.
Accepts Standard Batteries
Powered by four double-A alkaline cells (six volts).
Tunes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather band, from 162.40 Mhz. to 162.55 Mhz. Weather radio broadcast stations throughout the US use these frequencies, and since the NOAA goal is to reach every location within the states with at least one broadcast station, this weather cube will probably be able to pick up at least one station no matter where in the United States you are.
Disadvantages, Problems,, Cons, and Limitations of the Radio Shack 12-500 Weather Cube
Bright Power Lamp
This weather radio has a bright blue LED pilot light that glows while listening to it. This may shorten battery life somewhat.
Exclusively Battery Powered
There’s no place on this NOAA cube to connect an AC adapter. You must use battery power thus. Does not charge its batteries either.
Reaching Controls can be Cumbersome
The volume and tuning controls are located on the bottom of the cube. Thus, you must pick the radio up to make adjustments. We’d rather have the controls on either the sides, or at least, the back.
No Built-In Alert Feature
Some weather radios can automatically turn on and warn you when the emergency weather alert tones are received. However, this radio does not implement the SAME protocol, and is thus, not equipped with that functionality. You cannot put it into standby mode, where you hear nothing, and then have it turn on when an alert comes through. However, when you play this at low volume, you can hear the alert tone that most weather stations send just prior to reading an alert message.
Tuning Knob Loses Precision Over Time
The tuning adjustment appears to be a variable resistor instead of a capacitor. And sadly, these types of controls get dirty and worn more quickly. So our concern is that over time, tuning may get harder. But for as little as this weather receiver costs, buying a new one would probably work best.
On the whole, this weather radio is a sturdy, good-sounding, and simple-to-operate receiver. Great choice for the novice and intermediate listener besides. The price is good, and this makes it easy to replace in the event of loss or damage. While it lacks some features we like, we’d still recommend it. Any new NOAA listener wanting a basic but still good unit would love the 12-500. Thus we rate this receiver at 90 out of 100.
Where to Buy the Radio Shack 12-500 Weather Cube
Look for this radio exclusively at Radio Shack retail outlets across the country.
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- 2019-10-27: Added links.
- 2019-02-26: Added key phrase targeting, more tags, and fixed a few typos.
- 2017-02-18: Revised the tags list.
- 2015-12-12: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-01-09: Added pictures.
- 2014-12-17: Added whitespace, adjusted ad positioning, and tweaked the content.
- 2014-11-05: Added a References section, revised, and tightened up the content.
- 2011-06-20: Originally published this post.