Picture of the Radio Shack 12500 NOAA Cube Weather Radio, Operating, Antenna Extended.

Radio Shack NOAA Weather Alert Radio Cube 12-500 (12500) Review

Picture of the Radio Shack 12500 NOAA Cube Weather Radio, Operating, Antenna Extended.
Radio Shack 12500 NOAA Cube Weather Radio, Operating, Antenna Extended.

The   Radio Shack NOAA Weather Radio 12-500 (12500) Cube   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 this Radio Shack Weather Cube

Attractive colorations.  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 maintain.  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.

Inexpensive.  Costs a minuscule $20.

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).

Works nationwide.  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.

Picture of the NOAA Weather Cube, Radio Shack 12-500, Front View
NOAA Weather Cube, Radio Shack 12-500, Front View

Disadvantages, Problems,, Cons, and Limitations of this Radio Shack 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’re stuck using battery power thus. Does not charge its batteries, thus.

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 is issued. However, when played a low volume, most weather stations play an easily heard alert tone when they’re about to read an alert message.

Tuning knob loses precision over time.  The tuning adjustment appears to be a variable resistor instead of a capacitor, and these types of controls can become dirty and worn more quickly than variable capacitors typically do.  So I’m concerned that over time, tuning this radio to the desired weather station may become more difficult.  But for as little as this weather receiver costs, buying a new one in that event would probably be best.

Picture of the 12500 Weather Radio, Bottom, showing Volume, Tuning Controls, and Battery Compartment.
12500 Weather Radio, Bottom, showing Volume, Tuning Controls, and Battery Compartment.

Product Rating

On the whole, this weather radio seems to be a sturdy, good-sounding, and simple-to-operate receiver for the novice and intermediate listener.  The price is good, and this makes it easy to replace in the event of loss or damage.  While it lacks a couple features that I wish had been provided, I’d recommend this weather radio to any new NOAA listener who is looking for a basically good and cheap unit.  I’d rate this receiver at 90 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Radio Shack 12-500 NOAA Weather Radio Cube 

Look for this radio exclusively at Radio Shack retail outlets across the country.

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Revision History

  • 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.