Missed test causing weather radios to beep

Photo of weather radio
Midland brand programmable NOAA weather radio

Weather alert radios all over northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and southern Lower Michigan started mysteriously beeping over the weekend. Some radios also began displaying a “check reception” message on their displays. The radios were attempting to warn their owners that they might have lost the radio signal from the National Weather Service (NWS) NOAA Weather Radio transmitters.

The radio signal is, in fact, fine. But for some reason, last week, the radios did not receive the test alarm that the NWS northern Indiana office sends every week, usually on Wednesday mornings. Midland brand weather alert radios (and perhaps others) keep track of how long it’s been since they received an alert signal, including the weekly test. Midland designed the radios so that if more than 10 days elapse without an alert, the radios begin beeping, to alert owners of a possible problem. The warning goes away as soon as the radio receives any kind of alert, including the next weekly test.

The problem should resolve itself Wednesday morning when the next weekly test occurs. Owners of Midland weather radios who don’t want to wait that long can follow the procedure below, taken from an FAQ page on Midland’s website. Users should take note, however, that following the procedure below will erase all programming in the radio. That means the radio will need to be reprogrammed to alert only for specific counties. Any users who lack confidence in their abilities to program their radios might be better off just ignoring the beeping until Wednesday’s test.

Why does my weather radio have a “Check Reception” message scrolling across the screen and it beeps every 10 minutes?

The message and beep tone indicate that the radio has not received any weather alerts or test alerts in 10 days. If NOAA is forced to skip the weekly test and no alerts have been issued, the message can appear on the display.

To clear the message and beep you will need to reset the radio. To reset the radio, unplug the power cord and remove the batteries. Wait 15 seconds and reinsert the power cord and batteries. Once the radio has been reset the time will need to be programmed.

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