...in many respects, we've our work "cut out for us"...

NOAA ALL HAZARDS Weather Radio transmitters operate with power from 100 to 1000 watts, with a reception range of 'city blocks' to 40 miles if everything is perfect. It often isn't for our location, hardware budget, etc. The frequency used is between Standard VHF television channels 6 and 7...and is narrow band FM with a maximum frequency deviation of 5 kHz.


Stream Quality

...is so important, that several PWS team members audit the site consistently for quality and offline streams. We show you any last update times, and 'flag' any streams with issues, giving both users and providers the last observed streams status, or any station listing updates.

files update

Important Note:

Once Online, Stuff will happen. The Feed Is Dead. Long Live the Feed. Useful info and utilities at:
STREAM RELIABILITY  —  Is my stream Online or NOT? — Some monitoring utilities and info


marginal quality

Stream Quality

 — excepting a fault in a NWR transmitter —  this is the responsibility of each provider.
A daily, quick, online check of your stream will prevent many 'dead' or 'disabled' feeds.



Below, see a 'quality grid' with actual NWR streams, recorded Live in July 2017.

For simplicity, and because the "BUTT" encoder is cross platform, is free, and most anyone can fire it up, we used it as our 'VU' application. The streams were monitored as PC audio directly from the NOAA Weather Radio Org main index stream player. Volume Level reference set for "optimum -4 ref" on "BUTT" using the online 'reference' track, "Look Out For Flying Pigs". (Audio compression standards are expected around 89% peak -- Pigs is encoded at 90%, and 'compares' with about a -6 to -3 db reference, depending on content.)


Assuming we've turned on our receiver, got some NWR audio through its loudspeaker... let's enable our encoder lashup, whatever it may be, and plug it into the output jack of the receiver..., ...then we may be confronted with one or more of the below 'grid row cells':




Hover thumbnail to play examples

60 Hertz Line HUM Painful to Marginal Often simply a bad audio cable. how help

Very Poor Signal Poor Signal & 1 Channel Solved how help

Aliasing 8 kHz Aliasing 16 kHz Solved how help

Low Volume Low Volume & 1 Channel BAD EXPERIENCE how help

Low Minimum High Maximum Optimum how help
Last Resort Level Setting: Match your online stream level to the same 'ear level' as the reference track 1 on the web page player: "Look Out For Flying Pigs"

That Annoying 60 Hz (or other) Audio Junk

First, it's not 'abnormal' to have some very, very low Line Freq Hum NWR reception... sometimes it's in the transmitter, other times it's your receiver's environment. Extremely low hum can be acceptable. But...

Let's get rid of ANY hum if possible!


GROUND LOOP
A ground loop typically occurs when two or more pieces of equipment are plugged into different AC outlets, then connected together by signal cables— whose shielding is connected to ground.

In effect, this acts like an antenna that grabs anything that may be floating around, especially Power Line EMI.

Anything that breaks the loop will kill the noise. Some folks use 'audio cable' noise suppressors, which are basically isolation transformers. May be cheaper to plug into same outlet... but if all else fails...



POWER CORDS
Never run a power cable across or near the audio signal cable, the receiver or its antenna, or the external antenna's cable!

If have hum and it isn't a ground loop, this could be a sneaky snake.



AUDIO CABLES / Plug Adapters
Poor, or loose shielding, poor or high resistance can induce all manner of evil.

Believe it or not, even physical vibration noise from cord movement!



USB CABLES
Use cables with ferrite suppressors, or clamp on ferrite beads.

Same rules as apply to Power Cords. Don't run USB cable near your audio signal cable, etc.

If you use USB cable as your 'audio signal cable', especially with adapters for audio, apply the same logic as for Audio cables.



NEARBY EQUIPMENT
Locate your receiver and route its cables, antenna etc as far as possible from any stuff that emits RF, or other EMI.

Even a meter can make a difference!



THE RECEIVER
WHOA... been known to have issues!

Bad Wall Wart supplies, bad audio out jacks, bad shielding....