EARS stands for Emergency Alert Radio System. These are weather radios modified to activate when tones are sent through the 145.110 repeater. Regular participants in the District 3 ARES net are familiar with these tones as they are sent during the test at the beginning of first net of every month (along with the MVPT test)
It works just as the normal NOAA weather radio does. It monitors the 145.110 frequency with the audio muted. When the tones are sent through the 145.110 repeater, the radio sounds a siren tone while the tones are being transmitted, then mutes the audio again. You can also use it to monitor the 145.110 repeater.
A number of these radios were modified years ago by the then Kettering Medical Center ARA (ancestor of the current West Central Ohio ARA) and distributed to club members and throughout the ARES community.
However, as technology changed and models were discontinued, the base radios became unavailable and the club was not able to produce any more. If you don’t have one, the only way to get one is to have one handed down to you from a previous user that’s left the area, left the hobby, or become an SK.
Recently, the club discovered a stash of the components needed to modify a specific model of weather radio to the EARS configuration.
The model they’ve been using is the Garland Model 46-219 Emergency Alert weather radio. In the 90′s it was sold at Radio Shack and Sears stores. It’s possible that the same radio was made with other brand name plates and model numbers.
So, if you have a working working Garland Model 46-219 Emergency Alert weather radio, and would like to have it modified as an EARS radio, you’re in luck! The WCOARA is willing to perform the conversion for free!
If you have one and are not interested in an EARS radio, please consider donating it for conversion and distribution to the field.
If you don’t have one, keep your eyes open at flea markets and garage sales. You never know what treasure you’ll discover.
For more information contact Keith KB8GYB