WXL65 162.400 Weather Radio St. Cloud MN 1983

Here’s an aircheck you don’t come across every day: WXL-65, the voice of the National Weather Service in Central Minnesota.

Back before Perfect Paul’s computerized voice, NOAA stations actually employed real humans to announce the weather forecast and current conditions.  These reports would be recorded in advance and updated frequently.  In times of severe weather, updates would be provided continuously.

Besides being a broadcast radio geek, I was also a scanner geek. I had just purchased a used Tennelec MCP-1 which was the first programmable scanner available.  Prior to this, scanners required a special crystal for each frequency you wished to listen to.  I excitedly connected my scanner to its rooftop antenna and punched up the weather frequencies.  All 3 of the frequencies in use at that time (162.400, 162.475, and 162.550) had signals!  This is station WXL65, transmitting on 162.400Mhz from St. Cloud.  The interference you hear underneath is being generated by WXK40 in Mankato, also on 162.400Mhz. I was located in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

In addition to the Tennelec MCP-1, I used a Radio Shack Archer Tri-Band vertical omnidirectional antenna, mounted approximately 30 feet above the ground.  This was the one that looked much like a 1/4 wave CB ground plane with the 3 horizontal radials.  Instead of the CB antenna’s single vertical element, the scanner version used 3 elements mounted parallel to each other.  One for VHF-LO (30-50Mhz), one for VHF-HI (144-174Mhz), and one for UHF (420-512Mhz.)  The antenna was connected to the scanner with a 50′ length of Radio Shack RG8/U coaxial cable.  An adapter converted the PL-259 plug on the coax to the Motorola jack on the scanner.  Despite the inherent glitches and multiple “birdies” in this radio, it actually worked very well for me. 

This is how weather radio for central Minnesota sounded in early 1983:


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