Weather Star Jr Audio Weather Alert

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Weather Star Jr Audio Weather Alert
Manufacturer:CircuitWerkes, Inc.
Family:WeatherStar (as a complementary device)
Hardware:Custom circuit board
Release Date:2002
Number manufactured:2,000
Status:Retired – Decommissioned by The Weather Channel alongside the Weather Star Jr on June 26, 2014.

The Weather Star Jr. Audio Weather Alert was an audio tone generator device developed for The Weather Channel by CircuitWerkes, Inc., in 2002. It was compatible with the Weather Star III and the Weather Star Jr. The Weather Star Jr. had no tone generation capabilities of its own, hence the name.


Circuit board diagram of the Audio Weather Alert.

The Audio Weather Alert was a standard rack-mountable piece of hardware with a height of 1RU (rack unit; 1.75 in.). The front plate, as with any standard rack-mount hardware, is 19 inches in length across. The actual hardware itself is encased behind the front plate in a much shorter enclosure, measuring around 7 inches across and 3.5 inches from front to back. The actual circuit board itself juts out around an extra half inch on the back side to allow access to the terminal blocks for control and audio input/output (bottom left of image).

It is unknown how the Audio Weather Alert would exactly have connected to the III, but specifications are known about how it connected to the Jr., through its accompanying manual which was published online. Audio would pass entirely around the Jr., going from the satellite receiver through the Audio Weather Alert and out to the channel modulator. Ground and "start" terminal pins on the back of the Audio Weather Alert would connect to the Jr., on its "wx" and "warning" pins respectively. The AC power connection to the Audio Weather Alert was also terminal block-based, and a 14 to 20V power adapter could be used. The device would also accept a DC power adapter.[1]

The Audio Weather Alert could be tested by attaching a keyboard to the front of the Weather Star Jr. and using it to enter a diagnostic mode, at which point an operator could use the F1 key to turn the relay for the audio tone generator on or off.

Diagram of connections between cable headend equipment and the Audio Weather Alert


An August 2000 ruling from the Federal Communications Commission required TWC to provide audio tone generators to Weather Star Jr operators to allow audio tones to accompany the broadcast of emergency bulletins. The FCC would set the deadline for this distribution to April 30, 2002.[2] At the same time, remaining Weather Star III units were suffering from widespread tone generator failure. The Weather Channel's response was the creation of the Weather Star Jr. Audio Weather Alert. Based off the manual, despite the name, the device worked with both the III and Jr. The first mention of the device available through archival occurs in January 2002, when its manual was created and published online.[1] According to the CircuitWerkes website, 2,000 Audio Weather Alerts were manufactured for The Weather Channel.[3]

A June 2004 update to the Audio Weather Alert allowed for a repeat of the generated tones at the next loop of a given bulletin, rather than the tones only occuring once[4].

The Audio Weather Alert would be compatible with the III for as long as the III existed, which was until December 31, 2004, a retirement deadline that was also based off the FCC's ruling on tone generation requirements.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Weather Star JR". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on June 12, 2004. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  2. "The Weather Channel Current Conditions". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on 2002-10-12.
  3. "CircuitWerkes Custom Projects & Products". CircuitWerkes. Retrieved May 1, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Audio Weather Alert Enhancement Release Notes" (PDF). The Weather Channel. June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2005. Retrieved May 1, 2022.