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Question about Vector VEC438 AM/FM/Weather Radio

3 Answers

Power won't stay on

Just bought the VEC438 and am trying to program it. But I can't get the power to stay on long enough for the ALERT message to come on. I did put the battery pack in and charged it for over 10 hours. The light stays on untill I shut it off.

Posted by Diane Zimmer on

  • 8 more comments 
  • Anonymous Nov 12, 2007

    I had same problem of rechargeable batteries not taking a charge in cradle. I am currently trying to charge batteries out side of the handheld. Wondering if connection between handheld & cradle is not good.

  • Anonymous Jan 08, 2008

    Vector Stormtracker Series 438/ Batteries wont charge

    Wonder if the company ever heard of Quality Assurance?

    Oh, never mind just noticed it was made in China.

    Guess that answers my question!!

  • Anonymous Feb 13, 2008

    Not only is power staying on a problem, but the radio won't alarm to SAME codes. Have a Midland wx radio in another room & works like a champ. Didn't hear about the recall, but figures. When I went to, was rerouted to Black & Decker site. Guess they like buying 'problems'.

  • SAYURI18 Apr 26, 2008

    I got one too. I am trying to use it tonight because of severe storms.I can't believe it won't hold a charge!Even in the charge stand I don't get any alerts.So much for piece of mind during bad midwest weather!!!!!!

  • Pj12345 May 24, 2008

    Yes same problem twice sent it back and yes the batteries don't charge and it doesn't alert to SAME warnings. What a piece of junk!

  • Lee Bartholomew Jul 08, 2008

    Well my brother seems to have the same problem with his. I prefer Midland. Never had a problem with those. And I've seen problems before with other products with a charger base. In my brother's case, the rechargeable battery pack gets so hot one can't actually touch the product. In this case I'd assume a bad battery pack. But maybe it's the base. I checked the CPSC site, there hasn't been any recalls for this item. Perhaps someone can point me where you heard this.

  • Lindal010101 Aug 18, 2008

    Not only does the power not stay on, but when it comes on for a couple of seconds it shows fm 991.?? mhz. The flashlight seems to work ok.

  • Anonymous Sep 01, 2008

    Will not charge after being plugged in all night!!

  • Anonymous Sep 02, 2008

    Got my on sale at Home Depot, now know what it was on sale. doesn't work. Charged it twice and it only held the charge for about an hour. Hard to program. Searches all over for an FM signal, can't program that. Plan to return it and get a good AM/FM with the WB.

  • Anonymous Apr 24, 2009

    Battery wont hold a charge. the crank charging works fine but wont hold one from the wall outlet.



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Works great when it works, good reception, alerts work for county codes. Was terrible, terrible to program, never seen anything so bad. Took one back because I couldn't charge it, but bought another because of the $15 sale price. Everything I own charges on the left side, but this one charges on the right. I was trying to charge it in the headphone jack! With the second one, the radio went out in the middle of Gustav, but the flashlight worked if I hand-cranked it. Took it to the local Vector/Black and Decker/DeWalt service center and was sent a new one in about a week. I'm hoping it will keep working. It is really great for $15, but I wouldn't fool with it if cost any more than that. One thing, I keep seeing that it has a cellphone charging jack, but mine didn't come with any adapters. I have some universal charge adapters and I am wondering what would happen if put one in the DC jack . It is either that or the headphone jack; there aren't any other holes.

Posted on Sep 24, 2008



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I myself own this product and have the SAME problem. Try charging it IN the cradle with the power on. Its good for the batteries! (And truly, Black & Decker a terrible company) But... I have a few suggestions for S.A.M.E. code problems: Extend the telescoping antenna for one to give it good reception and a station with a strong signal, allow 48 hours and make sure to experiment with different codes. If I may make a correction? It's not an "AM/FM/Weather Radio", this model (VEC438) respectively; is an FM/Weather Radio! And NOTHING else.

Posted on Feb 15, 2008



Home Depot recalled all of them for this reason. Great radio, just use reachable batteries instead of the charger stand. The stand and OEM battery is the problem. I kept mine and use rechargeable's instead.

Posted on Jul 01, 2007

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I have one of these too. Here is the information, in case you don't still have the adapter.
Model KA12D090050034U
Input 120V AC 60Hz 95mA
Output 9V DC 500 mA

The inner part of the plug is the positive side.

Try googling the model number above. I did and found several sources. If you still have the adapter and only the power supply itself is bad (but the plug is still good), you may be able to splice on another 9 volt DC adapter, as long as the power output is 500 mA or greater. If you go this route, make sure to check the polarity before plugging it into the radio.


Hi, not sure why the manual I uploaded doesn't show up anywhere so here it is in 2 posts (too large for 1 post)

Stormtracker Vector Model: VEC438 Classified: UNOFFICIAL USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Programing Instructions
To Program Alert:
Turn the radio on and then press:
1. Menu button (may have to hold it a few seconds) and Alert should show in the Display.
2. Press Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button which will display one of the following: Voice/Siren/or Off.
3. Then use the Menu button to select between Voice/Siren/or Off.
3. After making your selection, press the Memory button to the left of the Menu button. This completes the programming of the alert function.
Example: If "Siren" is displayed on the LCD screen and you push the Memory button to the left of the Menu button, when a weather alert is broadcast the siren tone will sound and the appropriate yellow or red light will activate. If "OFF" is displayed on the LCD screen and the Memory button is pushed, the alert will not activiate.

To Program County
Turn the radio on and then press:
1. Menu button (may have to hold it a few seconds) and when ALERT appears, tap Menu button to scroll to County.
2. Press Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button which will display one of the following: All/Multiple/or Single
3. Then use the Menu button to select between All/Multiple/or Single (You'll need to know the S.A.M.E. codes for the area you want to listen to, otherwise select ALL and you will recieve "All" Statements, Watches & Warnings without having to select a specific County).
4. After making your selection, press the Memory button to the left of the Menu button if ALL was selected or Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button if you chose Multiple or Single (You'll see CODE01 on the display) If you chose Multiple use the Menu button to choose which Code Position to enter (01-10) then press the Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button. Enter the first digit of the S.A.M.E. code then press the Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button to move to the next digit of the S.A.M.E. code. Repeat this for all digits of the S.A.M.E. code. Then press the Memory button to the left of the Menu button to lock in that code. Press the Menu button to select the next code position to enter. Then press the Channel/Snooze button to the right of the Menu button, then the Menu button to select the digit of the next S.A.M.E. code to be entered. Repeat these steps as necessary to enter in all the S.A.M.E. codes you wish to enter, each time pressing the Memory button to the left of the Menu to lock in each code position. When completed entering in all S.A.M.E. codes press the Memory key again to lock in all codes and return to normal operation. This completes the programming of the County Code function.
Fulton 013121 Atlanta 162.550 KEC80 500
Colquitt 013071 Pelham 162.550 WXK53 1000
Colquitt 013071 Valdosta 162.500 WWH31 1000
NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies
162.400 MHz (WX2)
162.425 MHz (WX4)
162.450 MHz (WX5)
162.475 MHz (WX3)
162.500 MHz (WX6)
162.525 MHz (WX7)
162.550 MHz (WX1)
Channel numbers, e.g. (WX1, WX2) etc. have no special significance but are often designated this way in consumer equipment. Other channel numbering schemes are also prevalent. Best to just tune to the strongest sounding station in your area, this radio does not display frequiencies, only channel numbers.
NOAA Weather Broadcasts
Channel Frequency
1 162.550
2 162.400
3 162.475
4 162.425
5 162.450
6 162.500
7 162.525
A link to get the S.A.M.E. codes for your listening area:

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