Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's Time... Really.

I finally pulled the trigger today and said "Piss On Mother Nature." and loaded the truck with this year's batch of chase equipment.

Actually? loaded up the truck with last year's chase gear... What? ya think I'm rich or something? 

We're going stealth this year. Well, OK we were stealth last year too but, a couple of markers through the tinted rears hopefully will keep John Law off my back. Of course, five antennas on the vehicle won't help to mask anything. But I will say it is rather fun to have someone come whipping up along side of you with the intent to pass you at 80 or 90 miles an hour only to put the binders on when he/she sees the equipment in the front area.

This is of what I speak. Yes, the dashcam attached to the windshield gives the appearance of law enforcement speed measurement equipment but I'm not going to tell them it's just a garden variety HD video camera. The laptop adjacent to it also adds a certain enforcement feel when the adjacent lane catches a glimpse of it. It's always fun to see how long it takes for them to figure it out.
Small and portable is the word this season. Everything can be removed from the truck to assure security within a very short period of time. This also gives me the option to bring my equipment into another vehicle with little issue. The iPhone is what is used as an on-board hotspot to provide internet access to the laptop and any other devices needing access.
The radio on the right keeps me in contact with chasers using amateur radio frequencies. And to provide spotter reports to Skywarn. 
Same dash cam as last year. While it's not the best, it's certainly not the worst and I've been very happy with the performance to have it on board this season.
Here's the view from the drivers seat. Everything is viewable and accessible from here.
The laptop is the real workhorse of the entire system. It allows me to stream live dashcam video, monitor radar, provide location information, and access to the Internet for up to the minute forecast information. This may be it's last season. I'm finding that streaming on-board video is becoming more of a chore than it's worth. I'm going to continue to provide it for this season and then determine if it has any future. I'd love to continue it but, the costs are coming out of my own pocket and when it takes away from the actual chase to attend to streaming issues? well, it may be time to end it.

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