Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Less is More...

At least so I'm told...

After some serious consideration, I decided it was time to reevaluate my chase setup.

This season, we're going to go out a little more simply. And while the photos may say differently, it really is a less complicated (and I hope) a more reliable system. The original point of all of this was to make it easy to setup and easy to take down. I'm afraid over the years it became less about that and I was reaching the point where it was beginning to become a drudgery to set things up. This isn't what it's about for me. Hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable ya know?

Gone are the laptop and mount which gives me plenty of room for say, an occasional partner or ride-along? In any case, I get the front seat real estate back.

I also 86'ed the Deep Cycle battery and inverter that rode in the back. Even though it was firmly strapped down, I never was comfortable with the possibility of a sixty pound battery making its way to the front of the vehicle in the event of a "sudden stop" or "Barrel Roll". Not that I plan to place myself in either situation, just one less thing to worry removing, installing, charging, testing before hitting the road, etc. Good riddance.

My large HD camera and Film Tools mount are history as well. Although that will come back periodically in a cameo appearance from time to time, it won't be in the regular package. Several smaller Sony HD "Action Cams" will take its place. In fact, they will get lots of use this year given how well they performed the few times I had them out last season.

And last but not least, Streaming will not be back... Ever.

The ridiculous amount of time I spent making sure that streaming was functioning while on the road was just too much. Couple that with a less than enthusiastic streaming provider who would take weeks to answer a simple question and smart-assed troll viewers who basically would tell me how much my stream sucked, the expense to provide a data stream, and you have the makings for a non-starter this season.

This year, I'm chasing for me... And maybe a few riding shotgun.

Yeah yeah, I know. It looks like overkill. But really, everything has a purpose. If I find out it's not getting used? Out it will go.

This is the year of the tablet. I found an extremely inexpensive Windows 8.1 tablet that (should) do everything the previous notebook did in a fraction of the space. Still a couple of things to work out but nothing insurmountable. My iPad will also be going out for the ride as well.

As a matter of fact, maybe this should be the year of the iChase vehicle. Since no less than four iDevices will be running providing data, radar, backup dash camera, and of course, phone service. I'm finding that decommissioned iPhones have many uses for chasing after they stop being phones...

New this year is a standalone wifi system. In years past I was always tethered to a phone for data which served me well... Until someone called. Then I'd have to re-establish service once the call was complete. Not the type of thing you need to be doing as you're greeting a growing supercell. I will be very curious to see how reliable this is in the coming months. Hey! The hotspot I bought on-line for twenty bucks new and I'm operating prepaid. If it sucks? I'll throw it out front of the vehicle and run over the thing in effigy to Verizon as a big fat "Fuck You"

Minus a couple of cameras, this is pretty much my setup for the 2015 season.

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