Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 9:36PM EDT

2010 chase vehicle work - part 1

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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Cold, cloudy and windy weather on Wednesday in Raleigh, of all places, meant that the vehicle projects needed to wait until the sun finally broke out on Thursday. And the sun was out in force Thursday, enough to give me my first sunburn of the year after working outside for several hours.


Raleigh chase vehicle work day

The first project was fairly simple, drilling the bolt holes for the Jotto laptop desk - which is as a result finally very secure, as it was designed to be:

Next was installing the old power console from the Freestyle (my former chase vehicle). This is basically a wire frame-mounted rig with a 750-watt inverter, power strip, WxWorx data receiver, a main power switch, and a small switch bank (for the rear-facing amber strobes and any other additional future devices). This hefty setup allows me to do away with the flimsy cigarette lighter plug-fed 400-watt inverter, with the main power connection now coming from a hard-wired line to the main fuse panel under the hood. This is its rough-in state, with some wire organization/clean-up still yet to be done.

Right now the entire assembly is mounted with hangers on the back interior panel. I'm planning on adding some shock-absorbing foam or rubber feet to dampen any road vibration noises, but for now this seems like a sufficient support system that avoids having to drill into the panel. A necessary addition to this configuration (yet to be added) will be an indicator light for up front that will help me remember to shut the system off - leaving it on drains the battery fast!

Still yet to be completed is the dashcam mount re-config, which unfortunately will probably have to wait until later next week. My travel schedule for this eastern US trip has been fairly tight - and with a full day planned on Friday in Charleston, followed by the return trip to STL on Saturday, there won't be enough time to sit down and do the project right until Sunday evening at the earliest.

The rushed travel schedule also means I haven't had time to put together the first weather expedition forecast and probability table, which I may finally have time for on Sunday afternoon after returning to New Baden. What I can say is that models show the general upper air pattern possibly beginning to favor severe weather again sometime late next week. I still have my concerns about moisture return - but I haven't looked at things closely enough to form a strong opinion one way or another. All I can say now is just to stay tuned for an update on Sunday!

Dan thought I would give you the heads up on this one. They are trying to bring shuttle Discovery home tomorrow morning. If weather allows on the first attempt it will come right over your home town between 8,00am and 8.45am for a landing in Florida at 8.52am all times are EST
- Posted by Mick from UK
Thanks Mick, I was out of town until today, I just heard that they postponed it so looks like I didn't miss it. That would definitely be something worth seeing/hearing.
- Posted by Dan R. from New Baden, IL

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