Chromebook vs laptop

James K

EF2
Mar 26, 2019
179
72
6
Colorado
Ken Perrin said:
I took a Urban Armor Gear Exoskeleton for Samsung tablets, and mounted the socket from a CD slot smartphone mount, to the back of its frame. This is what I will mostly use as a mount for it. I also added a Steelie magnetic socket to it.
The phone goes into a low profile vent mount, that I picked up at a Dollar General.
The Garmin uses the suction cup windshield mount that came with it.
Would there be anything wrong with just leaving your phone & tablet on the passanger seat beside you? (that's where I leave phone/camera/etc if I bring them when going somewhere - its not like I'm going to even be looking at or touching them while the car is in motion)
Bringing a dedicated GPS unit along is actually a good Idea if you have one. I do have a Garmin that for the most part just sits at home (no need for it when I'm just driving around my local area). Thinking about it, I'd deff be bringing that me if I went chasing.

Marc R. O'Leary said:
Eastern CO is reasonable with a booster but there are spots, I'm looking at you Last Chance, where it's deadsville.
Without a booster you're chasing by visuals alone for the most part.
'Last Chance' could be called 'No Chance' for service then .lol.
So its probably similar to being in parts of the mountains then.

Marc R. O'Leary said:
You need to run power to the booster as well as an antenna cable. Antenna mag mounts to the roof.
Do you just run the antenna cable out through the door then?


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Do most of you guys end up adding a 2nd lighter/outlet for powering devices?
At this point I just have one with a 3-way splitter (used for 2 dashcams & a spare outlet)
 
Would there be anything wrong with just leaving your phone & tablet on the passanger seat beside you? (that's where I leave phone/camera/etc if I bring them when going somewhere - its not like I'm going to even be looking at or touching them while the car is in motion)
I currently own an F-350, with a fold down center seat, when it's folded down it is too wide to reach across to pick-up or set down things on the passenger seat without unbuckling my seatbelt. With it flipped up I would worry about everything falling on my feet while I'm driving. So the mounts are pretty much a way of keeping them handy, organized, secure, and out of the way [especially cords].
Do most of you guys end up adding a 2nd lighter/outlet for powering devices?
At this point I just have one with a 3-way splitter (used for 2 dashcams & a spare outlet)
I'm pretty lucky, not only do I have two outlets on my dashboard, but I also have one in a compartment under that center seat/console with a slot that a power cord can fit through. However, I have to unplug them all when I shut the truck off as they remain 'live' with the key turned off.
I moved here fairly recently, so I've been taking the time to drive and learn my local grid. As good as the Garmin is, it does not show where low water crossings are, shows roads that aren't there, and at least one bridge that has been dismantled, as a through road.
 
Jun 19, 2005
790
40
6
New Mexico
Shout out for the Surface Pro option. Usb puck, grlevel 3, 3rd party DC to DC conversion for power adapter, and phone as my hotspot these days. All runs off DC outlet not inverter needed.

IMG_20190520_073807.jpg
 
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Sep 7, 2013
568
398
21
Strasburg, CO
Do you just run the antenna cable out through the door then?

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Do most of you guys end up adding a 2nd lighter/outlet for powering devices?
At this point I just have one with a 3-way splitter (used for 2 dashcams & a spare outlet)
James...sorry for the late response. Yes i run an extended antenna cable out the back hatch of my SUV.

As for power, run what ya got. Your setup sounds similar to my last car but I ran an inverter off one outlet so I could both charge camera batteries and also use a phone fast charger if needed (120v out). New car has more power outlets than I need, including 120v and USB along with 12v.
 
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Sep 7, 2013
568
398
21
Strasburg, CO
There is always a great reason to mount your tablet.

Anything not secured in the cabin will become a projectile that will conveniently find your skull in the event of a crash.
Agreed...secure everything you can.

Also keep in mind where youre mounting things with regards to airbags. I cringe when I see people mounting anything to their steering wheel or having a laptop mount and having a passenger. If that passenger airbag is active and you crash, your laptop is coming straight for your head.
 

James K

EF2
Mar 26, 2019
179
72
6
Colorado
Ken Perrin said:
As good as the Garmin is, it does not show where low water crossings are, shows roads that aren't there, and at least one bridge that has been dismantled, as a through road.
I didn't think about the possible 'trouble spots', but yeah I know they can show non-existent roads/bridges/etc.


Marc R. O'Leary said:
James...sorry for the late response. Yes i run an extended antenna cable out the back hatch of my SUV.
As for power, run what ya got. Your setup sounds similar to my last car but I ran an inverter off one outlet so I could both charge camera batteries and also use a phone fast charger if needed (120v out). New car has more power outlets than I need, including 120v and USB along with 12v.
I actually forgot about it, but that 3-way splitter I have also has 2 USB ports(which I've never used) that could be charging devices/batteries. At this point couldn't see myself needing the laptop for anything (which would require an inverter for 120v)

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@B. Dean Berry / @Marc R. O'Leary : Good points on mounting things.


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A couple weekends ago when driving I went through a thunderstorm (wasn't storm chasing, but had went to an event, and as I'd hoped looking at the forecast that morning showing a decent chance of rain/thunder in the evening...just by chance the timing/place worked out nicely got to see some good CG lightning). :)
But from that little thing I can say 2 things:
- Radar would be nice to have in the car..to be able to 'see' whats out there.
- I can totally see the appeal of going out & finding a 'real' storm.. ie: actual chasing.

The very minimal setup I have is gonna have to do for now & when I do my first chase, but if I get into it more, I see that I'm simply going to have to do some upgrades.
A new phone being one(but the one I have is nearly un-useable so that may happen anyway). Maybe a better cell-plan, maybe a booster.
I think the tablet/weather app I have will work fine though. (and I have a small-size laptop if I find I need it).
I recently picked up an extra tripod cheap at the local goodwill, so I can just leave one in the trunk now.
 
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B. Dean Berry

Moderator
May 25, 2014
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I will say, if you are planning on using a laptop at all, you don't need an inverter most of the time. An inverter converts 12vdc to 120vac, which the laptop supply will then convert to 19vdc in most cases.

PWR+ makes an excellent series of 12vdc to 19vdc converters that meet this need quite easily, and don't have a large power draw.
 
Jan 16, 2009
558
483
21
Kansas City
I use a laptop with a ram mount for long chases. Short local ones I will just use radarscope and my phone. Since I do everything myself on a chase I like the laptop with a large screen so I can glance over and see radar quickly without having to get my phone out. I also use a cell booster which IMO is needed on all chases.
 
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