Lets see that Dash! 2015 Edition.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Marc R. O'Leary, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Everyone has some sort of setup, from simple to holy crap that all fits?!

    This year I'm expanding beyond my previous setup of iPad on Arkon and Smartphone on Sleek. Been wanting to set up a more cockpit type feeling and keep everything within reach for one handed operation without having to reach at all. Also wanted the option to dash mount my DSLR, so then my other DSLR can ride on the tripod.

    I bought a salvage dash compartment cover because I didnt want to drill holes in my car (visible holes at least) and mounted the Sleek 4GV on a windshield mount sans suction cup using some aluminum angle. Did the same with my camera mount.

    Custom made sheet metal mount for CB radio screwed to dash behind glove box door (glove box still operational), so fasteners (and holes) arent visible. CB attached to bracket using 3M Dual-Lock (like velcro, but so much better, it snaps in place rather that "tears" and is only one strip that attaches to itself).
    Dual-Lock

    Custom bracket for gPad, again sheetmetal, and again, Dual-Lock'd to the Arkon for quick removal. Tablet then Dual-Locked to bracket.

    Power inverter also Dual-Lock'd to side of console for quick access.

    Did a couple shakedown runs, and while tablets and camera vibrate like expected, everything stayed in place. Even video wasn't too shaky.

    Very happy with the results. So show what ya got! Lets spread some ideas and see the creativity of converting your vehicle to chase mode!

    FXT2015SETUP copy.jpg
     
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  2. Robert Forry

    Robert Forry Member

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    My 1500w Cobra is under the passenger seat in my Cherokee (for obvious reasons), but I sure like the idea of something within reach like you have in your Forester.
     
  3. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Yeah, still just running the little 400w, but with the battery life on both tablets and the phone easily 8+ hours just running checks on radar, maps and fairly constant scanner/music apps, I rarely need to plug in. I'll usually cycle the camera batteries through while I'm out, and charge anything else if it heads below 50%.

    Eventually I'd like a hardwired 1000w, but for now I'm set.

    This gen Forester has a fairly narrow cabin, so getting everything in reach wasn't too difficult.
     
  4. nmoore125

    nmoore125 Member

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    Marc very nice clean look. I like that. I am trying to get better with less wires but its always a work in progress. This is my current set up for the dash.. I wont post the other million pics with everything else going on haha. Running a tech store is the down fall to my in car gadgetry .
     

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  5. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Well...in all fairness, I took that pic before routing all the wiring, but once I did that, it still ended up pretty clean and unobtrusive. Going on a long-shot chase this afternoon to give the new setup a full workout...before the damn snow comes. o_O
     
  6. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    I used to have everything up front, but got tired of things always being in the way. Back in 2007, I started using a small piece of desktop shelving to mount all of my in-vehicle electronics. I use cable ties to secure both wires and devices to this. I haven't taken any recent photos of the setup, but here is the 2007 original. Back then I had a laptop acting as an internet gateway for a standard wifi router. The inverter was mounted to this after this photo was taken. The fans were to keep air circulating in the small space I had it mounted, to keep the inverter and router cool.

    Today, I still use this same piece of shelving grid to mount the WxWorx receiver, inverter, power strip, and a 12v main bus for all accessories (dashcams, chargers, etc). Essentially, everything in the car (110v or 12v) plugs into this central unit. Since I'm currently driving a small car, this is kept in the trunk and out of the way. When I had a Ranger, I had it mounted to the back of the cab under the window, and when I had a Freestyle, it was mounted back between the middle seats. It has served me well in keeping things organized and helping to keep wires from getting tangled/unplugged.
     

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  7. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Thats a really clever approach, Dan. I know I have some issues with the Arkon seat bolt mount when I've had passengers in the past, even without all the gear in place. Its just awkward and makes an already small passenger space that much smaller for anyone who rides. Plus having a 5-speed, I can't pull it all the way over the center console to give people more room. But my solution is no passengers and solo chasing. I prefer it that way. When wifey and I go somewhere, we use her car.
     
  8. Drew T

    Drew T Member

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    I'm slowly working on mine, but I'll be sure to post up when I have it close to the way I want it. I'm getting ready to install my old bluetooth head unit out of my old truck and will use the space below it to mount a cheap CB that I have laying around (with WX band). I have a Yeasu 7900R that's getting ready to go in. Main body behind the back seat, remote head where one of the pockets on the ceiling console was. Siruis Satellite radio will be mounted on top of the dash left of the steering wheel. It'll probably take a while for me to get it all done, but I'll post pics as I get parts of it done.

    Marc,

    Nice setup. Nice Subi too.
     
  9. Paul Knightley

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    I'm always quite jealous of not being able to 'set a car up' - I can imagine it's quite an exciting time of year to do so.

    Whilst this might not be the thread to start a discussion I'm intrigued to know how people's set-ups may change if further restrictions on visible screens, cell phone usage, etc etc, come in. For example, over here in the UK most 'typical' US chaser set-ups would be illegal.
     
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  10. Todd Rector

    Todd Rector Member

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    Since both my tablets clearly show my real-time location on a road network, I assert they are no different from a Garmin GPS. I would let my lawyer explain the radar overlay :)
     
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  11. Marc R. O'Leary

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    This..."yes officer, I need three screens with maps to see where I am, where I'm going, and where I've been."
     
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  12. ngjere

    ngjere Member

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    Rather than repost the entire entry, I'll just point anyone interested to my blog which describes my 2015 "Dash"

    Regarding law enforcement's view of the dash "clutter" I've been pulled over several times during chases and always was met with curiosity. Now that being said, I don't try to call attention to myself when enroute to a target by having everything on and visible and making damn sure I'm not behaving like an idiot on the road. If I need to concentrate on something other than the road, I get off the road...

    If stopped, I always treat the individual with respect, answer all questions honestly, and ALWAYS say you are a storm "spotter" not "chaser"

    It doesn't hurt to have a Skywarn sticker visible. Law Enforcement is quite familiar with the program and adds legitimacy to your activities.
     
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  13. Jeremy Mattingly

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    ngjere, What make/model is the Windows tablet you are using?
     
  14. ngjere

    ngjere Member

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    Jeremy, it's an ASUS M81C. Purchased through MicroCenter. I'd also recommend any of their "WinBook" line as another option to consider.
     
  15. Chuck Kavanaugh

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  16. Wesley Luginbyhl

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    My setup is made for chasing solo, though it can easily be shifted to hold passengers. Laptop is held by a RAM Mount by the way of a universal mount screwed into the console as they dont make a no drill mount for my Hyundai. Tablet held in the cupholder with a Tab-tite mount. You can pick up good deals on ebay for RAM products if you are patient. Generally have most the wires tucked under floor mats or into paneling, but not to extreme as I like to be able to remove stuff if need.
    IMG_20150421_093247.jpg
    IMG_20150315_223457.jpg


    400W hardwired power inverter and all plug ins are under the seats. The nets on the back of the seats have come in super handy. One holds in my router for my camera dome setup (more about that here - https://stormtrack.org/threads/streaming-ip-camera-dome-camera.27816/). The other holds my mifi jetpack to keep the antenna and power cord from getting knocked loose. Also put in a couple of extra cigarette lighter/power socket splitters (had them laying around) to add a couple USB ports and to be able to have my front and back amber light switches in 1 place.
    IMG_20150421_093322.jpg

    Some other shots of the dash area:
    IMG_20150307_024526.jpg IMG_20150329_223927.jpg IMG_20150421_093224.jpg

    I am tempted to move the CB to the driver side like Chuck (thought about it when I put it in too). Afraid my leg would hit it too much on my side. My primary use is the weather radio anyways, so I dont necessarily need easy access to it. Also as much as I try to hide wires, once I get chasing and have the cameras on the dash the wires are all over the place to keep them charged.

    Only had an officer say something about the computer once, which I had it closed when he pulled me over but while waiting on him I opened it to watch the radar. He just said to keep it closed while on the road. That was from an OK trooper. I always close it when going through towns just to be safe, as it is not worth a wreck or a ticket. Big reason why I bought laptop holders that allow you to close the lid. The most common reaction I get with law enforcement, like this past Friday in Guymon, OK when I got pulled over for my fog lights being on, is "did you see any good storms" or how was the chasing". The computer is normally not an attention grabber for them it seems.
     
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  17. Marc R. O'Leary

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    All of my gear sits fairly low, with the obvious exception of the cell and camera (if its mounted). I rarely get any attention.

    As for my prototype setup performance thus far...driving on some pretty terrible roads, everything has stayed in place as hoped. No failures from any of the Dual-Lock attachments.

    Issues:
    1) Camera being mounted to the lid of that dash compartment...its bouncy, so not really great for mobile video, but satisfactory for moving stills and fine for stationary video and stills.
    2) Having the gPad mounted above the iPad, its somewhat top heavy, so my arkon mount will "travel" away from me on particularly rough terrain. Only moves a little bit and easily pulled back into position. May try some alternate positioning as the season goes on.
    3) My CB location prevents me from using my magnetic exterior antenna unless I mount it near the front of the roof, as the cable isn't long enough. I have a full length roof basket, and a giant glass moonroof, so mag mount options are limited to the rear of the roof. May move CB, but like location and portable antenna works "ok" in most situations. Like Wesley, I use mine for mostly WX band.
     
  18. Chuck Kavanaugh

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    I didn't get a chance to mention anything about my pics. The mount is made by Akron, it's a little wobbly when on the move but fine when the vehicle is sitting still. The iPad is a gen 3 and is very resourceful. It's really easy to switch between apps by touchscreen instead of trying to use a mouse or mousepad. I'll be using my iPhone as a mobile hotspot, otherwise I'll try and link to a free wifi connection (like at a McDonald's) while waiting for storm development, gotta watch the budget you know. The only other things I will be using are a handheld scanner from Radio Shack to monitor weather radio. It's mounted on the drivers side sun visor and has a antenna on the roof. A 40 channel Cobra CB radio mounted below the steering wheel (yes my knee does hit it occasionally) to listen to the truckers and also has an antenna on the roof. I also have a Garmin GPS mounted on the windshield by the drivers door, clearance between the dash, the rear view mirror, and the roof is minimal. I'm sorta on a budget so I use just the basics. Hope you enjoyed the pics. Bring on the storms!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Mike C

    Mike C Member

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    Some great ideas here. Its about the same why I want to run a setup in my car, minimal but useful.

    As for those who have their CB mounted next to the steering wheel, isn't that an airbag area? My 2013 Dodge Journey has an airbag system there so it killed my hopes of mounting one there.
     

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