What do I need?

Ok. I have been chasing for a few odd years now, and have only had a cell phone, and my eyes to guide me to the storms. This year, I will have a laptop computer to add to my arsenal. The thing is, what else will I need be able to use my radar program? I am not a techie, and I don't know what all I will need. My cell phone is Alltel. Is there anyway that I can hook up my cell phone through my laptop? Basically I am just trying to get it so that GR3 will work on my laptop in a mobile setting. If anyone knows or has any ideas any help would be appreciated as I am trying to get set up for this season!
 
A GPS program works nice for those as well and can be had for as little as $100 on sale. Delorme makes a good mapping/GPS software package.
 
I will probably set that up as well, If I can get data for my laptop. The area that I live in only has 2 cell providers, none of which I can get data from. (I take that back, Alltel does have a plan, it looks like, but where I live would be roaming at .02/Kb) plus the regular rate.
 
A bit expensive starting out, but if you can invest in the Mobile Threat Net System. The hardware I think cost like $900 or so, the monthly service is $100/mo, but you can stop it and go as needed - no contract.

I used this back in 2004, very awesome system.
 
Does your laptop have wifi capabilities? If it does, than I would download Netstumbler (just google it) learn how to use it and you will have all the data you need for GR3. You will not be able to get data on the move, but will be able to update just about anywhere. If it doesn’t, look at adding a wifi card, they’re pretty reasonable. If you want data on the fly, you’ll need a cell connection (see other on going threads) or something similar to Threatnet
 
Originally posted by jketcham
A bit expensive starting out, but if you can invest in the Mobile Threat Net System. The hardware I think cost like $900 or so, the monthly service is $100/mo, but you can stop it and go as needed - no contract.

I used this back in 2004, very awesome system.

I think the $50/mo aviation package is just as good for chasing.
 
I use mobile threat net which is great; however if that is out of budget then get a T-Mobile aircard. 40KBPS mobile internet connection, just a little slower than 56K dialup. You can get on the internet while on the road, and it only cost 30 bucks a month. I use this as well, and have never had a problem. It's awesome.. i run a mobile webcam off of it...
paul
 
GPS

Mike,

Here is how I would rank the main equipment that I utilize in the order of importance:

1. Sony Skymap 2000 GPS
2. PCS phone with broadband USB internet connection and WiFi Card
3. Mobile Threatnet
4. Ham radio
5. TV antenna/tuner card

A good GPS program can be the difference between seeing or not seeing a tornado. More important, I can also be the difference in your safety when you need a good road option and you don't have time to look at a paper map. To me, having a GPS is a must, Threatnet is a luxury. JMO.

Hope this helps.
 
hey guys,

I see many of you say that GPS is one of the important things while chasing. Ok, for safety...but what about for other things? Honestly I don't know these things, can someone explain why is it so important?

For internet access I am still thinking what would be the best solution, BaronWx is too expensive for me, since its my first chase in States and I am not sure for the future. So probably connection through wifi or gprs would be a good solution then? I have both supported on my laptop.

Thanks!

Regards,
 
Originally posted by Marko Korosec
I see many of you say that GPS is one of the important things while chasing. Ok, for safety...but what about for other things? Honestly I don't know these things, can someone explain why is it so important?

I'll take a stab at that.

I'm sure you agree that you need to know where you are during a chase, where to go next and how to get out of there in a hurry if you need to. That means either paper maps or a GPS with a mapping program (you should still have paper maps as a backup).

GPS provides a dynamic indication of where you are a given moment, and relational data that can help you navigate to other areas through the use of a mapping program. Other software may also allow GPS data to be used to aid the chaser in getting to the storms (ie. radar programs). APRS also opens another door (see where other chasers are).
 
I am somewhat of a Layman, So hopefully my analogy will come across as the same..

Each storm has a path .. A trajectory (direction) and a Velocity (speed) When we have these figures from our data be they Weather radio in the field or radar data we can then plot our course flanking the storm.

The GPS is only a tool. Wherein it helps us choose the right roads etc of areas we may not be familiar with when chasing. It is also used to show our location in relation with the storm(s). This is often reconfirmed through actual visual in the field in relation to the data your working with.

John is correct.. The old paper maps are alwayts great to have in addition to all the techno wizbang gadgetry..

Some of us started using a weather radio and a map.. I think chasing this way for a couple of years makes us a better more rounded chaser..
 
A great GPS reciver (no screen) for your laptop is the Holux USB GPS Reciever. You can find this thing on eBay for probably $39 new.

Thats exactly what you need for a laptop. You dont want to buy a $400 GPS with a screen for your laptop if all you need it for is to give you coordinates for mapping or radar software.

Connect that guy up and GRLevelX will plot your position.

Then you need Internet. I'd recommend not using WiFi because you have to keep stopping. In the heat of it, it's nice to have a visual of where you are on the storm or complex which would mean live internet while chasing. Especially up here in the upper midwest where our storms are messier with HP and low cloud. We dont get those sexy LP beasts that you can easily go visual on.

So for that I'd work with your cell phone carrier, get a cable to connect to your cell phone and likely pay something on the order of $15 a month for data.

If you want to do it up 'right' and have the money, get a data card from Verizon, Cingular or Sprint. I'd recommend Sprint myself, but I'm biased because they have great service in Minnesota.
 
Thanks for answers all!

I will get Delorme Street Altas 2006 with GPS: http://www.delorme.com/earthmatelt20/default.asp. Would this be a good thing?

Actually I would like to use GPS also in GRlevelx software, not pretty sure if this GPS which comes besides Delorme Atlas would work with it.

So a good solution for accessing the net would be a data card like Sprint for example, but can I get it because I am not a resident of USA?
 
Originally posted by Marko Korosec+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Marko Korosec)</div>
Delorme Street Altas 2006 with GPS . . Would this be a good thing?[/b]

That's a very good idea. I usually run 3 pieces of software when i'm chasing, Gibson Ridge radar software, Delorme StreetAtlas and my web browser for checking the SPC site and F5Data and other sites.

The mapping software for roads is very good idea, especially if you're not familiar with the area... which is everyone. :)

Originally posted by Marko Korosec@
Actually I would like to use GPS also in GRlevelx software, not pretty sure if this GPS which comes besides Delorme Atlas would work with it.

There is a way to share a GPS between two devices, but it's kind of hairy. I tried doing it with no success. Once you have a port opened like the radar software using the GPS, the other software will not be able to use it. The easiest solution is to get 2 GPS's if you have 2 USB ports. Be sure you have another port available for your internet connection.


<!--QuoteBegin-Marko Korosec


So a good solution for accessing the net would be a data card like Sprint for example, but can I get it because I am not a resident of USA?

Exactly. I'm not sure what the solution would be in your case. :(
I guess the first step is to see if there are any companies that have service both here and where you live. If there are, then see if they provide data here. If there aren't any, then start contacting the data providers here and see if you can still get an account.
 
You can use the same GPS for two different devices.. You need the Franson GPS gate though.. It creates virtual ports. I have tested this.. used it extensively and know personally that it works.. :D

Fred
 
Originally posted by Andrew Revering


There is a way to share a GPS between two devices, but it's kind of hairy. I tried doing it with no success. Once you have a port opened like the radar software using the GPS, the other software will not be able to use it. The easiest solution is to get 2 GPS's if you have 2 USB ports. Be sure you have another port available for your internet connection.

Yes Franson GPS Gate is the way to go. Very easy to install and works great. I run Delorme / Earthmate & GRl3 GPS at the same using one external GPS receiver. http://franson.com/gpsgate/
 
Originally posted by Andrew Revering
A great GPS reciver (no screen) for your laptop is the Holux USB GPS Reciever. You can find this thing on eBay for probably $39 new.

Thats exactly what you need for a laptop. You dont want to buy a $400 GPS with a screen for your laptop if all you need it for is to give you coordinates for mapping or radar software.

Connect that guy up and GRLevelX will plot your position.

Then you need Internet. I'd recommend not using WiFi because you have to keep stopping. In the heat of it, it's nice to have a visual of where you are on the storm or complex which would mean live internet while chasing. Especially up here in the upper midwest where our storms are messier with HP and low cloud. We dont get those sexy LP beasts that you can easily go visual on.

So for that I'd work with your cell phone carrier, get a cable to connect to your cell phone and likely pay something on the order of $15 a month for data.

Thanks for the info. I went out and bought the laptop a few days ago. It has wi-fi capability and i went and bought the cables to use the phone as modem. I have already installed GR3 on it. I guess all I have left to do is buy the GPS. you are right since i will be using solely for chasing I dont really need a screen at all. Would you suggest the mapping software also, or is the streets on GR3 good enough?
 
What mapping software would you all suggest. I dont really need anything all that fancy. Just need to get from point A to point B without getting lost on a dirt road, or worse, driving into a hailstorm.
 
Yes Franson GPS Gate is the way to go. Very easy to install and works great. I run Delorme / Earthmate & GRl3 GPS at the same using one external GPS receiver. http://franson.com/gpsgate/
[/b]

I tried the Franson GPS gate and had sucess with using SA 2006 and GR3 at the same time during the 14 day free trial...My question now is this, for the people that use this program, at the end of the trial did you upgrade to the GPS express, or the standard edition?

It sounds like the express would work, and is cheaper, but I wanted to make sure before I bought it.
 
I didn't see you mention this but a weather radio is a very big help and I think essential. For your laptop map software and a wi-fi card should suffice. I don't have WX-WORX because I don't have allot of $$. However, I find between the computer, cell, and radio you can get a good flow of info that will get you where you want to be.
 
Searched For Answer, But No Luck

I tried the Franson GPS gate and had sucess with using SA 2006 and GR3 at the same time during the 14 day free trial...My question now is this, for the people that use this program, at the end of the trial did you upgrade to the GPS express, or the standard edition?

It sounds like the express would work, and is cheaper, but I wanted to make sure before I bought it.

I did a search looking at old threads to see if I needed to buy "GPS Gate Standard" or "GPS Gate Express" and could not find a good answer. I want to use GRL3, Delorme, and SN, so I'm thinking I would need the Standard.

Someone care to help?
Thanks
 
I did a search looking at old threads to see if I needed to buy "GPS Gate Standard" or "GPS Gate Express" and could not find a good answer. I want to use GRL3, Delorme, and SN, so I'm thinking I would need the Standard.

Express only allows 2 applications to access your GPS, so you would need Standard to run the 3 applications you listed.
 
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