Saturday, February 24, 2007

I can hear!

... my ham radio in loud environments. I assembled the audio converter needed to convert the mono 1W speaker outputs of my radios to the line level stereo input on my head unit. Here is the schematic and a pic with the cover off.

I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, so when assembling it, I got a little too literal when reading my schematic. So now I have an extra output if I decide to port it somewhere else (just got my creative juices flowing about running a line to the laptop input to record it...). Anyway, now all I have left are the camera mounts.

Friday, February 23, 2007

First bust of 2007

I'm on my way back from Elk City. Of the first storms to go up, I chose to wait for the southern most storm to make it's way up to Elk City. As it approached Sayre, it started to fall apart. Congrats to those that got out early enough to get the torn in TX, I heard it was on the ground for a good 5 mins. I'm happy with my first run in the new probe. Met up with Matt Patterson in Elk City, and Bob Hall on the way back in Weatherford. Thanks to Steve Miller OK for the updates. I'm calling it a night. (Though I may shoot some lightning if and when the line moves through OKC.)


Going to wait for 20Z to come around before I decide to head out, though right now, it looks like I will be heading out west on I-40.

First day that needs a decision

I have mixed feelings about chasing today. Every year, we all go through the same process: we're anxious about the start of the season, so we chase systems that we probably shouldn't chase. The SPC is a little overly excited about today/tonight. A 15% and hatched area for tornados? I'm not so sure about that. The cloud cover is a big player for me today. If we get enough daytime heating, this could be a fun late afternoon. That's a big if. But it is the first potent storm system to come through OK this year, and it's hard not to get out there, if nothing else, just to get back into the swing of things. But still, the thought of chasing fast moving storms in a cloud covered environment doesn't thrill me much. Sigh.
My target right now if I do go out will be somewhere just north of Elk City. Best combination of all ingredients. I'll wait to early afternoon to make my decision.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I spent the holiday weekend cleaning up the garage, which led to enough workspace for me to work on the laptop platform for the probe (the platform that got destroyed 3 days after building it last spring). I also purchased a new head unit that has an aux input, which will allow me to input my ham radio and scanner (via a simple mixer I need to assemble). It will be nice not to have to strain to hear the radios when things get loud. In the past I have just had two external speakers attached to the radios, but one of the mounts for those got destroyed by my knee in the same accident that destroyed the laptop platform.
So basically the new storm probe is ready for chase season, although I have a few improvements to make (mixer, windshield camera mount, door camera mount, etc).
Speaking of... I may get a chance to put it to use this weekend, Saturday specifically. The way things look right now, I will be heading towards Tulsa (kinda vague this far out). We'll see, as it's very early in the season, and there's no telling where things will be a few days from now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Goodbye cruel winter

Have I mentioned how much I dislike the cold. I told my wife (who whole-heartedly agrees) we will never live north of this latitude. One of the only things that gets me through it is the anticipation of my favorite season: spring. Starting this weekend it's going to warm up, and I'm thinking, stay warm. Something to look forward to.
Oh, and happy b-day to my brother, Dirk.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I'm waiting on the CPC's next set of forecasts to come out on Thursday. They aren't always accurate, but what long range forecast is. More info on the current El Nino effect will be out, and we'll see how it afffects my feelings about this season. Being that we're still in, but possibly coming out of, a tornado drought cycle, most people I talk to aren't willing to give very firm answers or predictions. I've found that my long term forecasting skills still aren't good enough to tell me much, other than "feelings". We'll see. On another note, my blog is now published on my site: , so for those of you who may be linking to my blog, please change it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Back in the saddle

My new job has been keeping me busy, as I have had to adjust to new responsibilities. I love it though, as it is constantly challenging and keeps my mind on its toes. I also love the fact that it looks like it will allow me to chase more. I am looking forward to this season more than usual, probably because last year was such a crap year. I could say "I have a feeling...", but hell, almost any season would be better than last. Now that I'm settled in, hopefully I'll be posting more often.