My Storm Chase/SkyWarn Spotting Vehicle: Video

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KC0IVL, Apr 2, 2016.

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  1. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Two thoughts:

    First, I have a simple rule of thumb on when it is OK to transmit on a frequency not authorized by your license: If the situation is dire enough that it's worth risking jail time to operate out-of-band, then do so. Otherwise, don't.

    Second: folks who modify their amateur rigs to operate on MURS/FRS/GMRS generally don't advertise that fact. That doesn't make the use of those frequencies with a non-type-accepted radio any less illegal...but I have noticed that many whackers tend to brag about that capability.
  2. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think the job is confusing at all, but obviously Mr. Jones is very confused! There is a huge difference between a storm spotter and a storm chaser. At every storm spotting class or seminar I have attended, even one from Tim Vasquez himself at his home in Norman, Oklahoma, they make it very clear that they do not condone or advise anyone, especially untrained civilians, to "chase" storms, but if you do, it is at your own risk.

    NOAA has their own scientists and other employees for just that purpose. NOAA will not pay you, as a civilian, to put yourself in harms way. NOAA will not cover any of your expenses. NOAA will not pay to repair any damage to you vehicle. NOAA will not pay any of your medical bills if you are injured chasing storms. And you should check with your insurance carrier for both your vehicle, health and life because they may not pay for damages to you or your property if you knowingly put yourself in harms way and they may not pay death benefits should you be killed chasing storms.

    There may be private companies or universities that fund storm data collection, but I can not imagine that any of them would employ a civilian with no formal training in meteorology and with no equipment to record pertinent data on storms. The only piece of meteorological equipment you have is a consumer grade anemometer and exactly how is that going to help especially without any way of determining which direction the wind is coming from? I can't figure out why you even have an anemometer on your truck in the first place other than it looks "cool" on the roof next to the blinky lights.

    Obviously you are just a thrill seeker and I personally don't care what your motivation is, but I don't think you realize that you could lose your life in pursuit of these thrills. At least Tim Samaras was a trained scientist who died in an attempt to collect data on tornadoes that would hopefully benefit him and other scientists so that they might learn more about convective storm behavior. Using this information, they might be better enabled to provide earlier warning to communities in the path of these storms giving them more time to seek shelter. So I ask you Mr. Jones, if you should die while chasing storms, what will be your legacy to mankind?
    KU4X and KC8VWM like this.
  3. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    If someone could please tell us exactly where it is written that it is illegal to program a frequency, any frequency...
  4. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    If I were to go storm chasing (I have) the last thing I'd want to be in is a pickup.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Generally speaking, flashing lights are not allowed on a vehicle except for specifically authorized types of vehicles (varies by state). Red, blue, and white are usually reserved for authorized emergency vehicles, and a few others, while performing emergency duties (snow plows here use blue as it is seen well in snowy conditions).

    Amber flashing lights are usually allowed only for authorized service vehicles like tow trucks, utility vehicles, and road construction vehicles, and only when a hazard exists.

    There are exceptions, like the emergency turn signal flashers that almost every vehicle has, and slow farm vehicles like tractors.
  6. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Snow plows here use yellow or red. Blue is expressly verboten.

    It ustaby that blue lighting wasn't allowed near roadways. Apparently it is now, or that's just not enforced.
  7. KC0IVL

    KC0IVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    And who said I didn't have a GMRS license? WQMP252 Look up my Repeater!
  8. KC0IVL

    KC0IVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I get a lot of crap from people online about my Utility Lighting on my truck. So lets take a look at this for a moment. According to Minnesota laws: "Any vehicle may be equipped with lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this section...."
    If I'm on the side of the road during a blizzard pulling someone out of the ditch, I use my utility light.
    If I'm pulling a downed tree out of the roadway so I can continue after a severe storm, I use my utility light.
    If I'm parked observing a Tornado in performance of my "Reportable Conditions" spotting duty, I use my 4-ways and my utility light.
    If I'm plowing snow out a driveway or parking lot I use my utility light.
    If I come across a stalled motorist and stop behind to help out, I use my 4-ways and utility light.
    If I come across an accident before help has arrived, I pull in behind and turn on my 4-ways a utility light.
    I do NOT use my utility light while driving down the road chasing a storm!
    I also do NOT use my utility light while going off-roading (which is ILLEGAL in Minnesota) as that would attract undue attention to my criminal behavior. However, I do use my powerful off road lights and spot lights when off roading.
    I'd say that the above partial list falls within the guidelines referenced in Minnesota law.
    I hope I've cleared up your misconceptions.....
    KC9UDX likes this.
  9. KC0IVL

    KC0IVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I storm chase for the thrill of it. It is my dream to drive through a CAT 5 Hurricane someday simply for the thrill of it. I storm spot because I'm interested in weather and have been since I was a kid. I would have liked to be a Meteorologist but I'm mathematically challenged so that didn't work out. Spotting is my "fix" in that area. I do not chase while spotting, but I do call in spotter "reportable conditions" while chasing.
  10. KC0IVL

    KC0IVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    My radios are MARS/CAP modified. This is perfectly legal and it opens up the MURS/FRS/GMRS as well as many other "out of band" frequencies. Operating a motor vehicle at over 120 MPH is illegal and comes with jail time, but it's not illegal to own a vehicle that is capable of it, and it's also nice to know should the need to arise, that you can. :)

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