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1995 Isuzu Rodeo, retired May 12, 2005 after South Plains, TX hail damage

May 12, 2005 - Texas Panhandle, South Plains Tornado 20050512_191109_thm.jpg May 12, 2005 - Texas Panhandle, South Plains Tornado 20050512_191205_thm.jpg

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Currently I'm driving a 1995 Isuzu Rodeo. It doesn't get the best mileage, but is 4-wheel drive and has gotten me out of some muddy situations off the pavement. I've tried to keep modifications to a minimum, the only permanent mark on the outside is a 3/4" antenna hole on the roof.

I took these pictures before they tore down the research radar out on North Campus.

Here's what you see from the front

Views of all the equipment from the driver's and passenger side. The laptop mount is homemade, using wood, steel pipe, and aluminum angle-irons. The pipe threading makes it easy to install and remove as needed. Between the passenger seat and the console is a 3 port lighter plug assembly and a 110v power inverter. For internet access on the laptop, I have a wireless web adapter for my Sprint phone. Works great when I'm in a Sprint service area, but pulling to the shoulder of most any interstate will put me outside of their coverage area. The laptop runs SwiftWX and Garmin Mapsource. The scanner is a Uniden 800xlt.

The display for the Kenwood TM-G707 2 meter/70 cm ham radio. The face was detachable, so I mounted it to the top of the rear-view mirror and attached cables to run to the main unit mounted under the passenger seat. The microphone also plugs into the main unit, and sets nicely in the center console seen in the middle picture above. As for audio, look at the first picture above and notice the wire going into the cassette door on the factory stereo. I've installed an 1/8" headphone jack next to the stereo and connected it to the Kenwood's speaker output. Into the jack I plug in one of those CD to cassette adapters and can listen to the Kenwood through the factory speakers. Very nice when hail is making it hard to hear, I can crank it up!

Close-ups of the camcorder mount. I purchased a Bogen 3294 suction cup mount from Industrial Video in Oklahoma City, and modified it to work as a camcorder mount. A couple of metal braces from Home Depot connect the suction cup to a quick-release bracket removed from a tripod. This works pretty well, and I've not had it fall since getting it a couple of years ago.

Top of the Rodeo showing my two antennas and anemometer. I have a 2 meter/70 cm antenna for the Kenwood TM-G707 ham radio. It has an NMO mount so that it can be easily removed for the car wash or parking garage. The other antenna is a Radio Shack magnet mount scanner antenna for the Uniden scanner. The anemometer mount is made from PVC pipe and attached to the luggage rack using hose clamps. It does not touch the body, and can be easily removed during the winter, if needed. the vertical tube is held on by friction and the entire anemometer assembly can be removed for the car wash. I've placed an RJ45 coupling just inside the back window to disconnect the electrical wiring.

Console for the Davis Weather Wizard II

Garmin Emap GPS receiver mounted to a modified cell phone windshield mount. Basically, I removed the phone grip mechanism and drilled holes to match the mounting holes in the back of the GPS. The plug at the bottom provides power from the vehicle and also has the computer interface for running mapping software and SwiftWX.

Here's a view in front of the passenger seat showing the base of my laptop mount and the serial interface for the Kenwood TM-G707. That's for downloading repeater frequency sets from the laptop based on the area I'm chasing in.

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