StormTracker van was built and owned by Carson Eads N5LTN of Allen, Texas in the winter of 1992. This is the second chasemobile built by Carson and is a 1990 Chevrolet Astro van with all wheel drive. This vehicle was built with one purpose in mind, and that was to track down severe thunderstorms. It is outfitted with lots of electronic gizmo's; as Carson is not only an amateur radio operator, but an electronics technician by trade.
The van has 2 meter radio and scanner for monitoring Skywarn weather nets and reporting observed severe wx events. A cellular phone is used to link up a portable computer that is used to access wx data while on the road. A DSS satellite system is used on the road to watch The Weather Channel, for viewing GOES satellite image loops along with current radar loops. This is viewed on a 12V DC powered TV with built in VCR (for recording the loops for repeat viewing).
Carson has rigged up a VCR camera mount system that allows for steady video recording during the chase. Some of this equipment is housed in a cut down 19" rack mount cabinet, which has a counter top that holds the computer, printer, external monitor and provides space for analyzing wx maps.
All these radios and TVs need antennae in order to operate. This is why Carson's van looks like a porcupine.
Editors Note: Carson's amazing van was featured in the November/December 1996 hardcopy edition of Storm Track (20th anniversary issue).