2019-01-30

FEC Feed Grows Up

Software-Defined Radio is impressive! I'm testing it for a time on my F.E.C. Fort Lauderdale feed.

I recently started playing with SDR-Console to investigate whether it could make a reasonable alternative to Uniden scanners for my railroad feed(s) and am blown away at its capabilities.

SDR-Console (among other programs) can monitor multiple frequencies simultaneously, as long as they all lie within the chunk of spectrum being sampled. With the Florida East Coast Railway using 3 primary channels lying within 300KC of each other this is a piece of cake!

The cool part is that, unlike a scanner, the SDR doesn't sample a channel and then move on; it just hears everything at once without missing anything. So you can look at the spectrum display and see signals pop up on the road channel while a train is reading back a Form 82-T on the dispatcher talkback channel. It can be confusing, but it is neat, NEAT, NEAT!!

Another benefit of SDR is that you control the vertical, you control the horizontal; you can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. Because Uniden scanners have been proven not to have true narrowband i.f. filtering the SDR provides superior signal to noise ratio when the proper narrow bandwidth is selected. This improves intelligibility of weak signals on top of being just plain more sensitive than my Uniden 996XT scanner that I had been running.

I can also steer each received frequency to a different audio channel so the Road channel appears on the right while the Dispatcher talkback frequency is heard on the left channel. You won't miss a quick transmission while waiting for the scanner to toggle back and forth because SDR is always listening!

And unlike a commercial-grade radio from Mother Motorola, you're not stuck with the programming (via finicky PC programming), you can just change the frequency or any other parameter on the fly and be happy while still enjoying better than average radio performance.

Now I gotta figure out the best way to run this stuff economically out in the field. Stay tuned!

2018-08-29

Server Temporarily Down

The server is temporarily down. Hopefully it will be restored to service later tonight or tomorrow. We apologize for the outage. Those responsible have been sacked.

2018-05-01

Comcast Repaired--I Think

A Comcast technician has just replaced the drop from the pole to my house and even went the extra mile to replace the connectors going to the splitter with my neighbor and the lightning arrestor. There was a gash in the old drop cable that could have been introducing problems, so we shall see.

Only time will tell whether the intermittent outages that lasted 2-5 minutes at a time are finally a thing of the past on the Broward feeds. This includes the Mixer Board, Wild Feed, and F.E.C. Fort Lauderdale feeds.

2017-11-27

Moved to Listen.TrackStreamer.com

All feeds have been migrated to listen.trackstreamer.com for those listening on WinAmp or other media player. The port number and mount points remain the same, only the domain name changed.

I updated the HTML5 players on my personal web page describing the streams in detail, so they work once again.

I have no idea if or when TuneIn radio will bother themselves to update my streams on their platform with the new information that I sent them. If past experience is any guide, don't hold your breath.

2017-11-09

Comcast Flaky In Key West

For about the past 2 weeks the Comcast Internet connection serving the Key West feed has been spotty. For all I know this might be related to the Level 3 BGP routing cockup the other day, or it could just be the last mile link to the cable modem.

A ticket will be opened, but knowing how these things usually work I'm not holding out much hope.

Fortunately, help is on the way!

2017-11-02

Moving to Listen.Trackstreamer.com

I'm pointing my feeds to a different feed server at
http://listen.trackstreamer.com:8000

This means that any sites that glom off my colostreaming.com feeds will go silent after the cutover. This includes TuneIn Radio, which could never seem to get my feed detail listings correct.

You can either plug the new links into your WinAmp player or if you don't care about the channel tags or features of a real player you can listen to the HTML5 players on my personal web site (see the pane to the right under Listen).

The "Web Players and Details" page on my site has HTML5 players embedded in it that kind of work, plus detailed info on each feed that doesn't change often.

I'll post here when the cutover happens.

2017-10-30

Comcast Outage

Comcast Xfinity cable Internet went down about 10:30 this morning. Service was restored about 15:40 so all feeds are back up.

Now it's down to seeing if this intermittent outage during the heat of the day continues.

2017-10-14

Bote's Southernmost Feed back online

Bote's Key West scanner feed is back on the air! As the spray-painted sign on plywood said in Key Largo, "You can't drown a conch"

It turns out the feed computer was turned back on after the hurricane, but it did not recognize its own LAN port. I got it working and it's once again streaming. The antenna is OK so we are in business.

Enjoy!

2017-09-24

Bote's Mixer Board Now Live

Due to popular demand, Bote's Mixer Board has been returned to service.

Right now it has Fort Lauderdale fire and also police District 1. This keeps things manageable.

Even though it's no longer fed by my mixer board, it sometimes has other stuff on.

The direct listen link to feed into WinAmp or other player is

http://colostreaming.com:8000/botemixer
 
You can also find it on TuneIn Radio by name, but they shove ads in it.

2017-09-14

FEC and Wild Feed Up

I have restored the Florida East Coast Railway and Wild Feeds for now.

The F.E.C. feed is the same as it ever was, still a rinky dink magnetic mount antenna sitting on the roof, doesn't hear all that well.

Bote's Wild Feed monitors Broward fire Dispatch 1, the tac channels, and some of the beach patrol channels until they become unbearable. This feed could change at a moment's notice. It is a wild feed after all.