MRS down for the count

OK, that's it. I submit. D-Link and Linksys tie for worst piece of shit in consumer-grade networking junk.

Junk 2, Me 0.

After my brother-in-law spent wayyyyyy more time than should be required of an innocent bystander trying to get the HP laptop with D-Link WiFi card to associate with the p.o.s. Linksys WRT54G, we realized that the Linksys had decided to restore its factory defaults simply because it lost power.

Gee, that's nice! Thanks for that. I guess all those settings that I wasted time entering really weren't that important to save, after all. Enough time wasted coaxing this garbage to do what it is supposed to do.

So the McLean Relay Station, after a mere week online, will remain offline until I can grab the pile of junk that comprises it and haul it upstairs, plug it directly in to the offending Linksys, and give it a reliable hardwired Internet connection. 802.11 was simply not meant to be at that house. Then we shall see what else can break in my absence.

Depending on how things go, I will likely procure another router that is not a big piece of shit and replace the Linksys altogether. End of Linksys problems.

I doubt that it will be restored to service before the Presidential Inauguration. It is just a hobby for me, after all. And 1100 miles away.


Bote's Mixer Board channel tags

Bote's Mixer Board in Fort Lauderdale now offers channel tags to serve you better.

The scanner is a BC 780 and undoubtedly it must report the control channel to Gordon's wonderful channel tagging utility known as Talkgroup Monitor. So you will see a lot of nonsense in between transmissions. But, at least you will see the source of what you are currently hearing. It is formatted to show the channel tag in the Title field of the data stream. WinAmp typically displays this before (to the left of) the name of the stream.

As mentioned previously, these channel tags are famously viewable in WinAmp (recommended), VLC, iTunes, and Windows Media Player. Give it a try.


MRS: Murphy's Law strikes agan

Of course everything at the newly re-installed McLean Relay Station worked swimmingly while I was in town for over a week. Now that I am 1000 miles away back in sunny south Florida the UPS feeding the router and the server at the site decided to crap out, at least that's the problem based on initial reports.

Once repairs have been effected I will make the necessary tests and report back here that the feed is once again online.

UPDATE 17:49
So the APC UPS failed and has been removed from the system pending replacement.

The p.o.s. D-Link air card shoved into the laptop that rebooted just fine every single time I was there has decided that it now does not want to find the access point without a kick in the ass, and my father is ill-equipped to be putzing around with a laptop to get it back online.

So the damned thing stays offline until I can get somebody over there to make the laptop pretty-please find the access point, then it will automagically start streaming again.

And yet again I learn the lesson: don't use consumer-grade junk to do a professional job.


McLean Relay Station online

Sorry about that, Chief. The power has been restored to the scanner on the McLean Relay Station.

Now you will actually hear radio traffic once again.


McLean Relay Station up full time

Bote's McLean Relay Station is up full time with channel tags to serve you better. Please avail yourself of the links on the left. They most likely will bring up the Shoutcast server status page if you just click on them.

If you want to listen outright, just copy the link contents and paste into your favorite player, including WinAmp (preferred), iTunes, VLC (VideoLAN), or Windows Media Player (no channel tags).

The systems monitored include (and are usually limited to):

0 - The Federal District of Columbia fire trunked radio system
1 - Arlington County, Virginia public safety digital trunked system, fire
(1) - Arlington County, Virginia public safety analog trunked system (catch all)
3 - MWAA (Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority) DCA and IAD trunked system, fire
4 - Fairfax County, Virginia public safety trunked system, fire
7 - Montgomery County, Maryland public safety trunked system, fire

At my option I might open up or deactivate certain groups as needed since I have remote control capability of this scanner. With the upcoming presidential inauguration fun and games I'm sure this capability will come in very handy. :-)

Because this feed monitors several trunked systems that employ duplicate talkgroup ids you might see DC fire on the channel tags when MWAA fire is talking. That's the way it goes. If you refer to the Council of Governments handy-dandy numbering chart above you can tell who you are hearing: the jurisdiction numbers are prefixed onto the unit numbers, so engine 705 is former Kensington (Montgomery) engine 5-1 and tower 401 is former McLean (Fairfax County) tower 1. Also, the damned channel tags don't seem to keep up when the scanner is rapidly stopping on different channels so you can't always believe what you read on the Internet.

More will be posted here as warranted.