Motorcycle charity ride Saturday morning

The Police Officer Assistance Trust (P.O.A.T.) will ride their motorcycles from the Doral section of Miami down the Keys to Holiday Isle resort in Islamorada on Saturday morning, December 3, 2011

Expect traffic on Monroe County sheriff main channel as US 1 is Main Street down the Keys and intersections will be closed by deputies as the motorcade makes its way south.


SMART Ride 8 Miami to Key West

S.M.A.R.T. Ride 8 completes the second half of its run from Miami to Key West today. Bicyclists should be arriving in Key West between noon and 14:00 or so.

I've trimmed back the Southernmost Feed to focus on public safety stuff, although there is no official police escort nor road closures. There might be EMS calls for riders in distress so listen for unusual radio traffic concerning this ride.


USCG digital channels added to Key West scanner feed

I finally got off my duff and added a block of about 45 digital channels used by the United States Coast Guard. I was reminded to do this by hearing activity on them over my mobile scanner yesterday during an emergency visit to Key West.

I don't know how often they're used, but it should provide an additional aspect on radio activity in Key West.

I just had to reboot the feed computer because RadioFeed had crashed, most likely because I was handling the computer yesterday doing some maintenance. If you just leave things alone they keep running along just fine.

So now I'm going to enjoy the morning with a Cuban American from Cuban Coffee Queen and sit back to listen to my feed.



FtL Marathon and SuperBoat Races

Busy Sunday today: Fort Lauderdale is hosting a 13.1 KM half-marathon that begins at 06:13 from in front of the Arts Institute down on SE 17th Street Causeway. Police operations are on Special Event 1 / 4A which is talkgroup 29968 decimal. I'll probably set up my Mobile Feed to stream the special event talkgroup for your listening humor.

Meanwhile, down in Key West will be the final race day for the cigarette boats participating in the SuperBoat races. Let's hope nobody dies today. I'll adjust my Southernmost Feed to weed out the other traffic and focus on Key West.



Server move

UPDATE: 12:03 - it must have returned to service while I was on the road because everything is online now. It turns out that one of the hard drives had failed and the other in the RAID array was not rebuilding properly, so they moved us to their ESXi platform which is newer and better anyway.

The SuperBoat races have resumed and I have opened up group 3 in the Marine bank since that contains channel 78 which is the race coordination channel. Enjoy.

14:50 - a boat wrecked and capsized at speed. 2 adult males were transported to Lower Keys Medical Center, one with c.p.r. in progress, the other is alert and talking.


Our collocation host have taken it upon themselves to move our server without prior notice. As a result, all my scanner streams will be down until that is complete. No estimated time to repair, just keep trying back every few hours I guess.


SuperBoat races in Key West

This week marks the 31st Annual Key West powerboat races. The complete schedule is available at that linked web site. Key West harbor is closed at certain times to accommodate the vessels involved in the races so you'll hear communications related to that.

Don't forget this is going on as the military is conducting its exercises just up the road at Boca Chica Naval Air Station. Never a dull moment down the Keys!


Exercise Vigilant Shield 12

Exercise Vigilant Shield 12 is underway at Boca Chica Naval Air Station, callsign NQX, this week. It involves Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard assets.

I have heard a small flurry of new talkgroups on the NQX trunked system, most likely related to this. I have the NQX and Monroe County trunked systems in search mode full time so that I can catch new talkgroups as they pop up, but I might activate the aircraft bank and lockout Key West airport stuff to see if we can snag any military comms. We'll see about that.

Read all about it in the Keys News.


Miami Dolphin's 2011 Cycling Challenge

Bicyclists will be hitting A1A and connecting roads this morning for a benefit ride that runs from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. In fact, there are two separate rides with the one in Fort Lauderdale joining up with the West Palm group at Sunrise Blvd and A1A.

Strong winds are generating high surf so between the surfers and bicyclists A1A should see quite a bit of activity today.

Fort Lauderdale police are using channel 1C for their special detail operations so I'll stream that on my Mobile Feed as long as possible, although I can't guarantee I'll have any bandwidth this afternoon to maintain it.

Keep an ear on the Mixer Board for fire calls relating to the Dolphins ride.


FtL Boat Show

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show runs from today through Monday at Bahia Mar out on the beach and at the Broward County Convention Center. Fort Lauderdale fire department has established a special event command post at the boat show and operates on fire tactical channel D.

They've already had a guy fall into the water, but he got back on dry land and they checked him out and declared him healthy.

Monitor Bote's Mixer Board to hear all the fire department festivities. FtL police district 1 covers the beach out on A1A now in case you hear them on Bote's Wild Feed.

UPDATE 2011.10.28 15:00 - Fort Lauderdale police have switched the units working the boat show detail over to channel 4A Special Events 1 during the peak times of the boat show. I can't guarantee anything, but I'll try to stream it as much as possible on my Mobile Feed.

I can guarantee that I will NOT be streaming it during game 7 of the World Series tonight since I will be chatting on my laptop with other primates during the game. Until about 20:00 tonight it should be up, although that special event traffic isn't all that scintillating if you ask me.


Fantasy Fest in Key West

This weekend marks the start of festivities surrounding Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida. It runs through the big culmination next weekend just before Hallowe'en.

Quoth the founder:
We need a fest, a carnival, a celebration, something that will entice people to change our moribund season to one of great fun; a party that will bring many people to understand that this season is one of our best.
 And so it began.

In recent years more people have heard about it who think it's just a jolly good excuse to get shit-faced and act like asses, which is where my Key West scanner feed comes in. The police are there basically to ensure that nobody gets hurt, but there are always those who over-imbibe and start fights and steal stuff from revelers. Between those police calls and the inevitable ambulance calls for falling down drunks and minor injuries, the feed will be a-hopping.

I have trimmed back the maintenance and operations talkgroups on the Boca Chica (NQX) Naval Air Station so you hear the fire and security talkgroups. I'm quite confident that there will be at least a few interactions between Naval police and Fantasy Fest partyers since Truman Annex and the Trumbo Point complex sit within the city limits of old town Key West. The Boca Chica part of the naval air station is some 10 miles out of town, but shares that same government P25 trunked system.

Lots of mariners gravitate towards Key West for Fantasy Fest, as well, so the marine channels should be hopping with Key West Bight, Galleon, Conch Harbor, A & B marinas shucking and jiving to find space for water-borne visitors.

Never a dull moment in Key West! Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2011.10.28 - Key West police are using tac 2 as the special event channel for Fantasy Fest. I also opened up the scanner bank containing GMRS and MURS frequencies since some of the vendors use them.


Planned outage


Both the Mixer Board and Wild Feed will be down late this afternoon for about an hour. They should be back up no later than this evening.

Check back to have a listen. If you hear the Syncopated Clock you'll know they are still down. I'll update this blog entry when they are back up for good.


Changes to Deerfield, BSO district 5

Deerfield Beach fire has surrendered and joined Broward County. Their fire fighters were sworn in Friday morning and now operate off Broward fire Dispatch 2 talkgroup, along with every other department already on there. They use the same tactical and car-to-car channels as everybody else on Dispatch 2. No word yet on what will become of their little trunked system, but at last report even Deerfield lifeguards were rumored to be moving over to Event 4 or Event 5 on the Broward system, which would leave the old Deerfield system devoid of users.

On the police side, Broward Sheriff's Office district 5 serving the unincorporated wild, wild west of Fort Lauderdale will move to BSO channel 7A to join Oakland Park and Lauderdale Lakes cops already there. Expect traffic on that channel to double as there is no end to the crime and punishment in district 5.

You might recall that it used to be districts 5 and 12 together on channel 6A before the great refarming a year or so ago. It looks like we couldn't stand the prosperity.


Data center routing trouble

All of my feeds, and a whole bunch of other stuff, are unreachable on account of a routing problem in the data center hosting these feeds. They're working on that now, 11:04

When the feeds come back, you will know things are back to normal.


Key West scanner feed outages

The battery bank feeding the UPS in Key West had lost a lot of electrolyte so the power outages were taking out the DSL modem. Better batteries are on order, but for now the existing batteries have been topped off and hopefully will carry the load until the new ones arrive.

The way RadioFeed works, once the computer loses connectivity on its LAN port it doesn't recover. I really should put an Ethernet switch between the computer and the DSL modem to solve that problem, but that will be done on the same trip when we install the new batteries. We should be good for now, though.


Key West Poker Run

Another Key West Poker Run started Thursday-ish and continues through this weekend. Motorcyclists ride from Miami to Key West collecting a playing card at each checkpoint. When they get to Key West they compare their hands to see who wins. It supports the charities listed in the linked article (above).

The Southernmost Feed should be interesting this weekend. Enjoy.


Fort Lauderdale rebanded

The Fort Lauderdale trunked system threw the switch to their new rebanded frequencies 15 MHz below their original assignments. That's why my Mixer Board feed has been suspiciously quiet this morning.

I will bang in the new freqs to all my scanners and get things reprogrammed as soon as possible today, in between those pesky demands of work.


Come on Irene

(with apologies to Dexy's Midnight Runners)

It looks like south Florida will be spared the brunt of Hurricane Irene's force, but we will still get a good amount of rain and some wind gusts that could make things a little bit interesting.

I'll be streaming the usual suspects, plus any special event talkgroups related to preparedness that I find.

Bote's Mixer Board carries Fort Lauderdale fire-rescue and Fort Lauderdale beach patrol only now. The City of Pompano recently moved their radio operations over to the Broward County big bruiser trunked system.

Bote's Wild Feed carries much of the public safety traffic in east Broward County, Florida. This includes fire-rescue operations for Oakland Park, Pompano Beach (and beach patrol), Lighthouse Point, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and Hallandale Beach. The others out west can be considered bonus departments. The Wild Feed also carries all 3 Fort Lauderdale police districts and BSO Oakland Park / Lauderdale Lakes channel which is just about right without being crazy busy.

Our thoughts go out to those in the path of this storm.


Key West feed, power outages

Evidence is mounting that the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) serving the data closet where my Key West feed is located is faulty.

I'm told they had a 5 minute power outage shortly after noon today which explains why my feed was offline tonight when I got home. I use RadioFeed and while it's a great program for scanner feeds I have a sneaking suspicion that the Ethernet switch that connects it to the Internet lost power, which caused RadioFeed to lose its socket. So I can understand the program getting upset about that.

Normally, RadioFeed tries to reconnect if it loses connectivity to the Icecast server. But in this case the rug got yanked out from under it.

I'll be back down there in a few weeks and fix up everything to make it more reliable.

Now, all eyes are on the eye of Hurricane Irene. Watch this space for an announcement of a special feed as I just might put a spare scanner in Boca Raton to monitor fire traffic up that-a-way if Irene chooses to make things interesting for us.


Key West and NQX

Bote's Southernmost Feed is focused on the Boca Chica Naval Air Station today to discover the purposes for the unknown talkgroups that I have logged thus far.

I'll probably open it back up to the usual scan list tonight or tomorrow, depending on how much traffic the Navy base gives us.

Watch out later this week for Hurricane Irene as she might pay a visit to the Keys or southeast Florida. Either way I'm sure all 3 of my feeds will be hopping as public safety officials prepare for a tropical system.


Key West feed restored

The Southernmost Feed is restored to service. I had to replace the battery in the u.p.s. since it was toast and the power in Key West is marginal at best.

In the meantime, I had shut off the feed computer for the other two feeds and forgot to turn it back on before leaving for EYW, so they are off until tonight. Sorry.


Pompano Beach fire moves to Wild Feed

Owing to the overwhelming popularity of Bote's Wild Feed, Pompano Beach Fire dispatch has moved operations to Broward County fire Dispatch 5 which is served by the Wild Feed. No longer will you hear Pompano fire on Bote's Mixer Board, only Fort Lauderdale fire as well as the lifeguards for both those cities (as long as I can stand it, anyway).

Pompano fire will mix it up with the other Broward fire departments on their existing 3 tactical talkgroups, plus the 12-zone talkgroups for mutual aid interoperability when needed.

Additionally, Lighthouse Point, Sea Ranch Lakes, and Lauderdale by the Sea fire departments will join Pompano Beach fire officially on 1 August, 2011 at 06:00 since they all abut each other in the northeast corner of the county.

The law enforcement agencies for all those jurisdictions will consolidate their operations on a handful of talkgroups on the Broward County system as well. I have no plans to carry their police traffic, just making note of it to document it.

More info as it arrives. I will post the updated channel lineup on my personal web site About Bote's feeds, clickable in the pane to the right.


Key West feed down

The Southernmost Feed is down, I don't know why and have no estimated time to repair.

Sorry about that. I'll post here when it's back up.


Key West swim race

Marine channel 12 is hopping today with the FKCC Swim Around Key West.

Here's the whole scoop right from the horse's mouth:

Happy monitoring!

NAS Key West added

I have added the Naval Air Station Key West trunked system to the Southernmost Feed. Several times while visiting Key West I have seen the Naval fire department running a call and wondering where they were going. Now this adds the missing piece to the puzzle.

The NAS police and other talkgroups are carried on the system, so if they get too chatty I might disable them and keep the fire channel. We shall see about that.


Key West audio GREATLY improved

At long last I have contacted the author of the Virtual Audio Cable utility and he directed me to check my settings to increase the audio level. I did that and now I can declare my Southernmost Feed up to snuff.

Since the audio level varies so widely between the VHF marine channels and the Monroe County digital trunked system I am using a compressor plug-in for WinAmp to add more punch to the audio on the Key West feed. V.A.C. allows me to loop the audio through WinAmp entirely in software, but it was costing me a loss of 12dB which made it sound pathetic again.

I experimented with the settings and it sounds listenable now with no additional amplification on your end. I also reduced the drive on Volume Logic so that it doesn't sound so processed and artificial. So enjoy!

For those interested in the technical details I started V.A.C. control panel and observed all the settings that ScannerCast uses to play out the stream. Then I entered those exact settings into the Cable Parameters section and saved them to the driver by clicking Set. I used SR=44100 (sample rate), BPS=16 (bits per second), NC=1 (channels).

Be sure to stop ScannerCast or whatever plays out the V.A.C. stream before you try to save it or you'll have to type it all over again. Fire up your player or streaming software, then fire up WinAmp to feed the processed audio to it and enjoy the punchiness.


Schooner Wharf Wrecker's Cup race

Schooner Wharf bar sponsors a regatta in several parts each year named the "Wrecker's Cup". One instance is being held today starting at 13:00 with operations on marine channel 68.


Alternate listen links

I have added alternate links to listen to my feeds in the sidebar to make it easier for you. Everybody's computer is configured differently so there is no way for me to know what will work on any one computer. For example, on my computer the standard links that end with .m3u do nothing so I originally posted the clean links without that extension.

Now you have a selection. If you click on Bote's Mixer Board (FLL) and it doesn't start your player, then click the one below it with the m3u and see if that works. Most likely it will. It all depends on how your computer is configured and what your favorite player does with it, that's out of my control.


Mixer Board BOLO announcements

For some time I have had a talkgroup that I thought was used only when Fort Lauderdale police would make broadcast announcements to all 3 districts. I recently discovered that was not what it is used for and revamped the setup on the Mixer Board feed.

The Mixer Board still has Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach fire talkgroups in it, but I set up another "system" in the scanner that only listens to the special multi-select talkgroups that are used only when they make these broadcast announcements. You will hear alerts of incidents like stabbings, shootings, police chases, severe weather announcements, and so forth.

These are ONLY ANNOUNCEMENTS. They are infrequent. They are brief. This will not be general police traffic, just alerts to get the attention of all on-duty officers, then they state at the end which district is handling the incident so you can go tune in. In our case my Wild Feed has all 3 FtL police districts on it so you can listen to that for more police action. Many times the police incident you just heard will be followed by the EMS or fire call which also comes right out on the Mixer Board, so it's a hand-in-glove fit.

I also added these same multi-select talkgroups to the Wild Feed, but since that scans police traffic already it can be tied up on, say BSO Oakland Park, during the announcement so you miss it.

If the announcements get to be too much of an annoyance I will change things, but let's see how things work out for now.


Fort Lauderdale BOLO announcements

I am trying a new service on my Wild Feed to improve awareness of important police calls. I programmed a separate system in the 996 scanner that will only listen to the multi-select calls from Fort Lauderdale and Pompano police consoles.

The scanner does not always handle these calls properly on the standard talkgroup ids, so we will see how this works out. Of course, if the scanner is stuck listening to some other talkgroup yammering away you will still miss these announcements, but at least they will stick out of the crowd better with this new method.


Key West audio improved

For some reason the audio settings on the Key West feed were set too high. This was making all but the quietest transmissions distorted and boomy sounding.

I tweaked things this morning and set it so that I can live with it. It should improve the clarity of that gawd-awful IMBE audio on the Monroe County digital trunked system, although I'm not a miracle worker and can do only so much.


Bote's Mixer Board improved

I have eradicated that gawd-awful SimpleCast in favor of the new RadioFeed software by the same folks who wrote ProScan.

Most of the scanner packages out there won't talk to the Uniden BC780 scanner so I was stuck with SimpleCast to get the channel tags into the stream. The problem is that SimpleCast would crash every few days, requiring a reboot which would also interrupt the Wild Feed which is hosted on the same machine.

Now I get my channel tags and hopefully some reliability, too.

I now have to clean up the channel tags in the BC780 scanner because RadioFeed reads them directly out of the scanner. With SimpleCast I had to use Talkgroup Monitor which pulled channel tags from a text file database. This allowed me to get by with tags that mean something to me, but not to the listener. I'll take care of that over the coming days.


Bote's Mobile Feed testing in one place

I purchased a Griffin iMic for my laptop since its built-in audio subsystem is fried. This allows me to uplink my scanner feed from wherever my laptop and scanner are.

As a fun test I'm going to be using my Mobile Feed mount point to stream whatever is interesting at the moment. If you listen with WinAmp you can view the channel tags to determine what you are hearing at any given time. Since the scanner is limited to 16 character channel names, I have to be creative with my abbreviations, but I think you'll be able to figure them out. Unless I specifically state it, the radio systems monitored will be somewhere in the southeast Florida area.

Today I figured I would stream Sunrise, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, and Coconut Creek since I never listen to those zones. If they become annoying I'll shut them off and scan something else. You never know what you'll hear.


Key West feed audio trouble

UPDATE 2011.02.26 16:49 - The Key West scanner feed has been repaired. I took the opportunity to organize the equipment better so that it's easier to work on and make it more reliable. I replaced the audio cable with a new one so the audio should be rock solid now.

The feed was offline for about an hour while I moved everything around, but it should stay up for the foreseeable future now.


Sorry, there was some work done around the Key West feed computer and it must have moved the audio cable to a bad position. The audio is weak and garbled right now.

I know how to fix it, I just have to get over there and do it. Sorry for the inconvenience. You can still listen to it, but it aint pretty.


Android streaming players

So I guess Android doesn't work with the blog site created by its authors? Curious.

I see Android listeners on my statistic logs from time to time.

What Android streaming player are you using to listen to Bote's feeds? I would really like to find one and have not yet.



Dania Fire merges with Broward County

Dania Beach Fire Department became part of Broward Sheriff Office's Department of Fire and Rescue on January 29, 2011.

The Dania Beach department, Broward's oldest, will become the seventh municipality with BSO Fire Rescue. The others are: Cooper City, Lauderdale Lakes, Pembroke Park, Southwest Ranches, West Park and Weston. BSO Fire Rescue also serves Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the unincorporated areas of the county.

It is unclear on what final radio channels Dania fire will operate. Since the switch:
  • Broward Joint Ops 1 (formerly 12A) has been used as an intercom between Broward and Hollywood fire main dispatch for automatic aid (mutual aid) calls;
  • Broward JOps 2 (12B) has been patched with Hollywood fire dispatch, although the dispatcher's transmissions do not always come through reliably on 12B;
  • Broward JOps 3 (12C) has been patched with Broward Dispatch 2 (formerly Fire North channel) for Hollywood units running mutual aid into Dania;
  • Broward JOps 4 (12D) is patched to Hollywood fire tac 1 N for Dania units running mutual aid into Hollywood.
This sounds more confusing than it needs to be, but the situation is fluid and there will likely be changes in the future. Up until this switch Broward would assign any of 12B, 12C, or 12D for fire units to conduct training drills, but these same channels were also used on working incidents for interoperability communications which was confusing. Now when you see JOps 1, 2, 3, or 4 you can assume it has something to do with Dania or Hollywood fire calls.

Dania fire and Hollywood police and fire used to operate on their own separate system that is also a site hung off the Broward trunking zone controller. Since the switch Dania units must be operating on the Joint Ops talkgroups, presumably until they get their radios programmed to add the usual line-up of Broward fire channels.

Hollywood police and fire radio channels remain unchanged, only Dania has moved over to the Broward core system for daily operations.


Tornado watch

South Florida is under a tornado watch and the strong cold front is barreling through now. Strong gusty winds are knocking out power around the area so the feeds might go down. They'll be back up when FP&L restores power should that happen.


Key West air radio gone

I locked out the aircraft comms group on the Southernmost Feed. It was talking just a bit too much and most of the traffic was the same: routing via Boca Chica departure, then BAITZ, then CARNU, then direct blah, blah, blah. Sometimes some interesting stuff, but not enough to have it stopping there instead of real interesting stuff on police or fire channels.

We still have Key West police and fire, Monroe County, FLA police and fire, and most marine channels (when they're not being totally obnoxious, that is).


Host down

The host where our server sits in Dallas is down. No reason nor e.t.r. published.

They posted a note on their Twitter feed about a maintenance window last night, but this unexpected outage started after midnight this morning. It's not just colostreaming.com that is down, I mean the host's own support and main sales web site is kaput! So it's safe to assume that they know about it and are running around like crazy trying to put out the fires to get things back up and running, no need to tell them the obvious.

All of my feeds will return when the host comes back up. Stay warm out there!

UPDATE: VirtBiz had a power main that supplies electricity to part of their colo facility fail on them overnight. It was restored by that afternoon and all our feeds came back up normally. I think they need to give Emerson Liebert a call about a big-ass u.p.s. for their facility; this keeps happening too frequently it seems.