"Bug" in ScannerCast?

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gmclam

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I have 6 of those $1 USB sound cards installed on an XP PRO PC. When selecting 'audio properties' (get there by right clicking on the speaker in the task bar) the cards are numbered [1] to [6]. I have a generic WAV recorder I have used for years to make custom CDs, and it uses the same numbering. I've also installed other recording software that uses the same numbering.

ScannerCast does not see it this way. For whatever reason the sound cards are numbered [3] to [8]. So what is sound card 3 to the system is sound card 5 to ScannerCast.

Thoughts? Thanks.
 

PeterGV

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Yup! It's actually not a bug, it's ScannerCast working as designed.

The numbering scheme is unique to ScannerCast, and per audio input. So, for example, if you have a sound card with mic in, line in, and SPDIF in, those will each have an input number in ScannerCast.

It's just the way it is...

Peter
K1PGV
 

hvscan

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9530/5.0.0.328 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

I run multiple feeds all with ScannerCast and record the soundcards as ScannerCast labels them. I also record the scanner # as I label them, antenna,etc. I put this into a spreadsheet and it comes in handy when troubleshooting a problem with a feed.
 

gmclam

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Very confusing

It's just the way it is...
I can see for someone with a standard computer setup (if there is such a thing for streamers), that having each input numbered helps a bit.

But for me, I have 6 of these identical sound cards. So each says "Sound Card Description [#]" with the # being replaced by a number from 1 to 6 for the 6 cards. If the ONLY software I was running related to these sound inputs was ScannerCast, it would be no big deal. But I am running several programs for each input, and all of them use the Windows' numbering except ScannerCast.

VERY CONFUSING. At least there should be a mention of this in the documentation.

Another option would be for ScannerCast to display "Sound Card Description [1][3]" where the 1 is the Windows' number and 3 is the ScannerCast number.
 
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PeterGV

K1PGV, ScannerCast author
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I hear that.

Unfortunately, a great deal depends on which operating system you're running on. On some platforms, I can't get the Windows-supplied number (from C# .Net -- no way, no how, Windows won't supply it). On others, you'll currently see it displayed.

Believe me, I get that this isn't as smooth as it could be. And a lack of a fix isn't due to lack of trying on my part.

Want to know what's worse? While it always seems to "just work" there's no guarantee that ANY of the numbers (the ones Windows sort-of supplies OR the ones generated and used by ScannerCast) will stay the same over time. While I've never seen them change, I can tell you for certain that architecturally Windows does NOT provide any guarantee these numbers will remain the same. They depend on the order in which the hardware is enumerated.

I know it sucks... but I've explored this issue, in detail, several times.

Wait until you upgrade operating system versions, and the names of SOME of the devices change for no apparent reason. I kid you not. It happened to me between XP and Win7...

Sorry,

Peter
K1PGV
 

gmclam

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Windows

Thank you for the explanation Peter. There will be no O/S system upgrades on my watch. I still run NT4.0 on my main machine.

One thing that does concern me is the fact all these sound cards are USB, and there is no way to "force" them to be assigned in any specific order. I spent a few hours trying to figure out why I had sound in one place and not another, until I saw the numbering was totally different. Heaven help you if one card doesn't boot properly, as everything else down the chain is affected.
 

PeterGV

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One thing that does concern me is the fact all these sound cards are USB, and there is no way to "force" them to be assigned in any specific order.
Correct. The order that they appear is the order in which they're enumerated. Hmmmm... USB wasn't even SUPPORTED initially on NT V4 -- in fact, PnP and power management isn't supported on NT V4 -- so you must be using a third-party USB stack? I mean, heavens knows what information is available in that case!

It's even worse, by the way: Most of the USB sound cards (and certainly the 99 cent ones from China that I've tested) do not implement unique USB serial numbers. This is perfectly OK in terms of the USB spec, but it means that there's literally NO WAY to know which, specific, individual, USB device instance you're talking to. They all appear identical and interchangeable to the system.

Now, with a relatively large amount of effort, it IS possible to determine the port and hub a specific USB device is attached to. At least on the Microsoft-supplied USB stacks. But how would one provide this information in a usable way to the naive user of ScannerCast -- who just wants to plug their stuff in and get it working?

The whole multiple USB card thing is pretty much a mess, to be honest.

RE NT V4... NT V4 is a very good OS. It's AMAZING how fast it is and how little memory it runs in (compared to more recent generations of OS). If you can live with its limitations (old hardware support, no PnP/Power), it can be an exceptionally efficient platform, a lot like XP Embedded without the PnP/Power management.

Peter
K1PGV
 

Bote

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It's even worse, by the way: Most of the USB sound cards (and certainly the 99 cent ones from China that I've tested) do not implement unique USB serial numbers. This is perfectly OK in terms of the USB spec, but it means that there's literally NO WAY to know which, specific, individual, USB device instance you're talking to. They all appear identical and interchangeable to the system.

Now, with a relatively large amount of effort, it IS possible to determine the port and hub a specific USB device is attached to. At least on the Microsoft-supplied USB stacks. But how would one provide this information in a usable way to the naive user of ScannerCast -- who just wants to plug their stuff in and get it working?
I suggest this workaround: get that nice VU meter that I have mentioned all over this board and install it.

Then open its options property sheet and select each sound device in turn, Windows will hopefully list them in the same sequence each session regardless of how they are enumerated.

Then look at the VU meter and determine which scanner is deflecting it. Just open the squelch on each scanner until you see it deflect the meter.

Record this cross-patch information in a notepad text file or cheat sheet somewhere handy for the next time you need it.

Now you will know which sound device is connected to which scanner and proceed to set the levels and configure each copy of ScannerCast for the correct sound device.

It's a pain, but it works.
 
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