Interest in online scanner feed for Bloomington?

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kevin.r

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Greetings,

I'm posting this evening to see if there is any interest among the scanner community to have an online scanner feed for the Bloomington (Monroe County) area. I'm willing to host a public feed if there is enough interest to justify the amount of my time it would involve, and also to try to gauge the number of client connections I'd want to support.

So, is anybody interested in this? If so, would you want the Bloomington SAFE-T site or local VHF/UHF conventional channels or both?

Before anyone asks, I don't have a timeline in mind as to when I might implement this (if at all). It could be ready in as early as a few days as long as a few months.

Finally, a question for those who are already running online public scanner feeds in Indiana (and surrounding states): have you ever been contacted by the agencies that you are monitoring regarding your feed? Have you ever been asked by LE to shut a feed down? I'm not wanting to debate the legality of online scanner feeds, I just want to know if it's likely to cause a problem with local LE. Obviously this will depend on the department, but I'd like some feedback from other feed operators if possible. Feel free to PM if you like.

Thanks!

Kevin
 

KC9NEG

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Apr 22, 2004
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Indianapolis, IN USA
No issues with LE on my Marion Co. feed. Users know their comms are public... I don't see what the problem could be (especially since very few people could monitor an online feed while mobile and commiting a crime). I have corresponded personally with both police and firefighters who've listened to my feed and none have expressed any concerns.

You won't have to worry about how many connections if you use ustream.tv to host your feed. My feed demands very little of my time.

What does concern me is upstream bandwidth usage... I'm hoping Comcast doesn't take issue with what I'm doing (but I think my business account is pretty liberal re: usage).

HTH,
Todd/Indy
KC9NEG
 

N9WP

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Lebanon, IN
I provide the feed for Boone, Hendricks and Clinton counties. I've been contacted by someone very high up (basically 2nd in command) with the Boone County Sheriff department saying that him, his family, extended family and others at the sheriff department, including the sheriff himself, really enjoy my feed and thanked me for my hard work on it. Having a feed will open up a ton of emails you will get. I also get tons of emails from other departments like fire fighters. I have yet to hear anything from the Clinton or Hendricks County sheriff department but have heard from at least someone from each of the fire departments I mainly cover. Mainly asking scanner questions.

I'm a computer programmer so when I'm at work, I listen to my own feed. It's nice not having to worry about the interference that is caused in an office environment. I also have my computers at home set up so I can access them from work so if something is going on, I can log onto the computer that is running the feed and have it hold on a certain frequency or talkgroup or if something is locking it up, I can log on and hit the LockOut if I need too.

With a feed, you will also become popular if the word gets out. I average between 100 and 250 unique hits a day to my scanner webpage. Time to get some advertising going now huh?

The best is just have fun with it!!!
 

kevin.r

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Thanks for your responses tbhausen and N9WP.

I know of a fire department in California that has apparently tried to take legal action against people who set up online scanners. That's the reason I was asking, to see if there were any problems like that here in Indiana. From both of your responses it sounds like local LE and fire are actually appreciative of the feeds; cool!

My plan is to pay for a low-cost audio streaming hosting service. There are a couple of reasons I'm leaning in this direction:

1) I don't want advertising like some of the free hosting companies have.

2) I want the feed to play in just about any media player. I don't want listeners to be required to download and install a special audio client just to listen to my scanners.

3) I don't want to host it on my comcast connection, as bandwidth could be an issue, plus it's a violation of comcast's TOS to run a public-facing server. A single upstream "relay" feed to the hosting provider won't be a problem though.

I'm still open to other options though as I haven't completely made up my mind.

Scanners, especially digital scanners, can be cost-prohibitive. When I set up the feed my hope is that others who aren't fortunate enough to have a scanner will be able to listen. Plus anyone who does have a scanner but isn't in range of the Bloomington site and wants to hear it.

The feed is actually up now using my comcast connection and I'm listening to it here at work, but because of the bandwidth issue I'm going to wait until I have a hosting provider before making it public.

Kevin
 

jwheatley

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Middletown, IN via Kokomo, IN
I thought that I would throw my two cents in here. I would be interested in hearing traffic from that part of the state.

Also, I stumbled upon www.scanindiana.com the other day. I think it would be really neat if all those that currently had feeds in Indiana joined ScanIndiana so that they'd all be in one, centralized location.
 

jtkinser

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Hello,

I am in the Bloomington area and I would love to be able to log on while im at work or school (IU) and listen in so I dont have to pack my scanner around all the time. I think this would be a wonderful addition to our community and I am sure you would have lots of hits.

Please keep me updated so I can start listening in as soon as its up and going!

Thanks for your time and dedication.

Jesse
KC9NVT
 

K9GTJ

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Kokomo, IN
I would enjoy a bloomington feed. My wife's family is from there.

As for feeds, I was directly contacted by the Sheriff by my local county indicating how it was helpful when he was away from town on vacation or prisoner pick ups. I have heard from numerous public safety how they enjoy it.

As for the link provided by Jason, that site is part of a larger site called ScanAmerica - http://www.scanamerica.us/index.php - and is ran by Gordon. He does a great job of providing the server and necessary custom software. Simple to set up and very, very reliable.
 

W9NES

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Indianapolis,Indiana
I would like to see more more on line feeds from across Indiana.We allready have on line feeds from indianapolis.Boone,Hendricks,Clinton County,Montogomery County,Evansville.I would like to see these get set up from Terre Haute or from Bloomington or other points acoss the state.Those links would be a benifit for all to use when there is "Breaking News" in those areas and our local scanners cannot get the radio traffic outside the Indianapolis area.WE NEED MORE FEEDS!!!
 

kevin.r

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Indiana
Bloomington scanner feed is live!

I finally had a bit of time to work on my scanner feed for Bloomington. It's up and running at this URL:

http://scanner.kevinratcliff.com

A few things to note:

* There are three radios on one feed: a 996T scanning SAFE-T (Bloomington site), plus a BCT-15 and a Yaesu FT2800 scanning local conventional channels.

* You will not know what radio or talkgroup you are listening to. Sorry, but there are some technical details that are preventing this with the present setup.

* The connection will only allow ten simultaneous listeners (for now).

* It should play in just about any media player that supports streaming MP3's.

* The web site at scanner.kevinratcliff.com will be updated as time allows.

Questions and comments are welcome. Remember, this is in the initial stages so it won't be perfect yet!

Kevin
 

kevin.r

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link is not working.I cannot get it to come up from Indianapolis.
Which part isn't working? Can you get to http://scanner.kevinratcliff.com and the links from there don't work, or can you not even get to the initial site?

The feed has been running all day with no issues that I've been able to detect, other than my ipod touch disconnecting occasionally, but my PC stays connected.

Let me know if it still isn't working for you. Thanks.

Kevin
 

W9NES

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Indianapolis,Indiana
Kevin,Thanks.I am now able to hear your link from Indianapolis with no problems.I will put this on my desktop when there is "Breaking news" in your area of south central Indiana
 

sly1

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Jul 29, 2008
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Grand Rapids, MI
wonderful

This is a wonderful feed - I'm curious as to how the scanners are connected audio wise - does one radio have preference over another? are you using a mixer of some sort of just splitting up the inputs? I'm very familiar with the Monroe County radio systems (I worked at central dispatch for several years) and it sounds like the conventional radios have some sort of preference over the trunked systems.
 

kevin.r

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Indiana
This is a wonderful feed - I'm curious as to how the scanners are connected audio wise - does one radio have preference over another? are you using a mixer of some sort of just splitting up the inputs? I'm very familiar with the Monroe County radio systems (I worked at central dispatch for several years) and it sounds like the conventional radios have some sort of preference over the trunked systems.
Thanks for the comment on the feed. No, there's no preference system for the radios. I'm guessing the volume on the conventional radio was just adjusted to be louder. The three radios are connected to a NCS "Multi-RX": http://www.ncsradio.com/m_rx.html. It was very expensive, but was the only thing I could find that met my needs.

Unfortunately the feed has been down since last night due to hardware issues. The SATA drive on my linux box was hot to the touch when I opened up the PC to troubleshoot! Time to scrounge around for another drive and reinstall the OS.

I will post a reply to this thread when the feed is back up.

Kevin
 

jtkinser

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Is it up yet?

Hey I am having trouble getting the feed to work.. Are you still in the process of fixing it?
 

mbruning81

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Apr 5, 2008
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Chillicothe, OH
When I lived in Ohio I provided the feed from my county to ScanMiamiValley.com. Never had an issue. I now live in Columbus, IN and had thought about putting my scanner online, but it doesn't pick up 800MHz. If you decide to do it, I'd get in touch with ScanIndiana.com. They're run by the same people I dealt with in Ohio. Very easy to setup and do. We should all get together and help one of the incident paging networks too. I know it's a service I'd love to subscribe to, but there isn't much coverage outside of Indy.
 
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