OK, I wrote it for a paper where I do freelance sports photography. This is my second article for the paper and my first on my wesite(s). The paper did redo the headline which didn't turn out well..
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Howard and Tipton County Users Tune In…
When the sonic boom shook Howard and Tipton Counties Wednesday night, some people went outside
to look around and some people went online to listen. ScanKokomo (http://www.ScanKokomo.com)
provides a live audio stream of public safety agencies from Howard and Tipton Counties. Police, Fire,
EMA, and more can be regularly heard without end users needing a police scanner of their own.
The idea behind the scanners online is Jim Hunt who has been interested in radio listening as a hobby
since he operated his father’s shortwave radio at age 10. He quickly found he liked listening to his
parent’s police scanner and used some of his first money from detasseling corn as a teenager to by his
own handheld scanner.
In May of 2007, ScanKokomo went live on the Internet streaming 24 hours a day. The premise is to keep
the connection simple so anyone can listen without downloading special software or needing to register.
Listeners average several hundred each day with 20 to 30 connected at any one time. Oddly enough,
more listeners are on during the daytime from work than in the evenings.
Wednesday night saw a record number of simultaneous listeners with 520 just minutes after the boom.
People were telling their friends to get online to listen and several Indianapolis television news
departments tuned in for information. The listener spike was not an isolated event. The early Friday
earthquake brought another spike in listeners though not nearly as much as Wednesday night.
While those widespread events brought noticeable listener spikes, many loyal listeners tune in everyday
or listen when they are out of town. Sheriff Marty Talbert commented in an email to ScanKokomo that
he likes to listen when away on business.
One nice feature is the audio archive which keeps a 30 history of all radio traffic broadcast. If you miss
something or need information about a run, you can listen later or download it to keep without any
special arrangements or costs.
ScanKokomo does partner with its sister site Kokomo-Weather (http://www.Kokomo-Weather.com)
which features live weather data, an archived history and information of severe or winter weather
events effecting Howard County. When severe weather strikes, local Skywarn spotters on Amateur
Radio are added to the audio stream on ScanKokomo allowing listeners to know exactly what is
happening in Howard County.
The ability to add additional frequencies as needed allows ScanKokomo to focus on relevant events.
Snow plows in the winter to Skywarn spotters when severe weather strikes or the more recent addition
of military aircraft from the Ft Wayne Air Nation Guard which caused the recent stir. You can also sure
that if any of the Presidential Candidates makes their way to Kokomo, all of the frequencies used by the
press and security details will be broadcast online.