Part-time streaming from my Home PC

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ETMegabyte

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Part-time streaming from my Home PC - Without using RR...

I have a Pro-106... It's the only scanner I have that's capable of receiving digital signals... Most of the time (like 90%) of the time it's sitting on my desk listening to my local police and fire departments. However, the other 10% of the time, it's with me.

Now the interesting factoid. I'm not "here" 90% of the time. I don't always take the scanner with me. I'm here about 40-50% of the time. Meaning there's 40-50% of the time that the scanner is here, and I am not..

I read all around this site about broadcasting my scanner over the Internet. It appears that all of the information here is related to broadcasting my scanner through this site. Because this is not an "extra" scanner and I want to have the ability to take it with me when the mood strikes me, broadcasting through radioreference is not really an option for me.

But sometimes I'm out in the area, without the scanner, and would like to listen in on it from my Android-based phone.

So I'm wondering if there is any way to set it up so I can stream my scanner when it is here, without using radioreference? I have a static IP at home, so connecting to it shouldn't be a problem. I just don't know how to go about setting up the software on my PC to stream the audio...

Has anyone else done this? What software should I use?
 
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ETMegabyte

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Well, I'm about halfway there...

I downloaded and installed Microsoft Expression Encoder 3... Set it up to stream a live source, selected my input (Aux-In), encoding settings, and output port... Connected to it from another desktop machine using Windows Media Player, and it works fine...

Problem is that Expression only encodes in WMA format, and the Android can't stream WMA :(

So I've figured out how to stream it on the internet, but not to the android...

I think I need a comparable program to Expression, but one that will encode in MP3 format. Once I do that, then I should be able to listen to it using XiiaLive Lite (which is what I use to listen to streaming content now)...

Anyone know what I should use on my PC to make this happen?
 

ETMegabyte

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Well, I *think* I have figured it out for myself... We will see if it remains working as well as it does now...

I downloaded two pieces of software. Icecast2 [http://www.icecast.org] and edcast (standalone) [http://www.oddsock.org/tools/edcast/]. Edcast takes the input from my Line-In on my soundcard and encodes it in MP3 format, then hands it off to Icecast who broadcasts it over the Internet... For those interested, here is my initial setup to get it going...

First, choose what port you will use to connect to it once it's up and running. I chose 43180 since it's only going to be me using it and it's way out of the way and unlikely to be "found" by anyone else... It's not that I really care too much if other people find it, it's more the fact that if everyone knows it's there, and suddenly it's not broadcasting anything with no notice (like when I disconnect it and take it with me), it won't bother anybody else...

So I installed Icecast. I used the default installation options. Once it was installed, I opened it up. I went to the configuration menu and chose "Edit Configuration". This opens Notepad with the config file in it.

In that file, I changed the source-password to something OTHER than hackme... This is the password that we will use later in edcast. I also changed the admin-password as well. Though I'm not using relay-password at all, I changed it just to get it away from the default... The only other thing I changed in the configuration file is the port (changed it to 43180 as noted above). Saved the file, closed Notepad, and clicked the "Start Server" button. There, half-done...

Then I installed edcast. Simple install. Loaded it up. In the "Live Recording" area, I selected the proper sound card and the proper input. Then I clicked the empty "Peak Meter" box to turn it on. Using that meter I adjusted the volume on my scanner and the slider to make sure I wasn't overdriving my sound card (average person talking on the scanner got into the yellow, but almost never got into the red)...

Once that was done, I clicked the "Add Encoder" button. I then right-clicked the encoder that popped up in the box below it and selected "Configure". I set my bitrate to 16, samplerate to 22050, channels to 1, type to Lame MP3, servertype to Icecast2, serverIP to localhost, serverPort to 43180, password to the password I put in the "source-password" section of Icecast2, and mountpoint to /PoliceScanner.mp3.

Click OK, then Connect. If all is well, edcast should connect to Icecast2 and you should be good to go...

I then went to my Droid, and entered http://<myexternalip>:43180/ which brought me to the stream selection page. I clicked the M3U link for the PoliceScanner stream, and it opened my streaming app and started streaming my scanner. So far it seems to work quite well. There seems to be an approximately 32 second delay between the live feed on the computer and the audio coming out of my Droid... But the sound coming out of the droid is nice and clear, easy to understand...
 
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GTR8000

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Or you can skip all that hassle, download the full version of ScannerCast, uncheck the "Send Stream to Icecast" box on the Icecast tab, then set a port forward on your router for port 5700 (the default port, you can change it to whatever you want, including the 43180 you're already forwarding). You'll be up and running in 5 minutes or less.

K1PGV's ScannerCast
 
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SCPD

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If it isn't there fulltime, what is the point of even feeding it then?

Ask yourself this question: Would you do business with a store that was only open part-time, nor have it hours posted so you might know when it is open to do business? No, you would not. Would I listen to a feed that was only part-time? No, I would not.

Questions?
 

Thunderknight

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If it isn't there fulltime, what is the point of even feeding it then?

Ask yourself this question: Would you do business with a store that was only open part-time, nor have it hours posted so you might know when it is open to do business? No, you would not. Would I listen to a feed that was only part-time? No, I would not.
I think the OP addressed that very well in his first post. He said he wants to stream it to himself only. He actually stated he realizes that streaming to RR is not an option.

OP: Thanks for this thread...this is something I was planning to do for myself (similar reasons) and just have not gotten around to trying it out yet.
 

GTR8000

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If it isn't there fulltime, what is the point of even feeding it then?

Ask yourself this question: Would you do business with a store that was only open part-time, nor have it hours posted so you might know when it is open to do business? No, you would not. Would I listen to a feed that was only part-time? No, I would not.

Questions?
Yes, I have a question...do you know how to read? :roll:

...broadcasting through radioreference is not really an option for me.

So I'm wondering if there is any way to set it up so I can stream my scanner when it is here, without using radioreference?



For everyone else who reads this thread and wants to know the easiest way to privately stream audio without sending it to RR, please remember that this is one of the key features of ScannerCast. It's ridiculously easy to get up and running, and uses hardly any system resources when running.
 

ausscan

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+1 for ScannerCast. So easy and I can stream to my iPhone no worries.
 

hvscan

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

I would also add to the sugestions of using ScannerCast. It is extremely easy to set-up and maintain.
 

ETMegabyte

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I replied to the person above that doesn't know how to read, but... Upon further reading, it seems others had already taken care of the "smack some common sense into him" for me ;)

Anywho. I've downloaded ScannerCast and set it up, and I'll admit it was up and running in just a couple minutes... And now I've got tags too! And it appears the delay is less (I had about 32 secs delay using edcast and Icecast, now I have about 10-12 secs delay using ScannerCast)

Though I did notice that tags and audio are out of sync when I'm listening to it using my droid (tags update immediately but the audio takes time to play), but they're fine when listening to it over the local network. I'll watch this more as I use it more...

One thing that I wonder, though... I've got it set up for my sound card for "Sound Input", but it doesn't specifically allow me to select an input on that sound card like edcast did. I'm assuming that ScannerCast uses the recording control settings to select it's input. Will this be a problem when I reboot? Usually computers default back to microphone after a reboot...

I didn't use ScannerCast initially because all the readily available information led me to believe that ScannerCast was used to connect to RR, so I got confused... Now I see the light...

Thanks
 
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GTR8000

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And it appears the delay is less (I had about 32 secs delay using edcast and Icecast, now I have about 10-12 secs delay using ScannerCast)
10-12 seconds is the ScannerCast average. All things considered, that's next to nothing.

Though I did notice that tags and audio are out of sync when I'm listening to it using my droid (tags update immediately but the audio takes time to play), but they're fine when listening to it over the local network. I'll watch this more as I use it more...
I've seen people report that from time to time, although I don't have personal experience with it, so I can't be certain why that's happening.

One thing that I wonder, though... I've got it set up for my sound card for "Sound Input", but it doesn't specifically allow me to select an input on that sound card like edcast did. I'm assuming that ScannerCast uses the recording control settings to select it's input.
Correct.


Will this be a problem when I reboot? Usually computers default back to microphone after a reboot...
Maybe, maybe not. Windoze has a mind of its own sometimes. Also, programs like Skype have been known to hijack the settings and change the input device to mic. You'll have to experiment to be sure how your system responds. Worse case, you can pick up a $1 USB sound card and use it for the feed, leaving your primary sound card on its own. That's probably the best method anyway, to be honest.
 

ETMegabyte

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Also, programs like Skype have been known to hijack the settings and change the input device to mic. You'll have to experiment to be sure how your system responds.
The machine that ScannerCast is running on runs Skype, but I have a DPH-50U Phone adapter on it, so Skype doesn't appear to mess with my main sound card at all... So far I have had no problems in that department. Side note is that the computer also runs my MagicJack (which shows up as a USB Sound Card), and that does not appear to affect it at all either... All appears to be well so far...

A couple quick things I've noted in the first 12 hours of use...

1) I experimented with ways to connect to it using my Desktop PC (Winamp, Media Player, etc)... For some reason, Media Player specifically apparently didn't "disconnect", so my Desktop PC was listed twice in the status window. I figured eventually it would time out, but it did not. I had to stop broadcast and restart it for the ghost connection to go away. Possible feature request is the ability to right-click a specific connection and disconnect it??

2) The tag synchronization issue appears to only happen when my Droid is on WiFi or Verizon 1x service. The tags are fine for me when I'm within a 3g service area. I'm guessing it's either a latency issue or intermittent connection when in WiFi or 1x modes... So, it doesn't "appear" to be a ScannerCast issue.

3) Another possible Feature Request would be the ability to change some of the Configuration options while the server is running. Things like the Stream Name, Description, Max clients, and Tag formats should be update-able while the server is running... Going with that thought, the checkboxes under Advanced for "ScannerCast Operation" and the "Custom Format" and "Scanning Tag" should also be update-able... Maybe the logging settings as well???

I also noted a "Web Control" area under the Advanced tab... Is this only for the Uniden scanners? Even with the server stopped, it does not appear that I can enable it while it's set to GRE (for my Pro-106). Web control would be cool...

Though overall I'm very happy with ScannerCast! I was out and about tonight and listened to my scanner on my Droid all night, and it only dropped when I lost 3G service through Verizon or when I went between two tall buildings that are close together (reducing or eliminating my cell service)... My LAN connection was left running all night and it never dropped at all, so SC's definitely doing it's job...
 

PeterGV

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Oh, suggestions! Thanks!! I LOVE suggestions.

To your points:

1) I experimented with ways to connect to it using my Desktop PC (Winamp, Media Player, etc)... For some reason, Media Player specifically apparently didn't "disconnect", so my Desktop PC was listed twice in the status window. I figured eventually it would time out, but it did not. I had to stop broadcast and restart it for the ghost connection to go away. Possible feature request is the ability to right-click a specific connection and disconnect it??
Yup... Already in the To Do list: See ticket # 6.

2) The tag synchronization issue appears to only happen when my Droid is on WiFi or Verizon 1x service. The tags are fine for me when I'm within a 3g service area. I'm guessing it's either a latency issue or intermittent connection when in WiFi or 1x modes... So, it doesn't "appear" to be a ScannerCast issue.
Right. It's a problem on the receive side, not on the sending side. I have the same problem with my Blackberry.

3) Another possible Feature Request would be the ability to change some of the Configuration options while the server is running. Things like the Stream Name, Description, Max clients, and Tag formats should be update-able while the server is running... Going with that thought, the checkboxes under Advanced for "ScannerCast Operation" and the "Custom Format" and "Scanning Tag" should also be update-able... Maybe the logging settings as well???
Making these items static is a deliberate design decision. One of the two key design principles of ScannerCast is for it to be as easy as possible to use. Allowing items to be changed dynamically makes use more complicated for new or computer naive users, and can make troubleshooting more difficult. Also, not everything you mention can be changed dynamically. The stream name and description, for example, are only exchanged during the connection process.

Though overall I'm very happy with ScannerCast! I was out and about tonight and listened to my scanner on my Droid all night, and it only dropped when I lost 3G service through Verizon or when I went between two tall buildings that are close together (reducing or eliminating my cell service)... My LAN connection was left running all night and it never dropped at all, so SC's definitely doing it's job...
I'm glad your enjoying ScannerCast, and that it's working for you.

Thanks for taking the time to pass along your comments and ideas. I certainly appreciate it.

Peter
K1PGV
 

GTR8000

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Where would I find these $1 USB Sound Cards? I might order 1 (or 20) :)
I got mine from this seller. Took a few weeks to receive from halfway across the world in Hong Kong, but for $1.23 each, I'm certainly not complaining lol. There are plenty of other sellers for $1 each on eBay, some with free or 1 cent shipping. I'm just linking you to the seller I bought from because I know all his worked and arrived safely.

USB 2.0 Mic Speaker 5.1 Audio Sound Card ADAPTER NR - eBay (item 250599839419 end time May-18-10 01:00:22 PDT)
 

Thunderknight

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Cool, ScannerCast works great for my internal stream (audio only)! Thanks Peter, it is one very easy program to setup!

Time to tap the Easy button. :)
 

Figliano

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Program works great to my PC but only get audio on my Blackberry. Blackberry is not very good as far as apps. Anyone know of any program for the Blackberry that will also show the Alpha tags?

Thanks
Fig
 

obxdivr

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Currently I am broadcasting to RR LIve audio using ScannerCast. I am also using Windows Media Encoder to stream to a webpage. Can I do both with SC or do I still need to run both? I also have a Droid and would like to receive my streams without having to go through RR (no offense to RR).
 
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