All About ScannerCast™

- Shoutcast/ICEcast Compatible Broadcasting for Uniden and GRE Scanners.
- Replaces Edcast/Oddcast and Simplecast for Forwarding Scanner Feeds.
- Lets you listen to your scanner across your own network, or via the internet (with or without a RR feed).

ScannerCast 1224
If you have a Uniden 396 series or GRE PSR-500 series scanner (or Radio Shack equivalent), K1PGV's ScannerCast™ makes it fast, easy, and 100% free to make it accessible from anywhere via the Internet. If you don't have these scanner types, ScannerCast also makes it easy for you to make "audio only" feeds (with no tags) available.

Broadcast your scanner's audio and tag information (with a supported scanner) over the Internet where it can be played-back by anyone with a browser and/or a media player.  You can play back audio directly from Internet Explorer, which will automatically launch Windows Media Player.

Send your scanner stream to Radio Reference without any hassles or complicated configuration, to make it available for others to hear.

Features (available now):

  • Supports tag retrieval and formatting for both the GRE PSR-500/600 family and the Uniden 396/996 family of scanners.
  • Supports Audio-Only mode, allowing most other scanners to work with ScannerCast without sending tags.
  • Lets you listen to the scanner on your home network or over the internet from almost any media player, including Windows Media Player, ITunes, VLC, Foobar, or XMMS.  Tags are displayed by many players, including Winamp (which is free and widely used on the internet -- see below for an example).
  • Lets you forward your scanner feed and tags using a single program -- Replaces Edcast/Oddcast or Simplecast for forwarding scanner streams to Radio Reference, and provides improved tag/audio synchronization.
  • Streaming format is SHOUTcast and Icecast compatible, including embedded meta-data tags.  Lets you use a wide variety of media players to hear your scanner.  No "special" client software required to listen.
  • Optionally configures your Radio Reference feed automatically -- Just provide your RR username and password, and ScannerCast retrieves all your configuration parameters.  Automatically checks and updates your feed parameters each time ScannerCast is started (to accommodate on-going RR changes to feed configurations).
  • Allows customization of tags and tag display format, based on channel name, group name, and system name, plus adds the ability to display the current frequency in the tag.  Also allows display of Radio ID in tags (GRE only).
  • You choose the bit rate for the broadcast.
  • You choose the maximum number of simultaneous clients to support.
  • If sending a feed to RR, automatically senses connection loss (due to network problems, RR reset, or any other situation) and re-establishes connection as soon as possible.
  • Optionally runs in Windows system tray (notification area), and doesn't take-up space in your task bar. If sending a feed to RR, Icon changes color and a message is displayed if feed connection is disrupted.
  • A start to online documentation!  It's not complete, but it's a start.
  • Provides the option to forward two feeds simultaneously -- One feed with tags on the LEFT audio channel and one feed without tags on the RIGHT audio channel.
  • 100% compatible with Windows 7 (you must run as administrator), Windows Vista (you must run as administrator), Windows XP, and Windows XP Embedded.  Tested on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Features (coming in future releases):

  • Major features coming between now and V1.0:
  • Planned for V2.0:
    • Support for more scanner models (let me know if this would be helpful, and what scanner's you'd like ScannerCast to support).

Supported Scanner Models

Scanners that are supported for retrieving and sending tags:

  • GRE PSR-500, PSR-600
  • Uniden BCD396t, BCD396xt, BCD996t, BCD996xt, BCT-15, BCT-15x
  • Radio Shack PRO-197, PRO-106

Scanners that are supported for "Audio Only" (no tags):

  • Any scanner with audio out (earphone or recording) capability

Is It Any Good?

Well, it's exactly the same technology that they use to broadcast scanners on Radio Reference and the same type of technology used by Edcast/Oddcast and Simplecast to forward feeds -- except it's smaller, much easier to set up, and it's designed specifically to support scanners.

My feed on Radio Reference -- "Hillsborough County Sheriff and Fire" -- is provided via ScannerCast, running on a HP Compaq t5710 Thin Client (with 512MB of memory, 512MB of disk), from my PSR-500.  Check it out at http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?feedId=998.  Be sure to use Winamp to play the stream if you want to see the tags.  This feed is a particularly good demonstration, because it includes conventional analog channels, conventional P25 channels, and a Motorola TRS (Nashua) with both conventional and P25 talk groups.  Be sure to notice both the quality of the audio, and how well the tags and the audio are synchronized.  Be patient, though.  I live in a pretty rural area and there's not always a lot going on.

To see the channel tags, you'll need a media player that's SHOUTcast or Icecast "meta-data compatible."  I recommend using Winamp (which is free), as shown below:

Nashua on WinAmp

Figure 2: K1PGV's home scanner (a PSR-500), playing over the internet using Winamp.  Note the frequency display, including "DG" tag indicating a digital voice channel.

 

ScannerCast™ is a trademark of Peter Viscarola, K1PGV.  The ScannerCast software, documentation and configuration information are Copyright © 2009-2010 by Peter Viscarola, K1PGV.  All rights reserved.  Use of ScannerCast is subject to the license terms defined on this web site.