Audio Upgrades

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Greg46m
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Audio Upgrades

Post by Greg46m » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:37 pm

Group,

As of tonight the audio feed will be unavailable over the weekend due to massive upgrades. I have finally made the move to move the equipment out of my house and onto the roof of the hotel I work at in downtown Ft Wayne. This location provides me with an opportunity to place the antenna 150 feet above the ground which will drastically improve reception. I tested out the location tonight with a secondary antenna and one of the feed's radios and was able to pick up the Huntington District detectors at both mp 135 (St Rt 37) and mp 157 (west of Hugo a few miles), which were previously never picked up. Just for reference, my location is just a few blocks due north of Mike, approx MP 145. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon I'll be able to have the audio streams back up and running.

Also included in this upgrade with be the ATCS setup which will also be mounted on the roof. A preliminary test with a simple hand held radio and a magmount antenna up on the roof yielded great coverage of the area not previously seen. The ATCS upgrade will also include new equipment. A commercial MDS and Motorola radio will be put in place which will be able to receive many times over what my handheld is capable of.

Sorry for the inconvenience the outage will cause for a couple days but I think it will be MORE than worth it once the new one is setup and going. I'll keep everyone updated here with the progress over the weekend as well of photo's of our radio's new home high a top the downtown skyline.
Greg Lavoie - Webmaster

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Chaser
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Chaser » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:54 am

Will the equipment stay after your move from the area??

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Greg46m
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Greg46m » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:17 pm

As far as I can say right now, YES. The new data scanner's that I'll be using actually don't even belong to me, another railfan from Ft Wayne has them on loan from a gentleman in Albany, NY who sent them here with the explicit intent to be used as a public service in Ft Wayne. Since the audio scanners are cheap enough, I'll leave them as well and purchase new ones for later. I plan on putting up a similar feed in Wauseon, OH on the NS Chicago Line. The equipment should be ok to stay at the hotel after I leave because I'm planning on staying on their payroll for IT support. Perhaps if there is some big management change-up and I no longer have ties to the place then I'll have to remove the equipment, but I don't see that for now at least.

In updated news I got the new server setup today and did some testing with the firewall at the hotel. All the software is setup and communicating well with each other. Since I'll be behind a pretty heavy duty firewall at the hotel, I can't give listeners direct access to the servers sending the data. I actually have to send the data back here to my house first where it will then be waiting for you to connect and listen. I was worried about being to get the audio sent back here to my house, but it went smooth as butter. Hopefully by Sunday the audio stream will be up and running and by Monday evening the ATCS feed will be active.
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Greg46m
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Audio is back!

Post by Greg46m » Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:33 pm

Group,

The install of the new audio server at it's new home on the 3rd floor of the Clarion Hotel took approx. 1 hour today and was considered a full success. Audio is now back up and streaming again at the same address; http://fwaudio.dyndns.org:8000

Current coverage now seems to stretch as far as Mardinas to the west, St Joe to the north, Winters Rd and beyond to the south and New Haven siding to the east. As I type I hear a train calling signals at Latty...OHIO! These are just estimates and you may here trains from even farther. Three defect detectors can now be heard, the MP 135 near St Rt 37, the 167 on the Huntington District, and a third one, at MP 156? I believe.
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Matt D.
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Matt D. » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:04 pm

Greg,

Does the CF&E talk much? If so are they on the stream? Thanks.

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Greg46m
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Greg46m » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:00 pm

Matt,

Yes, you do hear them sometimes talking quite a bit while switching in the yard. Since NS dispatches their entire line they use the NS channels when they are on the road. Around Mike they talk to the Huntington Disp, from Junction west they talk to the Chicago Dist dispatcher and from east of Ft Wayne they talk to the Pittsburgh West dispatcher. I currently do not have the yard channel they use programmed in or the Pittsburgh West dispatcher since it's the same frequency as the Chicago Line to the north and I'd probably get a lot of bleed-over from that line. In the future I might put the CF&E on a seperate channel from NS so that you will know the difference. Right now though the hardware prevents me from doing this.

Long story short, yes they talk, no you won't hear it on this stream.
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by caylorman » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:06 am

Greg,
If you're referencing 160.545 as their yard channel, they also use it during switching out on the road. It's usually how I tell if the Fort Wayne - Warsaw local is running around.

E.J.

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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Greg46m » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:05 pm

Thanks E.J., I'll make a note of that. I don't get out to chase them very much but when I do I'll make sure to keep that one open too.
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Re: Audio Upgrades

Post by Greg46m » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:36 am

I thought I'd share some photo's with everyone of the equipment running the ATCS and Audio feed now that the move is complete.

First two are of the equipment running the feeds. The scanners on the left are the audio scanners. Only one is hooked up at the moment, scanning all four road channels. To the right of those are the data radio's for ATCS. The top radio is an MDS 1000u. This is a commercial data transceiver tuned to the NS frequency of 897.9875mhz. The bottom radio is a Motorola Maxtrac 900mhz radio that listens to data coming in from CSX up to the north.

The tall equipment rack beside our equipment is the hotels TV distribution system which brings in DirecTV satellite signals, mixes them all together into one cable TV like signal and then distributes it throughout the hotel.

The third picture is taken from the roof of the hotel where the antennas are mounted. You can sorta see how tall we are (14 stories) from the surrounding landscape of the city.

Right now I'm toying with the idea of getting a Ham radio instead of using regular scanners and trying to pull in audio from the CSX Garrett Sub. I am able to pick it up while driving around Ft Wayne so I think I'll be able to get it from here with a good radio.
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