The live radio feed is the newest addition to the FWA Railfan site, debuting on December 6, 2005. It allows users at home to quickly and easily keep tabs on railroad operations centered around Ft Wayne, IN in real time.
The equipment that makes this feature possible consists of the following:
- 400Mhz IBM computer. Pentium II, 128MB/Ram, Windows XP Pro, Winamp & Shoutcast Audio server software.
- Radio Shack Pro-2048 200 channel base scanner (kindly donated by Mike Meisner)
- Radio Shack Pro-2026 200 channel mobile scanner.
- 54mbps wireless connection to Linksys network attached to 6mb/512kb cable modem.
- 18' Fiberglass antenna tuned to the 154mhz band, sitting at ground level. (Attached to 2048)
- Mast mount VHF range antenna mounted at 8'. (Attached to 2026)
What You'll Hear
During the latest update to the audio rig I installed the 2026 for addition coverage. Each scanner is plugged into a specially made Y cord. One leg is for left channel audio and the other leg is the right channel. You'll notice that some audio will come from your left hand speaker and other sounds will come from the right hand speaker. Each scanner is plugged into one end of the cable and scans a different set of frequencies.
The main feed, or the right speaker, is connected to the Pro-2048 and scans the following frequencies:
160.380 - Huntington
District *Set as Priority Channel*
160.440 - New Castle District
161.250 - Fostoria District
161.490 - Chicago District
The left audio channel coming from the Pro-2026 scans the secondary frequencies in the area which
include the following:
161.190 - East Wayne Yard (also used by locals switching in the area.)
151.865 - Triple Crown - base operations
160.950 - Triple Crown Yard
160.545 - CF&E Road channel
160.800 - Mike to Adams (NS Kankakee dispatcher)
161.070 - Adams and east (NS Pittsburgh West dispatcher)
Actual coverage of the area consists mainly of the Huntington District and Chicago District. On the Chicago Dist you'll hear trains clearing Dunfee on their way into the Summit City, most of which diverge at Sand onto the CF&E tracks to Junction where they turn south on the New Castle District. Most trains stop at Thomas Rd to change crews before continuing on their way. The bulk of the audio traffic is centered around the Huntington Dist, especially between Mike and NE. You'll hear trains hustling in and out of the Triple Crown yard, local jobs, through trains, maintenance clearance blocks and everything else that happens on the railroad.
How To Use It
This method should work for most players, at least the ones that I tested.
-Open your favorite media player (IE-Windows Media Player, Real Player, Mac, ect)
-Select "File" and "Open URL" or "Open Location" or equivelent.
-Copy this address into the window that opens http://fwaudio.dyndns.org:8000
Thats it! You're ready to go!
The server is currently set to support 32 streams at 40KB/sec, although I know my bandwidth will never support that many. If the stream is skipping a lot from what you can tell, please email me to let me know. I'll keep an eye on how many people use this feature, and if it's a lot, I'll get additional bandwidth to cover it
Look for new servers to be coming online in the summer of '06. As of right now plans are to bring up ATCS and Audio servers in Wellsboro, where the CN, ex GTW line crosses the busy Garrett sub, as well as in Butler where the NS Huntington District and Chicago Lines intersect. Another possible location is in Bryan, OH on the NS Chicago line. Stay tuned to all the interactive web services brought to you by the Ft Wayne Railfan!
© Original Content Copyright 1999-2007 David Safdy
© Design and Updates Copyright 2005-2007 Greg Lavoie