ScanOhio - How To Setup A Live Scanner Feed

How To...

OK, You want to setup your own Live Scanner Feed.... GREAT!! .... I wrote this section in order to help you do just that!!!




Let's start with the "disclaimers":

  1. I do not guarantee that the instructions here will work for you, they are a guideline to help you. If they do not work or you have problems I will try to help those who have donated to
  2. Just hooking up a feed does not give you the legal right to "rebroadcast" that feed. I HIGHLY recommend that you receive written permission from the agency BEFORE you put your feed live on the internet.
  3. If you use this information to get a Live Feed running...... PLEASE let us know so that we can add a link to our site!

Well.... That is enough of that.... Ready??? Here we go!!!


#1 - You MUST have a permanent broadband connection to the internet:

  • Dial-up connections are bad!
  • Cable & DSL Modems are great!
  • T1 and/or T3 Connections are best!
  • A "Static IP" from your Internet Service Provider is recommended... But NOT required. We will discuss this more later!

#2 - You need an audio source:

  • An old scanner - With an external speaker jack
  • A single channel receiver - With an external speaker jack
  • ...Something that will pick up the frequency that you want to use as the feed! - With an external speaker jack

#3 - A PC with a sound card

#4 - Cables to connect your audio source to your PC sound card

  • Note - Your audio source will most likely have a 1/8" mono output but your PC's sound card's line-in will be a 1/8" stereo, you will need an adapter - Here are my recommendations:
    • Radio Shack 1/8" Stereo Phone Plug Adapter - Part #274-368 ~ $2.00
    • Radio Shack 1/8" Plug 6' Shielded Audio Cable - Part #42-2387 ~ $4.50
  • If you have your audio source within 6 feet of your PC this should work for you.... If you have something else your on your own.

#5 - Software to "encode" the audio - We will discuss this more later to help you choose the software package that is best for you!


The first thing you must do at this point is to get the audio source connected to the PC sound card and get an audio signal to your PC speakers.

  1. Plug the adapter into the EXT SPEAKER jack of the audio source.
  2. Connect the 6 foot cable to the adapter.
  3. Connect the other end of the 6 foot cable into the LINE IN on your PC's sound card.
    • NOTE - DO NOT plug into your MIC (microphone) jack!
  4. Turn your audio source on and set the volume between 1/4 and 1/2
    • You will either need to tune to a constant audio source, like your local National Weather Service station or turn the squelch all the way down on your audio source.
    • The goal here is to have a CONSTANT audio source so we can see if everything is working.
  5. Get the sound to come out your PC speakers!
    • This might be a tricky part if you are not getting the sound out now... You will have to go into the audio properties in your computer and work with the settings until the sound from your audio source comes out your PC speakers. - This is VERY important... Don't even try to go on until you have accomplished this!


"I already have my internet access setup?". Well, I hope so.. Otherwise this isn't going to work! - What I mean is we need to set things up so that other people on the internet can connect to your Live Feed!

If you have a static IP address from your Internet Service Provider you can skip this section... Assuming that you know what it is!

In addition, if you wish to use Shoutcast for your feed you can skip this section too.

If you do not have a static IP address... or don't know if you do or not and you are not going to use Shoutcast... read on!

  1. You will need to setup an account with a dynamic IP service provider... Don't worry, there are several free ones! The goal here is to have a name like MYFEED.HOMEIP.NET so that people out on the internet can get to your Live Feed! - I'm not going to go into the details of how this works... there are several sites on the internet that can explain this.
  2. My recommendation is a service called DynDNS - You can go to for more information.

In addition, if you are using a router and/or firewall you will have to "NAT" the correct IP Port to your internal server IP address. This is so that your router/firewall knows what computer to point the requests to! You will need to check the documentation in the software you choose to find out what IP prot(s) need to be routed. You will also have to check the documentation of your router/firewall on how to set up the "NAT" for this port(s).


OK, we are almost done! Now we just have to get the software to "encode" your audio feed so that it can be broadcast on the internet. There are several to choose from and each has advantages and disadvantages. The setup for each one is different so just follow the instructions. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Windows Media Encoder 9
  • ShoutCast / WinAmp
  • Real Encoder

Windows Media Encoder 9 is free and the easiest to setup. You can download the software here. The instructions are pretty straight forward.

ShoutCast / WinAmp is also free but requires 3 pieces of software (WinAmp, The ShoutCast Plug-In & The ShoutCast server). The biggest advantage of this feature is that you do not need a static IP address for people to find your feed. The software connects to the ShoutCast web site and "uploads" your information as well as automatically adding you to the ShoutCast directory. WinAmp is available for download here. The ShoutCast Plug-in is here. The ShoutCast server is here. Step-by-Step instructions are available here.
** Note: This is the option that uses for the Youngstown Fire Live! feed. ShoutCast / WinAmp also gives you the ability to have a "Welcome" announcement for your users!

Real Encoder is NOT free and I have never tried to setup a Real Audio server because of the cost. If you wish to pursue this option click here to go to the Real Networks page.


Well, That's it... Once you have completed these steps your feed should be live on the internet!!!! There is only one step left
FINAL STEP: EMail us and let us know about your feed!!!!

Good Luck!!!