Remote RX done easy: streaming success!

This weekend I played around with throwing an Icecast streaming program on my shack machine; figured I would find use for it. Already true! Here’s a little breakdown of how I sorted it out.

To set it up, I installed butt (great name, for sure) to get audio out of the laptop, and ran a simple apt-get icecast2 on my Digitalocean box (running debian). Bit of config later to set passwords and I was up.

“Broadcast Using This Tool” – a simple and reliable streamer for Shoutcast or Icecast

Tonight I simply pulled up the m3u link for the stream from my IC-746 on my iPhone, plugged the phone into the car, and set off to run errands around town for the evening. The whole time I was treated to a surprisingly full-sounding and clean stream of the 3916 Freewheelers net – trivia night! The stream pauses when you stop or unplug and reloads every time you start or re-plug, so you aren’t lagged when you get back in the car – the stream stays up to date.

the Icecast status window running on my Digitalocean droplet. No problems with the smallest size instance and 1-2 listeners – doesn’t even tick up the CPU graph.

I currently have the stream at 96kbps and it seems to work well with the back-panel audio that I’m feeding the sound card from the Icom. 64kbps seems to introduce enough aliasing up high that it’s noticeable on a good stereo or set of headphones. 96kbps is clean enough for government work.

I definitely want to get metadata going so it at least reflects the currently tuned frequency. Maybe a little script to poll FLdigi.

Next step – figure out an easy way to tune the rig remotely. Maybe an html5 page or something? How cool would it be to intercept the track forward/back signals from the tuning knob and send that back to the shack?

Another idea i’ve had was to put two channels on left and right; maybe a local 2m scanner and then HF on the other side…