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CP, CN, and UP Rail Near Rondout

US > Illinois > Lake (County) [Chicago]

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CP, CN, and UP Rail Near Rondout

Broadcast of 19 rail channels from Rondout, IL. CP, UP, METRA, CN (Wisc Central and EJ&E), and WSOR.

Status: (((Stereo Feed))) LEFT Speaker: Scans CP C&M + METRA channels. RIGHT Speaker: scans 19 CP, CN & UP channels, now with Alpha Tags!
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Feed Notes

This feed combines two radios.  One radio (your left speaker) scans 3 channels used by CP Rail on the C&M Subdivision and by METRA on the Milwaukee District North Line (including the "J Line" to Fox Lake).  These are:

160.770    AAR 44         METRA MILW-North Line: Chicago -> Rondout -> Fox Lake [Chicago Dispatcher]

                                         AND CP C&M Sub West (compass north) of Rondout

161.085    AAR 65         Sometimes used by CP C&M Sub West (compass north) of Rondout -> Milwaukee [Wisconsin Dispatcher]

161.370    AAR 84         Licensed for CP C&M Sub

The other radio (your right speaker) scans the 19 channels listed below.  Signal strength is lower on the UP and CN (ex-WC) channels due to distance, which is why I added the EQ and Compressor (discussed below).

NOTE REGARDING TYPICAL LATENCY: Broadcasts are heard through this site 20 to 35 seconds after actual transmissions occur in the field.

This set-up covers the CP/METRA line, the UP passenger and freight lines to Kenosha, the CN (former WC) line, and the CN (former EJ&E) that intersects with all of the above.  Other UP and CP subdivisions northwest and west of Chicago may be heard when conditions are favorable.

Antenna is an Antennacraft ST-2 "Scantenna" mounted 25 feet above ground level in attic (this antenna replaced a smaller ground plane antenna on 5/18/2015).  Stridsberg Active Multicoupler used to feed 2 radios. Radios are Uniden BCD996T. Broadcast software was changed 1/3/2014; now using "RadioFeed".

I added an Equalizer and Audio Compressor on 8/23/2015.  More details at the end of this note.

Monitoring location is near Rondout Junction, Illinois.

Frequencies programmed into the scanner for your right speaker include the following:

160.770    AAR 44          METRA MILW-North Line: Chicago -> Rondout -> Fox Lake [Chicago Dispatcher]

161.085    AAR 65          CP C&M Sub West (compass north) of Rondout -> Milwaukee [Wisconsin Dispatcher]

160.725    AAR 41          CP - long ago used by switching crews on the C&M Sub and "J Line"

161.520    AAR 94          CP Elgin Sub, also licensed for CP C&M Sub

161.370    AAR 84          Licensed for CP C&M Sub

160.740    AAR 42          Amtrak "Onboard" channel

160.485    AAR 25          UP Milwaukee sub (the freight line)

161.040    AAR 62          UP Kenosha sub (the passenger / Metra line)

161.310    AAR 80          UP Harvard & McHenry Subs

160.455    AAR 23          UP

160.575    AAR 31          UP & WSOR

161.175    AAR 71          UP

160.890    AAR 52          UP

161.475    AAR 91          CN Leithton Sub (former EJ&E Western sub road channel)

160.920    AAR 54          CN Waukesha sub “end-to-end” channel

160.785    AAR 45          CN

161.295    AAR 79          CN Waukesha sub “dispatcher” channel

160.260    AAR 10          CN

160.755    AAR 43          CN

Equalizer and Audio Compressor set-up as follows:

- The audio output from one radio is input to the left channel of a stereo equalizer and the other radio is input to the right channel.

- Equalizer is a dbx model 215.  First, each channel gets about 6 dB of input gain added to amplify weak signals and compensate for losses in the equalizer.  The "low cut" filter is on, which cuts any audio below 50 mHz.  The dbx 215 has 15 bands to play with on each channel.  Since human speech occurs between about 150 Hz and 4,000 Hz, I fully cut the sliders marked 25, 40, 63, and 100 Hz.  I leave the following at neutral (no boost, no cut): 160, 250, 400, 630, and 1k Hz.  Then I fully cut 1.6k, 2.5k, 4k, 6.3k, 10k, and 16k.  Notice that I cut 1.6k, 2.5k, and 4k even though they are theoretically in the range of human speech, but I think we get all the audio we need in the lower tones and eliminate some static by rolling-off the higher ranges.  Output from the dbx 215 EQ is input to the compressor - left channel EQ output to left channel input of the Compressor, and right channel to right channel.

- The compressor is a dbx model 166XL.  The idea of the compressor is that it allows amplification of weak signals but limits the strength of strong signals so that I can pump-up the weak audio from distant sources while preventing strong signals from overloading.  Your ears will thank me.

- Compressor set-up is as follows:

Expander/Gate Threshold set at about -100 dBu and Release is set to medium.  The low threshold setting allows all but the weakest signals to pass through.  (Maybe I will turn this off and let even the weakest signals in.)

Compressor Threshold set at about +4 dBu, Ratio set at 3:1, Attack is medium-fast, Release is medium. This means that fairly strong signals get compressed at 3:1 (every 1dB rise above threshold level gets compressed by 3 dB).  I use OverEasy compression - there is not a single point above threshold at which compression begins.  Compression begins to kick-in slightly below threshold and is fully activated if the signal continues above threshold.  This should sound more natural.  This combination yields gain compression of 4 to 10 dB on strong signals and almost no compression on weak signals.  The effect of all of this is to bring-up weak signals and limit strong signals so that all signals are brought into a narrower range (fewer weak versus strong extremes).

Output Gain is set at +6 dB to amplify and re-strengthen the normalized ("evened-out") signal.

PeakStop Limiter is set at +15 dBu to clip-off any really loud transient signals.  For example, at the end of almost any radio transmission there is a "pop" in the signal.  The PeakStop Limiter prevents this pop from being really loud and offensive.  Loud tones and other loud junk also get clipped.

These settings seem to work well; although, I may adjust and experiment from time to time.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested to discuss further or have comments & suggestions.