Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1066] Identifying Windows Sound audio input corresponding to each scanner


Page Type: REFERENCE


OVERVIEW

The levels of each audio input can be observed and adjusted from the Windows Sound recording tab, but the inputs are not labeled or identified, making it unclear which input in Windows Sound corresponds to which scanner. The Rangecast Configuration screen, when searching for hardware, commands each scanner in turn to produce a loud signal. Observing the Windows Sound recording tab when launching Rangecast Configuration provides a way to identify which Windows Sound input is connected to which physical scanner.


BACKGROUND

Windows Sound is a control panel element of the Windows operating system.


METHOD

(It may be helpful to have notepaper available during this process, to write down the associations between scanners and Windows Sound audio inputs.)

1. Open Windows Sound (on PCs configured by Rangecast, usually available as a desktop icon; if not present, can be found via the Windows Control Panel - Sound)

2. In Windows Sound, select the Recording tab

3. Launch Rangecast, and press Configuration

4. In the Rangecast Configuration screen, observe the text in the upper-left describing the progress of the hardware scan, and watch for the text "Scan audio ports". When you see this text, immediately move your attention to the Windows Sound user interface display.

(During "Scan audio ports", the Rangecast software commands each physical radio in sequence to make a loud noise for a few seconds, which is detected by the Rangecast software to identify the software address of the audio input for each scanner. In observing the Windows Sound display during this audio test, you will be piggybacking on this process to determine which Windows Sound control is associated with each scanner.)




5. The audio inputs will pulse in some sequence (e.g. bottom, top, third, second). Make a note of this sequence.

6. When the audio test is complete, look back at the Rangecast Configuration user interface. The scanners will be listed in some sequence (note this may not be alphabetical order.) If you wrote down the pulse sequence in step #5, you may write the scanner ID beside each entry (e.g. the first listed scanner is paired to the first audio input that showed a noise pulse.) For making the list of scanner IDs, specific advice for handling some situations:

* Ignore lines on the Rangecast Configuration display without any text or text entry boxes in the Hub/Site/ID columns (these are unused COM ports).

* Ignore lines that do not have the text "COM" in the left column. These are sender IDs for which no physical radio to control was identified by the Rangecast software). (This will include any VOX senders.)

* In rare circumstances, you may see lines with empty text entry boxes in the Hub/Site/ID columns. If this happens, include those lines as if they were radios (you may use the COM# in the left column for temporary identification) -- these are scanners found by Rangecast software with no registered Rangecast ID, and those scanners are included in the hardware scan (including the generation of audio pulses.)

Note: If you observe fewer pulses than radios, then either (a) you may be incorrectly counting a VOX radio, for which the correct audio input cannot be determined with this method (see exceptions); or (b) you may have a disconnected audio input cable or malfunctioning audio input device (see limitations).

Tip: If you are only interested in identifying the Windows Sound audio input of a single scanner, you may observe the place of that scanner (e.g. third) on the Rangecast Configuration screen *before* the audio test begins, and then note which Windows Sound audio line becomes noisy in that position (i.e. the third to pulse). This approach eliminates the need for notepaper.


EXCEPTIONS

This method cannot be used for identifying the audio input associated with VOX senders, because a Rangecast sender in "VOX" mode has an audio input only, there is no data connection to a scanner. Therefore, Rangecast Configuration is unable to send commands that will make the VOX audio input noisy, making it impossible to observe these audio pulses to identify a VOX input.


EXPECTED PROBLEMS

If an audio input cable is not connected, then no audio pulse will be observed in Windows Sound from that scanner. (If this scanner is first or last, then there will appear to be fewer pulses than expected. If this scanner is in a middle position, there will be an interval of all-quiet in the middle of the pulse pattern.)

The same symptom may be observed if there is a malfunction elsewhere in the audio input system (e.g. a RCX box, or with the older black-box style USB interface, a defective sound card or USB hub inside the interface box.)

If an audio input level is extremely low, the "pulse" may be barely perceptible. Usually the audio pulses are full-scale in Windows Sound, but a low pulse may activate even only a single bar. For purposes of identifying audio inputs, this is still a valid pulse (although it suggests that the level of this input should be raised.)


REFERENCE

During this audio test, the Rangecast Configuration screen reports which scanner is being tested (e.g. "Scan audio ports - radio 1"). The number refers to the order in which scanners are listed in the Rangecast Configuration user interface; in the illustration above, "radio 1" is "traffic-10-A". Since each audio pulse is fairly short, it is usually not practical to observe this numerical ID while also watching the Windows Sound display. But this may be helpful for establishing correspondence during the audio pulses, especially if you observe fewer pulses than radios.


CITATIONS

SYMPTOM

SOLUTION


Rangecast FAQ - ID 1066 - last updated 02 August 2017     Images shown - [block]