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FCC License Data Sources

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[last changed 09-Dec-99]

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FCC License Data Sources
Bill McFadden

Changes preceeded by "|".  Please e-mail corrections and additions to me.


  This is a list of FCC license data sources available to scanner
  hobbyists.  The FCC master contains a wealth of data about every
  non-federal-government license in the United States (over three million
  records).  Many of the sources listed contain a subset of this data,
  although some contain all or nearly all of it.  Federal government
  licenses are not administered by the FCC, and the data is not available
  to the public.

  Also available are subscription services from companies like ISI and
  CET.  Since they charge by the minute, they are not really practical for
  the hobbyist and hence are not included in this list.

  Prices are rounded to the nearest dollar and include shipping, if known.

  Another listing of FCC databases has been compiled by Rich Wells at:


  You can search the FCC master for free from these web sites:




  ScanWare Associates has developed a PC-based database program called the
  FCC Frequency Retrieval System.  FCC data for all states is available,
  covering all services and all frequencies.  However, it is not being
  updated frequently.

  Scanware has chosen to discontinue developing this software, but the good
  news is that the software and data are now FREE!  It is being hosted by
  the West Virginia Educational Network.  See:

  ----- PURCHASABLE DATA -----

  The Bearcat Radio Club sells FCC data in several forms.  The Betty
  Bearcat series of regional directories covers US public service
  frequencies in 8 volumes.  Also available is the Betty Bearcat CD-ROM
  that contains public service data for the entire US and a DOS-based
  database search program.

  Betty Bearcat directories are $17 each, and the CD-ROM is $27.  They are
  available from The Hobby Radio Stop at 937-299-6440 (info), 800-423-1331
  (orders), or


  CET sells records of all stations inside a 30-mile radius for $80.
  (Major cities cost extra.)  A 70-mile search costs $178.  The data is
  provided on floppy disks and is available in ASCII columnar and
  comma-delimited formats.

  CET does not provide data for licenses that do not contain specific
  geographic coordinates (i.e., mobile-only systems) or specific operating
  frequencies (e.g., amateur radio).

  To do the search, CET requires the latitude and longitude of the center
  of the 30-mile radius.  I calculated mine from a USGS topographic map I
  obtained at a local nautical supply store.  Alternatively, you can obtain
  the coordinates for your town from the US Census Bureau at  For my area, the server
  returned the coordinates of the main post office.

  CET can be reached at 800-445-0297.

  CSP Technologies sells FCC data on CD-ROM.  ScannerBase covers the entire
  US and comes with a database search program.

  ScannerBase used to cost $34 but is now being sold for $4 a copy while
  supplies last!  In addition, the newest version, Scannerbase XE, is
  available for free download from CSP's web site.  CSP Technologies can be
  reached at 888-857-4240 (voice) or


  Grove sells FCC data on CD-ROM and floppy.  The CD-ROM covers the entire
  US and is available with or without mapping support.  The mapping version
  brings up a map with the requested station plotted on it.  The regular
  version is $104, and the mapping version is $174.

  Floppies are available by state for $44 per state (add $10 for CA, FL,
  TX).  The disk comes with a database search program.  Grove Enterprises
  can be reached at 800-438-8155 (voice) or


  Mr. Scanner offers custom printouts of public service frequencies by
  county, or the entire FCC master for a city or town.  Also available is
  public service data on floppy disk and a CD-ROM of all FCC data for the
  entire US.  The floppy disks and CD-ROM come with a database search

  County printouts are $4 each, and city printouts are $6 each.  Floppies
  are $25 for the first state, and $10 for each additional state.  The
  CD-ROM is $37.  They are available from The Hobby Radio Stop at
  937-299-6440 (info), 800-423-1331 (orders), (printouts), or (disks).


  PerCon sells FCC data on CD-ROM.  The Spectrum CD covers the entire US
  and comes with a simple database search program.  Regional CDs cover
  subsets of the US but come with a more powerful database manager and
  provide more detail about each license.  Also available is a Ham callsign
  and repeater database CD.

  Spectrum costs $37, and the Ham and Repeater Database is $22.  Regional
  CDs are $137 for the first CD, $102 each additional CD ($560 for the
  entire 6 CD set).  Data is updated twice a year.  PerCon can be reached
  at 716-386-6015 (voice), 716-386-6013 (fax),, or  The Spectrum database can be searched free of
  charge via Percon's WWW page.


  This is probably the most cost-effective source of public service license
  information.  The detail is limited, but the information that is there is
  often more useful than the FCC master.  For example, an entry in Police
  Call that reads, "Portland Police, Net 3, North Precinct," reads,
  "Portland, City of" in the master.  Police Call has been merged with its
  sister publication, Beyond Police Call, and now includes a limited
  selection of business listings.

  Police call is available in 9 volumes covering different regions of the
  US.  It can be purchased at Radio Shack stores for $13 per volume.


  Pro Data is a database manager program for license data.  It does not come
  with its own data but can import data from APF, Percon, ScanWare, and
  UFDBF database files.

  Pro Data costs $60.  For more information, write to, or


  Developed by long-time Usenet contributor Bob Parnass, this service
  provides a custom report of frequencies, callsigns, and licensee names
  for a specified area in any of the 50 states.  Coverage areas of 4 to 256
  square miles will be chosen by Bob depending on transmitter site
  density.  Standard and deluxe reports are available.  Both reports
  include a color plot with transmitter sites marked.  The deluxe report
  adds a custom frequency allocation histogram, a  0 - 1,000 MHz "spectrum
  analyzer-like" display showing spectrum usage by the transmitters in the
  map coverage area.

  To create the report, Bob requires the latitude and longitude (or nearest
  street intersection) of the center location.  Standard reports are
  $29.95, and deluxe reports are $34.95.  Write to Bob Parnass at 2350
  Douglas Rd, Oswego, IL, 60543; call him at 630-554-3839 between 6-10 PM
  central time; or visit


  Here is table of data fields in the FCC master.  Fields provided by
  various products are indicated by "#" or the field length, if known.

                                              PERCON  PERCON POLICE SCAN
  Frequency (or Lower Limit)    16  11  12      16      16      #    11   #
  Upper Frequency Limit         16                      16           11
  Callsign                      10   8  10      10      10      #    10   #
  Service Code                   2   2   2       2       2      #     2   #
  Licensee DBA Name             40  32  40      30      40      #    40   #
  Licensee State                 2   2                   2            2   #
  Licensee Zip                   9   5                   9            9   #
  Licensee Address              35  30                  35
  Licensee City                 20  15  12              20           20   #
  Licensee Name                200                     100       
  Applicant Phone               10                      10
  Transmitter Latitude           6   6   6       6       6            6   #
  Transmitter Longitude          7   7   7       7       7            7   #
  Transmitter Elevation          5   5                   5            5   #
  Transmitter Height             5   5                   5            5
  Transmitter HAAT               5                       5            5
  Transmitter Effective Height   5                       5            5
  TX Antenna Structure Height    5                       5            5
  Transmitter Address           80                      80
  Transmitter City              20  10          20      20      #    20   #
  Transmitter County            30  10  20      20      30           30   #
  Transmitter State              2   2   2       2       2      #     2   #
  Class of Station               4   4           4       4      #     4   #
  Type of Message Service        1                       1
  Area of Operation              1                       1
  Radius of Operation            4                       4            4
  Antenna Type                  10                      10
  Antenna Elevation Angle        6                       6
  Antenna Azimuth                6                       6
  Antenna Polarization           3                       3            3
  Antenna Gain                   4                       4
  Antenna Path Length            6                       6
  Antenna Beam Width             8                       8
  ERP Out                        8   4                   8            8
  ERP Units                      2   1                   2
  ERP Indicator                  1                       1
  Power Out                      8   4                   8            8
  Power Out Units                2   1                   2
  Power Out Indicator            1                       1
  Emissions                     15                      15           15
  License Issue Date             6                       6
  License Expiration Date        6   4                   6                #
  Operation Begin Time           4                       4
  Operation End Time             4                       4
  Number of Vehicle Mobiles      4   4           4       4      #     4   #
  Number of Portable Mobiles     4   4           4       4      #     4
  Number of Aircraft Mobiles     4   4           4       4      #     4
  Number of Marine Mobiles       4   4           4       4      #     4
  Number of Pager Mobiles        5   4           5       5            5
  Originating Database ID        1                       1
  Authorization Type             1                       1
  CP Authorization Number        2                       2
  Area of Operation Descript.  100                     100
  Paint & Lighting Specs        33                      33
  Special Conditions           100                     100
  TX Latitude Direction          1                       1
  TX Longitude Direction         1                       1
  Type of Last Contact           1                       1
  Date of Last Contact           6                       6
  Number of Units                4                       4
  Reverse Azimuth                6
  Path Connection Latitude       6
  Path Connection Longitude      7

  CP = Construction Permit, ERP = Effective Radiated Power,
  HAAT = Height Above Average Terrain

Bill McFadden
There's a newbie born every minute.

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