FM, TV and AM Spreadsheet Information
I offer several several Excel spreadsheets as an aid to the serious DXer. Each spreadsheet contains valuable data on on each broadcast facility listed. For U.S. listings, the data comes from the Federal Communications Commission's Consolidated Database System (CDBS). Canadian data comes from Canada's Broadcast Database System (BDBS). I update these spreadsheets each week, usually on Saturday morning.
By plugging in your latitude and longitude into the cells provided, these spreadsheets will calculate the exact beam heading (azimuth) and distance from your location to each transmitter facility listed.
Using the "Find" feature in Excel, you can quickly search the spreadsheet for the station in question. As supplied, data in the sheets are sorted by Frequency, followed by State (or Province). By sorting the data in different ways, you can create just about any type of list you like. For example, I sort the data by Frequency, followed by Azimuth and State. Based on the direction my antenna is pointing, this method provides a nice list of potential "suspects" when working DX.
The available spreadsheets are:
US FULL SERVICE FM RADIO SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains listings for every licensed "full service" FM broadcast facility in the United States, including associated on-channel booster stations.
US FM TRANSLATOR & LOW POWER SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains listings for all translators and low power FM broadcast facilities in the United States. For translators, the associated main station is also listed.
US ANALOG TV SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains listings for every licensed "full-power" TV broadcast facility in the United States.
US ANALOG TV TRANSLATOR SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains listing for every licensed translator, Class A and Low Power television station in the United States. The full-power TV station associated with the translator or Class A station is listed where that information is available.
US DTV SPREADSHEET - Most TV stations have their DTV facilities on the air now. This spreadsheet lists every DTV facility that is currently licensed or is currently operating under Special Temporary Authority (STA). In addition, it now shows construction permits associated with each station.
The Canadian Government provides excellent data on their radio and TV facilities...
CANADIAN FM SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains every licensed Canadian FM transmitter facility, including Very Low Power and Low Power FM stations. Many Canadian FMs are relays for a primary station. This spreadsheet lists the primary program provider or feed station for each listed facility.
CANADIAN TV SPREADSHEET - This spreadsheet contains every licensed Canadian TV transmitter facility. Like their FM, many Canadian TVs are relays for a primary station. This spreadsheet list the primary program provider or feed station for each listed facility.
And then we have Mexico... Unlike The United States and Canada, the Mexican government doesn't offer much in the way of data concerning their broadcast operations. What little information they do provide is often wrong.
MEXICAN FM SPREADSHEET - This one was put together by hand. It's based on data from Mexico's Secretaria De Communicaciones Y Transportes (Secretary of Communications and Transportation), and the FCC's CDBS data. Then, I searched the web for slogan and other information on each station.
I don't particularly trust the Mexican government's data, but it was a good starting point. The FCC's information on Mexican FM stations is also limited, and not always up-to-date. The best source for data was the various Mexican broadcast group web sites. They seem to provide the best information about what they are doing.
MEXICAN TV SPREADSHEET - This is another "hand made" spreadsheet. At this time, this spreadsheet is very basic, and does not contain any beam heading or distance calculations. The starting point for this spreadsheet was Mexico's Secretaria De Communicaciones Y Transportes (Secretary of Communications and Transportation) data. I then searched the web for information on each station.
Accurate Mexican radio & TV data is difficult to come by. Much of the information that is out there is suspect. The data in these spreadsheets is probably not 100% accurate, nor do I believe there is a source for Mexican data that is 100% accurate.
I would certainly appreciate any updates or corrections you can provide on the Mexican spreadsheets.
-- NEW! --
While this has nothing to do with FM or TV DXing, several AM broadcast band DXers asked me to produce spreadsheets for them. All the pieces finally came together, and the result is three new spreadsheets...
US AM RADIO SPREADSHEET - Yes, it's just like the FM and TV spreadsheets, but it lists all currently licensed United States AM stations, according to the FCC's CDBS database. Both day, night and critical hours facilities are listed.
CANADIAN AM RADIO SPREADSHEET - Using the weekly data published by the Canadian government, this one lists all of the licensed Canadian AM stations. It also lists day and night power levels.
MEXICAN AM RADIO STATION SPREADSHEET - This one is extracted from the FCC's CDBS database, and seems to be a good representation of current Mexican AM radio station operations.
WESTERN HEMISPHERE AM RADIO (10 kHz Spacing) - The FCC's CDBS database has somewhere around 8,000 entries for western hemisphere AM radio station facilities outside of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Once I had written the code to extract the US and Mexican data, it's was an easy task to produce this list. I hope it's of value to someone out there.
All spreadsheets where created using Microsoft Excel from Office 2000. If you have a version of Excel prior to Office 97, it probably won't work. It has been tested with Office 2000, Office 98 and Office 97.
IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS... After extracting the spreadsheet using WinZip, enter your latitude and longitude in the indicated cells (upper right-hand corner). Latitude and Longitude must be entered in the form of Degrees and decimal degrees (DD.ddd). To give you an example, my own coordinates are currently in these cells.
If you know your latitude and longitude in DD.MM.SS format, but don't know how to convert it to decimal format, here's how..
Step 1 - Divide the Seconds portion of your coordinate by 3600.
Step 2 - Divide the Minutes portion of your coordinate by 60.
Step 3 - Add the results from steps 1 and 2 together. This is the decimal (ddd) portion of the DD.ddd coordinate.
Example - We'll convert 86d 39m 25s to decimal.
Step 1 - 25 / 3600 = 0.00694
Step 2 - 39 / 60 = 0.65
Step 3 - Add the two results together. 0.00694 + 0.65 = 0.6569
Thus, 86d 39m 25s = 86.6569 degrees.
A WORD ON SPREADSHEET SOFTWARE
My spreadsheets are created using Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel, part of the Office 2000 for Windows 2000 Pro. Even though Excel provides a variety of compatibility options for producing the spreadsheets, we've found that there are still compatibility issues with many spreadsheet applications. Unfortunately, these spreadsheets will not work properly with some earlier versions of Excel and many non-Excel spreadsheet applications, like Microsoft Works. There is a solution!
Accomplished DXer Andy Bolin reports that my spreadsheets are perfectly compatible with the freely downloadable "OpenOffice" office suite. He reports that all the formulas work correctly, and that he can now enter his latitude and longitude as provided in the spreadsheets.
You can review and download OpenOffice by going to their website at www.openoffice.org. Again, it's free! Andy reports that it's a BIG download... something like 63 megabytes in a Zip file. It unzips to around 245 megabytes, but one can select only the applications one wants to install, such as the Excel compatible spreadsheet application. Andy says it took him around 4 hours to download the package on his dial-up connection, but the effort was well worth it.
So, if you were unable to open and use my spreadsheets, here's the solution you've been waiting for. Again, thanks to Andy Bolin for finding this solution.
SPREADSHEET RELEASE NOTES / CHANGES
09/23/07 - The US FM spreadsheet became too large for Microsoft Access to handle. The FM list had grown to almost 17,000 lines, which apparently exceeds Microsoft Access' limit for exportation into the Microsoft Excel file format. My only option was to divide the data into two spreadsheets, one with "full service / full power" FMs (including on-channel boosters), and the other with translators and low power FMs.
08/27/05 - An error in the code associated with the automated creation of the spreadsheets caused the first three lines (stations) to be excluded in several of the outputted spreadsheet. This error was corrected.
03/05/05 - MAJOR CHANGES! I redesigned all of the spreadsheets that are derived from the US and Canadian broadcast databases. I also rewrote all the code associated with the automated creation of the of the spreadsheets, eliminating a couple more steps that were previously done manually.
The most notable change was to the US Analog Television spreadsheet. I split that spreadsheet into two sheets, one listing only full-power analog television stations, and the other listing translators, Class-A (CA) and LP (LPTV) television stations. This new spreadsheet's file name is TX USA.
TX USA also includes an "associated station" field. This lists the "full-power" associated with a translator or Class-A station, where that information is available.
I also modified the DTV spreadsheet to include the station's current analog channel, a "feature" that for some reason I couldn't make work correctly in the previous version. And, now that most stations have their DTV facilities on the air in some form or another, I've added listing for facilities having a construction permit. This lets you see what upgrades an existing DTV station plans to build, or what facilities are proposed for a station that doesn't yet have any DTV in operation.
In other areas, I made a lot of tweaks to the importation and filtering of data in an effort to improve the usefulness of the spreadsheets. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!
03/08/03 - Licensed Low Power FM (LPFM) stations were added to the US FM spreadsheets.
12/14/02 - The first version of the Mexican TV spreadsheet is done, and is now available for download. This is a "handmade" spreadsheet, so it won't be updated every week like the others. Several refinements... I've applied some additional data import filters to eliminate the inclusion of obsolete records from all of the spreadsheets that are derived from FCC CDBS data. I also fixed a problem with several spreadsheets that made sorting data more difficult -- these spreadsheets will now properly recognize the header rows when doing a data sort. I also made some minor adjustments to how the data in the AM spreadsheets is presented. These should be a little easier to work with now. Finally, I produced some more code to further automate the creation of these spreadsheets.
12/07/02 - The new and improved Mexican FM spreadsheet is done, and is now available for download. Since this was a "hand made" spreadsheet, it will not be practical to update it weekly. If you know of any changes or corrections that need to be applied to this spreadsheet, I would sincerely appreciate hearing from you!
11/28/02 - I'm working on new and greatly improved spreadsheets for Mexican FM and TV. In addition, even though it has nothing to do with FM and TV DXing, I'll also start producing spreadsheets for AM DXers in the near future. These new "projects" represent quite a bit of work and research, so be patient!
09/28/02 - All of the Spreadsheets were redesigned so that
you no longer need to copy and paste your latitude and longitude to every row
in the sheet. You only have to enter it in one place now. Thanks
to Russ Edmunds of Blue Bell, PA for the tip on how to accomplish this.
08/25/02 - The DTV Spreadsheet now includes those stations listed by the FCC as licensed or operating under Special Temporary Authority (STA), and those holding construction permits. The station's Effective Radiated Power was added to the data. The station's analog channel was deleted from the data.
07/13/02 - The US Analog TV Spreadsheet now includes data on carrier offsets, aural frequency, visual frequency and maximum ERP (kilowatts). I hope you find this additional information useful.