These instructions provide details on how to create and modify entries in SpectrumWiki. We’ve tried to make this process more intuitive and user-friendly than other wiki sites, and we’ve also optimized the wiki functionality for the purposes of SpectrumWiki.
You won’t need to learn any complex syntax or markup – we’ve replaced all of that with simple familiar form entries. Besides making creation and editing of content easier, this format also helps prevent many basic errors.
The most important principle to understand with SpectrumWiki is that all data are keyed to frequency. Everything you add or modify must have at least one frequency or frequency band associated with it. This is because the fundamental function of SpectrumWiki is to collect data on the use of specific frequencies or frequency bands. Each entry may have more than one associated frequency or band, but it must have at least one.
- Example: In creating an entry that describes the FM broadcast band in the United States, the associated frequency band would be 88 – 108 MHz.
Some systems may use more than one band, or may have more complicated structures such as paired bands (one band for base-to-mobile communications and a different band for mobile-to-base communications, for example). SpectrumWiki supports many different types of frequency or band data to be entered.
Quick Start Guide
Since many of the input fields are self-explanatory, the following steps will get you up and running quickly. You can refer back to these instructions for more details if a particular page or field is not clear.
- Register and verify your account (details) (registration page)
- Login to SpectrumWiki (details) (login page)
- Start a new entry (details)
Creating and Verifying a SpectrumWiki Account
Creating and editing SpectrumWiki content requires the user to have a valid SpectrumWiki account with a confirmed email address. This reduces the chance that SpectrumWiki data will be corrupted through unauthorized access, and it also provides a means of communicating with our authors when necessary. Contact information that is collected during the registration process will not be given or sold to any third parties.
To create a SpectrumWiki account, go to the login page, and click on the “Sign Up” link just above the Login button, which will take you to the registration page. Enter the required information. The username and password that you create here will be used for login. Your username will also be used to identify, to other users, edits that you make to SpectrumWiki content. After entering all of the required information, please enter the letters/numbers that you see in the image into the box below the image (this step keeps automated systems from creating unauthorized accounts).
When you are finished entering the required data and the letters/numbers, please click on the link to access the SpectrumWiki Terms and Conditions. You must click the box at the bottom of the registration page that indicates acceptance of the terms and conditions before being able to proceed.
After checking the box, click the Submit button. You will be sent an email to the address that you entered on the form. The email will include a link that you must click on to complete the registration process. If you don’t receive the email, please check your spam folder. The email will come from the address firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive the email after a reasonable time (ten minutes or so), please send an email to email@example.com.
After clicking on the link in the email, your account will be confirmed and you will be taken to a confirmation page with a link to the login page.
Logging into SpectrumWiki
On the login page
, use your username and password to login. You will know if you are logged in by the presence of the "Logged in as:" notification in the upper right corner of the page. Use the adjacent “Sign out” link to log out when you are finished editing. You will also be logged out if you close your browser completely.
Forgotten Username or Password
If you have forgotten your username and/or password, visit the forgotten password page
. If you have also forgotten the email address that you used to register, or you no longer have access to that address, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to update your account and retrieve your user name and password.
Start a New Entry
Let's start with a step-by-step guide for creating a simple new SpectrumWiki entry. We've created a demo account that can be used for learning how to use SpectrumWiki. The data entered in the demo account is not retained and is not displayed. The username and password are:
- Username: demo
- Password: demo
Please log in the demo account to follow along with these instructions. Do not use your real account until you are prepared to add or edit real data.
In this example, we will create a new entry for the U.S. cellular telephone bands. In the U.S., the band 869 - 894 MHz is used for base-to-mobile transmissions, and it is paired with the 824 – 849 MHz band, which is used for mobile-to-base transmissions. In these paired bands, cell phone service is provided under the spectrum allocation to the land mobile service.
The cellular phone bands are further divided into sub-bands that are licensed in each geographic area to two different cell phone service providers. We will upload a bandplan graph that shows these sub-bands. We will also upload a photograph of a typical cell phone tower. This collection of information and graphics forms the basis of our new Wiki entry.
Step 1: Prepare the New SpectrumWiki Form
After logging into the demo account, choose the top link ("Start a new entry"). So that the input form for our SpectrumWiki data will begin with the correct set of blank inputs, we begin by specifying what types of frequency or frequency band forms we will need. In our example, cell phones operate in a single set of paired frequency bands. So check the option for "System uses one or more paired frequency band(s)," (the second option down on the right), which will activate the option to enter the number of band pairs to be entered. Since the cell phone systems use just one set of paired bands, the default value (1) is OK.
A detailed description of the different types of frequency inputs is found below.
Entering a New Wiki Entry from Scratch
To optimize the Wiki edit form when creating a new entry, please start by indicating the frequency use that best describes the system/application/service/etc.:
- Frequency band(s). The system or service operates in one or more frequency bands that are not otherwise paired with one another by rule or convention. An example is the set of bands commonly used for RFID.
- Paired frequency bands(s). The system or service operates in one or more pairs of frequency bands that are by rule or by convention matched together for base/mobile, Earth-to-space/space-to-Earth, uplink/downlink, or other specific relationship. An example is the commercial aeronautical telephone service that uses 849-851 MHz for ground-to-air communications and 894-896 MHz for air-to ground communications.
- Specific frequency or frequencies. The system or service operates on one or more specific frequencies. An example is the LoJack stolen vehicle recovery system, which operates on 173.075 MHz.
- Paired frequency or frequencies. The system or service operates on one or more pairs of frequencies. An example is the set of matched frequencies used for aeronautical instrument landing system localizer and glide path indicators.
- Channelized system of specific frequencies. The system operates on one or more unpaired frequencies, and each frequency is assigned a channel number or channel name. An example is CB radio, which utilizes 40 frequencies, numbered Channels 1 - 40.
- Channelized system of paired frequencies. The system operates on one or more pairs of frequencies, and each channel pair is assigned a channel name or number. An example is the set of paired HF channels for ship/shore communications.
- Channelized system of specific bands. The system operates on a series of bands, with each band being assigned a channel number or name. An example is the TV channels, operating 6 MHz wide channels numbered 2 - 59.
- Channelized system of paired bands. The system operates on a series of paired bands, and each paired band is assigned a channel name or number. An example is the set of paired bands used for the Cable Television Relay Service.
Some systems can be described by more than one type of frequency use. For example, the FM radio broadcast band is 88 - 108 MHz, so it fits the definition of an unpaired frequency band. However, it is further divided into 100 individual channels spaced 200 kHz apart from 88.1 - 107.9 MHz. In this case, please use either both descriptions (for completeness), or use the more general description, 88 - 108 MHz (for simplicity and clarity). In the latter case, the entry can be edited at a later time to add the individual channels.
Type of Frequency Inputs
Frequencies or bands of frequencies can be associated with each SpectrumWiki entry. There are eight basic types of frequency/band inputs, and each SpectrumWiki entry may have an arbitrary number of any or all of the input types associated with it. This provides great flexibility in capturing the frequencies, bands, and/or channels associated with each entry.
The following options are available, with examples of each. Details on entering data for each type of system appears later.
- System uses one or more frequency band(s) – Use this option if the system uses one or more well-defined bands of frequencies. Examples: the AM broadcast band uses 530 – 1710 kHz (one band); the FM broadcast band uses 88 – 108 MHz (one band); the FCC has designated 11 bands for Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) devices.
- System uses one or more paired frequency band(s) – Use this option if the system uses specific bands that are paired together. For example, the 800 MHz cellular system uses 824 – 849 MHz for mobile-to-base transmissions, and 869 – 894 MHz for base-to-mobile transmission. That constitutes one set of paired frequency bands.
- System uses specific frequency or frequencies – Use this option if a system’s spectrum use is simply one or more specific frequencies, with no defined channel names or numbers for the frequency or frequencies. Examples: 518 kHz is a standard frequency for maritime telex transmissions; the stolen vehicle recovery systems (LoJack) use the frequency 173.075 MHz. If the system has defined channel names or numbers for each frequency, use option 5 instead.
- System uses one or more paired frequencies – Use this option for systems that use specific frequency pairs, but don’t have defined channel names or numbers for each pair. Example: Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) in the ~1060 MHz range, with pairs of frequencies corresponding to airborne interrogation and ground reply. If the system has defined channel names or numbers for each frequency pair, use option 6 instead.
- Channelized system of specific frequencies – Use this option for systems that define channel numbers or names for a set of specific frequencies. Examples: CB channels 1 – 40 (corresponding to 40 specific frequencies); GPS signal frequencies L1 – L5. If the system does not have defined channel names or numbers for each specific frequency, use option 3 instead.
- Channelized system of paired frequencies – Use this option for systems that defined channel numbers or names for a set of frequency pairs. Examples: Automated Maritime Telecommunications Systems that utilize frequency pairs in the 217 and 219 MHz range, defined as channels 141 – 180. If no channel numbers or names are defined, use option 4 instead.
- Channelized system of bands – Use this option for systems that define channels that occupy relative large bands. Example: television channels 2 – 58, each of which occupy 6 MHz of bandwidth. It’s also possible to specify these types of systems under option 5, using a center frequency and bandwidth. If no channel numbers or names are defined, use option 1 instead.
- Channelized system of paired bands – Use this option for systems that specify channel names or numbers for pairs of bands. Examples: paired blocks of spectrum that are often defined for mobile communications, such as PCS blocks A – F, and the 700 MHz D block.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a wiki?
A Wiki is an information source whose content is created, edited, updated, and improved by its users. It relies on a large number of contributors, each providing a small number of contributions within their area of expertise.
What is the purpose of SpectrumWiki?
The purpose of SpectrumWiki is to provide a centralized, user-created, and user-maintained catalog of radio spectrum use in the United States and the world, and to organize information about ongoing proceedings, legislation, international activities, and other actions that impact particular bands and particular radiocommunication services. SpectrumWiki’s focus is solely on the current, proposed, and historical use of the radio spectrum by specific systems, applications, and services. It covers the entire regulated radio spectrum, from DC to 3 THz.
Who is the target audience for SpectrumWiki?
SpectrumWiki is targeted at spectrum managers, telecom attorneys, frequency coordinators, the wireless R&D community, academics, and regulators who need a central repository of information that points to the applications and services that occupy each radio spectrum band.
What SpectrumWiki is not
SpectrumWiki is not for the purpose of providing licensing data (which in the U.S. is already available through, for example, the FCC’s Spectrum Dashboard and independent Web sites such as RadioReference.com), or for extensive information about specific wireless systems that can be obtained through other sources, such as Wikipedia.
SpectrumWiki Terms and Conditions
Users of SpectrumWiki agree to the following terms & conditions:
- Non-contributors to SpectrumWiki may not use SpectrumWiki information without permission.
- Contributors to SpectrumWiki may use SpectrumWiki content for reasonable use (for example, internal reports & public presentations), as long as the following note is clearly visible on each page of the document that utilizes SpectrumWiki information: "© SpectrumWiki.com. Used with permission." More extensive use of SpectrumWiki information (for example, in books, magazine articles, or other mass media) requires permission.
- Contributors must not add copyrighted text or images to SpectrumWiki. All material must be original or acquired from a copyright-free source (for example, government publications). If the material is derived from a copyright-free source, the source should be referenced. If a user notices the apparent incorporation of copyrighted material in SpectrumWiki content, please contact us.
- Classified information should not be included in SpectrumWiki entries. An exception is if the information is already widely and easily available through other public sources (for example, through Wikipedia, or by a simple Google search).
- Material submitted to SpectrumWiki becomes the property of SpectrumWiki, and by the nature of the wiki functionality, will be subject to further editing, including possible removal.
- Contributors should only contribute factual material that is relevant to the use of the radio spectrum. While editorial commentary may be included in SpectrumWiki entries, it must be based upon a reasonable analysis of the facts.