FCCdata major release 2018.12 - new mobile browser support

For the REC Christmas Present for 2018, we are releasing a new version of FCCdata.org and denpadata.org.  Since there are substantial changes, this is a major release.

Mobile browser support

FCCdata/denpahoso will now detect whether the browser accessing is a mobile device.  If a mobile device is detected, it will provide a whole new user interface designed specifically for the narrow screen. The new mobile interface will show all elements in a single column format instead of the traditional split screen.  Country selection is handled by a pop-down menu. Data input requests are handled by a pop-out sidebar.  All of the search data items that are available on the desktop version will be available on the mobile version.

On the mobile version, click on the globe icon to access the country.  The USA is divided into two "countries", one for broadcasting and the other for amateur radio.

On the mobile version, click on the magnifying glass icon to access the slide-out box that can be used for data entry.

Other than a few minor cosmetic changes, the desktop (non-mobile) presentation will not change with this release.

Mobile Dialscapes

The Dialscape (listing of stations based on city) for mobile also uses the single column format.  Each service (AM, FM, TV, etc.) is in its own collapsible section.  Click on the service you want to review.  To click on a station record, click anywhere on that line of data.  You don't have to click on the area where the hyperlink is.  We have increased the spacing between station listings in the mobile version to accommodate finger presses.  Again, these changes are for mobile browsers only.  The Dialscapes for the desktop version have not changed.

New Mobile Front Page

The mobile presentation will include a new front page when fccdata.org is directly brought up.  The Mobile Front Page will include three functionsj that will be discussed below.

Direct Callsign Entry

From the mobile front page, users will be able to directly enter the call sign of a broadcast station in a supported country (not available in the UK or Ireland as they don't use call signs).  There is no need to switch the country first.  The system will be able to detect the call sign (including Australian callsigns beginning with a digit) and route the request to the appropriate country.  This way, a call sign can be instantly entered without the need to access the data entry slide-out.

Stations Near Me

From the mobile front page, clicking on the "Stations Near Me" button (microphone icon) will detect your location (assuming that you authorize your browser to give your location to fccdata.org) and then present a dialscape for your location based on the GPS in your device.  As mentioned above, we have enhanced the presentation of Dialscapes for mobile devices.  This function is available in all FCCdata supported nations including the UK and Ireland.

What's That Tower?

As an exclusive feature to the mobile presentation, FCCdata now has an option off of the Mobile Front Page where you can click a button (tower icon) and based on your GPS location (again, assuming you have authorized location data to fccdata.org), it will search for towers located within one mile of the GPS location (two miles for towers over 200 feet).  Towers listed include any towers with a FCC antenna structure registration numbers as well as any non-ASR towers that include broadcasting stations, traveller's information stations or broadcast auxiliary/remote broadcast stations. Outside of the USA, the data will include mainly broadcast antennas.  If there are multiple towers, What's That Tower? will display basic information on the antenna including the distance and direction of the tower from the GPS location.  

On the tower display, broadcast and auxiliary facilities will be displayed in order "from the top down" (highest radiation centers are listed first).  This will give you an idea of what we show on that tower.  We do note that tower data currently does not display land mobile, public wireless or unlicensed infrastructure facilities.  Radiation center data is not available in Japan however station data will display.  When viewing the list of stations on the tower, you can click anywhere in the area where the data is displayed to bring up the broadcast facility data in FCCdata. 

Again, it is very important that if you wish to take advtantage of these great new features, when you accecss FCCdata.org or denpahoso.com and it asks if the website is allowed to know your location, that you click [Allow].  Without this, the Stations Near Me and What's That Tower? functions will not work.  If you deny location services to fccdata.org, you will be able to use all other features in FCCdata (other than USA "your current area" function). 

In the mobile presentation, if you want to return to the Mobile Front Page, simply click on the FCCdata (or denpahoso 電波放送) banner at the top of the page.

FCCdata/denpahoso's mobile support uses the mobile web browser in your device.  No app installation required.  This site has been tested using Google Chrome on an Android device (Samsung Galaxy S9).  

Mobile limitations

In order to properly display a majority of the site on a mobile device, we had to limit a very small amount of functionality which is available only on the desktop edition but not the mobile version:

  • On US broadcast listings, the front-to-back measurements (dB) will not display on directional antennas.  We still continue to display azimuth, field value and calculated ERP.
  • On US AM broadcast listings, the "History Grid" is unavailable in the mobile edition on Radio History Project enhanced records.  This is due to the extensive width of those tables which was never designed for a small screen.  The station listing will show most engineering-based historic applications.  
  • In the UK, dialscapes and location specific features requiring GPS  may experience strange results on locations near the prime meridian (the dividing line between east and west longitude).  
  • Currently, the new Stations Near Me and What's That Tower? functions are available only with an English language presentation for this intitial release.  We will be enhancing to build the Japanese language support. 
  • Other than FCC CDBS/LMS license and construction permit authorizations, none of the other items that are shown in the "sidebox" on the desktop presentation (such as the links to the correspondence file, public notice comments, etc.) will show in the mobile version.  This is because those items hosted on the FCC website are not mobile friendly. 

Other changes

Identified and repaired a long standing bug that was not properly accepting direct entires of Canadian amateur radio call signs. 

About REC releases

REC makes efforts to test functionality in a release to assure that it works properly and does not "break" something else.  We would not be surprised if you encounter something that is not working the way it used to.  We ask you to please report any bugs that you encounter as well as any other comments regarding the new mobile experience.  Use the Contact REC page to reach us! 

Donate to REC

If you appreicate this tool and you use it often, please feel free to help support its upkeep by making a donation to REC Networks.  Unlike RadioLocator, we are not imposing unreasonable quotas on inquries (quotas only exist for malicious excessive usage).  Your help will help keep this great service online for the broadcast community.  Please visit RECnet.com and click on the [Donate] button to show your support!  Thank you for your support of REC!

  

 

Date: 
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Systems affected: 
FCCdata.org denpahoso.com
Issue type: 
Enhancement