Radio History Project-CSV Format

The REC Radio History Project

If you can figure out the FCC History Cards and you are ready to enter data.  Here's what is entered into each field that is parsed by the REC database to be included in the Broadcast Query Tool.  

Currently, the History Project uses three tables:

  • History Cards - data on each application that has been filed.
  • Call Sign History - for history of each call sign the station has used.
  • Facility/imported letter cross-reference - used as a cross reference from the CDBS facility ID number to the CDBS imported letter ID for the file containing the history cards.  Used on the Broadcast Query to allow users to directly access the history cards from the station's page.

History Cards

This file currently has 19 columns - one row is used for each application record. Strings (string) should be in quotes on the final CSV file (Excel will automatically do this when saved as a CSV).   Avoid using quotation marks " in names and comments.


Facility ID (int)

Modern day CDBS facility ID
B Sequence number (int) Each record within a facility ID has a sequence number starting from 1 (which is normally the record showing the station being created) and should go sequential through time as best as possible.
C File Prefix (string)

These are the characters that show before the final dash of the file number.  Some of the very old records will have file numbers with more than one dash.  

For example, for a file number 5-P-B-1465, the data you would enter is 5-P-B in this field.

This field is also used for non-application records:

  • WIRE
  • TELE  (telegram)
  • COMTEL  (telephone)
  • EBSA (Emergency Broadcast System Authority)
  • NARBA (NARBA reallocation).
  • ALLOC (11-11-1928 reallocation)
D Application Reference Number (string)

These are the characters that show after the final dash of the file number.  

For example, for a file number 5-P-B-1465, the data you would enter is 1465 in this field.

If the ARN is not shown (some 1920s records are like this), use the ARN from the original record (this will be the same one used  on all of the renewals in the 20s, 30s and 40s). 

For NARBA records, put the new frequency in this field.

E Application type (string)

This is type of application that has been field.  This code is usually found as a part of the file prefix and is similar to the codes used internally by CDBS today.  The codes we have been using in the History Project and are supported by Broadcast Query are the following:

  • NP - New permit (should be the first entry that establishes the station).
  • P - Construction permit
  • MP - Modify construction permit
  • L - License to cover 
  • ML - Modify license 
  • EP - Extend CP expiration date only.
  • XP - Auxilliary construction permit.
  • XL - Auxilliary license.
  • Z - Direct measurement 
  • S or STA - Special tempoary authority
  • RSA - Remain silent authority
  • RSAX - Extend remain silent authority period
  • NARBA - North American Radio Broadcast Agreement assignment. (you will find this around March, 1941)
  • PSA - Pre-sunrise authority
  • EBSA - Emergency Broadcast System Authority
  • AL - Assignment of license
  • AP - Assignment of permit
  • APL - Assignment of permit and license
  • TC - Transfer of control
  • CHRC - Change Remote Control Point
  • CHMS - Change Main Studio Location
  • UNK - Unknown
  • ZZZ - Use this code if the application is already shown in the application list on (on the right side).  The engineering record on the left side will still be created if a frequency is entered.
F Application Status (string)

5-character code similar to those used today by CDBS:

  • GRANT - Application granted
  • APDIS - Application dismissed.
  • APPDN - Application denied.
  • APRET - Application returned.
  • LICAN - License cancelled.
  • PRCAN - Permit cancelled.
  • UNKWN - Unknown status.
G Action date Date that the action took place.  Format is : MM/DD/YYYY   (12/07/1941)
H Permit Expires For a construction permit (P, XP, EP and MP) as well as some STA records, you can show the date that the permit expires (this is usually on the far right of the application record).  Same date format (MM/DD/YYYY).  
I Transfer from This is used only on transfer control (TC) and assign license (AL) records. This is where you place the name of the party that is relinquishing the station.  For some assignments, you may have to look in other places to determine who is the current owner.  
J Transfer to

Used along with Column I for TC and AL records.  Enter the incoming party. 

This field is also used in the very first application record to show the original party who applied for this station.  

This field is also used without the "transfer from" field when a name is changed through a modify license (ML).

K Frequency Frequency in kilohertz/kilocycles.  Early 20s records may show a strange frequency (such as 642.8) from when stations were assigned to specific wavelengths.  For the History project, round the number to the nearest kilocycle and you can note (in column S) the actual frequency.
L Daytime Power Daytime power in watts.  We do not track pre-sunrise or post-sunrise service authority powers. 
M Nighttime Power Nighttime power in watts.  For stations operating daytime only, please enter a 0 in this field.
N Time Div

Denotes the schedule used by the station.  This is a 10 character field. 

  • U - is recognized as unlimited hours
  • L - Limited hours. (It will show L or LT on the card).
  • SH-KXXX - Specified hours sharing with "KXXX".  (or you can just use the call letters of the share/dominant station)

This is a free flow field but using those formats allow for other Broadcast Query functions to work correctly.

O Antenna mode

These are the standard mode codes for AM antennas.  The most commonly used ones in historical applications:

  • DA1 - Directional Antenna - same constants day and night
  • DA2 - Directional Antenna - different constants day and night
  • DAD - Directional Antenna - Daytime only
  • DAN - Directional Antenna - Nighttime only
  • ND1 - Non-directional antenna - same constants day and night
  • NDD - Non-directional antenna - daytime only.

The historical data does not provide any information about specific towers or directional patterns.  You will just have to choose the code that works the best with the description.  The "DA1" description is used in many records.

P Auxilliary Facility


  • A - Auxilliary facility
  • AM - Additional Main transmitter.
Q Latitude NAD83 decimal latitude.  REC uses Google Earth with the decimal option enabled.  Do not copy a CDBS coorinate for this field for an AM station at the current tower.  If you are trying to cite a tower where the station is still at to this day, bring up the station in REC Broadcast Query and on either the daytime or nighttime record, mouse over (but do not click) the "View Towers" link and look at the URL.  You can use the latitude after the "lat=" field as well as the longitude after the "lon=" field.  In entries, you do not have to go any deeper than thousandths of a degree (e.g. 34.567).  
R Longitude NAD83 decimal longitude.  Please enter this as a negative number.  For example 118-30'-0" would be entered as -118.5000.  See the Latitude field for more information on this field.
S Comments This is a 1000 character field that will appear in all records where a frequency was entered.  In Broadcast Query it will show when the individual application is selected.  Usually, you can enter whatever remarks were entered in the narrative of the application record.  For non-technical applications (such as assignments of license), you can put data in this field if there is any circumstances that are out of the ordinary. 

For transfer of control and assignment of license, no data is entered in fields K, L, M, N, O, Q or R as these applications do not need to appear in the technical section of Broadcast Query.  

Columns I and J are only used for transfer of control (TC) or assignment of license (AL).  They will display the "from/to" information on the Application History in Broadcast Query. 

Call Sign History

A Facility ID The CDBS (current) facility ID
B Sequence Chronological sequence with the oldest record being 1.
C Call Sign Call sign of the station
D Begin Date The first date the call sign was used.  In record sequence 1, this will be the date that the station first came on the air.  If an experimental call sign is show (W2XBS), then it is OK to enter that as the first call sign.
E End Date

The last date the call sign was used.  If there is a subsequent call sign for this facility, this call sign's end date should be the day before the first date of the new call sign:


If the call sign was still in use on January 1, 1980, then leave this field blank.

Use of this field is optional.

Facility/Letter Cross Reference

A Facility ID The CDBS (current) facility ID
B Export Letter ID

The letter ID code where the History Card was found on the FCC website.

For example.  For Facility ID 57891 and the URL of:

Enter 44385 for this field.

C Credit (string) If you wish to be credited for doing the compilation of this station for the Project, please enter your name here and it will show in Broadcast Query whenever someone pulls up the listing.
D (not used) (this will be entered by REC - volunteers should leave this column blank)
E Frequency This is the frequency that the facility is found on today (in kilohertz).
F Deleted Station This value is always 0 unless the facility is a station that has cancelled their license and is no longer on the air.  If this is a deleted, use a value of 1 here and in column E, enter the last frequency the station operated on before it went off the air. 


If you have any questions, please contact REC.  Thank you for your participation!