Project

General

Profile

Draft Outline for User Guide

  • About RFree
    • What is RFree?
      • Free/Open Source software for finding channels and gathering info for FCC applications
      • Currently supports LPFM only
    • Who should use RFree?
      • LPFM applicants
      • Engineers who are supporting LPFM applicants (note that current version only covers basic features)
    • Who makes RFree?
      • Prometheus Radio Project leading the way
      • Financial support from ITF
      • Draws on software from Al Davis, REC Networks, FCC
    • Why Free/Open Source?
      • Definition: software that can be freely used, copied, redistributed and modified.
      • Free from cost
      • Free from restrictions on use
      • Anyone can help extend, debug
      • PRP believes that having control over your own tools will help you have control over your own media, which will in turn help you have control over your own life.
    • RFree use model
      • To run, needs server with lots of data from FCC.
      • PRP takes care of this by hosting our own "instance" so each user doesn't have to have own server, though anyone could set up their own server.
      • Access controlled through Radio Spark. Must have RS account to use RFree through server.
    • Disclaimer
      • Accuracy: This is beta version, and not perfect! Good idea to double-check results in REC search, FCC search. Calculation errors we know of include: [these may change]
        • Grandfathered stations
        • NAD 27/NAD 83 conversion
        • Dismissed apps that are still on record
      • Privacy/security. No promises to keep your results private, or to keep someone else from changing them. (Explain security through obscurity.)
      • Translator interference check not implemented
      • NAD 27/83
  • Step-by-step guide
    • Log in
      • Go to radiospark.org/user/register. Fill out all required info. Ok to leave out non-required stuff, though more info will let you participate in RS community!
      • Verify by typing the letters you see at the bottom of the page and click "Create Account"
      • Check your email and follow log-in link
      • Click "Edit My Profile" under picture. Type new password in both fields. Scroll to bottom and click "Save".
      • Follow link for RFree!
    • Create a new location
      • You should automatically be taken to "New Antenna Location" page. [screenshot]
      • Choose a short name, i.e. "church" or "center city". If you want to try multiple locations, this will help you remember which is which.
      • Choose your desired station class. [fill in more here when we know what station classes are possible]
      • Choose a location. You can do this by entering a zip code, city, street address, or latitude/longitude in the Location field. Doesn't have to be exact - can tweak later on.
      • Check map to make sure location is correct. Can also move pointer manually on map. (Note rough coverage prediction)
      • Click "Save and Search"
    • Choose frequency
      • Availability table:
        • Best frequencies are green. Very good chance they'll be available.
        • Next-best is yellow. May be available but will need an engineering waiver.
        • Next is red. Not available (even with a waiver), but search results indicate good chance that there's something nearby.
      • Interference metric: Rough estimate of how much interference this station would receive from nearby stations. Lower # means better predicted signal quality.
      • If there are green/yellow frequencies, click for more info:
        • Table of "neighbors" on nearby channels [screenshot]
        • Green checkmark[insert image]: Neighbor is far enough away to meet FCC rules
        • Red x[insert image]: Not far enough for rules. May be able to get a waiver. Fewer red neighbors generally means less work for an engineer.
      • If no green or yellow frequencies, click a red channel.
        • Will get availability map (screenshot)
        • Look for areas with no red. If you find something workable, drag/drop. Save and Search again. If symbol changes, this frequency is yellow or green at new location! (Note that this changes your location for all channels, so your other results may change as well.
      • Once you have decided which frequency is best, click the frequency and click "Select XX.X MHz" [screenshot]
    • Finalize details
    • Review