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In this paper, we present SpiderRadio, a software defined cognitive radio (CR) prototype for dynamic spectrum access (DSA) networking. The medium access control (MAC) layer of SpiderRadio is implemented in software on top of commodity IEEE 802.11a/b/g hardware. However, the proposed architecture and implementation are applicable to other spectrum bands as well. We also present a dynamic spectrum sensing methodology for primary incumbent detection. The proposed method is based on observing the PHY errors, received signal strength and statistical model building. For coordination among radio nodes, synchronization and fast channel switching, we present new communication protocols, design extended management frame structure and modify the hardware abstraction layer. Several fundamental tradeoffs (e.g., complexity versus network performance) to be considered during a dynamic spectrum access radio network prototype implementation are also discussed in detail. To demonstrate the practical capabilities of the proposed SpiderRadio prototype, we also present various testbed experimental measurement results.