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FPV legal issue

#23
Hi guys,

I just wanted to pass along a bit of info. I passed my test and got my Technician Class Ham License today. Here are the websites I used to study for the test(all free):

http://hamexam.org/

http://www.eham.net/exams/

https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/study.jsp

After you're done studying, here is where you go to find where the test is given in your area:

http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session

The exam fee was $15 bucks.

My whole opinion going into the study process was, ALL the information is available to me for FREE to study and go take the test for $15 bucks. It doesnt get much easier than that. I started out only intending to get the license to be legal while transmitting FPV, but now with everything I've learned in the study process, I've become really interested in HAM radio!

The guys at the exam site were very helpful very friendly and welcoming, on the same level as how an expierenced RC pilot would welcome a newcomer to RC!

Long story short...get your license. It's cheap. It's easy. It's good for 10 YEARS. It's worth it. You learn a LOT of really good info. Some you'll never use, but a LOT you do. It really gave me a better understsanding of many things and I think will help make me a better FPV pilot. Another benefit is, in a scenario where local communications go down, due to weather, natural disaster, or zombie apocolypse, if you have a HAM license, you have access to the world with your HAM radio. And if the FAA/FCC starts taking an active interest in this soon...you'll be ahead of the game if the crowd starts showing up for licenses.

Take care ya'll!

Shawn
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#24
Shawn, congrats!

When that beauricrat at the FCC gets around to sending you a license, drop by and share your gov issued call sign!
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#25
Congrats, Shawn!
And thanks for the info. I have it all bookmarked and now I can look it over when I get some downtime!
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#26
Glad to hear you had a great experience! Watch out. Next thing you know you'll be building QRP rigs and learning morse just for the fun of it ;) I've actually had guys give me free radios when they found out I was getting back into the hobby. Get a cheap 2m rig and find a local repeater - next thing you know you may have some cheap radio gear. It's funny how giving someone a HF RX will usually result in them upgrading from Tech to General and putting up some antennas ;)

Oh and the license is for 10 years...but the best part...it's free to renew with no retest. Used to be just a matter of sending a form into the FCC but now it's even easier and you can do it all on-line. Takes less than 5 minutes every 10 years to stay legal.

The radio club I was in back in the 80's had strong ties to several computer clubs and a local model aviation club - a couple of the guys built their own 6m RC gear because they didn't like the features/reliability of the FM gear then available. I still remember the one guys 6' wingspan balsa plane covered in clear monokote so you could see the construction and gear inside. Still bummed we had to leave before he had a chance to put it in the air that day :D
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#28
My dad was into it back in the 60's and 70's. Built an old 'Healthkit' radio and would talk to folks all over the world when the skip was just right. Not so impressive now with every sort of instantaneous communication, but back then it was magical to talk to some guy in the Philippines or some bored off-duty Air Force dude in the Aleutian Islands.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#29
Heathkit. :)

Built the sonar home alarm in a book Heathkit, the transistor radio Heathkit and the radio alarm clock Heathkit.

Back when I upgraded from 8k to 16k with a soldering iron.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#31
Congrats! Bit of a mouthfull that one! My first call was KA8ZVX always sounded like I was stuttering on the KA8 bit. I did like the phonetics of the Zulu Victor X-Ray at the end though.

KD8 has a nice tempo to it...but I keep wanting to reverse your V and Z due to my old call :D

Of course you could always do what I did and upgrade to get something different. I lucked out and got my first initial at the end of my new call N8INJ :D
 
#32
That was quick compared to many other .gov things. I have seen a couple of people that sent in NFA paperwork and waited close to a year. Kind of a big difference but I was nowhere thinking it would be that fast.

Did the class take all day and is it available online? What requirement is it to update your address and operating in different states?

Again, will only consider this when they make everyone else and I register their WIFI routers, blutooth headsets, PS3s, microwave ovens (which essentially just kick out 1000watts-5000watts of noise in the 2.4ghz or 915mhz arena) and wilson cell phone repeaters (which takes any noise in your house at 600mhz, 700mhz, 850mhz, 1900mhz, and 2400mhz and boosts it by 2 watts.) Dead horse...
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#33
Did the class take all day and is it available online? What requirement is it to update your address and operating in different states?
There are a lot of on-line resources available, many of which have been mentioned more than once in this thread. Classes depend on where you're located but here's a good starting point: http://www.arrl.org/courses-training

Updating your address is done through the FCC's website and takes just a few minutes, same process as renewing which has to be done every 10 years. It's a simple web form.

It's a federal license, the rules are the same in every state as they're federal rules. States sometimes have some restrictions on things like antennas but even then there are federal statutes that override a lot of local stuff. For basic radio operation it's just one set of federal rules and doesn't matter what state you're in or which state you were in when licensed vs. currently operating in. Though you do need to keep your address updated.

Again, will only consider this when they make everyone else and I register their WIFI routers, blutooth headsets, PS3s, microwave ovens (which essentially just kick out 1000watts-5000watts of noise in the 2.4ghz or 915mhz arena) and wilson cell phone repeaters (which takes any noise in your house at 600mhz, 700mhz, 850mhz, 1900mhz, and 2400mhz and boosts it by 2 watts.) Dead horse...
Dead horse indeed. As already explained all of those are actually licensed (even Part 15 "unlicensed" operation is a form of license) and are operating at power levels and frequencies that they are authorized to operate on.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#34
In effect, if it has a part 15 stamp, it is registered and the device itself holds the license to transmit -- and that part 15 stamp ain't easy or cheap for the OEM to get.

If it doesn't, the FCC expects you, the operator, to be the license holder.

It really isn't that hard, and you'll likely learn a few things you need. Do the right thing! earn a string of unpronounceable letters ;)
 
#35
Be careful with this, be absolutely sure that your FPV craft does not fall in this area before you apply for a license. I cant make this more clearer.

You could possibly put yourself in a place you dont want to be...

IE, you could put yourself in the situation where the FCC would say "you should have known better" or "because you have a license we can fine you."
 
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Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#36
Unlicensed operators caught by the FCC are regularly fined MANY THOUSANDS of $ and it is most always their interference with legal Licensed Hams that gets the unlicensed operator reported to the FCC . If you roll the dice it may cost your and your family VERY MUCH! Just Saying! Do you feel lucky?
I sure can't even think of putting my family in financial ruin over a hobby (although my hobby expenditure is quite out of control it still is not a financial burden). ;)

Thurmond
 
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#37
You having an FCC agent drive up and grab you for flying your RC quadcopter and fined is completely false...

Yes if you operate an unlicensed HAM radio you will probably be caught and fined but I can tell you that there is zero chance that the government will come and fine you for flying your quadcopter in your backyard. To even insinuate that this will happen is foolish and should not be allowed on any serious RC internet forum.

I only say all of this because it scares people. In today's society the government and the CIA are scary things. Having someone spy on you with a "drone" is even worse. People have been flying these things for years and we dont need to drone up any additional legislation.
 
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Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#38
You having an FCC agent drive up and grab you for flying your RC quadcopter and fined is completely false...

Yes if you operate an unlicensed HAM radio you will probably be caught and fined but I can tell you that there is zero chance that the government will come and fine you for flying your quadcopter in your backyard. To even insinuate that this will happen is foolish and should not be allowed on any serious RC internet forum.

I only say all of this because it scares people. In today's society the government and the CIA are scary things. Having someone spy on you with a "drone" is even worse. People have been flying these things for years and we dont need to drone up any additional legislation.
If someone is flying next door to me and their unlicensed FPV interferes with my use of my ham radio or interferes with another licensed communication service then guess who has the upper hand and who is in serious trouble. This conversation has become pointless since you are obviously already set on being a law breaker. Law Breakers usually DO get caught eventually. Good luck to you and your family sir. I am done on this topic. :)

Thurmond
 
#39
Wow, calling me a law breaker is a little harsh. LOL

Anyway, I said all that after reading the code, someone will probably pass some stupid EO tomorrow. I will be flying my drone and two ropes will ascend from the trees and twenty ninjas will ascend down. They will put a sandbag over my head and I will be lodging in cuba for a few years... Everyone who posted a similar view as mine will either have a similar experience, accident, alien abduction, or go crazy.

All joking aside, everyone just be smart.

Dont fly your FPV multi
-Over a national football game spraying stuff in the air...
-Over any government buildings
-Around flying passenger jets
-Over a college with a bot net running
-Into some juvenile female's bedroom window
-Up behind a live broadcast of ghost hungers with a ghost ornament dangling from it.
-Or over a UFO conversion with a bright white light shining out of the bottom.

People that do stupid stuff like this are way more likely to get us in trouble.

I have found that most people will at first joke about drones if they are nervous or afraid. After that they will ask many questions and talk about how cool it is. I will always tell them how you always have to be careful with them. Children like watching them the most and most parents usually explain to them that it is a "very special toy." Simply talking with someone if they have questions will get rid of 99% of your problems. I also always tell them that I havnt been flying long and dont know everything but come from a technical background and they dont have to worry about me spying on them. Then when you get a jerk like the neighbor who thinks you are spying on him, you all are right, there isnt much you can do. I think this sport has the great potential to grow very soon as long as things are kept safe. Paintball, which I played in high school, had the same issues. You had some bad press followed by some idiots doing drive bys. This was followed by the BATF even saying paintball suppressors fell under the NFA as firearm suppressors (which I can tell you 100% they do not.) The teething pains past and it is a sport that people play now. Of course not everyone but it is clearly not as criticized.

I also recommend everyone look at this link.
http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...5&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title47/47cfr15_main_02.tpl
This is directly from the USC. IF you have any serious questions you should consult an attorney. Unless it is written in here or a decision of a court having jurisdiction in your area you need to ask questions and make your own decisions.

If all else fails and they do show up asking about your quad just tell them that it isnt yours and that you let the nice guy down the street wearing the turban fly behind your house because he says it looks like a small skyscraper.
 
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Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#40
Kogashuko,

You are clearly looking for ways to escape enforcement instead of being a good neighbor and sharing what is around. What's worse, you're recommending this unneighborly and potentially *EXPENSIVE* strategy to others.

You can get fined if you operate unlicensed equipment with out a license, and those with licenses will help hunt offenders down. Therefore , Ignorance is no excuse yet in your posts you purpose to rely on plausible deniability and subterfuge (oh, that wasn't me, that was my neighbor) as a false shield to say "I'm not doing anything wrong, because they can't catch me".

You use an excuse of "I'm a safe pilot" to walk all over others in the RF spectrum.

You use other *Liscenced* operations (via part 15) for examples of bad actors as an excuse to not take the time sit down and learn enough and pay $15 to take the test.

You then encourage everyone to read laws that cover equipment that is certified for unlicensed operation, instead of pointing to part 97, which tells how you can get a license to operate equipment without the part 15 stamp.

The laws are complicated, but clearly, if the equipment you operate is not part 15 compliant, you are breaking the law. If you are operating unlicensed, noncompliant rig, with the excuse the law can't be enforced on me, how does that not make you a "Law breaker" in both the word of law and spirit of law sense? Naming of names is not the same as name calling.


I know you're thinking " but this law isn't protecting anyone, so I don't hurt anyone by breaking it". You don't and *CAN'T* know that. You are saying it's okay for a blind person to drive a tank in traffic because you can't see how they'd be hurt. If they do it at 2AM, they won't kill anyone on the road. At rush hour? My point here is you don't know what you're knocking off the air -- it might be clear, might not.


Get the call sign and use it. If you're interfering unintentionally, it gives other operators ways of letting you know your rig is broken and stepping on others. It's not about following pointless rules, it's about being a good neighbor.

After all, that rig that took a hit in a crash may still work and be blasting out harmonics stepping on a nav beacon. Would be nice if an operator called you to say your rig needs service . . . or would you rather have the police come knocking on the door after several months of unintentionally disrupting air traffic?

Dude! Sit down. Study. Take the test.
 
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