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Any FPV Drone Technicians Here?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K5SPP, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. K5SPP

    K5SPP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been thinking about getting into drones (not FPV - recreation, or possibly FAA Part 107 commercial), and as I've researched it I came across the guys who race drones, and found most must get a Technician license for Part 15 reasons, etc. (Google is your friend!) From what little I've read on those guys - and I am totally guessing here - I figure there are maybe 10-15 thousand in the USA. Maybe. I really do not know.

    I read at least one blog post from an FPV drone guy giving advice to new guys on how to get their Tech license, and he wrote he has been a Tech for "over a decade", and has never touched a ham radio. Fair enough. I have no problem with that at all.

    My question is I wonder have any/how many have decided to get into other aspects of amateur radio after starting as a drone racer? (Totally good to go if none of them have! Just thinking about it!)

  2. KI5BTA

    KI5BTA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just got my Technician license recently with the specific intent to fly my FPV drones. I have made every effort to keep my drones legal. This meant getting my HAM license for the FPV gear, joining a model aircraft club, and registering my craft with the FAA. They don’t make it easy to stay legal. I did buy a radio after I passed my test and have enjoyed learning about it and finding stations to listen to. My current interests do not need a higher license but I might be inclined in the future.
    K5SPP likes this.
  3. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Cody,

    So can you explain to the masses here how having an amateur radio license improves your FPV drone experience?
    (I'm not trying to be snarky...I'm not familiar with the FPV drone scene...other than watching the indoor races on TV.)

    Thanks & regards,
    KK5JY likes this.
  4. KI5BTA

    KI5BTA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am very new to both the FPV and HAM radio stuff so please take what I say with a lot of patience. To be perfectly honest, it doesn't help any at all. The two frequencies most common in FPV transmitters are 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, which is on the chart under the Part 97.301 rules. The transmitters range in power from 25mW up to 800mW. I have noticed that the cheaper of the transmitters I use kills all of the WI-FI in my house when I turn it on. For me personally when I found a HAM license was a requirement I jumped at the chance. I have always been interested in electronics and have found the process to be insightful and entertaining. It doesn't improve my drone experience but it has made me aware of how my equipment can affect things around me, even miles away, and I stay legal.
    K5SPP likes this.
  5. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting question. I have no doubt there is a lot of illegal drone activity out there. A large percentage will not bother with legality unless it is forced upon them. I appreciate that you chose a better path.

    I must point out that based on your Thread Title I thought you were looking for a drone repairman.
  6. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is 1.2 GHz FPV equipment (which definitely requires a ham license) that may be useful to avoid the crowding on 2.4 and 5.8 GHz.
    K5SPP, KE8FWJ and KU4X like this.
  7. KE8FWJ

    KE8FWJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    And telemetry control on the 70cm band as well. There are after market modules to add to your controller that out about 5Watts at 70cm. Antennas at your own discretion......:)
    K5SPP and KU4X like this.
  8. K5SPP

    K5SPP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Appreciate the info. It's always interesting to me to hear of other uses of ham radio other than the traditional stuff, and that helps.

    Sorry about the confusing title, but I figured the word Technician was self explanatory on a ham radio site!
  9. KC3KII

    KC3KII Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess that makes me an FPV Drone General. ;)

    I actually had a Tech class license back in the 1990s but had let it lapse. But since I was doing stuff with 433mhz control and 1.2ghz video I needed to get it back to keep everything legal. This time around I decided to take the extra step and get my General Class since I was kind of intrigued about doing some HF stuff.

    Anyhow I have some multirotors (what most people call drones) but my real passion is in fixed wing models. My current favorite one is the XUAV Mini Talon, it's small enough to fit in the trunk of a small car but flies amazingly well.
    K5SPP and KU4X like this.
  10. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I hold a Private Pilots License so that exempts me from FAA Part 107. I do commercial Drone Work for Cellular, Real-Estate, and Tower companies. There are two types of Drone Pilots. Those that can fly in public places, and those that cannot or the Amateurs. To fly Drones, RC Planes, and Helicopters (there is no difference in FAA eyes) over buildings and people requires a Remote Pilot Certificate under FAA Part 107 rules. Otherwise you are heavily restricted to Club Flying Fields or cow pastures. Regardless if you have a certificate or not, you must carry Liability Insurance up to $1,000,000 minimum. AMA is the underwriter of Insurance Policy.

    IHHO it is just a matter of time before we loose the privilege of flying model aircraft. Sooner or later they will be weaponized and make a big hit like at a sporting event and kill dozens of spectators or a public or political VIP. You can even take down aircraft with a Drone very easily and do not even have to be in the area to do it. You can be miles away. Either that or a commercial Drone doing deliveries crashes and kills someone or destroys property. They are extremely dangerous and easily misused. With a 55 pound limit can carry quite a payload of explosives. Basically a Smart Guided Missile. You can bet the people who do that are not licensed or insured. Tracking them down will almost be impossible.

    So to answer your question a ham license is of no help. Won't hurt, but no requirement.
    WA1AIM and KU4X like this.

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