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FCC Fines Drone FPV Maker for Using Radio Spectrum

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K5TRI, Dec 21, 2017.

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  1. K5TRI

    K5TRI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you listen to the radio bands in the United States, you might wonder if anyone at the FCC is paying attention, or if they are too busy selling spectrum and regulating the Internet. Apparently however, they are watching some things. The commission just levied a $180,000 fine on a company in Florida for selling audio/visual transmitters that use the ham bands as well as other frequencies.

    The FCC charged that Lumenier Holdco LLC (formerly known as FPV Manuals LLC) was marketing uncertified transmitters some of which exceeded the 1-W power limit for ham transmitters used on model craft.

    Equipment that is purely for ham use is normally exempt from certification, but since the equipment was able to operate on other frequencies, this was a violation. In addition, even for licensed ham use, some of the transmitters were using too much power.

    The company stopped selling the units in question after an FCC inquiry back in April. We can’t help but think that in years past building a consumer product with a significant radio transmitter was a big task, and someone would bring up the FCC rules and certifications before much progress had been made. These days though you can easily acquire building block ICs and modules to field a product in a few weeks that would have taken a sophisticated team years of effort not long ago.

    We don’t know if that’s what happened to FPV Manuals, but it would be easy to imagine a hacker with an idea and a Kickstarter winding up with a big FCC (or other regulatory) fine. This is an even worse situation now that it is easy to find customers all over the world who are all subject to different laws and regulations.

    We covered this story back in January when the ARRL were lobbying about it, so it’s good to see an outcome for them. We’ve talked a bit about what it takes to get products through certifications. Of course, that’s just part of the puzzle of scaling up to production.
    W7GST, K3DGR, NZ4MB and 3 others like this.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    But it is OK for China to make them and sell them here ?
    VE5RH and N7MK like this.
  3. AL7AQ

    AL7AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nope, without Part15 or Part95 Type Acceptance it is illegal, to Advertise, Market, or Import such devices into the USA.... Even if you are a Chinese Manufacture....
  4. KE6ZGP

    KE6ZGP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think AL7AQs point is... the one time the FCC has gone after someone selling non-type certified equipment its a small US company yet they've done nothing to the dozen or so Chinese companies flooding the US with their non-type certified gear.
    K4KYB, W1YW, KE8EC and 3 others like this.
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds a little like the old speeding defense "But Judge I wasn't the only one speeding" Judge to defendant "see the court clerk and pay your fine and costs".
    K8NY and KC8VWM like this.
  6. W4KVW

    W4KVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    They must have slipped their false teeth in for a few minutes since everyone who knows much of anything knows the FCC is a small toothless lion who nobody fears.They fine many but a great number never pay anything.The FCC is as useless as the ARRL.

    W0JAY, W5NOW, KK3Q and 3 others like this.
  7. W4HM

    W4HM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In my personal opinion the FCC Part 15 type acceptance technical standards are pretty weak. Just turn on your radio and you will here them all.

    When I bought this house in 2005 the noise level on 160 meters was only S1, just amazing. But now it's +20 db over S9, thanks to the proliferation of all of the new part 15 devices that my neighbors have bought.
    KT5OT, N9PBD and NU4R like this.
  8. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reminds me, I need to look into the newer Fed-Ex trucks. One pulled up beside me and blasted me with S9+ data bursts every 2 seconds or so. Not ignition or computer noise like I see from other vehicles.
  9. K9CTB

    K9CTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Apparently, "e-bay" doesn't give a rip WHAT the FCC says about the chicom drones. Shame, too.
    VE5RH and K3RW like this.
  10. K2LCK

    K2LCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    may be illegal to sell, but we can legally use 'em.. our license makes us responciable for our emissions, else we could not scratch build our xmtrs... our xmtrs do NOT have to be type accepted,,
    KN4FTT and SA6CKE like this.

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