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Thread: ARRL files "extremely urgent" complaint with FCC over FPV use of 1.3ghz vtx's

  1. #1
    Pilot smoothvirus's Avatar
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    ARRL files "extremely urgent" complaint with FCC over FPV use of 1.3ghz vtx's

    I'll just copy the text here:


    In what it calls an “extremely urgent complaint” to the FCC, ARRL has targeted the interference potential of a series of audio/video transmitters used on unmanned aircraft and marketed as Amateur Radio equipment. In a January 10 letter to the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said the transmitters use frequencies intended for navigational aids, air traffic control radar, air route surveillance radars, and global positioning systems.


    “This is, in ARRL’s view, a potentially very serious interference problem, and it is respectfully requested that the products referenced…be investigated and removed from the marketplace immediately and that the importers be subjected to normal sanctions,” ARRL’s letter said. Some of the transmitters operate on frequencies between 1,010 and 1,280 MHz. “These video transmitters are being marketed ostensibly as Amateur Radio equipment,” the League said, “but of the listed frequencies on which the devices operate, only one, 1280 MHz, would be within the Amateur Radio allocation at 1240-1300 MHz.” Even then, ARRL said, operation there would conflict with a channel used for radio location.


    ARRL said the use of 1,040 and 1,080 MHz, which would directly conflict with air traffic control transponder frequencies, represented the greatest threat to the safety of flight. The use of 1,010 MHz, employed for aeronautical guidance, could also be problematic.


    ARRL cited the Lawmate transmitter and companion 6 W amplifier as examples of problematic devices being marketed in the US. Each costs less than $100 via the Internet. The device carries no FCC identification number.





    “[T]he target market for these devices is the drone hobbyist, not licensed radio amateurs. The device, due to the channel configuration, has no valid Amateur Radio application,” ARRL told the FCC. “While these transmitters are marked as appropriate for amateur use, they cannot be used legally for Amateur Radio communications.” In the hands of unlicensed individuals, the transmitters could also cause interference to Amateur Radio communication in the 1.2 GHz band, ARRL contended.


    The League said it’s obvious that the devices at issue lack proper FCC equipment authorization under FCC Part 15 rules, which require such low-power intentional radiators to be certified.


    “Of most concern is the capability of the devices to cripple the operation of the [air traffic control] secondary target/transponder systems,” ARRL said. “These illegal transmitters represent a significant hazard to public safety in general and the safety of flight specifically.”


    The surge in sales of drones has been dramatic. The FAA has predicted that combined commercial and hobby sales will increase from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million by 2020.


    In Exhibit A of the January 10 letter, “Illegal Drones Threaten Public Safety,” the League noted that some of the drones and associated equipment it has come across “are blatantly illegal at multiple levels,” with some drone TV transmitters described as “particularly alarming.”


    “Rated at six times over the legal power limit, and on critical air navigation transponder frequencies, these devices represent a real and dangerous threat to the safety of flight, especially when operated from a drone platform that can be hundreds of feet in the air,” the exhibit narrative asserted.

    link to a copy of the complaint: http://www.arrl.org/files/media/News...011%202017.pdf
    There's no place I can't be / Since I found FPV / But you can't take the sky from me


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    I was wondering how long it would take before someone started complaining about the 1.1GHz to 1.2GHz FPV gear.

    Interestingly enough, although lots of folk have been using 1.28GHz video, I've heard of no actual instances where such use has created an interference problem -- just like we're being told that drones will bring down airliners but, in spite of weak regulation over many years of such operations, not one single confirmed case of a drone and full-sized aircraft colliding has been reported.

    I'm actually baffled and bewildered by the way regulators are acting.

    They bring out all sorts of draconian diktats but then fail to enforce them.

    For example -- no flying beyond VLOS -- yet there are countless YT videos of people doing just that and we're seeing strong sales of long-range radio systems and video gear so we know it's happening. Once again however, I'd point out that even though hobbyists have been flying BVLOS for over a decade now, there hasn't been one single confirmed report of any significant property damage, injury or death.

    Are regulators not bothering to enforce these rules because they know that they're over-hyping the risks and such activities are not as dangerous as they would claim?

    As a community, we deserve better.

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    Pilot smoothvirus's Avatar
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    I thought it was interesting how the ARRL turns up the hyperbole by claiming that the sales of 1.2ghz vtx's is directly linked to the popularity of ARF/RTF multirotors, 99.9% of which are operating in the 5.8ghz band.

    If anything the sales of 1.3ghx vtx's has probably gone down, there's really only two or three manufacturers of those transmitters and maybe a dozen different units on the market.
    Last edited by smoothvirus; 12th January 2017 at 03:26 PM.
    There's no place I can't be / Since I found FPV / But you can't take the sky from me


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    KM4ZZW here. The reason I got my ham/amateur license was to comply with using DragonLink / 1.3 video. What they seem to be missing is the US Legal frequencies. I am going to fire off some emails tonight to the people listed seeing if I can help them out any. You would be surprised how well the ham community actually listens.

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    Fly,crash,glue,repeat! Jake Bullit's Avatar
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    I know in Aus the agency in charge of freq management ACMA has been 'popping up' here and there keeping an eye on things in the FPV world, and 1.2 (in conversation they indicated the use of 1.2 did have the potential to interfere with aircraft alert systems) stuff is definitely in their sights. I've witnessed them 'consensually' confiscate equipment in the 5.8 band for overpower (600mw).

    So they have and bare teeth from time to time.

    WO
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    Instructor Pilot Channel 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothvirus View Post
    I'll just copy the text here:
    I am glad ARRL has finally gotten on the ball with this, I brought the lack of VTX's channel selections, which do not comply with band plans to ARRL HQ and the fact most of them do not meet FCC requirements to be imported to them almost a year ago.

    And I have also filed two formal complaints with the FCC's enforcement bureau over a number of "hobby" transmitters which are clearly in violation of part 97, which the manufacturers are trying to hide behind.

    You want to use our spectrum, follow the rules and don't fire up splatter band cheap ass Chinese transmitters.

    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    So if I have my ham license and I'm using 1258 or 1280 do I have anything to worry about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmtree View Post
    So if I have my ham license and I'm using 1258 or 1280 do I have anything to worry about?
    The only thing you need to be concerned with is spurious emissions, what has been discovered is many, too many hobby video transmitters lack any form of filtering beyond the power amplifier and if your transmitter is transmitting out of band harmonics, that can be a problem which you as the operator are responsible for solving.

    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channel 1 View Post
    The only thing you need to be concerned with is spurious emissions, what has been discovered is many, too many hobby video transmitters lack any form of filtering beyond the power amplifier and if your transmitter is transmitting out of band harmonics, that can be a problem which you as the operator are responsible for solving.

    Wayne
    Oh gotcha, I know that my original 1.3vtx from rmrc either put out emissions on 433 or my original 433 receiver really liked to receive 1.3 transmissions.

    I'll have to see if I can get access to a spectrum analyzer in that range and see if any of my vtxs are crapping all over the spectrum.

    Are there any known good ones?

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