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Old May 11, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Idea
Legalities of FPV, country by country

Fellow FPVers,
Would it be an idea to start collecting some of the legal side of this hobby in one place? (ideally a sticky)
I know that it varies a lot from country to country, so it would be a good reference for newcomers, and seasoned FPVers alike.

As an example, I'm sure that each country has its own limits for max. altitude that you can fly at, closest that you can fly to an airport, etc.

Another side of this is insurance, and I'm sure that this varies a lot from country to country. Are you insured when flying FPV in the US?, UK?

And a last point, power levels, with and without a license (ham or otherwise), the UK for example prohibits use of high power 2.4Gig Tx from an 'airborne vehicle'

Has anyone already done any research into this?

(Kilrah, do you have this info, at least the first two points, for Switzerland?)
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Last edited by AnthonyRC; May 11, 2007 at 11:51 AM.
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Old May 11, 2007, 11:55 AM
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United States, KY, Hebron
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bad idea, i'd rather not know
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Old May 11, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Switzerland
Joined Sep 2006
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Sure. So for Switzerland:

Aircraft:
1st thing, Model aircraft are only considered as such above an airborne weight of 500gr. So it pretty much means you're free to do what you want under that. But then, I'd not tempt the devil as in case of problems there's no doubt that would change in no time.
Min distance to an airfield, 5km. Max height 150m AGL in a CTR, nothing specified otherwise. Same as above might apply... (Reference)

There's no particular status about FPV flying (yet), so I guess applicable insurance conditions and all other considerations would be the same as for conventional flying.

RF:
Conventional R/C in 35/40MHz (40MHz not guaranteed interference-free from end 2008 on, frequencies will be shared with the army until 2012 where use of 40MHz R/C will be prohibited).
2.4GHz:
R/C transmitters and other digital spread-spectrum devices have a 100mW EIRP limit. (Ref.)
Analog fixed frequency transmitters such as our beloved video ones are limited to 10mW EIRP. (Ref.)
Amateur is 100W between 2400 and 2450MHz only, and requires a special authorization in addition to the amateur license. In addition, use of that band requires to give priority to non-amateurs. I.e you'd better not run your 100W TX and knock down all WLANs in a 5km radius. All amateur transmissions need to be identified, so if transmitting in that category you'd pretty much be forced to use an OSD with your callsign or maybe send that over the audio some way every time you fly... (Ref.)
One important thing to consider: Sale of devices that are non-compliant to these is prohibited, including for export.

The 2.4GHz power limits (10mW analog and 100mW digital) are valid all throughout Europe. I don't know about the other details.

This post will actually be useful to me too, learned one additional detail I didn't know on this one
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Last edited by Kilrah; May 11, 2007 at 12:55 PM.
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Old May 11, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcavett18
bad idea, i'd rather not know
Me neither

As long as the hobby doesn't draw attention to itself, I doubt anyone would really care about the legalities. What higher powers are unaware of, they cannot legislate against. As far as most outsiders would be concerned, it's just a really cool enhancement to normal RC modelling.
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Old May 12, 2007, 02:19 AM
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Bad Idea

I too think that this is a bad idea. I currently reside in Bahrain, where RC flying is flat out illegal.

Unless you have the ability to ensure that RC Flying and especially FPV flying in your country stays legal then it may not be the best idea to draw unwarranted attention to it.

The reason RC flying is illegal in Bahrain is because the Muslim Sunni's in power are a minority compared to the Muslim Shiite's who make up a majority of the population of Bahrain. Many Shiites here believe that the Sunni's do everything and anything they can to control the Shiite population and maintain power. A while ago some Sunni in power decided that RC airplanes could be used for malicious purposes against the ruling elite, so the Sunni elite made them illegal and now no one in Bahrain is allowed to own or fly an RC aircraft. Thank God I am only here for several months. This was an awful decision made by greedy people who care only about themselves.
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Old May 12, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Switzerland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickDV
As long as the hobby doesn't draw attention to itself, I doubt anyone would really care about the legalities. What higher powers are unaware of, they cannot legislate against. As far as most outsiders would be concerned, it's just a really cool enhancement to normal RC modelling.
Too late, it does now.

But please take a moment to think a bit further. Put yourself in place of those "higher powers", who suddenly become aware that people have been doing stuff for months ignoring regulations, and that it's now involving more and more people. What will you do? Yes, stop all of this mess. Put restrictions, ban as you'll be very angry.

Now if everybody does things correctly, in respect of regulations, you'll be dealing with interested people looking at what you're doing, and if you can show your good will you won't have any problems. If additional regulations/restrictions were needed you could even help working on them, bringing your experience in rather than having people who don't have a clue about it do it for you.

It's exactly this kind of attitude that is the biggest threat to the activity. Unfortunately, it seems that in the US things are already a bit too advanced and there are already restrictions. Find out why.
In the US FPV fliers can't fly at an AMA field. At my place, it's already a few years we've invested into getting things right, flying FPV but in respect of everything. The result? There's been an big cover article about FPV in the national model aircraft association's magazine in February, and the activity has been shown on TV twice. Last time I went to a field I wasn't a member of, I received a very nice "Thank you for showing this to us" the next day when I saw some of the guys who were there again, with others asking if I could come again as they weren't there that day.

On june 16th we'll be organizing a demo day for FPV at a local club, open for everyone to come and see what it is, and have a try with a few planes and buddy setups we'll bring along.
Maybe doing things right is a bit limiting in the first place, but it sure makes a lot for the future. It takes time to get recognised, but isn't all of this a nice reward?
Trying to hide and do illegal stuff might seem good for you in the beginning, but in the long term it will only be the end of it.

I can tell you that if someone here was caught doing some big mistake and was causing trouble to all the FPV community I'd go and kick his a$$ myself. Fortunately, what we've done so far it might be fairly easy to keep the responsibility on the guy alone.
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Old May 12, 2007, 10:54 AM
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I personally won't have a problem staying 400' down, i'd be so happy to even be able to fly FPV I wouldn't care. The only restriction I don't care for that I know of is the 1000' radius limit.

Eventually I'd probably want to go higher, then that 400' limit would be annoying.

Anyone know the rules around airports, in the U.S.?
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Old May 12, 2007, 11:14 AM
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I agree with you completely, but as it stands, the biggest barrier to the hobby is the 10mW-50mW restriction on the 2.4GHz band in most European countries. That's really not going to cut it in an urban environment and in many cases it's probably not possible to get a permit to go beyond that. If someone's figured out how to acquire such a licence in the UK without having to remortgage their house, I'm all ears.
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Old May 12, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Here's some stuff regarding 2.4 Ghz radio transmission for Switzerland:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=35
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Old May 18, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
the biggest barrier to the hobby is the 10mW-50mW restriction on the 2.4GHz band in most European countries
What is the 50mW limit?

Do you know about 900MHz or 1.2Ghz stuff? I've seen 1.2GHz 100mW stuff for sale on eBay in the UK but not 900MHz
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Old May 18, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Both 1.2 and 900 aren't usable. 900 is one of the cellphone bands in Europe.
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Old May 18, 2007, 10:05 PM
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where can I find this kind of information for the U.S.?
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Old May 19, 2007, 02:43 AM
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The FCC's website maybe?
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Old May 19, 2007, 05:34 AM
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http://wireless.fcc.gov/rules.html

Camship
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Old May 19, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Madrid, Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilrah
Both 1.2 and 900 aren't usable. 900 is one of the cellphone bands in Europe.

What´s the problem with 1.2 ghz in Europe?
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