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Old Feb 05, 2011, 12:14 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
USA, IN, Bloomington
Joined Aug 2007
818 Posts
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Get your technician's license. It's easy. Here's why and how.

So, you know that scene in Back to the Future where Doc is setting up a cable to funnel 1.21 GIGAWATTS of power straight through the flux capacitor to send Marty back to the future? He's setting up the cable from the lamp post to the top of the clock tower.

A cop shows up and asks him whether he has a permit, which Doc proceeds to pull out.

Now, the cop has actually NO IDEA what the permit is for. For example, maybe Doc's permit is for only 1.1 gigawatts of power. Maybe the permit is only for SPACE TRAVEL, not TIME TRAVEL. The permit could be total bull. It doesn't matter. Once Doc pulls out an official looking permit, the cop's job is done. Later, when people start asking the cop: "HOLY - that guy just vaporized that future-looking car going 88 mph with a bolt of lightning, and you did nothing to stop it!", the cop can say "but he had a PERMIT".

The point is, when you are flying FPV, at some point a cop is going to notice you standing there looking blankly into goggles with lots of antennas and controllers standing around. Or worse, you are going to have an ESC burn out and your plane is going to go down, setting the lipo on fire. It's at this point that you are going to want to have your FCC permit. It won't matter that the FCC license has nothing to do with whatever FAA regulations might be put in place, or how high you were flying, or whether you were flying line-of-sight. The point is that you have a PERMIT. And that permit is going to save your backside.

How to get your technician's class license (no morse code needed):


It is really easy. First, find a test site:

http://www.arrl.org/exam_sessions/search

Next, read a study guide:

http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uplo...tudy_Guide.pdf

Finally, take all 11 practice exams:

http://www.qrz.com/testing.html

Once you do this, you will know EVERY SINGLE QUESTION that could be on the test. You will kick its butt.

It took me an hour of studying and I only missed one question. Plus a lot of what you learn will help you with your FPV electronics.

I can't stress enough how important it is to get this done by the FPV community. If we want to respond to the bad press of recent events, acting responsibly with our permits and licenses is the best way to do it.

-Tom

(edit: I didn't write this to make cops look bad. I work with cops. I like cops. But they can't know every FCC and FAA regulation which is why getting your license will usually be enough to diffuse suspicion).

(edit 2: I actually had the whole crash/lipo fire thing happen to me after I wrote this, so this is no longer an academic example)
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 12:42 PM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
USA
Joined Sep 2007
2,366 Posts
Took me about only about 10 minutes to take the test after studying using the practice tests. For a few minutes of your time and $15 it was definitely worth it.
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 01:04 PM
Postcards From The Purple Edge
tuppertn's Avatar
United States, OK, Sand Springs
Joined May 2007
3,919 Posts
+1 on all of it.

Do it legally...er, as legally as possible. This form of flying might eventually become completely illegal, but we'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

kendall
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 02:18 PM
I AP'd myself again......
aviatordave's Avatar
Yawn....Iowa
Joined Mar 2005
2,500 Posts
And another benefit is that most states offer amateur radio license plates for your car. Just something cool to have
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 04:27 PM
Registered User
United States, TX, Kerrville
Joined Oct 2003
2,089 Posts
Passed My test Today!

Passed my Technician Class test this morning. Run by VEs from the local Ham club: Hill Country Amateur Radio Club. Good bunch of guys. Took the test in about 15 min. Missed one answer out of 35 due to a senior moment ( I'll be 73 in April). Only took two weeks of preparation & study.

It's not much work to get legal in FPV and you might discover a new hobby to spend $$ on!

CR
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 07:06 PM
Crashomatic
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United States, CA, SF
Joined May 2010
2,034 Posts
Anyone know such a cheap test valid in other areas of the world ? ^^
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 08:00 PM
Flying FPV or Dreaming I Am...
cactus's Avatar
United States, CO, Durango
Joined Sep 2001
6,072 Posts
I did mine in a one day cram session.
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 09:56 PM
Registered User
Joined Dec 2006
131 Posts
I took an online training class here. It was well worth the $20 in my opinion.

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/
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Old Feb 05, 2011, 10:05 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,060 Posts
I got the vanity plates for my car too. The test was quite easy. The value of the license is well worth it.

-Alex
KJ4RIV
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 01:14 AM
Registered User
keysersoze's Avatar
Nashville
Joined Sep 2003
34 Posts
I've been a ham for a few years now. I am not a fan of the vanity plates, because it tells anyone your full name and address, that you probably have electronics at that address, and that you are not home right now.
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 04:13 AM
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Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
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Now if only I can remember to stick the license in my pocket.

Pete
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Last edited by PeteSchug; Feb 06, 2011 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Danged keyboard alays misses letters
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 07:10 AM
Registered User
Joined Dec 2006
131 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug View Post
Now if only I can remember to stick the license in my pocket.

Pete
Iíve only been a ham for only a month now but I wonder why so many people put their call sign on the osd or in view of the camera. Doesnít that make it easy to find you if someone intercepted your signal? From what Iíve read all that is required is a sticker on the side of the vTX. Also I didnít think you needed to actually carry the license. You just had x number of days to show it if need be. Is this right?
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 07:19 AM
KB3VOJ
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USA
Joined Sep 2007
2,366 Posts
That's not true. You need stickers on the Tx side, so for RC control, if you are Flying a Dragon Link for instance, you need the sticker on the Tx. You also need a sticker on the plane due to the VTx. You do need to broadcast your call sign every 10 minutes minimum.

Why do you care if someone finds you if you are not doing anything illegal? Are you flying in restricted airspace? Something else to hide? Trust me, if they want to find you, it is easy to use DF equipment to find you, so don't think you would be somehow hiding by not broadcasting a call sign.
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee180c View Post
That's not true. You need stickers on the Tx side, so for RC control, if you are Flying a Dragon Link for instance, you need the sticker on the Tx. You also need a sticker on the plane due to the VTx. You do need to broadcast your call sign every 10 minutes minimum.

Why do you care if someone finds you if you are not doing anything illegal? Are you flying in restricted airspace? Something else to hide? Trust me, if they want to find you, it is easy to use DF equipment to find you, so don't think you would be somehow hiding by not broadcasting a call sign.
I knew I needed a sticker on my vTX but I dont think I need one on my rcTX do I? I am only on 72 Mhz. I thought rc aircraft were exempt from the 10 min broadcast rule. Its not that im doing anything wrong but why tell someone where you live? I can see how they could find where you are flying but how could they know where you live without your call sign?
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 08:25 AM
KB3VOJ
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USA
Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indycobra View Post
I knew I needed a sticker on my vTX but I dont think I need one on my rcTX do I? I am only on 72 Mhz. I thought rc aircraft were exempt from the 10 min broadcast rule. Its not that im doing anything wrong but why tell someone where you live? I can see how they could find where you are flying but how could they know where you live without your call sign?
72MHz is not flying on Amatuer frequencies. The sticker rule is for Hams flying on Ham frequencies. The DL transmits on 433mHz and is not even legal for you to use without a Technician Class license in the U.S.

Again, what does that matter? If they want to track you down, they can find you at the flying field. At that point, they will find out where you live as they ask for ID etc. Nobody is sitting there waiting to catch you or recording your flights. The issue will come if you are doing something stupid and complaints from neighbors or other people start rolling into the Police. I personally like broadcasting on 2.4, which is right in the middle of the wifi frequency band that is under part 15 rules. The only reason you need the license to broadcast on that frequency is that the power levels we are using is illegal under part 15 and only allowed for Hams under part 97 rules. This space is so full of other junk that nobody is going to sit there looking for analog video. Most other transmissions are also designed to handle a lot of interference, so you are not very likely to cause anyone else issues either.
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