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Old Mar 04, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Radio Equipment NOT approved by the FCC

Guys,

I was just reading through the latest issue of Model Aviation and I perused the "Focus on Competition" column. Greg Hahn stated that transmitters, and the types of receivers that send information back to the transmitter, are required to be certified by the FCC in order to be legally used. Equipment that has been FCC certified will carry a sticker stating this fact.

Since a lot of equipment is coming into the U.S. from other countries like China, some of this equipment may not have the proper certifications and would not be legal to be used in America. It is the responsibility of the modeler to insure that the R/C equipment that they are using has the proper certifications.

The FCC certification is something that I never gave a thought to until I read Greg's article.

Those of us who are purchasing new radio equipment should check to be sure that the equipment that we are using is legal and will not cause interference with other modelers or other people in our communities.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Unless you have a ham license and the transmitter is on a frequency you are allowed to transmit on.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 03:29 PM
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What you said is important, but no need to bold the entire post.

All my chinese stuff has FCC ids on them, and in fact I've looked some of them up on the FCC's site to get things like schematics and such. FrSky's 2-way receivers do have FCC ids, as do their transmitters. In fact whenever I add an FrSky DIY kit to the radio, I glue the FCC id sticker to the back of the radio. That way if I sell the radio down the road, the buyer can know it's got a properly-licensed RF deck in it.

If a transmitter doesn't have an FCC id, it's not legal to use without a HAM license. If it does have an id, look it up on the FCC's site to check its authenticity. I wonder if sometimes Chinese companies cheat on this and apply for one FCC id and then tack it on a bunch of different radio models without going through the whole process for each revision or variation.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseih View Post
What you said is important, but no need to bold the entire post.

All my chinese stuff has FCC ids on them, and in fact I've looked some of them up on the FCC's site to get things like schematics and such. FrSky's 2-way receivers do have FCC ids, as do their transmitters. In fact whenever I add an FrSky DIY kit to the radio, I glue the FCC id sticker to the back of the radio. That way if I sell the radio down the road, the buyer can know it's got a properly-licensed RF deck in it.

If a transmitter doesn't have an FCC id, it's not legal to use without a HAM license. If it does have an id, look it up on the FCC's site to check its authenticity. I wonder if sometimes Chinese companies cheat on this and apply for one FCC id and then tack it on a bunch of different radio models without going through the whole process for each revision or variation.
I see you are in Canada. An FCC sticker is actually meaningless here. The regulatory body here is Industry Canada, and most radio equipment is supposed to be approved by them. Approved devices will have an IC sticker on them.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 09:19 PM
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caseih
Don't think having a HAM license makes it legal to use unapproved radio gear in any country! In the US and Canada it merely allow you to use some frequencies for models radio control and nothing else.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 11:07 PM
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In the us, hams are allowed to use unapproved radio gear. They can even design and build their own, however, they must stay in their assigned frequency bands. The rules in other countries may be different.

I could even use insane power levels, up to 1500 watts. Though why I would do such a thing for RC is hard think of. EME (moonbounce) for RC? A little laggy...
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by coriolan View Post
caseih
Don't think having a HAM license makes it legal to use unapproved radio gear in any country! In the US and Canada it merely allow you to use some frequencies for models radio control and nothing else.
EDIT. The regs that HAMs in the US follow for 2.4 GHz are part 97 (15 cm band), and cover about half of the normal unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum. So things like high-wattage downlinks are legal for HAMs to operate on the lower channels. 2.4 GHz transmitters use the entire spectrum, so if they were not FCC approved, they would indeed be problematic.

As for your assertion about "unapproved radio gear," HAMs can build their own gear an operate on any of their approved bands. Their radios do not need to be approved by the FCC. As well, part 15 devices can be modified by hams, though I now understand that they would have to operate under part 47 rules.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by monkeyhanger View Post
I see you are in Canada. An FCC sticker is actually meaningless here. The regulatory body here is Industry Canada, and most radio equipment is supposed to be approved by them. Approved devices will have an IC sticker on them.
Who said anything about Canada? The OP is speaking about the FCC and use in the US. So why am I commenting on a thread about an American issue? Because I am American and my primary experience is with operations in the US. I think I'll disable my location information in rcgroups because this is the second time someone has commented on it and questioned why I was commenting on American issues.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 10:31 AM
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caseih,

Don't be so hasty. Yes, the OP was concerned about proper FCC matters in the USA. But I think that monkeyhanger was providing additional info re Canadian IC approval for the many Canadians that read these threads.

Jim R.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 06:00 PM
iva
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"An FCC sticker is actually meaningless here"

Not really according to this document:

http://www.maac.ca/docs/2010/revised...v_included.pdf

I belive that in order to sell any radio as a business in Canada it needs to be IC certified .
If you order it from the States personally and if it comes with FCC sticker, you should be fine.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Apologies for being hasty! And thank you for providing the information, iva. I suspected this was the case but didn't have enough time to search out a reference.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iva View Post
"An FCC sticker is actually meaningless here"

Not really according to this document:

http://www.maac.ca/docs/2010/revised...v_included.pdf

I belive that in order to sell any radio as a business in Canada it needs to be IC certified .
If you order it from the States personally and if it comes with FCC sticker, you should be fine.
Yeah but MAAC is not a regulatory body, they are just a private club. If they say your radio has to be blue with polka-dots on it, then so bit it, if you want to be part of their club

I looked into all this a few years back, here is my email to Industry Canada:

-----Client's Enquiry (2010-08-23)-----

Radio Controlled Aircraft
Are there any rules/regulations regarding the use of radio controlled
aircraft in Canada, specifically Ontario? The type of aircraft would be
the hobby type that you would purchase in a hobby shop with a 2.4 Ghz
transmitter.

And the response

This is in reference to your email enquiry on rules or regulations regarding the operation of radio controlled aircraft in Canada.
Industry Canada is responsible for the radio spectrum including the certification of radio equipment. In this regard, our concern is that the radio apparatus is certified for use in Canada and does not cause interference. Please ensure that your radio equipment has an "IC" Industry Canada compliance sticker. Model equipment certified for use in Canada is under our Radio Standard Specification "RSS 210" which is exempt from licensing.
As for the operation/flight of the equipment, I recommend you contact your local government concerning rules and by-laws; Transport Canada; or a local model fly club may be able to assist you. I have attached links to these suggestions.
http://www.maac.ca/
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...g/sf01320.html
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...g/sf08655.html
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviatio...v-2270.htm#how

Thank you for your enquiry.
Joanne McCourt
Spectrum Portfolio Manager
Ontario Region
9905) 713 2681

------------------

It's not really something to worry about, it's not like there are IC police cruising the neighbourhood. But it's nice to know these things.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Warthog_Fan View Post
Those of us who are purchasing new radio equipment should check to be sure that the equipment that we are using is legal and will not cause interference with other modelers or other people in our communities.
Do you mean that DMSS would cause interferences with other protocols approved by the FCC ?
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 10:32 PM
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...and according to another well versed RCGroups member,the main focus of the FCC certs is for the usage of equipment,manufactured or imported, in or into the USA, for sale, and not neccessarily for 'homemade' or 'manufactured for one's own use' equipment (as covered by part 15),HAM status not withstanding.And of course not causing any interference to otherwise legally (but not necessarily limited to 'legally') owned-operated RF equipment.Of Any type.
Whew,that one hurt my brain.
Skies.
J
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 11:15 PM
iva
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MAAC is clearly not the regulatory body - IC is and there is no dispute about that. However their (MAAC's) role is a bit more serious and important than choosing the color and distribution of polka dots. They work with IC and the link to the document I provided is the result of that cooperation. Unless something has changed recently, the document I referenced is still valid.
I have nothing to gain or lose since I am using XPS which has both IC and FCC certification so it is legal in Canada but other people may benefit from clarification of the matter. I will try to obtain the clarification from the chair of MAAC Radio Spectrum Committee.
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