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Jan 12, 2017, 11:48 AM
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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:

Illegal Drone Transmitters Could Interfere with Air Traffic Control, ARRL Complaint Asserts
http://www.arrl.org/news/illegal-dro...plaint-asserts
Quote:
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
Last edited by smoothvirus; Jan 25, 2017 at 12:56 PM.
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Jan 12, 2017, 11:53 AM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
Over 10 years of use and no downed aircraft (or noteworthy issues) from FPV 1.2GHz shenanigans. But it sure does sound dire, doesn't it??

Let the 1.2GHz transmitter hoarding begin!

If anything, 1.2GHz FPV peaked a few years ago as 5.8 has become widely more popular and practical. Very few of us use 1.2GHz like we used to, thanks to improved 5.8GHz equipment and antennas. The "drone surge" that they refer to has, for the most part, left 1.2GHz on the sideline.
Jan 12, 2017, 12:07 PM
Forward ever, backward never!
Brainstorm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothvirus
smoothvirus: Thank you for posting this.

I have to wonder what the ARRL's motivation is here. Also, what if the people operating the 1.2Ghz systems that allegedly might interfere with navigation aids are operated by Technician Class licensed HAMs? I guess then they would have learned that interfering with navigational aids is the most frowned upon kind of interference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gunn
If anything, 1.2GHz FPV peaked a few years ago as 5.8 has become widely more popular and practical. Very few of us use 1.2GHz like we used to, thanks to improved 5.8GHz equipment and antennas. The "drone surge" that they refer to has, for the most part, left 1.2GHz on the sideline.
Good point, Matt. I was thinking the same thing. 99 percent of FPV fliers use 5.8Ghz now. In addition, a good number of FPV fliers have taken the time to pass their Technician Class exam to become licensed amateur radio operators. Now I'm wondering whether I should bother with the exam.
Jan 12, 2017, 06:33 PM
Registered User
Screw common sense & any safety concerns. Make another " I want to be first with the latest gadget. " sale.
Jan 12, 2017, 08:30 PM
Registered User
If the transmitters are operating where they are not supposed to be and have the potential to jam vitsal services and/or interfere with licensed radio services then I support the ARRL's concern. There are a lot of Cheap radio devices being made in China and sold via the Internet .Many of them are certified by the FCC and have legitimate uses and uses in the Amateur radio service. H However many others are not checked or certified by the FCC, are built for illegitimate use on frequencies that are already allocated to various radio systems and licensed radio services.Many of the cheaper models are also poorly constructed and have weak filtering and are subject to putting out harmful interference, spurs and harmonics. Some also have poor signal rejection thus their receivers are prone to interference to resulting in malfunctions.
Jan 12, 2017, 09:36 PM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Quote:
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,”
It's impossible to remove them from the market when they are being sold directly to the public from overseas vendors in asia. The "importers" are the consumers buying them. I guess they don't understand that it's not like it was 10 years ago where something had to be imported and put out for sale in a brick and mortar store.

I guess they could start screening every shipment coming from Shenzen, good luck with that.
Jan 13, 2017, 12:25 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gunn
If anything, 1.2GHz FPV peaked a few years ago as 5.8 has become widely more popular and practical. Very few of us use 1.2GHz like we used to, thanks to improved 5.8GHz equipment and antennas. The "drone surge" that they refer to has, for the most part, left 1.2GHz on the sideline.
Don't you think a big part of that was trying to fit those birdcage-sized antennas?
Jan 13, 2017, 05:18 AM
Registered User
Deleted
Last edited by cyclops2; Feb 11, 2017 at 05:18 PM.
Jan 13, 2017, 05:39 AM
A man with too many toys
ARRL has no legal standing. Only Congress can change Federal Law.
Jan 13, 2017, 06:30 AM
Registered User
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
ARRL has no legal standing. Only Congress can change Federal Law.
You're right. That's why the ARRL sent the FCC a letter through their lawyer in an effort to persuade them to take action.
Jan 13, 2017, 07:26 AM
Flying R/C since 1964
kallend's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
ARRL has no legal standing. Only Congress can change Federal Law.
I didn't see ARRL as requesting any change in Federal law.
Latest blog entry: Using a DX9 to "strobe" LED...
Jan 13, 2017, 07:28 AM
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emma97's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops2
With Trump we should have complete change to " anything goes to make another buck." Lead in paint will return to childrens toys. They sell better than dull safe ones.

The BUCK is in full control again. Thank you Republicans for doing away with anything that would cut into your profits.

Pass laws with NO MONEY to enforce them. Our Republican way has worked for decades. Some Americans are like self propelled mushrooms. Feed them .......and keep them in the dark. They grow & die with no problems handling them.
Last edited by emma97; Jan 13, 2017 at 07:40 AM.
Jan 13, 2017, 08:26 AM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
The ARRL was bringing it to the attention of the FCC that the illegal 1.2GHZ systems were in use in the USA. The frequencies used are outside of the Amateur radio band, but conflicts with other bands though. The FAA uses that frequency band for their secondary air traffic control, navigational aids, and transponders.

Worse was the vendors were advertising the transmitters as being for radio amateurs when they are obviously not. Licensed Radio amateurs cannot use them in the USA. Then of course is that most all of these transmitters are not FCC approved. The FCC would never approve something for use illegally on the wrong frequency band anyway. The FAA should have been jumping up and down over this use of one of their frequency bands too. But I haven't seen then doing anything yet. But in other countries these frequencies could be legal though.

But as mentioned already the cat is out of the bag, and it can be really difficult to get it back in. As noted it would be really difficult to enforce it.

But the FAA or FCC could show up where people are flying planes or drones and start looking more closely at what people are using and whether they are properly licensed to use them. If a number of people get caught using the stuff and fined for it, it might put a damper on it.
Jan 13, 2017, 08:56 AM
The QuadFather
propflux01's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclops2
Just love all the safety in free WORLDWISE businesses.

The PROFIT RULES !! Get used to that total reality. Flapping our lips does ZERO to have any safety again.

With Trump we should have complete change to " anything goes to make another buck." Lead in paint will return to childrens toys. They sell better than dull safe ones.

The BUCK is in full control again. Thank you Republicans for doing away with anything that would cut into your profits.

Pass laws with NO MONEY to enforce them. Our Republican way has worked for decades. Some Americans are like self propelled mushrooms. Feed them .......and keep them in the dark. They grow & die with no problems handling them.
It figures someone would post some stupid political xxxx on this subject which has nothing to do with it.
I believe, as a licensed amateur radio operator, that the reason the ARRL sent this letter is because someone had an incident of interference, was told by the drone operator what freqs they were using, found out by chance there are TXs on those freqs or something of this nature, and are afraid if something does happen, that the FCC will take away those frequencies from licensed hams. Since most drone operators don't use these much anymore the letter is probably day late dollar short, but could be trying to open the door to other frequencies being used by RC enthusiasts.
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Jan 13, 2017, 10:52 AM
Flying R/C since 1964
kallend's Avatar
https://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consu...rizedradio.pdf

A few hefty fines, well publicized, could make people pay attention. Fines up to $25,000 have been levied for operating unlicensed transmitters.
Latest blog entry: Using a DX9 to "strobe" LED...


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