Thursday, January 12, 2017

PI Alert - Some Video Transmitters Are Operating on Illegal Frequencies

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...

ARRL cited the Lawmate transmitter as an example of problematic devices.
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, 1,280 MHz, would be within the Amateur Radio allocation at 1,240-1,300 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. more