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Mr.RC-Cam

Another FPV Vendor is Issued FCC Citation.

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I mentioned more than a year ago that the FCC was going to do a lot more enforcement even though the budget was lower and was somewhat poo-pooed about my comment. Glad to see they're doing more for the Ham frequencies 2.4ghz not being the only ones.

The following about illegal 2M useage from last Fridays ARRL bulletin.

On September 28, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to a California firm that the Commission maintains was using amateur frequencies to conduct business. According to the Commission, Shimmick Construction Company, Inc/Obayashi Corporation, Joint Venture ("Shimmick-Obayashi") -- licensees of stations WQER756, WQEN793, WQJI360 and WQKG818 -- apparently repeatedly violated Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules "by failing to operate only in accordance with the rules applicable to their particular service as set forth in the Commission's Rules and with a valid authorization granted by the Commission." Click here for more information.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Shimmick Construction Company is not in the FPV business, so they are not a big concern around here. :) But even so, there's another FCC thread for mentioning general violators like them.

Anyways, yet another popular FPV vendor recently earned a citation AND they were fined (I think they are the first FPV vendor to be issued such a penalty):

http://fjallfoss.fcc...A-09-1428A1.pdf

It seems that someone out there is sending formal complaints to the FCC about possible non-compliant items in the popular FPV shops. So being involved with that type of business, I am concerned about it. Perhaps one day I will be granted some unfortunate press time in this particular discussion. It's a bit depressing.

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I only posted about the construction co to mention that the 2.4 gear wasn't the only thing being looked at.

Haven't looked lately but my impression was that DPCAV equipment was all legal so should not cause you any worry.

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Interesting, I didn't know that 2468MHz was outside of the Amateur band in the US.

This has somewhat serious implications, as that means that none of the common 2.4GHz A/V transmitters used to date may be marketed in the US without prior modification to disable CH4... bad :(

Edited by Kilrah

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Haven't looked lately but my impression was that DPCAV equipment was all legal so should not cause you any worry.

Roger that. I hope to have done everything possible to ensure compliance. But that does not stop me from being nervous about what is going on. I spent ten years directly dealing with gov regulatory agencies, so I know how finicky one investigator can be over another.

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I found that when working with (not for) city or state inspection agencies for over 15 years that a bottle of good whiskey usually worked miracles.

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I think I have found the common denominator in some of the recent FPV shop FCC actions. It looks like starting about two years ago the FCC began investigating Lawmate Technology Co and then fined them $14K USD in July 2009. Details are here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc...A-09-1535A1.pdf

My theory is that the FCC requested and received a list of USA customers (FPV shops) that imported the Lawmate devices. It seems that the list of names may have been provided in a Sep 2008 response. So the timeline of the recent actions kind of supports my theory. That is to say, this list of names may have been source that the FCC used as they expanded their investigation.

It is interesting to note that the FCC fined Lawmate. They are NOT a USA based company and do not have a physical office in US territory.

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I would think that Hams would not have a problem with buying this equipment as we could choose not to use the out of band frequency or channel.

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I think the reason for that is the language of the rules forbids marketing devices that are not compliant. There's a lot of "ham" equipment that has been banned for this reason (those hackable 10 meter rigs are one example).

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It is interesting to note that the FCC fined Lawmate. They are NOT a USA based company and do not have a physical office in US territory.

Yes they do have a division on the USA

http://www.pimall.com/nais/lawmate/

but I think this really does not matter, you cannot export a product to a market like the USA (FCC) or EU (CE) if you don´t have your product market as they should be and are compliant with the FCC and CE rules.

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Are you sure they are an official Lawmate office? They were not listed on the FCC's report against Lawmate and this store simply looks like another Lawmate retailer. Their actual name is Spy Tek Wholesale; I could be wrong, but it just seems to be another USA site that represents the Lawmate brand (there's plenty of those in the USA).

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Are you sure they are an official Lawmate office? They were not listed on the FCC's report against Lawmate and this store simply looks like another Lawmate retailer. Their actual name is Spy Tek Wholesale; I could be wrong, but it just seems to be another USA site that represents the Lawmate brand (there's plenty of those in the USA).

well I really don´t know if they are a Lawmate representative or not, but www.lawmateamerica.com brings you there too,

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That site is registered to a fellow in the USA. From what I can tell, the real Lawmate office is only in Taiwan. It's basically the one listed on the FCC investigation docs. Here's their web site: www.lawmate.com.tw

In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter, so pardon all my comments. But, the fact that the FCC issued a fine to a Taiwan company seemed unusual to me at first. But the importation of non-compliant goods did occur on USA territory, so that would seem to be the hook in this case. I wonder if Lawmate will actually pay. :)

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That site is registered to a fellow in the USA. From what I can tell, the real Lawmate office is only in Taiwan. It's basically the one listed on the FCC investigation docs. Here's their web site: www.lawmate.com.tw

In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter, so pardon all my comments. But, the fact that the FCC issued a fine to a Taiwan company seemed unusual to me at first. But the importation of non-compliant goods did occur on USA territory, so that would seem to be the hook in this case. I wonder if Lawmate will actually pay. :)

They should pay if they want to keep on doing business with the US. I think FCC should work something similar than CE here in Europe.Here in Spain there are many chinese toys that either are not CE labelled or it´s a CE label fake, the comission have forbidden all the imports from some manufactures on all the EU countries, so they better don´t get mad the FCC guys :P

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They have no reason to pay. The one at fault is the importer(s), for importing illegal goods. The manufacturer, which is in another country and has nothing to do with the destination country will sell to whoever buys from them...

I think FCC should work something similar than CE here in Europe.Here in Spain there are many chinese toys that either are not CE labelled or it´s a CE label fake

Actually, the FCC system is more strict than that. It's easy, everything that is to be marketed to the general public has to be certified by them. So if the thing doesn't have a valid FCC ID that is in their records, it's illegal. No problems of fake certificates that happen with the CE system.

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The FCC does not monitor things very closely, so the risk of catching the non-compliant goods as they enter the USA is slim to none. But if they wanted, they could put Lawmate products on a watch list and confiscate the goods during customs processing (the FCC form 740 that is suppose to accompany the shipment would certainly give away who made the products). But it seems to be very unlikely that would ever happen since they just are not that big of an organization (small budgets, little manpower).

So far, I don't think they are overly concerned about small incoming quantities of this stuff (like the little FPV shops would import). It is probably a miracle that the FPV vendors ended up being investigated. Either they got reported via the standard complaint process or someone at the FCC decided to expand an existing investigation. I still think it is possible that Lawmate provided a list of their recent customers, which is something that the FCC has been known to request during their complaint reviews.

The good news is that no new FPV shops have shown up on the FCC enforcement reports. So hopefully that means any that have already received their LOI nasty gram have talked their way out of it. :)

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I no longer think that the FPV shop citations were the result of an earlier Airwave Taiwan investigation. It could as easily been the other way around!

Case in point is with a $18K USD fine levied against a China company this month. It began as an investigation in 2008 on the USA reseller, who were later given a FCC citation for selling a non-compliant household FM transmitter. The FCC then moved the investigation to the Chinese manufacturer. The result was an expensive fine. I wonder if they will pay? :)

The FCC action is found here:

http://www.fcc.gov/e...-09-2303A1.html

Although not a FPV example, it does show that the FCC is getting a bit more aggressive than usual in hunting non-compliant goods by going after the off-shore producers. I can't recall any examples of that in the past, so it is all very interesting. It will be even more interesting to see what they do to the foreign suppliers that do not pay the fine.

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Just a thought went through my mind. Maybe there will be no cheap gear pretty soon, but very expensive stuff only available through a limited bunch of suppliers. 1,000 % profit or more seems to linger in the dark recesses of my cranium.

Is it not so that there are maybe only 2 or 3 mfgrs of the RF chips used in these devices and can be gotten for somewhere around $3 each in single quantities?

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I don't think there is any need to fear that affordable products will go away. However, the really low cost stuff is just junk and hopefully it will go away. :)

My fear is that the quality made 900Mhz and 2.4Ghz stuff will go away due to obsolete raw components (the designs are old) and shrinking consumer markets. To me, that is a much bigger threat to the longevity of the good stuff that we like to use for FPV.

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I don't think there is any need to fear that affordable products will go away. However, the really low cost stuff is just junk and hopefully it will go away. :)

shrinking consumer markets. To me, that is a much bigger threat to the longevity of the good stuff that we like to use for FPV.

So, is it possible that HD transmitters will become the standard then?

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So, is it possible that HD transmitters will become the standard then?

If you mean spread spectrum type video gear, maybe one day. But the technical and cost issues will slow these down for our application. Ask me again in five years. :)

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