Monday, February 6, 2017

ARRL to FCC: Ground Drone Transmitters Being Sold as Ham Gear

The ARRL has filed an "extremely urgent complaint" with the FCC, asking it to take enforcement action against the sale of certain audio/video transmitters for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) that it claims could cause interference to air traffic control and navigation. 

According to the ARRL Letter, the LawMate transmitter and companion 6-watt amplifier are marketed as amateur radio equipment but operate on frequencies between 1010 and 1280 MHz, potentially interfering with air traffic control transponders, navigational aids, GPS and other critical aeronautical safety systems. The complaint notes that only one of the frequencies used - 1280 MHz - is even within an amateur band, and says "the target market for these devices is the drone hobbyist, not licensed radio amateurs," adding that as configured, the devices have "no valid Amateur Radio application." There was no word at press time as to any FCC response.