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Legal FPV Flying
#1
Alright so my first FPV setup will be coming in the mail from BG soon, but as I was looking online I found out it's illegal to fly FPV outdoors without a HAM license. How do I get one of these for FPV flying, and what version of license do I need? I saw there's general public, technician, etc. I want do get this because I don't really want to be breaking the law. All of this stuff is just so overwhelming.
#2
Every country has different rules when it comes to legal power use on 5.8ghz for FPV (video signal basically). Australia you can legally use 25mW VTX's without the need of a HAM licence, anything above 25mw is subject to the HAM ruling.

The most common VTX used would be the 200mW, and I would say a large % of FPVers who use one do not have a HAM licence.
We here at IntoFPV do not condone the use of any hardware that may or may be not within the legal ruling of your country.

How to get a HAM licence should you want one?, I suggest good old Google and do a search for your local area, state, country.
My youtube channel

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#3
what country are you in?
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#4
Sorry, telling you what country I'm in would've helped lol. I'm in the US, Texas if that makes any difference. I tried a fair amount of googling, but I keep finding conflicting info. That's why I came on to the forums. Smile
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#5
In a nutshell (in the US), if you use any radio gear that is not certified by FCC (most FPV 5.8ghz gear), you need an amateur radio license to operate it. There are a few exceptions, like the DJI Phantom Vision+ and there may be others.  Bottom line, if you want to use FPV legally, you need the FCC license.
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#6
I assume the only license you get is a HAM license, and if that is true, what version should I get? There are many options and I don't know which one I should get.
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#7
(01-04-2017, 05:19 PM)tsmax17 Wrote: I assume the only license you get is a HAM license, and if that is true, what version should I get? There are many options and I don't know which one I should get.

For that I would take a look at the FCC's website, or perhaps give them a call.
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#8
Silly question, but can I still do indoors FPV without a HAM license? Or does it apply to wverything
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#9
(01-06-2017, 06:17 AM)tsmax17 Wrote: Silly question, but can I still do indoors FPV without a HAM license? Or does it apply to wverything

I think that the legislation surrounding 5.8gHz is in place regardless, essentially the signal that you are transmitting will not remain indoors...

If you operate a HAM radio you need the license, it's doubtful that you would have your radio set up outside!

But I'm not in the states so can't I confirm any of this.
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#10
You need the Technician Class license to operate 5.8G FPV equipment (legally) in the US. To get the license, you need to take a multiple-choice exam and score 26 out of 35. License is good for 10 years.

Here is an article that explains it very well: http://www.tested.com/tech/488686-what-y...lying-fpv/

I don't know many people who have obtained this. I haven't, but I should (and probably will this Winter) - it looks relatively cheap and painless. (and thanks for bringing it to my attention. Smile

Note: if the equipment is FCC certified, the license is not required. I doubt that anything obtained from overseas is FCC certified. I doubt the FCC would be concerned with 25mw equipment, but the law (in US) is written based on FCC certification for the equipment (not based on power output of the equipment). At least that is my understanding.
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#11
Alright well I don't know what to do. I'm in high school still, and there's a really good ameature radio class I can take. But if I got a license now, taking that class would be pointless. So could I just only use low powered gear like 24/25mw so I don't bother other peoople until I can take the class? I feel like it might actually be interesting to take a class on it, as opposed to cramming and studying the test questions. You get certified through the class too.
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#12
I'm guessing that FCC enforcement for this is near non-existent (still doesn't make it legal). The only way I can see someone getting in trouble over this is to do something really bad - like having your quad sucked into the intake of a jet engine, or land your quad on the White House lawn, etc. (That is, doing something that has graver consequences and charges - the "Flying without a license" would just be added to the list of much more serious charges.) Not saying it's OK, but...

(Like I said, i think I will get mine this Winter sometime. Testing shouldn't be too bad.)
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#13
tsmax, as long as you fly responsibly, no one is going to care that you aren't "legal". Maybe 1 in 10 FPV pilots in the US is actually doing it to the strict legal requirements. It's not an enforced area of law.
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#14
Alright. Thanks for the help! Smile
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#15
When I was partner with a person in a WISP (Wireless WiFi) anything up to a 1000mw did not need a license for. You really just need to check that the 5.8Ghz fpv setup gear is within FCC regulation specs. This was about 10 years ago and drones are quite new but at that time if it was under 1watt they did not care pretty much.
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