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Thread: Legal Question Regarding ATV

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    Default Legal Question Regarding ATV

    I apologize if I posted this in the wrong place. I did not see a room for legal questions.

    Part 97 law says that one cannot transmit one-way communication with very few exceptions. My team is launching a weather balloon like we have done several times before. This time, we would like to attach a small amateur TV transmitter to the payload and receive live video back from the craft as flies. However, would this be considered one-way communication? The FCC does not define one-way anywhere that I can find.

    Aaron

  2. #2
    travis.farmer's Avatar
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    Part 97 : Sec. 97.111 Authorized transmissions
    (a) An amateur station may transmit the following types of two-way communications:

    (1) Transmissions necessary to exchange messages with other stations in the amateur service, except those in any country whose administration has notified the ITU that it objects to such communications. The FCC will issue public notices of current arrangements for international communications.

    (2) Transmissions necessary to meet essential communication needs and to facilitate relief actions.

    (3) Transmissions necessary to exchange messages with a station in another FCC-regulated service while providing emergency communications;

    (4) Transmissions necessary to exchange messages with a United States government station, necessary to providing communications in RACES; and

    (5) Transmissions necessary to exchange messages with a station in a service not regulated by the FCC, but authorized by the FCC to communicate with amateur stations. An amateur station may exchange messages with a participating United States military station during an Armed Forces Day Communications Test.

    (b) In addition to one-way transmissions specifically authorized elsewhere in this part, an amateur station may transmit the following types of one-way communications:

    (1) Brief transmissions necessary to make adjustments to the station;

    (2) Brief transmissions necessary to establishing two-way communications with other stations;

    (3) Telecommand;

    (4) Transmissions necessary to providing emergency communications;

    (5) Transmissions necessary to assisting persons learning, or improving proficiency in, the international Morse code; and

    (6) Transmissions necessary to disseminate information bulletins.

    (7) Transmissions of telemetry.
    perhaps section b.7, Telemetry, may work. it is typically used, to my knowledge, for information from various sensors, like temp, location, etc. would i be correct that a live video feed would fit this? if i am correct, you would still need to overlay your callsign in the video feed being transmitted.

    ~Travis

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    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    You'd probably need a remote "killswitch" too - ask some ATV groups, we're not allowed to transmit from airborne vehicles in Europe...

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    I remember when here in the UK we were experimenting with ATV in the 80s - in the 10 meg wide UHF band. Back then our Government were really on the ball with band monitoring and control, and visits from the officials with monitoring equipment were much more common. I got interviewed by the local press because somebody told them, and despite explaining exactly what it was, they got it wrong. They seemed to think it was like a pirate TV channel, and I explained it would probably be very boring, but they pushed - so I said that the best it could be was if I put the camera out of the window and showed viewers what Lowestoft looked like. They reported it as "the channel will start with a 20 minute programme on Lowestoft". This got me a visit and of course it was all ok in reality. However it was explained to me, even though I thought I knew, exactly what this meant. Absolutely NO images from any equipment transmitting off the ground - so an amateur camera in a model aircraft was out. A building of any height was fine. However - using a tall building to get the signals in and out by using an RF link from somewhere sensible is also out - you've created a repeater, which needs planning, coordination, licensing and control. To the best of my knowledge, in the UK these things are still the rules. I'd be very surprised if the FCC made longer range downlinks from aerial devices legal - although, the US laws, viewed from outside are amazingly difficult for non-US citizens to understand. How about the ISM bands? Even hams need dedicated kit to receive ATV - in the 80's we weren't popular at all - we used up virtually ALL the 70cm band - keeping repeaters open for hours with nasty buzzing. Thank god it fizzled out, but when we were doing it - regular images flew across the North Sea from the UK to Holland and Belgium and back.

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    travis.farmer's Avatar
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    I found this, and i think it states the answer: http://www.hamtv.com/info.html#fccrules
    One way transmission on Ham radio frequencies can be used for Radio Control vehicles without IDing and with some restrictions per 97.215.
    actually, i found a wealth of info on the site. enough to interest me in the idea.

    ~Travis

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