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Old October 7th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 576
Cordless Phones...

They're covered by Part 15 of the FCC rules. Part 15 covers equipment in sections of radio frequency which are not reserved for licensed radio services (such as cordless phones, remote controlled ceiling fans, kids walkie-talkies, etc).

Remember that a transmitter which is listed as "Operating on the 900MHz band" may be operating ANYWHERE on the 900 MHz band... 900.001 MHz all the way up to 999.999 MHz, and the manufacturer may not tell the customer exactly WHERE in the band it operates! However, if it's been legally manufactured in, or imported into the USA, it will have been examined by the FCC to confirm compliance with the rules and regulations.

The FCC chops each band into segments, and gives certain parts of each band to different users. The ARS has exclusive "rights" to segments all over the HF (high frequency), VHF (very-high frequency), UHF (ultra-high frequency) and microwave bands. For example, the ARS segment in the 900 MHz band (also called the 33 cm band) occupies 902.0MHz through 928.0MHz. Cordless phones will occupy areas either below or above that segment. If you want to operate a radio transmitter on a frequency between 902 and 928 MHz, you need a license. Outside that segment, you may not need a license, it just depends on who the FCC has given that frequency to. The transmitter listed above operates at a fixed frequency of 910.10 MHz, smack-bang in the middle of the Ham bands.

The FCC also controls what emission types are allowed in each band. For example, you can legally transmit Morse code, data and radio-teletype on the 17m band (18.086-18.168Mhz), but only in one segment of it, 18.068-18.110Mhz. You can transmit voice only from 18.110-18.168Mhz. Those with the entry level Amateur Radio Service licenses may be restricted in the amount of power they transmit, and/or may be further restricted in exactly where they can transmit. Learning these rules and regulations is probably the hardest part of the ARS licensing exam! :-)

So, as with everything in this business, it's better to do some research before you buy. Otherwise, you may run afoul of some amateur radio "Official Observer" (a radio operator who reports violations to the FCC) who's sitting at home, on in his truck with his amateur TV gear, watching you film your next block-buster movie for Searchlight Films using ham frequencies to transmit your audio/video wirelessly. He'll report it to the FCC, together they'll track you down, and you'll end up paying... possibly big money. Even if you're not getting paid to film you're still violating the rules if you're filming for a commercial project, or to provide news/TV footage, or to benefit a business in some way.
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