• December 16, 2017, 12:21:23 am
• Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

!!

TEMAC Forum Guests

Please take the time to Register for the forum, especially if you are a TEMAC club member.

This is one of the most active RC club forums in Ontario. Please participate in the discussion to help our great club to continue to grow.

Author Topic: FPV - How to get a HAM license  (Read 2512 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Crazyflyer

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Real Name: Stephan Hagens
  • TEMAC #: 229
FPV - How to get a HAM license
« on: July 22, 2015, 08:13:52 am »
Hi All,
If you are interested in FPV, a HAM license is required for a lot of the frequencies. Zoltan Pittner prepared the following:


How to get the HAM license

Please note these instructions are for Canada only. If you leave in another country please follow your own countries guidelines on how to get the HAM license.

All FPV airplanes, racing drones, FPV multi-rotor helicopters have a video transmitter on board and as the name indicates these are RF (Radio Frequency)analog, FM (Frequency modulation) transmitters. Transmitting over the air with these devices in Canada requires a license and the knowledge of what you can transmit – and most importantly what and where not to transmit. Only a very few of the FPV video transmitters on the market today fall into the license free category, 99% of them still require a license to operate. Some of the channels on some of these transmitters are outside of the frequency spectrum allocated to amateur radio and being a responsible amateur / FPV pilot, you must NOT use any frequencies outside of the licensed bands.

To become an FPV pilot you should obtain an amateur radio license issued by Industry Canada. This license is free and valid for life. With your station license you will get an identifying call sign. To obtain the license you have to pass a multiple choice test provided by an accredited examiner.

Luckily there is a computer program which helps the amateurs preparing for the exam in studying and “writing” sample tests. One test a day and in 2-3 weeks time you will learn the questions and the correct answers, so you are prepared to take the exam with an examiner.

The test is available from here: http://wp.rac.ca/exhaminer-v2-5/ in English and French. This might be a little intimidating, but most of the questions are common sense and with a little electronics knowledge anybody can do it. You should do one or two tests a day and after about a 2-3 weeks you will be proficient enough to take the test with a local accredited examiner: http://www.rac.ca/en/amateur-radio/regulatory/examinations/examiners/

You should choose your very own call sign from here:

http://apc-cap.ic.gc.ca/pls/apc_anon/query_avail_cs$.startup

before you call the examiner.

If you leave in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and you think you are ready to take the exam, please call us at New Generation Hobbies, and we will organize an examiner to come and examine you. We do this at no charge, to help out our FPV clients to fly FPV legally.

Studying for the exam will teach you a lot of things. I learned a lot from the questions and answers. While studying for the exam I became really interested in the Amateur (Ham) Radio activities. Since currently FPV pilots require an amateur radio license it would be beneficial to organize a so called “FPV net” over the airwaves where all FPV pilots can call in, listen and talk about FPV. So who knows, maybe you will be interested in it too. It may lead to a new hobby for those long boring winter nights; you can sit in front of the radio and talk to people all over the world.

Let’s get back to FPV and licensing. Why is licensing really important? Here are few key points:

If you use an RF transmitter without proper licensing you can be fined severely, imprisoned or both.

If that is not enough motivation for you, then here is another:

Some of the FPV frequencies are close to frequencies used by civil aviation, radar and by aviation transponder systems. If you cause interference with any of these, you could be responsible for serious damage, not only to property but maybe life as well. Trust me you want to avoid any of that at all costs. So investigate the above links and go ahead and get your amateur license as the first step to becoming an FPV pilot.



Offline sihinch

  • TEMAC President
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 3142
  • Karma: +22/-3
  • Real Name: Simon Hinchcliffe
  • TEMAC #: 124
  • Started Flying RC: 1987
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 10:37:26 am »
Great links and info - thanks so much for posting.

Offline Papa

  • TEMAC Director of Events, Newsletter Writer, Editor and Publisher
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 1712
  • Karma: +21/-2
  • Real Name: Jack Higgins
  • TEMAC #: 81
  • Started Flying RC: 2007
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 12:38:11 pm »
Is this something we should check like MAAC membership?


If an FPV operator does not have his/her ham licence should they be allowed to use our facilities?


I don't know the answers and would appreciate seeing a debate on the subject.


Jack.
A motto to live by:
"What other people think of me is none of my business"

Offline sihinch

  • TEMAC President
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 3142
  • Karma: +22/-3
  • Real Name: Simon Hinchcliffe
  • TEMAC #: 124
  • Started Flying RC: 1987
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 12:49:38 pm »
My understanding is that someone with a HAM license can supervise and support someone flying FPV. I think this is what Zoltan said.

Offline Crazyflyer

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Real Name: Stephan Hagens
  • TEMAC #: 229
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 03:36:32 pm »
I was told by an FPV organizer in the States that certain transmitter frequencies are actually allowed without the HAM license.
He mentioned that the 32 channel transmitters are not legal to use in the US without the HAM, but they had no issues with the 8 channel Fat Sharks ones. So even with the 32 channel transmitters, we can choose to use the Fat Shark bands (5740, 5760, 5780, 5820, 5840, 5860, 5880 MHz)
Again, I am only relaying info i was told, I will be starting to study for my HAM shortly, I will let you know once I have more direct info.

Zoltan did mention that as long as one person has their HAM on the field, we are OK.

To add to this, since we are starting to have many members doing FPV, we should consider creating a basic procedure for setting up (i.e. never turn on an FPV transmitter while someone is flying FPV in case they are on the same frequency, call out when turning on the transmitter, etc...), nothing too cumbersome, just something to avoid losing signal while flying FPV.


Offline Papa

  • TEMAC Director of Events, Newsletter Writer, Editor and Publisher
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 1712
  • Karma: +21/-2
  • Real Name: Jack Higgins
  • TEMAC #: 81
  • Started Flying RC: 2007
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 03:41:45 pm »
That means a frequency Board!


I thought we got away from that with 2.4.


Seems retrogressive somehow???


Jack.
A motto to live by:
"What other people think of me is none of my business"

Offline Crazyflyer

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Real Name: Stephan Hagens
  • TEMAC #: 229
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 04:06:10 pm »
I have attended a few FPV races in the GTA, all we need to do is that when more then one person is flying FPV, they just have to talk to each other before turning on their transmitters to ensure we are on different frequencies. The idea of the Fat shark bands is also relatively simple, on the video transmitter, the pilot is responsible for choosing the appropriate frequency with either a push button or dip switches. Every transmitter comes with the frequency list associated with the dip switches.

If we start having dozens of FPVers at the field at the same time, some FPV organizers do have a board for race frequencies, but at this point I doubt TEMAC will be willing to have a permanent FPV quad racing course since planes will have trouble landing safely among the racing gates. Unless of course we add to the TEMAC area?!?!?  ;D

Furthermore I am not sure if from a club's legal perspective if TEMAC has to worry too much about the frequencies and HAM, as it is the individual who is responsible rather the club; although it doesn't make right, probably 99% of FPV pilots do not have a HAM license and I haven't heard of any frequency related issues ... yet.
Again it is something to look into.

Offline Crazyflyer

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Real Name: Stephan Hagens
  • TEMAC #: 229
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 04:28:31 pm »
Although I was somewhat kidding about adding space to TEMAC for FPV racing, there would probably be a lot of interest from the FPV community in having a permanent race location. This could be paid for with added membership.
Currently most FPV races are not MAAC sanctioned and the racers don't want to deal with the rules, it may be something to look into for the future of TEMAC, especially if transport Canada starts cracking down on the non-sanctioned events.
Just food for thought!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 04:40:47 pm by Crazyflyer »

Offline sihinch

  • TEMAC President
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 3142
  • Karma: +22/-3
  • Real Name: Simon Hinchcliffe
  • TEMAC #: 124
  • Started Flying RC: 1987
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 10:42:58 pm »
Surely it would be more in line with the Toronto heli club just down the road on Macowan to have an FPV race venue?

We are certainly not in the financial position to lease more space, right now.

Plus we insist all members have MAAC and wings to fly at our club. Doesn't sound like FPV racers (based on what you've said) would like that!

Offline Crazyflyer

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Real Name: Stephan Hagens
  • TEMAC #: 229
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 07:31:14 am »
I was definitely not saying anytime soon, right now the FPV racers are going to public parks for free without worrying about rules.
If or when transport Canada puts their foot down, it seems that MAAC sanctioned events will be one of the few choices for FPV racers.
At that point, I think flying clubs will start embracing the concepts of adding FPV race courses to keep their membership up.
 

Offline Candu

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 151
  • Karma: +4/-0
  • Real Name: Frank
  • TEMAC #: 183
Re: FPV - How to get a HAM license
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2015, 09:04:49 pm »
I was told by an FPV organizer in the States that certain transmitter frequencies are actually allowed without the HAM license.
He mentioned that the 32 channel transmitters are not legal to use in the US without the HAM, but they had no issues with the 8 channel Fat Sharks ones. So even with the 32 channel transmitters, we can choose to use the Fat Shark bands (5740, 5760, 5780, 5820, 5840, 5860, 5880 MHz)
Again, I am only relaying info i was told, I will be starting to study for my HAM shortly, I will let you know once I have more direct info.

Zoltan did mention that as long as one person has their HAM on the field, we are OK.

To add to this, since we are starting to have many members doing FPV, we should consider creating a basic procedure for setting up (i.e. never turn on an FPV transmitter while someone is flying FPV in case they are on the same frequency, call out when turning on the transmitter, etc...), nothing too cumbersome, just something to avoid losing signal while flying FPV.


To be correct, it's the transmitter power level that determines whether a licence is required or not.  Not the frequencies. A license is not required if the transmitter power is under 25mw. I believe Fatshark sells a 25mw FPV video transmitter.