$2.8 million fine against Hobbyking

Summer has arrived thus it is raining today. I was just about to order a new battery and saw this news report. Not sure of the implications for Hobbyking but I decided not to place my order!

The (US) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday imposed a $2.8 million fine against HobbyKing for offering drone transmission devices that did not follow the agency’s licensing rules.


What is impressive is that the LawStreetMedia article mentions amateur radio frequencies and powers but the FCC doesn’t. ISTR these drones operate on ISM frequencies at 2.4 and 5.6GHz.

I’m not sure how the FCC is going to get Hobbyking to pay either.

I wouldn’t underestimate an arm of the US govt’s ability to collect!!



I hope that in the UK OfCom will take similar action.

Ok, they have a get-out clause:

Attention Customers

**** The use and operation of this product in some countries may require a license based on local government restrictions. Ensure you check your local government rules before operating this device. ****

IANAL, but surely just writing that doesn’t make them compliant with the 25-mW limit for this category here (and Region 1 generally I suppose?).

Of course you can get considerably higher-powered VTX units by importing direct from China / HK, but then you are responsible for ensuring compliance. That might be Ok for us, with some technical knowledge, but your typical drone hobbyist will surely turn just the wick up until the snow on the video disappears.

I should add that I have been considering having a play with C-band analogue video within our allocation. A S2S attempt could be fun. But with TX firmly stood on the ground for sure.

However, losing the cheap import route for our purposes would be a small price to pay for removing these non-compliant transmitters from the general market.

This item was discussed in this weeks ICQ Podcast (I know as I was there). The company base is Hong Kong, but they do have some presence in the US.

Which interestingly also had a feature on a SOTA activation event being organised in SE England.

73 Ed.

Feds go to court in Portland to collect $2.8M fine against HobbyKing for marketing unauthorized drone transmitters

And it continues:

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