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December 21, 2017

Legal Frequencies in Drone Racing

In light of recent events, MultiGP feels it is important to revisit several aspects of the legal and permitted frequencies for video transmitters. To be clear, the current situation that brought this to light is in reference to video transmitters operating outside of the Amateur Radio frequency allocation of 1240-1300 MHz (specifically below 1240 MHz). This did not include any transmitters operating around the 5.8 GHz band that most racing drones use. It is still important that all MultiGP pilots and chapter organizers operate within full compliance of all local, state, and federal laws.

US Legal Frequencies

MultiGP continues to recommend avoiding the use of the specific frequencies 5645, 5925 and 5945 for United States chapters. These frequencies are illegal to be used by amateurs, and stiff penalties can result from operating outside of the allocated frequency range (5650 mhz to 5925 mhz). Due to the fact that MultiGP has international race chapters all over the world, with differing laws, these frequencies will still be accessible by international race chapters. We also suggest you research your local, state, and federal laws pertaining to our sport. As a chapter organizer, it is crucial to understand these laws to protect your chapter and your pilots. Operating in accordance with the law is important to the future of drone sports.

International Frequencies

MultiGP strongly recommends that you research your specific country’s radio frequency and transmission power laws. Operating in accordance with your country’s laws is important to the future of drone sports.

Best Practices and Future Plans

MultiGP recommends that all race chapter organizers operate with caution and common sense. Operating races and events strictly within the recommended frequency profiles should be standard practice. Internally MultiGP will be disabling access to 5645 and 5945 for race chapters based in the United States. We are also in the process of creating country-specific frequency profiles that are in compliance with that country’s laws.

Obtain Your HAM Technicians License

MultiGP highly recommends that every pilot in the United States obtain Ham radio Technicians license. This process can be researched through this link – http://www.arrl.org/getting-licensed. This process is straightforward and with a little studying getting your license is easy. Most video transmitters that are on the market are not FCC certified. In the United States, a Ham Technicians license is needed to operate any non-FCC certified video transmitter within the allocation of 5650 MHz – 5925 MHz.

References

U.S. Frequency Allocation Chart National Association for Amateur Radio FCC Order DA17-1194 FCC Penalizes Marketer of Ham-Band Drone Audio-Visual Transmitters  

About MultiGP:

MultiGP is the largest professional drone racing league in the world. Because of this, MultiGP hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its extensive network. The Organization currently has over 20,000 registered pilots in addition to 500 active chapters worldwide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community support. These programs make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers, and spectators. MultiGP has created multiple programs designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format. Because of MultiGP’s efforts, it is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing. For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com.
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