Could this be legal? - Page 2
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Thread: Could this be legal?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by purpledevil View Post
    We have a drive-in theater up in Hockley, that uses not one but two FM frequencies to carry the audio for each screen. Once they build the third screen, here in the short term, the operators of the drive-in will then use a third FM frequency for the third screen's audio. This theater's audio can be heard outside of the property on two 1st adjacents to actually licensed Houston class C facilities (97-9 & 99-1) as you drive in front of it on 2920, for around an 1/8th of a mile.

    Since we have concluded that the ranch application would be illegal, wouldn't this use of the airwaves also be constituted as an illegal transmission on the two utilized frequencies of 98-1 & 98-9 FM?
    If the range of each transmitter is greater than roughly a 20 meter radius, it definitely violates Part 15.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    There has to be a reason why no one else has done it. Maybe that's the reason.
    I wonder if he could apply for an experimental license under Part 5, with the intent of conducting tests of a low power AM service (that's what some ham operators are doing to research a new band just below 500 kHz). Since this guy is a rancher, not a technical guy, I wonder if he'd be required to hire an engineer to actually run the tests.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  3. #13
    General Manager frankberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Midland, Michigan
    Drive-in theatres use "radiating cable" to cover the parking area. They operate at a very low power which meets Part 15 rules.

  4. #14
    Agreed. It's not much of a comparison. You're talking about flea-power to cover a normal drive-in, though Purpledevil's description sounds like they've got some issues there. I own 3 screens worth of drive-in myself, and it's not all that difficult to stay out of the way. It's another thing entirely to cover a 6-mile hunk of property.

    Now that I think of it, the antenna required for this project (AM) would probably be cost-prohibitive.

    Really... there's no way to compare this project to another one, and you can't point to someone else and say "he's doing it, so I can, too." It can technically be done, and the owner can rationalize it all he wants to, but there will be a risk involved because there is no rule in the book that will allow an unlicensed transmitter to cover the kind of square footage you're talking about here, and there's no cheap/easy way for the owner to do it by the book.

    Not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but the heading of this thread asked if the concept could be legal. Other than the Part-15 idea, I don't see any way it could be.
    Last edited by Grounded Grid; 09-23-2016 at 09:59 PM.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    I think of the Navajo Nation in Window Rock AZ. Technically their reservation isn't even US soil. Yet they applied for and received a license for KTNN-AM.
    As far as dealing with the FCC and other Federal agencies are concerned, Indian Reservations are considered part of the United States. The tribes negotiated treaties to that effect (some good, some bad, I know), but the FCC is responsible for regulating communications on the Reservations.

    They also have deals with the states that their borders are within, on issues like gambling. I'm not versed on all of the issues between the US and state government and the Tribes, but deals are in place for a good many things.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by frankberry View Post
    Drive-in theatres use "radiating cable" to cover the parking area. They operate at a very low power which meets Part 15 rules.
    That's true on FM? I know there are rules concerning "leaky coax" on AM, but I thought the only FM rule was a field strength of 250 ÁV/m at 3 meters.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I told him I thought it would be illegal but it is interesting. I suggested he load up an iPod and carry a walkie talkie. I suppose if he was an entity of some educational purpose maybe but that would be sketchy.

    I hadn't been to the ranch in years...over 20...and back then it was pretty much desolate. There was a phone in the foreman's truck but they had to drive to a fairly high spot away from the buildings to make a call. They had electric power. TV was whatever was free via c-band satellite and all the TVs got whatever the foreman's house happened to be watching. There was no internet at that time as this was before the personal computers became common. It was a nice escape to get got there but living there would really have gotten to me. They only went to the grocery store once a month, calling in the order and taking a bunch of ice chests when it was ready to pick up. If you ran out of something, you did without until the next trip to town although some groceries could be had at a little store that was actually in the living room of one house, sort of a tiny convenience store with a few hundred dollars in inventory. The guy did construction in town back then but when his Dad could no longer run the ranch he moved his family there and took over. His daughter went to a 2 room school for K-8th and was one of about 15 kids. At 9th grade they went to the nearest high school.

  8. #18
    I wonder if a WiFi system(s) around the areas that folks are would work? Then he could run an internet station. He could "feed" the system internet with a satellite service ISP.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by KeithE4 View Post
    This sounds like a loophole to me. Why a college campus and not a shopping mall or ranch? All are large properties. As long as no licensed station is interfered with, there shouldn't be a problem. Again, I wouldn't attempt this on FM, no matter if the band is totally dead. He'd probably have to apply for an LPFM.
    This rule was created in relation for (now old) unlicensed college campus carrier current stations, which utilized campus power lines and the wiring in student housing locations to transmit AM signals relegated only to the campus area.

    Trying to use carrier current for an expansive ranch operation, would be a complete waste of time.

  10. #20
    On the other hand fee simple does mean fee simple, and the four limitations to fee simple ownership do not seem to be involved in the rancher's proposal.
    No irony there.

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