I have called the FCC to be transferred 3 times and then finally transferred to a voice-mail with no answer.
I want to know which document(s) I can look at to determine the legal issues/restrictions for using a given frequency with a specific tx power. Also, any restrictions such as video only, not allowed to encrypt ...etc
'tis a good question. You might try asking the ARRL (national association for amateur radio - http://www.arrl.org/).
Frequency allocation can be found in this FCC doc: http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/spectrum/table/fcctable.pdf, which contains info on which subsection to refer to for a given frequency.
Tx power (more importantly ERP) and other restrictions are band-specific; I might be able to help more with more detail... what frequencies are you considering?
Kudos for doing your homework... it can be a headache up front, but it's worth it.
Getting a Ham License will not only open up new frequencies and power options but, will teach you a great deal more about RF, tx/rx and antennas.
Or, you could just do what you want and wait for the FCC to call you. ;)
ROFL FCC calling anyone ROFL
If the FCC comes at you for flying an RC airplane then the recession has ended and the goverment is able to throw money at teams to go track down ham radio violations. I tried to get a HAM lic a few years ago and found the guy who runs the show in my area is an old fart and all he kept saying is "you cant do this you cant do that blah blah blah....... he has no idea what he is talking about.
I do what I want god bless the US
I'd suggest serious caution before adopting this approach. In my experience with the amateur radio community (I'm a licensed operator), HAM operators start the enforcement process with the FCC through a report filed with the FCC's enforcement board. Most HAM clubs of any size host events called "fox hunts" which are practice for geolocation of interfering signals.
Additionally, while the older members of the community may occasionally be misinformed on the state of regulations, it's uncommon in my experience. Further, if you can convince them that you're operating legally and that they should be interested in what you're doing, the amount of practical experience that they can convey is generally impressive. Step on their toes, though, and they're the ones with time to contact the FCC and birddog a complaint through to action.
Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see amateur radio move out of the days of DOS and RS232 serial ports… the level of antiquated technology is a frequent frustration of mine. However, there is a system in place that makes a fairly substantial amount of RF spectrum available to anyone who is willing to put in the work to learn how to use it well, and I’d suggest playing by the rules as much as possible.
Ultimately, it's a question of personal risk tolerance, as with all of the technology available or discussed on this site. It's entirely possible to use technology outside of legal bounds, and you can probably get away with it, but the further you take that mentality, the worse it can be if/when something goes wrong.