Licensing for wireless video

I am looking into using a wireless video system and understand that I will need a ham license. I will be getting that but I would like to integrate the video system into my professional work. I work for a public museum and from what I understand it is not legal to use a ham license as part of my work. How do people deal with this? I will try to get a COA to be able to fly but don't know how to legally use the wireless video.

All the best,


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  • I looked into the issue of using a wireless video system since my initial post. I should have mentioned that I would like to use the system outside and would like to be able to receive a signal when the drone is at least a mile away. It appears that from a practical standpoint a ham radio license is required to operate wireless video equipment suitable for aerial imaging. A problem for me is that it is unlawful to use a ham license when you are being compensated so it is illegal to use this as part of my job. This is my current understanding regarding the use of wireless video equipment in the USA.

    • To operate legally without a license it is necessary for the equipment to have an FCC Rules Part 15 certification.

    • There are no wireless video systems available that are suitable for long distance (> 1km) FPV that have an FCC Rules Part 15 certification.

    • Equipment without an FCC Rules Part 15 certification can be operated with an amateur radio license as long as it is within the amateur radio constraints (FCC Part 97 rules).

    • You cannot exercise amateur radio license privileges as part of your job (on behalf of an employer).

    • The only option for a business is to get an FCC rule Part 90 license for either a fixed location (legal frequencies are assigned by a frequency coordinator) or multiple locations using itinerant frequencies – Part 90.137.

    As I was looking into this I saw quite a few people who wrote that it is ok to use certain frequencies and power levels without a ham license but those numbers do not appear to be accurate. The bottom line is that equipment must have FCC certification to use it without an amateur license.

  • You can't make use it to make yourself money is essentially what that means.  You can use your video feed to show people at the museum just fine.  I am not telling you it is completely legal to do, but I don't think any FCC people that walk through are going to care that they have a  live video feed of the museum from the air.

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