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FCC proposes $2.8m fine against Hobbyking for marketing non-compliant drone transmitters

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John Lee07/06/2018 10:47:45
817 forum posts
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Link

John Lee07/06/2018 10:50:32
817 forum posts
99 photos

Link appears a bit flakey Text Reads:

Media Contact:

Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 will.wiquist@fcc.gov

For Immediate Release

FCC PROPOSES $2.8 MILLION FINE AGAINST HOBBYKING FOR MARKETING NONCOMPLIANT DRONE TRANSMITTERS

Drone Video Transmitters Could Apparently Operate in Radio Frequency Bands Not Designated for Amateur Use & Transmit at Disruptive Power Levels

--

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today proposed a $2.8 million fine against HobbyKing for marketing sixty-five models of devices used to relay video from drones to amateur drone operators which could apparently transmit in unauthorized radio frequency bands, including some that could also operate at excessive transmission power levels. Such unlawful transmissions could interfere with key government and public safety services like aviation systems and weather radar systems.

Through its website HobbyKing.com, HobbyKing markets devices that provide a video link between transmitters mounted on unmanned aircraft systems and users flying drones. While HobbyKing represented that its transmitters operated in designated amateur radio bands, the FCC’s investigation found that sixty-five models of devices marketed by HobbyKing could also apparently operate outside those bands. Radio frequency-emitting devices that can operate outside of radio frequency bands designated for amateur use must obtain FCC certification yet the devices in question marketed by HobbyKing apparently were not certified by the Commission.

In addition, amateur equipment used to telecommand model crafts are limited in the power of their radio transmissions. FCC rules limit such signals to 1 Watt (1000mW). Three of the transmitter models included in today’s action apparently operate at significantly higher power levels of 1500mW and 2000mW.

Following complaints to the FCC, the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau opened an investigation into the company’s marketing of radio frequency devices to American consumers in potential violation of the Communications Act and Commission’s rules. In response to these complaints, the FCC issued a formal citation to warn the company that it must comply with these requirements. Following further complaints, the Commission ordered the company to provide information on its marketing of AV transmitters. The law requires companies to respond to requests from the FCC for information and to such FCC orders after being warned of possible violations. Yet, HobbyKing provided no further response.

Cont....

John Lee07/06/2018 10:51:14
817 forum posts
99 photos

Today’s $2,861,128 proposed fine, formally called a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or NAL, contains only allegations that advise a party on how it has apparently violated the law and may set forth a proposed monetary penalty. The Commission may not impose a greater monetary penalty in this case than the amount proposed in the NAL. Neither the allegations nor the proposed sanctions in the NAL are final Commission actions. The party will be given an opportunity to respond and the Commission will consider the party’s

page1image3647592992

submission of evidence and legal arguments before acting further to resolve the matter. The HobbyKing NAL is available at: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-18-

page2image3648831328

71A1.pdf.

page2image3648689648

###

Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275 TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC www.fcc.gov/media-relations

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

KiwiKid24/07/2020 03:35:35
avatar
493 forum posts
481 photos

Well, this has been gestating for a few years, but looks like it got to the top of the pile and HK have got slammed. Obviously still early days - they may appeal or have HK USA insulated from the rest of the group, but Yikes.

“ Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the Act,117 and section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,118 ABC Fulfillment Services LLC and Indubitably, Inc. d/b/a HobbyKing IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of two million eight hundred sixty-one thousand one hundred and twenty-eight dollars ($2,861,128) ....”

Full ruling: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-issues-28-million-fine-against-hobbyking-0

Edited By KiwiKid on 24/07/2020 03:36:31

brokenenglish24/07/2020 06:41:00
avatar
605 forum posts
30 photos

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Richard Clark 224/07/2020 07:20:47
424 forum posts
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Steve J24/07/2020 08:42:08
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2105 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

HobbyKing are big enough to be worth going after and they were blatantly sticking two fingers up to the FCC.

Barrie Lever24/07/2020 09:05:18
avatar
397 forum posts
55 photos
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 07:20:47:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Richard

I have it on the highest authority (Director in Ricardo's) that Ford were squeaky clean in the emissions scandal.

Ricardo's organised a conference and invited all the major motor manufacturers (their clients) just after the scandal broke and the only manufacturers to not show where the Germans !!

B.

flight124/07/2020 09:20:19
avatar
749 forum posts
37 photos

Where does it tell you what TX' models that don't comply with ?

Graham Davies 324/07/2020 09:47:07
150 forum posts
54 photos

If you read the full FCC article it lists all the non-compliant product in the appendix at the end.

Here:

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-18-71A1.pdf

Most seem to be AV transmission related for the FPV market.

One line that did surprise me is:

OrangeRX DSMX DSM2 Compatible 2.4GHZ Transmitter module V1.2 (JR/ Turnigy/ Taranis compatible). Part number 9171000915-0

Keeping an eye on this. I'll post anything of note.

Graham

Graham Davies 324/07/2020 09:51:57
150 forum posts
54 photos
Posted by Steve J on 24/07/2020 08:42:08:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

HobbyKing are big enough to be worth going after and they were blatantly sticking two fingers up to the FCC.

I think there's a degree of corporate naivety. The FCC article states that Hobbyking were aware of non-compliance, but defended by claiming that the products were not marketed in the US. This was a very weak defence, and easy pickings for the FCC (Hobbyking put up a banner on 3rd July wishing it's US customers a Happy Independence day. That is enough for the US authorities to shoot down the marketable territories defence).

I'm going to look into this in any case, as I am constantly vigilant on Chinese product compliance. If I find anything that should concern us, I will let you know.

Graham

Richard Clark 224/07/2020 10:13:34
424 forum posts
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 09:05:18:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 07:20:47:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Richard

I have it on the highest authority (Director in Ricardo's) that Ford were squeaky clean in the emissions scandal.

Ricardo's organised a conference and invited all the major motor manufacturers (their clients) just after the scandal broke and the only manufacturers to not show where the Germans !!

B.

Barrie,

Be a daft director who admitted their customers were cheating, Ricardo would never get their business again. Not that they would tell Ricardo anyway, it's what they do after Ricardo have faffed around with the engine that counts.

And the US authorities didn't even investigate the US companies because they didn't want to find anything wrong.

It's all part of US protectionism. See BP's huge fine when the US owned, maintained, and operated oil rig they hired caught fire OUTSIDE US territorial waters, and the huge Deutsche Bank fine.

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:15:36

Barrie Lever24/07/2020 10:20:12
avatar
397 forum posts
55 photos
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:13:34:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 09:05:18:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 07:20:47:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Richard

I have it on the highest authority (Director in Ricardo's) that Ford were squeaky clean in the emissions scandal.

Ricardo's organised a conference and invited all the major motor manufacturers (their clients) just after the scandal broke and the only manufacturers to not show where the Germans !!

B.

Barrie,

Be a daft director who admitted their customers were cheating, Ricardo would never get their business again. Not that they would tell Ricardo anyway, it's what they do after Ricardo have faffed around with the engine that counts.

And the US authorities didn't even investigate the US companies because they didn't want to find anything wrong.

It's all part of US protectionism. See BP's huge fine when the US owned, maintained, and operated oil rig they hired caught fire OUTSIDE US territorial waters, and the huge Deutsche Bank fine.

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:15:36

Richard

No not really, he admitted that one customer was cheating, and it was an off the record technical discussion over lunch.

The cheat was quite subtile in any case as it relied on no steering inputs during the test, that was the que for the system to enter 'cheat mode'

If there had more cheats it would have come out by now as the press were all over it like a rash, I would say that all diesel cheats are exposed now (VW and Merc IIRC).

Exxon Valdez ??

B.

Edited By Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 10:23:37

Richard Clark 224/07/2020 10:42:56
424 forum posts
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 10:20:12:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:13:34:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 09:05:18:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 07:20:47:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Richard

I have it on the highest authority (Director in Ricardo's) that Ford were squeaky clean in the emissions scandal.

Ricardo's organised a conference and invited all the major motor manufacturers (their clients) just after the scandal broke and the only manufacturers to not show where the Germans !!

B.

Barrie,

Be a daft director who admitted their customers were cheating, Ricardo would never get their business again. Not that they would tell Ricardo anyway, it's what they do after Ricardo have faffed around with the engine that counts.

And the US authorities didn't even investigate the US companies because they didn't want to find anything wrong.

It's all part of US protectionism. See BP's huge fine when the US owned, maintained, and operated oil rig they hired caught fire OUTSIDE US territorial waters, and the huge Deutsche Bank fine.

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:15:36

Richard

No not really, he admitted that one customer was cheating, and it was an off the record technical discussion over lunch.

The cheat was quite subtle in any case as it relied on no steering inputs during the test, that was the que for the system to enter 'cheat mode'

B.

Exactly. And the cheat doesn't affect Ricardo's work or the buyer's perception of the car. Though VW's response to those UK buyers who feel cheated on the pollution aspect has been dismal.

Richard Clark 224/07/2020 10:44:55
424 forum posts
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:42:56:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 10:20:12:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:13:34:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 09:05:18:
Posted by Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 07:20:47:
Posted by brokenenglish on 24/07/2020 06:41:00:

Surely HK can't be the only company marketing this stuff?

Plenty. But the USA usually only prosecutes 'foreign' companies, which of course HK is. EG Volkswagen for false pollution figures but they don't even investigate GM or Ford,

I.

Richard

I have it on the highest authority (Director in Ricardo's) that Ford were squeaky clean in the emissions scandal.

Ricardo's organised a conference and invited all the major motor manufacturers (their clients) just after the scandal broke and the only manufacturers to not show where the Germans !!

B.

Barrie,

Be a daft director who admitted their customers were cheating, Ricardo would never get their business again. Not that they would tell Ricardo anyway, it's what they do after Ricardo have faffed around with the engine that counts.

And the US authorities didn't even investigate the US companies because they didn't want to find anything wrong.

It's all part of US protectionism. See BP's huge fine when the US owned, maintained, and operated oil rig they hired caught fire OUTSIDE US territorial waters, and the huge Deutsche Bank fine.

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 24/07/2020 10:15:36

Richard

No not really, he admitted that one customer was cheating, and it was an off the record technical discussion over lunch.

The cheat was quite subtle in any case as it relied on no steering inputs during the test, that was the que for the system to enter 'cheat mode'

B.

Exactly. And the cheat doesn't affect Ricardo's work or the buyer's perception of the car. Though VW's response to those UK buyers who feel cheated on the pollution aspect has been dismal.

Steve J24/07/2020 11:18:03
avatar
2105 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by Graham Davies 3 on 24/07/2020 09:47:07:

One line that did surprise me is:

OrangeRX DSMX DSM2 Compatible 2.4GHZ Transmitter module V1.2 (JR/ Turnigy/ Taranis compatible). Part number 9171000915-0

If memory serves, one of the issues is that they were importing stuff with fictitious FCC numbers.

Barrie Lever24/07/2020 12:04:18
avatar
397 forum posts
55 photos
Posted by Steve J on 24/07/2020 11:18:03:
Posted by Graham Davies 3 on 24/07/2020 09:47:07:

One line that did surprise me is:

OrangeRX DSMX DSM2 Compatible 2.4GHZ Transmitter module V1.2 (JR/ Turnigy/ Taranis compatible). Part number 9171000915-0

If memory serves, one of the issues is that they were importing stuff with fictitious FCC numbers.

I cannot believe an upright and honest Chinese company would do such a thing !!

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit used by the lowest form of people, but fitting in this case.

B.

Graham Davies 324/07/2020 12:30:04
150 forum posts
54 photos
Posted by Barrie Lever on 24/07/2020 12:04:18:
Posted by Steve J on 24/07/2020 11:18:03:
Posted by Graham Davies 3 on 24/07/2020 09:47:07:

One line that did surprise me is:

OrangeRX DSMX DSM2 Compatible 2.4GHZ Transmitter module V1.2 (JR/ Turnigy/ Taranis compatible). Part number 9171000915-0

If memory serves, one of the issues is that they were importing stuff with fictitious FCC numbers.

I cannot believe an upright and honest Chinese company would do such a thing !!

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit used by the lowest form of people, but fitting in this case.

B.

Sadly, the only form I'm any good at!

In my experience, even upstanding Chinese companies can fall foul of less upstanding compliance agencies!

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt!

Stephen Smith 1424/07/2020 13:00:49
242 forum posts
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48067505#:~:text=A%20criminal%20investigation%20has%20been,to%20potential%20problems%20in%20February.&text=VW%20was%20found%20to%20have%20used%20software%20that%20could%20cheat%20emissions%20tests.
Stephen Smith 1424/07/2020 13:04:20
242 forum posts

Or google ford emissions scandal, there all at it

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