Tuesday, January 15, 2008

HobbyTron Receives Citation

HobbyTron received an official citation from the FCC for marketing apparently illegal FM transmitters in the US and failing to provide information to a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) from October 22, 2007. The models affected include the R-FM30B-WT, R-FM100B-WT, and UX-150 transmitters (apparently made by Ramsey Electronics in the US and Canakit in Canada). Some of these transmitters have a range of over a mile. HobbyTron (Gibson Tech Ed, Inc.) had previously been issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for repeated and willful violation of the the same rule.

In an apparent attempt to get around the rules, HobbyTron offers these kit for "export". In order to by the kits, the purchaser has to sign a form acknowledging that the transmitter will be used in accordance to the applicable laws and may exceed the legal limits and may not be authorized in the US. The purchaser also has to agree to hold Hobbytron harmless.

HobbyTron responded to the LOI on November 15, 2007 but did not comply with the Commission's requests. It made a half-hearted attempt at answering the FCC and basically said that if the Commission didn't like the response to let them know. In its response, they cited the form above to relieve them of any responsibility. Obviously, the FCC is not buying this.

HobbyTron faces forfeitures of $11,000 for each device or for each day in violation. It has 20 days to respond to the LOI.

These types or FM transmitter have given satellite radio a bad reputation in the past. They interfere with radio stations and reception of FM radio by listeners and are abusive.

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