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Part 15 vs Part 97

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KE0EYT's picture
Part 15 vs Part 97
I have a question on a potential ARDEN setup.

I am planning on trying to do a proof of concept for an upcoming exercise for Civil Air Patrol. Won't get too far into the weeds yet, but it will involve a backbone from a hangar to a ramp about 400 yards away.

The problem is, CAP is adamant about no ham in official activities. There is however a carveout in regulations for part 15 devices.

Is there anything about replacing the firmware that makes UBI hardware no longer covered under part 15?

I am hoping that if I stay on the standard channels that I can stay in 15 territory, or at the very least, the grey area.

W2TTT's picture
You can use AREDN software
You can use AREDN software and still be compliant to Part 15 as long as you follow the power level/emissions requirements of Part 15.  To improve reliability, you could change your 2.4 or 5 Ghz bandwidth to 10 or even 5 MHz.  You do need to select Part 15 channels and avoid Part 97 per the CAP.
So follow power level and channel selection and you'll be fine.  If there are any Ham activities on those channels, then change your SSID to CAPAREDN or something like that. 
Gordon Beattie, W2TTT 
Ham vs CAP
Why is CAP against using ham radio?

KE0EYT's picture
CAP operates under NTIA
CAP operates under NTIA frequencies, when on mission CAP members are considered federal employees, and cannot "encroach" on civilian frequencies regulated by FCC.

Bureaucracy at its finest.
So first off its best to ask
So first off its best to ask yourself is what you are doing will it actually need mesh or can it be solved with just simple access points (a 400 yard point to point link could be done with AirOS)

After that there is the consideration AREDN really is intended fornPart 97 usage, some features run under the assumption it is a ham utilizing it and such features will likely continue to be created. For example the nodes send a packet within every minute "ID: fullnodename"  and I think we have a requirement that a node name starts with a callsign meaning you have a node identifying with a callsign every 10 minutes.  Will the FCC consider it out of band? Maybe (depends how bad you anger the inspector) 

Firnware will certainly operate on Part 15 Frequencies it's just a question is it the best fit.
KE0EYT's picture
Fair question.

Fair question.

I am intending my gear to be for AREDN primairly. What I would prefer to avoid is needing to reflash my hardware anytime I'm going to deply on a mission, particularly when I generally have limited lead time for a CAP mission. 

400y is a proof of concept in this case. Future setups will likely be longer. 

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