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In the US, you can legally operate a part15 transmitter that is either certified or not certified. Only FCC certified transmitters can be sold fully assembled, but the the other (non certified transmitters) can only be sold as KITS requiring assembling and some soldering. I thing the intent is to made it hard so the massed don’t go out and trash the airwaves buying cheap and/or powerful transmitters sold at walmart.
The responsibility to operate within part15 regulations is up to the user using it.
So you can buy a FCC part15 certified transmitter and then operate it illegally (say using a better antenna) … and you can operate a non-FCC certified (kit) transmitter legally.
So it is really is about ‘how you operate the unit’, the type of antenna used and the power transmitted at range beyond 200′ that determines whether you are operating legally or not. Obviously, if your coming in loud and clear 4 blocks away — your not part15 compliant. If you broadcasting over another station that is clearly recieved in your area, your also in violation most likely. If the FCC finds that you managed to take an FCC approved transmitter and get it to go file 1 mile, that won’t be ok just because its FCC certified. Clearly they will have an idea that you tweaked it out and need to be shut down.
If you bought an FCC approved transmitter and operated from the window in a 53rd floor of a skyscraper and transmitted over 3/4 mile … thats still not ok or part15 compliant. If you operate it from the group floor of a residential home and from indoors, yeah, you’ll probably be fine.
I get tired of reading misleading messages that infer that buying a FCC approved transmitter automatically means you’ll automatically be operating part15 compliant. Yes, probably … if you don’t modify it or use anything besides the included (whip / short wire) antenna … and choose a good fequency and location.
And likewise, non-FCC certified units are probably more likely to be operated in violation of part15 … but not necessarily.
Many of the better ones, like EDM and RAMSEY allow you to adjust the power via a switch or a switch and/or dial. Those are even better than many part15 transmitters, because you can turn down the power till you are staying within the acceptable range for part15. If a part15 transmitter went 4 blocks, then you’d be looking at tweaking your antenna and/or antenna location (to be worse).
The antenna orientation, location and type used can allow even a 25mW transmitter to be operated properly.
The modifications EDM made to the LED are nice because you can operate it as either 1mW or 10mW … and the 1mW with a whip antenna is going to be very likely to be part15 compliant … but its still up to the operator to operate is responsibly and check for part15 violations to the best of their ability.
I believe most FCC certified transmitters are only 10mW or less. So the EDM LED with a 10 or 1 mw option gives more flexibility than an FCC transmitter (i.e. panaxis ACC100) with only 10mW only.