| Doug McLaren wrote:
| > |
| > | Illegal, apparantly Rat Shack either isn't paying attention or
| > | doesn't care.
| > ... or you're just not as familiar with FCC regulations as they are.
| > Which seems more likely -- that Radio Shack is selling equipment that
| > violates FCC regulations and has been selling this specific package
| > for years, or you just don't understand the regulations that well?
I do appreciate how you verified that my guess was correct -- you
obviously aren't that familiar with the FCC regulatuons if you think
the FCC regulations are quite this simple.
| CFR 47, part 95, section 207, those frequencies aren't on the list of
| allowable frequencies.
| CFR 15 just says the device won't cause harmful interference,
Part 15 says a lot more than that. If there's any doubt --
That's all part 15. Lots more than `the device won't cause harmful
| which is hard to control when you allow crystal swapping. Yes, you
| can get away with a lot if you keep the radiated emmissions down,
| but more because the FCC looks the other way.
Again, there's more to it.
may be of some assistance here. I don't know if these are the
regulations that Radio Shack Zip-Zaps goe under, but I'm pretty sure
that they would not knowingly sell equipment that obviously violates
Considering that the Zip-Zap cars have 40 feet of range maximum, it
seems quite likely that they do fit under the regulations of this
| BPL is different -- there are specific regulations covering it and it
| isn't supposed to interfere with amatuer frequencies.
BPL is indeed different. However, it was technically permitted even
before the recent changes in the FCC regulations, though it did
certainly violate the spirit of the regulations. (The new regulations
did clarify things, however.)
As for `not supposed to interfere with amateur frequencies,
unfortunately, the FCC has made it quite clear that protecting the
amateur frequencies is not a priority. They've even given a list of
frequencies that are to be `notched out', because they're important
for emergency use, for example -- and the amateur frequencies are not
on the list.
| So for your RatShack example: I routinely go faster than the speed
| limit signs, and I often am going with the general flow of traffic when
| I do so. Does that mean that the sign painter didn't understand the
| law, or that the cops just don't enforce it strictly where I drive?
No, that just means that you can choose bad analogies. It's a skill
that many people have.
Zip zap cars sell quite well -- Radio Shack sells lots of them. They
would not knowingly sell a set of crystals for them if they felt that
they violated the law, just because they didn't think the FCC would
care. All it would take is one complaint, and the FCC would smack
them down if they were really violating the regulations -- after all,
it's not like it would be difficult at all to make an airtight case
| So no, I don't think that just because it's on Radio Shack shelves
| that it's legal -- but I also don't think that you're going to find
| FCC officers enforcing any rules at the local Radio Shack store.
I do, if somebody complained. If you feel that Radio Shack is
violating the FCC regulations, I'd say it's your civic duty to report
it. I think an email to email@example.com would probably be a good
start, or you could call 1-888-225-5322.
You could also contact Radio Shack.
calling 817-415-3200 would seem a good place to start. If you were to
inform them that they were violating FCC regulations, quote the
relevant regulations, give the part numbers of the products that
violate the regulations and state how/why they violated the
regulations, they'd probably take your complaint seriously, and either
get their legal department to explain how you're wrong, or correct the
| Like driving too fast, use of an illegal radio frequency is subject to
| personal choice, and a possible citation. You probably won't suffer
| anything worse playing in the CB bands; I wouldn't advocate infringing
| on any military, public safety or cell-phone frequencies, however.
Companies that sell illegal CB equipment are raided and hit with large
fines on a somewhat regular basis. Not enough, mind you, but Radio
Shack certainly isn't going to risk that sort of exposure just so more
people can run their zip-zap cars at once.
Look at page 30 of the .pdf file I mentioned earlier -- it lists the
possible penalties Radio Shack would be in danger of --
forfeiture of all non-compliant equipment
$100,000/$200,000 criminal penalty for an individual/organization
a criminal fine totalling twice the gross gain obtained
from sales of the non-compliant equipment
an administrative fine totalling $10,000/day per
violation, up to a maximum of $75,000
Radio Shack is a big company. Since they've been selling radio
equipment for decades, they're probably quite familiar with FCC
regulations, and would not knowingly violate the rules just to sell a
few more R/C cars.
Perhaps the FCC would give you a `finders fee' for reporting these
obvious criminals ...