Those Decade transmitters in question are not part 15 or BETS-1 certified but are certified for other categories of use that need licenses. But as I recall drive ins are a separate category of use and for these transmitters NO license is needed in Canada for drive ins. Note that these transmitters are legal here(Canada) they are not in the USA. Not even for drive ins.
Check this out from Decade....http://www.decadetransmitters.com/en/radio-licences.htm
Oh, I will correct myself. The Decade FM 800/850 can be used in the USA for drive ins with out a license. Guess it has been approved for that application only.
Hmmm. That's very interesting.. I didn't realize they were certified for part 15 FM hmm... Something definitely doesn't seem to be ringing true here. Where are they getting their information??
Although I've only done a couple quick searches, I can find nothing to support their claim that somehow drive-ins can operate part15 FM transmitters without being subject to abiding to the part 15 limitations, but instead are permitted ranges of up to a mile... It sounds like that's a bunch of flat out bull!
Decade appears to be flat-out lying, or if not, just flat-out ignorant. It just doesn't appear to be accurate at all.. Maybe I'm missing something.
To be honest, when I first looked at those drive-in FM transmitters I just assumed they required a license. I did not realize they were certified part 15 units.
@ End 80....I must correct you. These transmitters we are talking about, the LX series and the FM 800/850 are NOT usable for part 15. These are certified for services or applications OTHER than part 15. Only the MS series(MS-100 etc.) are certified for part 15. As for the chart on Decade's site showing what transmitters can be used for what, license needed or not is based on Canadian Industry Canada and FCC rules for different use, and what they are certified for.
If you notice more applications in Canada don't need a license as opposed to the USA and the LX series while OK for things here(Canada) are not legal in the USA at all. Only the FM 800 is approved for drive ins in the USA and drive ins seem to be a separate category and may have stipulations along with it like the signal not extending past certain boundaries, similar to RSS-123 in Canada.
But the MS100 IS part 15 and could also be used for drive ins or anything in the USA and Canada as no authorization is needed. What I don't understand is how come the FM 800 is approved for drive ins in the USA but the LX series(LX 75 etc.) isn't.
By the way did the link to radio licenses work at your end? Didn't see the link highlight in blue in my post.
Ok, that clears things up a some, however I'm still confused why it says ( as shown in the link you previously posted) that the FM-800 and FM-850 does not require an FCC license in the USA if it is operated in a drive-in theatre. I've been unable to find any rules or other documentation that supports that claim. Where does that information come from? Why wouldn't you need a license for an FM transmitter with that kind of range?
...Oh excuse me, you just asked that same question.
So what's the answer? A misprint maybe? I notice if the FM-800 / FM-850 for indoor use it says to "Please contact the FCC". Maybe they got the two crossed? Perhaps it should say for outdoor contact the FCC, but if indoor a license is not required because the signal is confined perhaps?
The FM 800/850 is certified under FCC part 73 and for drive ins maybe after getting approval no license is needed?
There may be a section on drive ins somewhere in the part 73 rule book. Seems that drive ins are an exception to the other part 73 uses.
But it's logical to assume that with this transmitter's coverage(although adjustable) you can't just think that with no license needed you don't still need FCC approval because there's most likely some conditions that apply.
Contact the FCC my mean there's no definite rule and it's a case to case basis.
I notice in the old information for the Cine-Fi AM drive-in transmitter, there's an illustration showing a wire clipped between a wire at the post and a car's whip antenna, and that would imply a very low power signal is used (can't pick it up through the air adequately), if that means anything to the discussion.
I wonder how much it matters in a practical way, when there are few drive-ins operating, and they tend to be located in less populated areas, and operate only at night. I'm just throwing this out for thought, but the regulation hammer tends to come down on things when they're popular. Authorities didn't care about drones, or people skateboarding, or so many other issues, until they became hits.
Yeah, the Decade site seems to elude to that. Something about it being possible to set up lpfm stations without license for special short duration events like, under 30 days, for fairs and amusement parks or whatever.. but again, I still don't know what that information is based on -- not that I really care, or that it's any concern of mine, except for that I prefer to understand the legalities of these kind of things as it kind of indirectly relates to our hobby.
"...The big change since 1950 was the number of cars that had radios, by 1970 the number was up to an estimated 97%. The timing was perfect. Normally transmitting a radio signal would require a facility license. For no reason clear to me, the drive-ins were given the wave by the FCC. They passed on licensing these Low Power stations as long as they kept it under 50 Milliwatts. [Closed cable FM was also exempt.] These broadcasts usually could be received via your car radio, or by a transistor radio which you could borrow from the snack bar..."
(kept it under 50 Milliwats?)
The same post also links to "The Drive-In Radio Network which sounds like what you mentioned earler, it list about a dozen participating clients in Indiana, New Hamphire, New York, Ohio, Pennsyvania, and Tennesee.
"We service Drive-In Theaters across the country by providing programming for their AM/FM on site transmitters. You can hear our Radio Station before, in- between, and after movies at Drive-Ins that participate in our service. It's a great deal! Our Drive-In owners get their own radio station. Our listeners get the best music around, lots of family fun, an opportunity to learn more about their favorite Drive-In, and of course a lot of chances to win Drive-In Radio Merchandise!"
"....Static was occassionly troublesome with AM reception at the drive-ins. FM would have been a better choice, since it was immune to interference from lightning, neon lights, and other sources that sometimes produce static on AM. A second advantage with FM was that it offered stereo. However, even in the late 1970s most cars didn't come with FM radios. More important, the FCC rules made such systems illegal. The physical laws of radio propagation on the AM band made low-power AM inherently short range. This meant it was unlikely to interefere with licenced commercial AM stations. In the FM band, conditions were different, with long range transmission being possible even with very low power. Nonetheless, a few companies manufactured radio sound systems that utilized FM. Some drive-in owners bought them. Invariably, the FCC paid them a visist followed by an order to shut the system down..."
In this Film-Tech forum thread Tony Gallimore says: "..some of the first AM systems used the pre-existing speaker wiring to the posts as the radiators for the AM signal. What little I remember was it wasn't real efficient and experienced interference from the night time skip of adjacint radio stations, heterodyne, passing cb radios etc. Is it possible your theatre was one of the earlier systems that later converted to better AM technology when it became available? The timing (1970's) would be about right. Because of the interference problems, I read the FCC relinquished their binding regulations and let the AM designs go to a single antenna and let them radiate up to three miles around the theatre, controling that by the power output at the transmitter. With the power boost and better filtering on the receivers, they were able to overcome the interference. I never saw one of those first AM systems in operation, only read about it in Boxoffice Magazine and in broadcast mags, as I was also involved in broadcast engineering too. The old prototypes, I understand, came and went faster than 1950's 3-D..."
(FCC relinquished their binding regulations and let the AM designs go to a single antenna and let them radiate up to three miles around the theatre .. really?)
"...Each communication system in which compiance with the technical provisions of this subpart is dependant on the antenna and/or system configation (e.g., campus radio system, wireless drive-in theater announcing system, witeless industrial controls) shall be certified by the installer pursuant to £ 15.134...."
(Note that in 1978, 15.209 and 15.219 was 15.111 and 15.113, so admiditly I'm a little confused what 15.134 was, but upon re reading those pages it seems to refer to the labling requirement rule for part 15 devices.)
DIY Drive-In If you can't find an outdoor movie theater, try making your own.
Seeing a movie outdoors used to be pretty simple. Drive a bit, pay at the entrance gate, find a parking space, and wait for the towering images to flicker into view. Some nights you'd even get a double feature. But finding a drive-in isn't easy these days. Just 370 remain in the U.S., down from a peak of nearly 5,000 in the 1950s. What to do if you yearn to experience the cinema outside? Create it yourself. For that, you need five elements: the power to drive the whole setup, a video source, a projector, a screen and a sound system. Here's how I put together a cheap, portable screening for a group of friends over the summer…
…Old-fashioned drive-ins had the same sound choices you face: amplified or transmitted.. But if you've got nearby neighbors, you'll want to replicate the quieter old tune-in sound systems by using a low-power FM transmitter. Use one that's capable of pumping out at least 10 milliwatts, which should get you a 50-foot range, such as the Ramsey FM10C ($45 at Amazon). Some models, including the C. Crane ($35; C. Crane), can be hacked to increase their output.
What really rattles me about FM, Christmas Light Shows, Drive In's running transmitters on FM and not getting a NOUO!! A FM station for Christmas lights does this each year and I can tell you there are WAY OVER 200 FT as I got them on my Tecsun PL-380 with a 25-27 dbuV signal on FM. That is 0.9 miles away whereas I'm following the rules on AM part 15 after I got visited and my ASMAX2 C-Quam AM transmitter goes to that exact location with a far inferior signal than this place supposedly using a "Legal FM Transmitter" What gives with that? I even checked this out with my Car Radio and I got them to my house. There in Mono however.
My whole house FM transmitter 3.0 using the Part 15 compliant antenna and set to its default legal power setting would go only 100 Ft at best maybe a little further in a car but certainly not that far as this place does. I've seen this more than once and every time it seemed as though they were using Decade certified FM transmitters like the MS-100.
If it would not get them in trouble I'd call the FCC agent that visited me as he is very nice I don't call him up for tit and tat cuz he is really busy and I want to keep him as somewhat of a friend as he still has a federal job to do. I'd like to ask him this very question because this place didn't use a blank frequency like me and I can hear an FM station on that frequency so their causing interference. If there is some way I can broadcast legally and get that same range on FM I'd do it. It's not to the market and not to Taylor's but it covers the entire Fishing Bay Road area and maybe I'd just get them to broadcast The Legacy 24/7 and Christmas Time switch to the light show. They need to use 100.1 like I did cuz it is blank. You have to imagine how that opens sores I have cuz they are way before my house the FCC has to pass them to get to my house no way around it.