- Jul 24, 2005
I think usually ignorance, but... maybe sometimes sort of an educated gamble. I periodically get contacts from people at companies that are quite reputable, where I'm amazed at their lack of understanding when it comes to RF issues. Some people seem to think you can just basically do whatever you want. It's like... License? For what?I've seen similar cases where an "IT centric" group/company decides to use licensed spectrum for something, and then just completely ignores the FCC rules. It rarely ends well. Not sure if it's just pure ignorance or willful.
You bring up a good point, if the RFID reader is installed on private property (with property owners permission) they could do this. I do know that some 900 MHz RFID readers require FCC licensing and NTIA/DOD clearance because they do not use spread spectrum as required by Part 15. I wonder what the business plan is for having that data? Does tracking a train car from a port to a city yield any valuable information? I can see how a coal train or oil tanker might provide data, but a box car that might or might not be filled with Walmart products? Or is this data so high level that only of interest to economists and Wall Street?A follow up story from AAR find that they were legal radio wise due to a license by rule (Part 15 unlicensed) for some of the equipment, and not all the equipment used by the RR's required a license.
Trespassing is something the RR should go after and has nothing to do with the FCC. So if they set up outside RR ROW like on a bridge they could legally obtain that information. This amounts to nothing more than what happens every time you leave or enter a Walmart or other store with the RFID chips in clothing. I'm not saying it's right but just our society and the lack of privacy. I see encryption coming.
Quote"I'm just wondering what the survival rate on these boxes was going to be. Seems like the vandalizing/theft rate alone, would make it a dumb proposition.
I agree some of our PTC transponders were ripped up, the clowns thinking they were worth something or had copper in them.
I am quite familiar with "Readers" as that is what the DOT calls them, at least here in my state. They do emit a carrier to interrogate/wake up the RFID tag so that they can "read" the backscatter from the tag. I did some work with the toll authority. The "readers" generate about a watt or more of power to read only a short distance.Except, RFID "readers" and toll pass "readers" aren't receivers. They are TRANSceivers, they must transmit to interrogate and power up the RFID tags or toll passes. So they still fall fully under the category of FCC regulated transmitters, to whatever extent the FCC deals with that.
Amtrak has long had th even longer traditional RR policy about anyone on their right of way, including platforms, terminals, and stations. If you are sightseeing or picnicking or searching for a lost child...TFB, that ain't railroad business, you ain't a paying customer, and the bulls will gladly (and roughly) throw you in a detention cell until someone takes you to the judge. They're not interested in making friends, you've either got business being there, or you're removed from the property.
Actually, if one is rather clever with SDR, they could aim a Yagi antenna toward the RFID target area of an existing legitimate reader and sniff off enough backscatter to passively decode what the reader is hearing. No FCC license required, simply a vantage point with line of sight to the RFID target.I can totally see some "railfans" putting up some RFID readers to track the trains. Lol.