Author Topic: FCC Requirements for Test Equipment  (Read 1916 times)

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Offline Signal32

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FCC Requirements for Test Equipment
« on: May 07, 2016, 07:18:36 pm »

Basically, I'm wondering if something like a multimeter with a Bluetooth/WiFi transmitter would require any certification, or if yes, would using a Bluetooth/WiFi certified module be enough ?

The FCC Regulations regarding test equipment are a bit confusing.
§ 15.103 Exempted devices. [...]
(c) A digital device used exclusively as industrial, commercial, or medical test equipment.

Does this apply to non-intentional and intentional radiators ?
If to only non-intentional, would an certified device with a certified sub-module radiator qualify ?
Also what does "industrial, commercial, or medical test equipment" refer to, wouldn't anything that needs a FCC certification be "commercial" by default ?
Are there any categories of test equipment that require FCC testing ?



Offline Signal32

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Re: FCC Requirements for Test Equipment
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 01:40:43 pm »
Bump ? Does no one have more info about this or a link to more than just the FCC verbiage ?

Offline Neilm

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Re: FCC Requirements for Test Equipment
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 06:54:28 pm »
I am not so hot on the FCC standard, but if it was to be sold in Europe it would need to pass both RF emissions and immunity tests. You would be OK to have a certified module, but the rest of the system would need testing.

From what I remember, the rules for the States just concentrates on emissions - so you would have to test that it did not overly radiate. If in doubt, talk to a test house for guidance.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. - Albert Einstein

Offline meltTemp

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Re: FCC Requirements for Test Equipment
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 08:24:42 pm »
I'm not an expert when it comes to FCC regulations, but I would be very careful when it comes to exempt devices and how and where to use them. §15.103 is related to unintentional radiators (subpart B). If your case is clear and you are confident that your device indeed belongs into that category then go for it. Make sure that you have solid grounds for your decision. However, your device is a radio device.

AFAIK and according to §15.201(b), all intentional radiators (subpart C) must be certified. Take a look at and find your band and read the general stuff. As Neilm noted, using a pre-certified module is definitely helpful but does not guarantee a certified product in the USA. You should not modify the module at all and be careful with antennas, and this applies to (all) regulations. Luckily, you can find some very good information on the web. E.g. TI has a good guidance for bluetooth devices: and here's another one for a specific band ARRL also provides good information not only for HAMs but also for you to understand the requirements This might be useful as well

I would just call the FCC and ask about it or ask from a reliable test house. Radio devices are generally way more restricted and controlled than unintentional radiators. If you are not sure what to do, consult an FCC expert about your specific needs.

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