Wireless

FCC Part 15 DFS Testing Requirements Change for U-NII Devices

by admin on Aug.11, 2014, under EMC, Wireless

To accommodate changes in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Docket 13-49, the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) test procedure document KDB 905462 D02 UNII DFS Compliance Procedures New Rules has been issued. 

The document describes the compliance measurement procedures for performing DFS tests under FCC Part 15 Subpart E Rules required for U-NII (Unlicensed –National Information Infrastructure) equipment that operates in the frequency bands 5250-5350 MHz and/or 5470-5725 MHz.

A U-NII network will employ a DFS function to detect signals from radar systems and to avoid co-channel operation with these systems. 

Section 6 provides the parameters for required test waveforms, minimum percentage of successful detections, and the minimum number of trials that must be used for determining DFS conformance.

One of the new requirements is for devices to detect a new radar waveform for DFS testing.  Historically, the FCC has required devices to detect 5 radar types. The new rules require detection of a 6th radar type which they designated as Type 1. A previous waveform which was designated as Type 1 is now called Type 0.  See the accompanying Table 5.

These rules became effective on June 2, 2014.  FCC has established a transition period:

  • New devices will be permitted to be approved until June 1, 2015 under the old rules
  • Starting June 2, 2016, all devices approved partially or completely under the old rules cannot be marketed, and permissive changes will not be permitted for devices approved under the old rules, unless they meet the requirements of the new rules

MET Labs has the capability to generate the new radar type using Agilent hardware coupled with custom software. Get tested to the latest DFS requirements on new products or update an existing product with a Class II Permissive Change.  Get a free quote now.

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FCC Issues Guidance on New E-Labeling

by admin on Jul.29, 2014, under EMC, Wireless

On July 11, 2014, the FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology (OET) released new guidance giving some consumer electronics manufacturers more flexibility in digitally labeling (e-labeling) their products.   

The guidance advises that all devices with an integral (non-removable) screen can now display that label digitally on that screen, and up to three steps deep into the device menu.  The user manual must include information on accessing that FCC info, or it can be on the equipment’s Web site.  

Removable labels with the FCC info must still be on the product or its packaging when it is shipped and sold.  

Formerly, the FCC required equipment that requires FCC certification to have a fixed nameplate or etched label (see the iPhone hieroglyph) listing its FCC ID and any other requirements of operation.

The benefits of e-labeling include:

  • Cost savings, especially as devices become smaller
  • The potential to provide more information, like recycling or trade-in opportunities
  • The ability to update information remotely to address any inaccuracies

The FCC had already permitted e-labeling for a small subset of devices.  In 2001, the Commission’s rules authorizing software defined radios (SDR) permitted the voluntary use of e-labeling by device manufacturers.     

MET Labs is a leading provider of FCC testing and FCC certification for electronic device electromagnetic compatibility. 

Meet with MET at Super Mobility Week, North America’s largest forum for mobile innovation, powered by CTIA.

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Some Electronic Devices Are Exempt from FCC EMC Testing

by admin on Jul.22, 2014, under EMC, Wireless

Most electronic devices destined for sale in the U.S. fall under Part 15 (CFR 47) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for limits to the unintentional and intentional emission of radiation. However, there are some exemptions that you may be able to take advantage of, depending on the nature of your product. You can find the bulk of this information in Section 15.103 of the rules.

The FCC says it is “strongly recommended” that you still attempt to comply with the rules, regardless of your product type.  They have the power to halt sales of your device if the device has been found to cause harmful interference, so proceed with caution.

Here is a simplified description of product types that are FCC exempt from digital emissions testing:

  1. A digital device utilized exclusively in any transportation vehicle including motor vehicles and aircraft.  Note: wireless devices are subject to other FCC rules.
  2. A digital device used exclusively as an electronic control or power system utilized by a public utility or in an industrial plant.
  3. A digital device used exclusively as industrial, commercial, or medical test equipment.
  4. A digital device utilized exclusively in an appliance, e.g., microwave oven, dishwasher, clothes dryer, air conditioner, etc.
  5. Specialized medical digital devices (generally used under the supervision of a licensed health care practitioner) whether used in a patient’s home or a health care facility.
  6. Digital devices that have a power consumption not exceeding 6 nW.
  7. Joystick controllers or similar devices, such as a mouse, used with digital devices but which contain only non-digital circuitry or a simple circuit to convert the signal to the format required (e.g., an integrated circuit for analog to digital conversion).
  8. Digital devices in which both the highest frequency generated and the highest frequency used are less than 1.705 MHz and which do not operate from the AC power lines. Digital devices that include battery eliminators, AC adaptors or battery chargers which permit operation while charging or that connect to the AC power lines indirectly do not fall under this exemption.

Although not noted in section 15.103, equipment authorization is also not required for:

  • Personal use home-built devices (not kit-constructed) that are assembled in quantities of five or less
  • Low-frequency devices that don’t generate timing signals or pulses at a rate in excess of 9,000 pulses (cycles) per second (i.e., 9 kHz)

Note that equipment is not exempt unless all of the devices in the equipment meet the criteria for exemption. For example, if you have a specialized medical digital device with a wireless transmitter, the wireless transmitter still has to be tested.

Please confirm with MET Labs whether you are indeed exempt as there are some caveats to this information.

And, of course, FCC-exempt devices might be required to undergo other types of testing, like product safety certification for U.S. OSHA compliance or EMC testing for CE marking in Europe.  Contact MET for a full evaluation of your product line and its intended markets.

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Radio Equipment Directive (RED) Replacing R&TTE Directive, is Published in OJ

by admin on Jun.05, 2014, under EMC, Wireless

The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) – 2014/53/EU – has been published in the Official Journal.  This Directive is replacing the RTTE Directive (1999/5/EC).

You can read more about the changes in the new RED in a previous Compliance Today post.

Timetable
May 22, 2014 – Publication in OJ
June 12, 2014 – Entry in force of RED
June 12, 2016 – Member states transposition period end date
June 12, 2016 – RTTE Directive 1999/5/EC repeal date
June 13, 2016 – Member states must apply the new RE Directive by this date
June 13, 2017 – Products compliant with the old Directive market placement end date

MET Labs
is a leading provider of EMC and Wireless Testing services.  Contact us today to test your radio equipment devices for Europe or any other major global market.

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Wireless & Radio Regulations Changing for FCC & RE Directive

by admin on Apr.16, 2014, under Europe, Wireless

At last week’s TCB Council Workshop in Baltimore, TCBs – including MET Labs – were given an update on upcoming wireless regulatory and compliance changes. Here are the most notable.

The FCC released a First Report and Order (ET Docket No. 13-49) on April 1, 2014 allowing devices in the U-NII-1 band to operate with higher power. The R&O also allows this band to be used outdoors, whereas this has only been an indoor band previously. Some of the key points in the First R&O are:

  • Devices operating in the U-NII-1 band will be allowed 30 dBm (1 W) conducted power, a PSD of 17 dBm/MHz and an allowance of a 6 dBi antenna. However, the maximum EIRP above 30 degrees elevation is limited to 21 dBm. 
  • The upper edge of the U-UNII-3 band has been extended by 25 MHz. Therefore, the band is now 5.725 – 5.850 GHz which is in line with the 15.247 DTS band. Both rule parts will be consolidated.
  • Bin1 radar waveform will be updated to better account for actual Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) waveforms.

For equipment that is already certified, a Class II Permissive Change may be performed to update the device to the new rules. A Class II PC is performed when there are changes to the radio, such as addition of new antenna or if a rule change allows for additional provisions.

The new rules will take effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register.  The publish date is expected soon.

The FCC has also updated the TCB Exclusion list. The exclusion list is now “empty.” Therefore, TCBs can now grant almost all applications, including equipment operating in the DFS bands and UWB equipment. However, TCBs will have to follow a Permit But Ask (PBA) procedure with the FCC to grant these devices. DFS equipment will still be independently tested by the FCC as before. But this is still expected to reduce the time to market for manufacturers.

The R&TTE Directive is getting a face lift.  It will now be called simply the Radio Equipment (RE) Directive. Telecommunications equipment will be moved over to the EMC Directive. The RE Directive will be limited to wireless RF transmitter devices and receivers. The use of the exclamation mark (i.e. !) and the NB number (if applicable) will not be required adjacent to the CE mark.

EN 300 328 v1.8.1 will become effective end of the year and any new radio device placed on or after this date will need to meet the new standard. The previous version of the standard will cease to give presumption of conformity with the requirements for Article 3(2) of the Radio Equipment Directive.

Want to know how these changes affect your products? Contact us to request a quick-response quote or schedule a free Lunchtime Review.

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New Radio Equipment Directive Adopted by EU, Awaits Publication in OJ

by admin on Mar.31, 2014, under EMC, Europe, Wireless

The new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) was adopted by the Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) on March 13, 2014 by 550 votes to 12.  It is now awaiting approval by the EU Council and then publication in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union.  Member states will have two years to transpose the rules into their national laws and manufacturers will have an additional year to comply.

The RED will take the place of the R&TTE Directive.  You can read more about this change in a previous post.  The draft directive lays down harmonized rules for placing radio equipment, including cellular telephones, car-door openers and modems, on the market. The new rules aim to keep pace with the growing number and variety of radio equipment devices and ensure that they do not interfere with each other or human health.

On the same day as the vote, MEPs called for a renewed effort to develop a common charger for certain categories of radio equipment, in particular mobile phones, because it would simplify their use and reduce waste and costs.

MEPs also backed provisions in the directive that would give the authorities additional market surveillance tools to detect radio equipment products that fail to comply with the new safety rules.  After an evaluation, the European Commission will identify those categories of equipment which will need to be registered before they can be put on the market. A similar database already operates in the U.S.

The next meetings of the RTTE Compliance Association (CA) and the European Union Association of Notified Bodies (EUANB) will take place May 19-20, 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The details of the new RED will be the main subject of the meeting.

MET Labs will keep you updated on Compliance Today as new developments take place.  In the meantime, contact us today to test your radio equipment devices for Europe or any other major global market.

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FCC Equipment Enforcement Focuses on HAC, U-NII & Digital Devices

by admin on Feb.06, 2014, under Wireless

The FCC took 20 enforcement actions in 2013 against RF equipment manufacturers and vendors for violations of the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards. These actions include enforcement of Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90, and 95.  Fish & Richardson P.C. summarizes FCC Equipment Manufacturer Violations from 2006-2013 here.

Four of the six largest violations (with Consent Decrees ranging from $100,000 to $280,000) involved the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules. The HAC rules require handset manufacturers to report annually on their HAC compliance status, so manufacturers should expect that the FCC will continue to pursue HAC violations.

The FCC also continued its focus on Part 15 U-NII devices and digital devices. Violations involving equipment in the music industry, such as amplifiers and mixers, led to some of the year’s largest Consent Decree payments.

Effective September 13, 2013, the FCC raised the maximum penalty for most equipment violations from $112,500 to $122,500 per single violation.

The bottom line is that manufacturers and importers need to be careful about FCC compliance. Manufacturers with compliance issues can face delayed equipment approvals, contract disputes and lost sales opportunities, and even competitor or consumer lawsuits.

We can help keep you out of trouble.  MET has tested and/or certified thousands of products for FCC compliance over the last decade.  Get a quote now.

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Wireless Testing Regulatory Changes Discussed at TCB Council Workshop

by admin on Oct.31, 2013, under SAR, Wireless

At last week’s TCB Council Workshop in Baltimore, TCBs – including MET Labs – were given an update on upcoming wireless regulatory and compliance changes. Here are the most notable.

Japan SAR
Body SAR will be required for Japan starting April 1, 2014. The limit is 2 W/kg for body and 4 W/kg for arms and legs. The SAR is calculated over any 10g of tissue (as compared to 1g of tissue for FCC). Body SAR will be exempt for radio devices that have less than 20mW output power. The test method, for the most part, is harmonized with IEC 62209-2.  Read about SAR requirements in North America and Europe.

FCC Changes
There is a second FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) coming out early next year proposing still-unknown new certification procedures for FCC. This is in addition to the first NPRM that issued in February 2013 and which included significant changes to the FCC equipment authorization process.  FCC is calling it a “complete overhaul of the certification process.”  It is expected these changes will take effect in late 2014. 

Mexico and Israel MRAs
Mexico and Israel Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) should be finalized late next year. When Phase I of the MRAs are implemented, U.S. manufacturers will be able to perform testing at a local U.S. lab for those countries.  Later, when Phase II is implemented each country will be able to certify products for the other.

For questions about these changes or for an immediate test need, visit our Quote Center.

Register now for MET’s free EMC & Wireless Design & Testing Seminar in Baltimore next week.

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Wireless Equipment Subject to EN 300 328 V1.7.1 Needs Retesting

by admin on Oct.03, 2013, under Europe, Wireless

Late last year, Version 1.8.1 of EN 300 328 was adopted and published in the EU’s Official Journal (OJ).  This standard is the applicable standard for WiFi, Bluetooth, and other wideband transmitters operating in the 2.4GHz band.

Version 1.8.1 has an effective date of December 31, 2014, so declarations of conformity with the Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive based on testing against EN 300 328, v1.7.1 would need to be re-evaluated before the end of 2014 for devices going into the EU market after this date. Devices already in the market will be grandfathered in.

However, at the same time as the v1.8.1 adoption, a note was added to v1.7.1 in the OJ, stating that part of the new v1.8.1 requirements – medium utilization factors – needed to be immediately implemented and tested.

The upshot: Radio modules tested and found compliant to v1.7.1 need to be retested due to the additional requirement – there is no longer a presumption of conformity with the R&TTE Directive.  This has caused confusion and headache for manufacturers and some test labs.

In conclusion, wireless modules tested to the un-amended v1.7.1 need to be retested now to the latest version of the standard.  By January 1, 2015, all wireless equipment in the 2.4GHz band needs to be tested to v1.8.1.

Request an immediate quotation.

Contact us for an overview of changes specified in v1.8.1.

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RF Survey Assures Wireless Connectivity

by admin on Sep.23, 2013, under EMC, Wireless

MET Labs recently completed a novel RF survey for a large federal government agency laboratory, to determine whether refrigerators and freezers on multiple floors in multiple buildings are receiving a sufficient-strength wireless signal with minimal noise.

Here are some of the project details, as well as surveyed information:

  • Operating frequencies: 2.4 GHz ISM Band; 5 GHz UNII Bands; 5.8 GHz ISM Band
  • Acceptable signal strength: -85dBm to -35dBm
  • Minimum Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 20dB
  • Access Point/Channels in Use Information
  • Maximum Data Rate
  • Retry Rate Distribution
  • Loss Rate Distribution
  • Operating Mode Information (Legacy/HT/Mixed HT)
  • 20/40MHz Channel Information
  • Tx/Rx MCS Index Information

MET used this test method:

  1. The calibrated 802.11a/b/g/n client radio was connected to a laptop running RF monitoring software.
  2. A passive and active survey was taken using the software and the radio was moved throughout the test site.
  3. In each lab and corridor within labs, measurements were taken of the strength of the received WLAN carriers.
  4. All the measurements were mapped to floor plans of the test site. Signal Strength, SNR, and other wireless signal properties were noted throughout and compared to the test requirements.

In situ RF surveys are a good way to ensure wireless-enabled equipment receives an uninterrupted signal that is free of excessive noise.  For more information about conducting RF surveys, contact MET.

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