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'[OT] average cost of a FCC certification'
2007\08\13@011931 by alan smith

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Different client...different project...but an RF link involved.  I prototyped the system for him using some zigbee modules, and he said...id like to reduce the cost if possible, and so really the only thing that can be changed is the RF link.
 
 So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and then decide if its worth persuing.

     
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2007\08\13@014649 by David VanHorn

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>   So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and then decide if its worth persuing.


Last time, for an intentional emitter in the 2.4 GHz band, $7k

2007\08\13@023910 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
alan smith wrote:
> Different client...different project...but an RF link involved.  I prototyped the system for him using some zigbee modules, and he said...id like to reduce the cost if possible, and so really the only thing that can be changed is the RF link.
>    
>   So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and then decide if its worth persuing.
>
>        
> ---------------------------------
> Shape Yahoo! in your own image.  Join our Network Research Panel today!
>  
The last one I did was not RF, just a PIC design. But it cost $1800 USD
about 6 years ago. Allowing
for inflation, I'd say about $2000 now. That was done by Timco
Engineering near Tampa.

--Bob Axtell

2007\08\14@215049 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
> Different client...different project...but an RF link involved.  I
> prototyped the system for him using some zigbee modules, and he said...id
> like to reduce the cost if possible, and so really the only thing that can
> be changed is the RF link.
>
>  So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC
> cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am
> looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple
> different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and
> then decide if its worth persuing.

A company we asked a couple of months ago said that it cost them $20k to
certify their BT module (based on other posts, probably an exaggeration).

2007\08\14@220703 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
A big factor is whether you're using a "pre-certified module" and the
antenna(s) that were certified along with the module.

If so, it can be under (perhaps well under) $2,000 per FCC testing and
certification session.

I generally estimate $12k to $24k for an intentional radiating device
with no pre-certified parts for total certification (UL, CE, FCC).
But again, various factors weigh in there.

So those are the two ends of the spectrum.  The less you know, the
more the testing lab is going to soak you though - not necessarily out
of greed.  If you are uncertain about whether a particular test needs
to be performed, they'll urge you to perform it to cover themselves
legally.  On the whole I've found the test companies I've worked with
in the past very helpful in giving info prior to starting a contract,
though, so go ahead and make a few calls to gather info and make an
estimate.

-Adam

On 8/13/07, alan smith <spam_OUTmicro_eng2TakeThisOuTspamyahoo.com> wrote:
> Different client...different project...but an RF link involved.  I prototyped the system for him using some zigbee modules, and he said...id like to reduce the cost if possible, and so really the only thing that can be changed is the RF link.
>
>   So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and then decide if its worth persuing.
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Shape Yahoo! in your own image.  Join our Network Research Panel today!
> -

2007\08\15@105647 by alan smith

picon face
OK...interesting.  I was thinking that if you used a module that was pre-certified...such as a maxstream/digi device, Micrel or Cypress then you wouldnt have to do any sort of certification as it was already done.  For example if I run a micro tied to one of these, and run it at a low frequency then....it wouldnt have to be certifed for sale in the US.  Am I wrong about this?  Its a battery operated device as well.

"M. Adam Davis" <.....stienmanKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:  A big factor is whether you're using a "pre-certified module" and the
antenna(s) that were certified along with the module.

If so, it can be under (perhaps well under) $2,000 per FCC testing and
certification session.

I generally estimate $12k to $24k for an intentional radiating device
with no pre-certified parts for total certification (UL, CE, FCC).
But again, various factors weigh in there.

So those are the two ends of the spectrum. The less you know, the
more the testing lab is going to soak you though - not necessarily out
of greed. If you are uncertain about whether a particular test needs
to be performed, they'll urge you to perform it to cover themselves
legally. On the whole I've found the test companies I've worked with
in the past very helpful in giving info prior to starting a contract,
though, so go ahead and make a few calls to gather info and make an
estimate.

-Adam

On 8/13/07, alan smith wrote:
> Different client...different project...but an RF link involved. I prototyped the system for him using some zigbee modules, and he said...id like to reduce the cost if possible, and so really the only thing that can be changed is the RF link.
>
> So can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what it might cost to get FCC cert on a design? Yes I know, there are alot of factors but what I am looking for is....it cost us $x last time we did this...maybe if a couple different answers then I can say...to him...might be around this much and then decide if its worth persuing.
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Shape Yahoo! in your own image. Join our Network Research Panel today!
> -

2007\08\15@123946 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 8/15/07, alan smith <micro_eng2spamKILLspamyahoo.com> wrote:
> OK...interesting.  I was thinking that if you used a module that was pre-certified...such as a maxstream/digi device, Micrel or Cypress then you wouldnt have to do any sort of certification as it was already done.  For example if I run a micro tied to one of these, and run it at a low frequency then....it wouldnt have to be certifed for sale in the US.  Am I wrong about this?  Its a battery operated device as well.
>

It's an interesting area.  At the end of the day, any "final product"
that is an intentional radiator must have its own separate FCC ID.

Some companies will ease this, and IIRC it works as follows:
You use their part, the specified antanna, follow their design
guidelines and they will do preliminary testing for you, and if
nothing is found then since their device is precertified and you're
following their guidelines then you give them a small fee for a FCC
filing and they will file your device under their manufacturer's FCC
license.  You'll get your own ID, but if anyone looks up the FCC ID
it'll look like your device was designed by them.  Generally these
companies have their own testing labs that are FCC certified so they
don't need to use an external test house, but there is a filing fee.

There's a lot of hand waving in that explanation, I've never followed
that process, and that is the best explanation I can give from the
information I've found from others.

Certain types of integration don't require a new FCC ID if the module
is designed in such a way that a user/integrator couldn't mess it up.
For instance, Dell doesn't have to have a separate FCC ID for a laptop
with a wireless card and one without - the laptop has an FCC ID, and
the card has one.

And, as usual, don't expect my above opinions to be legally binding or
even useful.  At best I expect this might guide you into further
research, yada, yada, yada, etc...

Good luck!

-Adam

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2007\08\15@140830 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
You can perform some up-front work that will save yourself a LOT of grief.
For example, suppose you need to get FCC part 15 certification for a
PIC-based product.

Purchase a simple broadband "sniffer". I bought mine from a kit store;
it detects RF radiation from 2Mhz to 1000Mhz and makes an alarm
when any is detected. I KNOW I paid less than $100USD. (It was
sold to detect "bugs" by private investigators). Its the best $100 I
ever spent... (well, there WAS that cute Irish girl in Boston I once
had dinner with... but that's another story.).

Place the product, RUNNING, on a non-metallic tabletop and walk around
it with the sniffer. If you can't detect any signal in less than 10'
(3.3m), you
will NOT have an issue when you need to get a certificate. On the other
hand, if you DO, then you need to find out WHY and fix it. The last time
I had a problem, it was caused by a serial chip, NOT the PIC.

Incidentally, PICs are remarkably quiet. Even at 20M,  the internal
structure
does NOT radiate much RF. But watch for Intel, Motorola and others; you will
get a big surprise. In 15 years, I never had a PIC product that failed
Part 15.

Of course, this is good only for unintentional radiators only.

--Bob Axtell


> It's an interesting area.  At the end of the day, any "final product"
> that is an intentional radiator must have its own separate FCC ID.
>
> Some companies will ease this, and IIRC it works as follows:
>  

2007\08\15@142731 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
M. Adam Davis wrote:

> On 8/15/07, alan smith <.....micro_eng2KILLspamspam.....yahoo.com> wrote:
>> OK...interesting.  I was thinking that if you used a module that was
>> pre-certified...such as a maxstream/digi device, Micrel or Cypress then
>> you wouldnt have to do any sort of certification as it was already
>> done.  For example if I run a micro tied to one of these, and run it at
>> a low frequency then....it wouldnt have to be certifed for sale in the
>> US.  Am I wrong about this?  Its a battery operated device as well.
>
> It's an interesting area.  At the end of the day, any "final product"
> that is an intentional radiator must have its own separate FCC ID.

Are you sure about this? MaxStream claims that it is legal to use e.g.
their XBee modules (of course unaltered :) in a product, and the only thing
that's necessary is to put on the outside a note that states the XBee's FCC
ID.

> Certain types of integration don't require a new FCC ID if the module is
> designed in such a way that a user/integrator couldn't mess it up. For
> instance, Dell doesn't have to have a separate FCC ID for a laptop with
> a wireless card and one without - the laptop has an FCC ID, and the card
> has one.

I think this is how it works. If you use a certified module and don't alter
it (which basically means that it must come with its own antenna), you
don't have to get a separate FCC ID. (Otherwise, e.g. any network
integrator who sells WiFi networks to customers would have to get a new FCC
ID for every network he sets up...)

Gerhard

2007\08\15@163829 by alan smith

picon face
Excellent suggestion Bob....very much appreciated

Bob Axtell <EraseMEengineerspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcotse.net> wrote:  You can perform some up-front work that will save yourself a LOT of grief.
For example, suppose you need to get FCC part 15 certification for a
PIC-based product.

Purchase a simple broadband "sniffer". I bought mine from a kit store;
it detects RF radiation from 2Mhz to 1000Mhz and makes an alarm
when any is detected. I KNOW I paid less than $100USD. (It was
sold to detect "bugs" by private investigators). Its the best $100 I
ever spent... (well, there WAS that cute Irish girl in Boston I once
had dinner with... but that's another story.).

Place the product, RUNNING, on a non-metallic tabletop and walk around
it with the sniffer. If you can't detect any signal in less than 10'
(3.3m), you
will NOT have an issue when you need to get a certificate. On the other
hand, if you DO, then you need to find out WHY and fix it. The last time
I had a problem, it was caused by a serial chip, NOT the PIC.

Incidentally, PICs are remarkably quiet. Even at 20M, the internal
structure
does NOT radiate much RF. But watch for Intel, Motorola and others; you will
get a big surprise. In 15 years, I never had a PIC product that failed
Part 15.

Of course, this is good only for unintentional radiators only.

--Bob Axtell


> It's an interesting area. At the end of the day, any "final product"
> that is an intentional radiator must have its own separate FCC ID.
>
> Some companies will ease this, and IIRC it works as follows:
>

2007\08\15@180626 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Bob Axtell wrote:
> You can perform some up-front work that will save yourself a LOT of grief.
> For example, suppose you need to get FCC part 15 certification for a
> PIC-based product.
>
> Purchase a simple broadband "sniffer". I bought mine from a kit store;
> it detects RF radiation from 2Mhz to 1000Mhz and makes an alarm
> when any is detected. I KNOW I paid less than $100USD. (It was
> sold to detect "bugs" by private investigators). Its the best $100 I
> ever spent... (well, there WAS that cute Irish girl in Boston I once
> had dinner with... but that's another story.).
>
> Place the product, RUNNING, on a non-metallic tabletop and walk around
> it with the sniffer. If you can't detect any signal in less than 10'
> (3.3m), you
> will NOT have an issue when you need to get a certificate.

Wouldn't the distance depend on the sensitivity of the sniffer?

2007\08\16@021612 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Er.. didn't like my sniffer..?

Of course. Mine was able to track the internal wiring of my cable system
as it passed through the
building, by being about 1/2m away from it. I simply played with it
enough to have it "calibrated"
in my head, then I used it for years. I still have it. It runs on two 9V
batteries. It usually picks up
PIC noise when the antenna is 1" away from the PIC.

The  FCC part 15 spec calls for testing done at  1, 3 , and 10 meters
(may have changed), on a
non-metallic turntable. The max amplitude of the signal at those
distance is used to pass or fail the
product, by calculating the RF field strength.

Where the costs get very high is when it FAILS. Then the test engineer
will be obligated to  determine
the cause, and he will bill you at $150-250USD per hour. So it is your
job to make sure it passes
the FIRST time.

MOST companies have high test costs only the FIRST time; thereafter,
they buy their own spectrum
analyzers (the same thing that the FCC Testing companies use) and make
sure it passes. NOTE: you
can RENT test facilities by the hour, and it usually includes the test
engineer. So you can make sure
it will pass, by simply spending $300USD for 1.5hrs of joke-telling and
5 minutes of real work.

You need to be aware that some products are completely exempt from FCC
Part 15 and some are
exempt from UL testing as well. FCC exemptions include power company
controls and instruments,
some medical devices, and many industrial items, from robots, and mining
equipment and including
oil-well tools. The products I am making for power company testing are
all exempt.

--Bob Axtell


2007\08\16@023318 by Ruben Jönsson

flavicon
face
> Bob Axtell wrote:
> > You can perform some up-front work that will save yourself a LOT of grief. For
> > example, suppose you need to get FCC part 15 certification for a PIC-based
> > product.
> >
> > Purchase a simple broadband "sniffer". I bought mine from a kit store;
> > it detects RF radiation from 2Mhz to 1000Mhz and makes an alarm
> > when any is detected. I KNOW I paid less than $100USD. (It was
> > sold to detect "bugs" by private investigators). Its the best $100 I
> > ever spent... (well, there WAS that cute Irish girl in Boston I once
> > had dinner with... but that's another story.).
> >
> > Place the product, RUNNING, on a non-metallic tabletop and walk around
> > it with the sniffer. If you can't detect any signal in less than 10'
> > (3.3m), you
> > will NOT have an issue when you need to get a certificate.

Don't forget to attach cables to all terminals.

>
> Wouldn't the distance depend on the sensitivity of the sniffer?
>

Yes, and it probably has different sensitivity for different frequencies.

/Ruben

==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
rubenspamspam_OUTpp.sbbs.se
==============================

2007\08\16@174257 by alan smith

picon face
Hmmm...is there a published list of what products are exempt?

Bob Axtell <@spam@engineerKILLspamspamcotse.net> wrote:
 
You need to be aware that some products are completely exempt from FCC
Part 15 and some are
exempt from UL testing as well. FCC exemptions include power company
controls and instruments,
some medical devices, and many industrial items, from robots, and mining
equipment and including
oil-well tools. The products I am making for power company testing are
all exempt.



     
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2007\08\16@175244 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face
Yes, the exempt list is at http://www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2007/15/103/

Harold


{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\08\16@182347 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
For the purposes of the rules, what exactly is a "digital device"? They
seem to be very exempt, at least in the cases mentioned.

Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> Yes, the exempt list is at www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2007/15/103/
>
> Harold

2007\08\16@184646 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face
A digital device is defined in 15.3(k) at
http://www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2007/15/3/

Harold


> For the purposes of the rules, what exactly is a "digital device"? They
> seem to be very exempt, at least in the cases mentioned.
>
> Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>> Yes, the exempt list is at
>> www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2007/15/103/
>>
>> Harold
>
> -

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