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PICList Thread
'[PIC]: FCC regs for the hobbyist...'
2002\06\06@215435 by Pic Dude

Can anyone tell me briefly when I need to be concerned about FCC
regs for devices I build.  Let's say I build a a PIC-based device for home
use.  I understand that there's a frequency threshold that decides
this.  What if I want to sell this device?

If I do need to get FCC approval, is this a simple procedure of just
some paperwork, or is there a lengthy process involving testing, etc?

Yes, I did hit, but there's gobs and gobs of docs on
there that I'm not even sure I need to read.


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2002\06\06@222752 by Nick Veys

I'm curious about the rules involving sales as well, I might try to make a somewhat Commercial product soon. Anyone know the rules?
{Original Message removed}

2002\06\06@233219 by Dwayne Reid

At 09:24 PM 6/6/02 -0500, Nick Veys wrote:
>I'm curious about the rules involving sales as well, I might try to make a
>somewhat Commercial product soon. Anyone know the rules?

From the picist:

From:   Harold Hallikainen <spam_OUTharoldhallikainenTakeThisOuTspamJUNO.COM>
Subject:      Re: Any PIC-based Product requires FCC Approval?

> A reminder that I have hyperlinked FCC rules at
> Harold

Hope this helps.


Dwayne Reid   <>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
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2002\06\07@014808 by mluvara

picon face
Specifically, take a look at FCC part 15 rules. It varies by country too
(Fcc- USA, VCCI - Japan, CE - European Declaration of Conformity, etc, etc
etc). Take a look on the back of your computer, handheld device, etc. The
regulatory aspects of making a product are larger than you may think.
Radiated Emissions (30MHz and up), from an electronic device are required,
along with Conducted Emissions (150kHz - 30MHz - usually for AC powered
products)in the US. More for other countried such as Europe. You usually
need to test up to the fifth harmonic of the largest clock freq in the
device. I believe there's an exception for non-production stuff where you
can build 5 units before actually needing compliance. Battery operated may
be different too. The point is that you need to be concerned when it goes
into production.

Try the Linx application note:

Also, search for "EMC" - electromagnetic compatibility on the net, or EMC
test houses. Usually costs ~$3000 to qualify a product.


> [Original Message]
> From: Pic Dude <picdudespamKILLspamAVN-TECH.COM>
> To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
> Date: 6/6/02 6:46:51 PM
{Quote hidden}

- Michael Luvara

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2002\06\07@014852 by mluvara

picon face
If it's homebuilt, FCC Part 15.23 - Homebuilt devices


                          Subpart A--General

Sec. 15.23  Home-built devices.

   (a) Equipment authorization is not required for devices that are not
marketed, are not constructed from a kit, and are built in quantities of
five or less for personal use.
   (b) It is recognized that the individual builder of home-built
equipment may not possess the means to perform the measurements for
determining compliance with the regulations. In this case, the builder
is expected to employ good engineering practices to meet the specified
technical standards to the greatest extent practicable. The provisions
of Sec. 15.5 apply to this equipment.


Also, take a look at:

You have to decide what type of device you are marketing and if it is class
A (industrial) or class b (Home equip). Class B has lower emission limits.


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2002\06\07@015550 by Pic Dude

Still searching thru it, but I've noticed that sections
B,C,D seem to be for any radio application, which my
devices are not.  In A, I found 0.493  Non-radio common
carrier applications, but the links in there are broken.

Still searching though.


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\07@020102 by Pic Dude

Excellent info.  I did check my laptops, and they both
said only "Tested to comply with FCC standards".  But
this info seems like it will put me on the right path.


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\07@091016 by Jeff Berosik

I was curious about FCC, I looked, ...
For the hobbyist in us..
Sec. 15.23  Home built devices. OK with limitations..
No more than 5 units, not marketed, not a kit, employ good engineering
practices, cease operation if notified by a Commission representative (15.5)

For Marketed Items, I think you need to read most of  part 15. for
Unintentional Radiators. (you are not trying to broadcast.)
This looks like it checks for all pulses of 9 KHz or greater

Dwayne Reid wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\07@092945 by Paul Hutchinson

As others have said, as a hobbyist you are given a lot of leeway. Basically
you just need to follow the root FCC rule: You can not interfere with
licensed services. If you cause interference, and someone complains to the
FCC, you will be required to disable your device until you can reduce the
interference to the satisfaction of the person who filed the complaint.

As a business marketing a product in the US you need to be very careful as
the potential fines can be devastating to a small business. The rules are
fairly complex so, I strongly recommend working closely with a certified
test lab. Labs  in the NE US seem to range in price from about $500.00 to
$3000.00 for complete testing and document preparation.


> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\07@114248 by Harold M Hallikainen

picon face
       See part 15 of the rules at .
There's an exemption for battery operated equipment with a clock
frequency below something like 1.7 MHz.


On Thu, 6 Jun 2002 20:46:51 -0500 Pic Dude <picdudespamspam_OUTAVN-TECH.COM> writes:
{Quote hidden}

FCC Rules Online at
Lighting control for theatre and television at

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2002\06\07@154810 by Welch, Ken

if the commercial product (non-radio) has any device with a clock frequency
above 10KHz it may govern by the FCC Part 15 rules as  "unintentional

there are a lot of exceptions -- the hobbyist (homebuilt 5 pcs), test eqt,

another reference is compliance engineering magazine...

{Original Message removed}

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