Thursday, November 7, 2013

New versions of EN 55022 and EN 55024

ce mark

ce mark (Photo credit: a94540871)

Just a little over 3 weeks before the new European EMC standards for Information Technology equipment are mandatory, are your reports and testing up to date?

The date of withdrawal is set to 12/1/13, after that date, no products covered by EN 55022 or EN55024 can be placed on the European market unless they are compliant with the new standards.

Link to CENELEC Project Page
Link to CENELEC Project Page

Monday, October 21, 2013

Power line communication standard ratified

Power to you

Power to you (Photo credit: Domiriel)

On October 9th, 2013, the CENELEC Technical Board (BT) ratified FprEN 50561-1:2012

‘Power line communication apparatus used in low-voltage installations - Radio disturbance characteristics - Limits and methods of measurement – Part 1: Apparatus for in-home use’


Implementation dates:

  • Date of adoption (doa) = April 9th, 2014
  • Date of publication (dop) = October 9th, 2014
  • Date of Withdrawal (dow) = October 9th, 2016

It has been asked of the CEN-CENELEC Management Center (CCMC) to offer the standard to the European Commission (EC) for citation in the Official Journal (OJEU) under the EMC Directive and R&TTE Directive.

Previous posts on Power line communications;

Dec. 3, 2010 - An update on PLT, Power Line Telecommunications, in Europe

July 20, 2011 - Power Line Communication Limits and methods of measurement draft Part 1

Dec 14, 2011 - The last word on Power Line telecom (PLT) in the EU, EN 55022:2006 applies in full, maybe….

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Government reopens

The partial shutdown of the Federal Government that lasted 16 days ended today and the FCC systems come back online. Access to the OET system, which includes electronic filing and the OET knowledge base has been restored. TCBs are now able to issue grants of certification and perform research on pending applications.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

U.S. Federal Government begins partial shutdown

September 30th 2013, shortly before midnight the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that directs federal agencies to begin an orderly shutdown.

For the first time in 17 years the U.S. Federal Government is in partial shutdown. Among the Federal agencies affected by the shutdown is the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET).

While the shutdown is in effect, applications for product approvals through the FCC's certification system cannot be processed. Applications can still be initiated via the TCB program, but certifications can not be issued while the OET system is offline.

It is uncertain how long the shutdown will last or when the OET certification system will be back online.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Government Shutdown impact on FCC certifications

Closed Sign in Yellowstone

Closed Sign in Yellowstone (Photo credit: bmills)

Preparations are being made at the FCC for the potential of yet another imminent Federal government shutdown if a funding bill agreement can’t be reached by Sept. 30th.

The FCC has indicated that in the unlikely event of a government shutdown, that access to all FCC systems will be suspended.

The Equipment Authorization system, used by the FCC and Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCB) to process certifications and issue grants of equipment authorizations will be among such systems to go off line, thus having the potential to delay or halt pending product certifications and preventing manufacturers from marketing and selling affected product.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Google granted FCC approval for TV bands database system

google spectrum

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has granted operational approval for Google’s TV bands database system, to provide service to the public.

The TV bands database system is designed to protect broadcast TV stations, fixed broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) links, Multichannel video programing distributors (MVPDs), private land mobile and commercial mobile radio service, offshore radio telephone service, radio astronomy at specific sites and low power auxiliary service.

Some operators must specifically register to receive protection from TV band devices, such as, MVPD receive sites, wireless microphone users and temporary BAS links.

Google’s spectrum database can be found at


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

5 GHz band rules comment period extended


80211a-5-ghz-spectrum (Photo credit: sam_churchill)

FCC has extended the commenting period to July 24th, 2013 on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) - Revision of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) Devices in the 5 GHz Band.

The above rulemaking will have a significant impact on unlicensed device spectrum use and affect devices that operate in the 5 GHz band, devices that use wide band data transmission techniques such as the emerging  802.11ac wireless standard for example. The complexity of the technologies embedded in such systems to deal with the spectrum utilization requirements can have a direct impact on the cost of such devices.

For a briefing on some of the proposed changes in the NPRM, see

The request for extension was made by IEEE 802 Committee and the WiFi Alliance to enable more time for review and commenting on technical and policy issues.  The FCC noted that comment extensions are not a routine practice, but given the importance of this proceeding, they found it appropriate for the development of a full and complete record.


ORDER Extended Reply Comment Date: July 24, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

EU EMC update Spring 2013

European Union as a single entity and the star...

European Union as a single entity and the stars from the Flag of Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


EMC directive

New directive acceptance is taking longer than expected. Legal adoption is expected around October. With allowances for editorial and administrative action, the new EMC directive can be expected to be operational by year’s end. The “Blue Guide” is undergoing an update due to the changes and to take the New Legislative Framework (NLF) into account.

Power Line Communications

EU EMC consultant indicated that prEN 50412-4 is not recommended for listing in the Official Journal of the European Union at this time, and Notified Bodies are cautioned against using this draft standard for their assessment.  For history on this subject and background see An update on PLT, Power Line Telecommunications, in Europe and The last word on Power Line telecom (PLT) in the EU, EN 55022:2006 applies in full, maybe….

EMC Market surveillance campaign

On first analyses the EMC ADCO’s 2012 5th market surveillance shows worse results than previous campaigns. Reports indicated; of the items sampled 1 out of 2 Information Technology Equipment switching power supplies fail the EMC technical requirements. The full report should be released soon, typically reports are produced in January of the following year and then posted to the Europa web site. The report on the bilateral Table PC campaign conducted by the Netherlands and Germany is also expected soon.

Next candidates on the list for EMC market surveillance are;

Power Assist Bicycles, Inverter or optimizer for solar panels, High Definition (HD) video recorder, and potentially a new LED lighting campaign to assess improvements over the 4th market surveillance campaign.

(EMC ADCO) – is the European Administrative Co-operation Working Group

What power should be considered “Rated Power”

When assessing product under 61000-3-2, “Harmonic Current Emissions”, what power is considered as the rated power, the one actually measured at the lab or the one mentioned on the product data plate? When EMC ADCO was asked this question, the following statement was provided;

Up to a power consumption of 75 W no limits for harmonic current emissions apply to most devices (lighting equipment excepted).

If the rated power is nearly (but below) 75 W procedure is stated in the standard EN 61000-3-2:2006 + A1:2009 + A2:2009 Clause 6.2.2:

“The value of the power found by measurement during emission tests other than the original manufacturer’s conformity assessment test, measured according to the terms of this clause, shall not be less than 90 % nor greater than 110 % of the value for power specified by the manufacturer in the test report (see In the event that the measured value is outside of this tolerance band around the specified value, the measured power shall be used to establish the limits.”


Rated power below 75 W, measured value of rated power is within 90 to 110% of the displayed rated power of the manufacturer

Take rated power from data plate

Rated power below 75 W, rated power not stated at data plate or measured value of rated power is outside 90 to 110%

Take measured rated power from test laboratory

EMC Standards

CISPR 32 has now been published. EN55032 could become mandatory mid 2017

EN55022 and EN 55024 2010 mandatory December 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New FCC ID format could make searching IDs difficult

Starting tomorrow, May 1st, 2013, the FCC will begin issuing new grantee codes as five character codes. Existing 3 character codes will still be valid, but new codes as of tomorrow will be in the 5 character format.  An earlier post describes why the change to the 5 character system. See FCC running out of Grantee codes.

Now that grantee codes could be both 3 character and 5 character, for those who use the Equipment Authorization Database search to lookup FCC IDs, it could be difficult at first getting use to the new system. How do you know if it’s a 3 character code or a 5 character code just by looking at the ID?




Here’s a tip.

3 or 5 character grantee code? To tell;

1. if it starts with a number, it’s a 5 character code

2. if it starts with a letter, it’s a 3 character code.

The use of 1 and 0 is excluded, to avoid confusion with the letters i and o.

I don’t know if this visual would work the same for you, but what I do is picture a telephone keypad, it kind of looks like a # symbol with the number 5 in the middle;



# = Number so 5 starts with number. Silly, but it works for me.

So for the example above; 2AA56 is the 5 character code (starts with a #) and G77 is the 3 character code (starts with a letter).



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Many new FCC draft publications released this week

Preceding the spring TCB training session this week, the FCC released a number of draft publications that will have an impact on a wide range of product. Links to the drafts can be found at

941225 D07 UMPC Mini Tablet Devices v01r01 DR09-41372
941225 D06 Hot Spot SAR v01r01 DR08-41372
941225 D05 SAR for LTE Devices v02r02 DR07-41372
941225 D02 Guidance for 3GPP R6 and R7 HSPA v02r02 DR06-41372
935210 D02 Signal Boosters Certification v01 DR02-41372
935210 D01 Signal Booster Definitions v01 DR01-41372
971168 D01 Power Meas License Digital Systems v02 DR02-41372
680106 D01 RF Exposure Wireless Charging Apps v02 DR02-41372
865664 D02 SAR Reporting v01r01 DR05-41372
865664 D01 SAR measurement 3 to 6 GHz v01r01 DR04-41372
662911 D01 Appendix I of D01 Multiple Transmitter Output v01 DR03-41372
662911 D01 Multiple Transmitter Output v02 DR02-41372
648474 D03 Handset Wireless Battery Chargers v01r02 DR03-41372
648474 D04 SAR Handsets Multi Xmiter and Ant v01r01 DR04-41372
616217 SAR for laptop and tablets DR03-41368
447498 D01 General RF Exposure Guidance DR03-41369
200443 D02 Millimeter Wave Testing DR01-41369

Jamming employee cell phones can cost

The FCC issued several notices of apparent liability, in amounts exceeding $120,000 for illegal cell jammer use.

In the referenced Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), anonymous complaints resulted in immediate investigation of companies employing cell jammers to block cellular communications. Upon investigation by FCC field agents, the companies were found to be using broadband cell signal jammers, illegally shipped from overseas. In one case it was noted the jammers had been installed following a "near miss" potential for an industrial accident, attributed to employee phone use on the job. The managers at the work sites confirmed that the jammers were installed to prevent employees from using cell phones while working.

The problem is noted that these jammers don't discriminate, blocking all cell traffic in and around the area including necessary emergency communications such as 9-1-1 calls.

In each of the cases, the jammers were surrendered to the FCC agents, along with any spare backup jammers. The FCC agents confirmed that the cell band interference had ceased after the jammers were removed.

In each case, the maximum forfeiture amount allowable by statute was proposed, however, the total amount was revised downward by 25%, due to the immediate voluntary surrender of the illegal jammers. It was acknowledged that the Commission has authority to confiscate illegal devices, however, the Commission recognizes the benefits of the voluntary cooperation, and would like to encourage similar conduct in the future.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FCC Opens More 5GHz Spectrum


In an effort to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology, the FCC proposes to increase the available unlicensed spectrum by 35%, adding 195 MHz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band. This rule proposal today follows through with FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement at CES earlier this year (See Post).

The Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure band three (U-NII-3) will receive an addition 25MHz of spectrum and the rules for U-NII-3 (15.407) devices are proposed to align with those of digitally modulated devices (15.247). This will provide consistent rules across 125 MHz of spectrum. The rules propose to remove the 5.725 – 5.85 GHz band from section 15.247, and amend the U-NII band rules to maintain many of the technical rules that currently make certifying to 15.247 more attractive; however some of the more restrictive requirements of 15.407 will remain.

Summary of some of the proposed 15.247/15.407 technical changes;

  • 15.247 will remove 5.725 - 5.850 GHz (devices using this band now under 15.407)
  • Frequency band, 15.407 expanded from 5.825 to 5.85 GHz
  • Power, 15.407 will fix limit at 1W as in 15.247 instead of lesser of 1W or 17 dBm + 10 log B
  • PSD, 15.407 to use Power Spectral Density of 15.247 (possible change of measurement BW to 1 MHz)
  • Emission Bandwidth, 15.407 will adopt min 6 dB bandwidth of 15.247
  • Antenna Gain, 15.407 to retain 23 dBi maximum no penalty antenna gain  for point to point
  • Unwanted Emissions limits of 15.407 will remain, more stringent than 15.247
  • Peak to Average ratio of 13dB in 15.407 will remain, no such requirement in 15.247

The new rules are seeking comment on potential security features that will be required by manufacturers and implemented in any digitally modulated device capable of operating in the U-NII bands to prevent 3rd parties from reprogramming devices to operate outside of the device’s certified parameters.

The proposal also notes potential “mitigation” techniques such as a database registration process combined with geo-location technology to determine whether there is a potential for interference to radar systems such as the TDWR.

There are several changes proposed to improve the reliability of “Dynamic Frequency Selection” DFS, namely lowering permitted Power Spectral Density (PSD) for lower powered devices using relaxed sensing threshold, modifying the Bin-1 radar waveform and removing the uniform channel loading requirement. The rules make clear that any device subject to DFS and that is capable of initiating a network, must have radar detection functionality and must be approved with that capability.

It is suggested that devices could operate in the new U-NII-2B band under the same technical framework specified in 15.407 for U-NII-2A and U-NII-2C opening operation up to the 475 MHz continuous band from 5.25 to 5.725 GHz. It is also noted that should the U-NII-3 band be increased to the proposed 5.85 GHz upper limit, then the same technical framework applicable to U-NII-3 could be applied to devices operating in the U-NII-4 band allowing operation across the continuous 200 MHz spectrum. The proposal seeks whether and how to integrate DFS into the new U-NII-2B and U-NII-4 bands.

It is noted that up to 12 months after adoption of any new or modified rules, devices could still be certified under the old rules. After 12 months, all new certifications for U-NII devices must be under the new rules. Up to 2 years after adoption of any new or modified rules, the FCC will permit Class II permissive changes to equipment certified prior to the 12 month transition date. At the end of the 2 year transition period, devices will not be permitted to be sold, manufactured, installed, imported or marketed in the United States unless they are certified under the new rules. It is explained that devices that are already installed or in use should be grandfathered for the life of the equipment.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is set with a 45 day comment period, and a 75 day reply comment period. The changes proposed are far too numerous for this post to cover in toto, for the technical details, a link is provided in the reference section.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Major FCC rule update, FCC to stop certifying products all together

Logo of the United States Federal Communicatio...

Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FCC proposes changes to product certification rules to leave certification activities exclusively to the Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCB). FCC will require that all testing be at an accredited, approved lab. The new rules will also specify new standards for testing and recognition of TCBs and labs.

To sum up the proposed changes;

  1. FCC will stop certifying products and rely solely on TCBs (including for items on exclusion list)
  2. FCC to codify “permit-but-ask” procedures into new “pre-approval” procedure.
  3. Rules will clarify TCB post-market surveillance requirements
  4. Rules will specify steps that can be taken if TCB performance was found deficient.
  5. Rules will reference latest ISO/IEC standards for accreditation and 2009 version of ANSI
  6. Test labs will require accreditation to perform testing for certification.
  7. A one year transition from publication date is proposed for certain aspects of the new rules

The FCC will stop issuing grants directly; rather they will rely on TCBs to perform all certifications. This will enable the FCC to focus on “enforcement” activities. The FCC will be better able to perform post-market surveillance and auditing random samples. TCBs will also be granted authority to dismiss equipment authorization applications under the same circumstances that the Commission currently dismisses and application. TCBs will not be able to deny an application. The current 30 day period that a TCB may rescind a grant remains however the term “rescind” will be changed to “set aside”.

The FCC intends to eliminate the TCB exclusion list (items that a TCB cannot approve) and codify the “permit-but-ask” procedures. The FCC will call the new system “pre-approval guidance” procedures. The new procedures will identify the types of devices or testing that would require a TCB to consult with the Commission prior to approval. The FCC intends to integrate the pre-approval guidance procedure with the current Equipment Authorization System (EAS). The new pre-approval procedure will retain the FCCs option to do a pre-grant sample test, similar to how product that requires Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) are sampled by the FCC prior to issuance of a grant.

The proposal will require that applicants send a written signed request for equipment authorization to a TCB. The proposal also requires that the applicant provide the TCB with all information required by the 731 application in writing (or digital form), including all exhibits required to process the application.

Previously the rules did not require a TCB to submit a complete copy of the certification application prior to grant; the rules will be amended to incorporate the requirement that the TCB provide the Commission with a complete copy of the application, including all required exhibits, prior to issuance of a grant or a dismissal of the application. The key here is that this will provide notice to the Commission and other TCBs concerning which applications have been dismissed.

FCC intends to clarify the rules regarding the post-market surveillance requirements of TCBs by making reference to the Knowledge database (KDB) procedure and to make clear the authority TCBs have when requesting samples from grantees. The FCC may direct a grantee to provide a sample for testing to the approving TCB if questions of compliance should arise.

FCC is seeking comment on the surveillance, specifically how to ensure that duplicates are not selected by the FCC and TCB for sampling? Should TCBs cross check one another, and if so, who bears the costs? Should grantees provide a voucher to enable the FCC to obtain a retail sample from the market?

Currently the rules provide for the revocation of TCB status, but no less corrective measures are specified. FCC proposes to modify rules to allow for lesser forms of corrective actions with warnings, communication and monitoring, also perhaps temporarily requiring that all applications from a deficient TCB go through the pre-approval procedure as sort of “probation” until confidence is regained in the TCBs abilities.

FCC proposes to modify rules to replace accreditation requirements of Guide 58 and Guide 61 with the new consolidated ISO/IEC 17011 and to replace reference to Guide 65 with ISO/IEC 17065. Consistent with 17065 the term “sub-contractor” will be replaced with “external resources”. The proposal notes that these changes will not have any significant impact because the revised guides are substantially similar to the guides currently specified in the rules.

Currently, equipment to be certificated must be tested at a lab that meets one of two criteria, the lab must have filed a description of the facilities with the Commission, or the lab has been accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 and recognized by the Commission. The FCC recognizes that accreditation is a more thorough and involved process than filing a description. The FCC notes that accreditation of a lab outside the United States is acceptable only of the lab is located in a country that has an MRA with the United States, or is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the Commission.

This is a big one, the FCC proposes to end the listing program for labs and require that all test labs performing tests for DoC or Certification be accredited, this would mean that only “Verification” testing could be performed at a non-accredited facility. The lab will still be required to compile the listing description, but only show it to the FCC or accreditation body upon request. The FCC will maintain a list of acceptable test labs, most likely similar to how it does now at . It is worth noting that tests performed in countries without an MRA may no longer be acceptable for certification.

FCC proposes to require, rather than allow as an alternative, a test lab testing above 1GHz to meet the CISPR 16 validation criteria. Validation is to be confirmed no less than once every three years.

The FCC proposes acceptance of the measurement standards ANSI C63.4-2009 for unintentional radiators and C63.10-2009 for intentional radiators with the continued exception of the use of rod antenna below 30MHz, an artificial hand for holding hand held devices, and absorber clamp for radio noise power measurements as well as no relaxation of limits for transient emissions. The FCC is not proposing to incorporate CISPR 22 into the rules for measuring subject to part 15 as requested by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

FCC proposes that test setup photos be included for each of the required types of tests applicable to the device for which certification is requested. The FCC also proposes that any photographs be “focused originals” without glare or dark spots, and must clearly show the test configuration used.

As for a transition period, the FCC notes that two of the changes may require some time for laboratories to meet. These are; 1) laboratories must be accredited, and 2) above 1GHz testing site validation in accordance with C63.4-2009. The FCC proposes that they will stop accepting applications for listing labs under section 2.948 as of the effective date of the final rules. The FCC proposes that any unaccredited labs that are already listed on the effective date of the rules can continue to perform testing until one year after publication, after that they must be accredited. All labs accredited or not, must comply with the site validation requirements of C63.4-2009 no later than one year after publication. Any new labs must comply with both accreditation and site validation requirements as of the date of publication of the new rules.

A link to the NPRM is provided below, while this article attempts to digest most of the document, you are encouraged to read the NPRM and follow the procedures should you wish to participate and to provide feedback to the FCC.


February 12, 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

Monday, January 28, 2013

New single Australian compliance mark requirements

March 1, 2013 is the commencement date set for the new ACMA labeling arrangements. The three marks, C-Tick, A-Tick and RCM, are to be consolidated into a single compliance mark, the RCM.
The C-Tick and A-Tick marks will be phased out over a three year period, however, new suppliers will be required to register with the new database, and apply the new RCM on March 1, 2013.
The new marking does not affect the device compliance requirements. Testing, record-keeping and evidential requirements continue as set out in the relevant labeling notices.
A new safety system, the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) is being introduced in some state territories and the RCM will be the only compliance mark for devices within the scope of the EESS.
Complete details provided below via a link in the reference listing.
New single compliance mark-RCM
ACMA - Compliance and Labeling Arrangements Updates announcement

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Improved HD video coming to a hot-spot near you

las-vegas-ces (Photo credit: VentureBeat)

FCC announces efforts to support U.S. Innovation Economy and free up new spectrum to expedite ultra-high-speed, high capacity Wi-Fi. The announcement was made at the 2013 International CES this month.

Chairman Julius Genachowski expressed that the FCC will soon kick-off a government wide effort to increase speeds and alleviate Wi-Fi congestion at major hubs. Among the examples given are large conference gatherings (such as CES perhaps), airports and convention centers, and the home network, where multiple users and devices are competing for network bandwidth and time and reducing the overall performance of the wireless network in general.

The intent is to free up, and increase, by up to 35%, unlicensed spectrum and make it available for ultra-high-speed, high capacity Wi-Fi, or as it’s commonly called “Gigabit Wi-Fi”.

The largest expansion of Wi-Fi since 2003, next month should bring the first steps of this action in the form of an additional 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band.

It shouldn’t be long after that we begin to see consumer product on the shelves that take advantage of this, the first standard that will most likely make use of this available 5GHz spectrum, IEEE 802.11ac, has been in development for some time. This standard requires at least twice the bandwidth of the preceding 802.11n standard, but provides a potential speed increase of perhaps tenfold.

FCC Press release