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As a manufacturer of electronics, it’s important to comply with FCC regulations. By law, devices that can emit radio frequency radiation are required to comply with FCC Part 15B in order to be sold within the United States.

FCC Part 15B is a subset of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulations for electronic devices that emit radio frequency signals.

Any RF device that sends radio frequency signals can potentially interfere with other electrical devices. The purpose of the FCC’s regulations is to ensure that electronic devices function with no interference that may affect their operations or safety.

Devices that can emit radio frequencies include radios, phones and other devices, as well as personal computers, smart devices and other consumer electronics.

As an FCC testing lab, we can help you achieve FCC Part 15B compliance for your product. To learn more about FCC Part 15B, call us directly on 866-540-5287, contact us online to talk to our team about FCC testing and compliance, or continue reading below.

What is FCC Part 15b?

FCC Part 15B is more specifically Part 15B of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), or FCC Rules and Regulations Title 47. Title 47 sets rules and regulations governing the use of radio, wire, cable, TV and satellite communications in the United States.

FCC Title 47 is a fairly expansive set of laws and documents, with Part 15B the part that attracts the most attention from people. This is because Part 15B regulates the levels of radio frequency radiation output that are acceptable from electrical devices.

Radio frequency waves need to stay within safe, approved levels to avoid producing hazardous electromagnetic interference (EMI), and this is the purpose of Part 15B.

Why is it Important to Comply With FCC Part 15B?

If you’ve worked in an electronic or mechanical field, you should understand the importance of controlling EMI. However, even if you haven’t worked in such an area, you still have exposure EMI control procedures.

For instance, you switch off devices with processors or electronic displays that can generate RF energy as a byproduct of their operation before a plane takes off to minimize the latent interference that such devices can create.

Virtually any sensitive electronic equipment, such as medical equipment used by hospitals or emergency first responders, can potentially be disrupted by unchecked radio interference.

What is a Part 15B Device?

FCC Part 15B governs emissions from “unintentional radiators” — electrical devices that aren’t designed to emit radio frequency energy. These devices might emit RF energy as a side effect of their regular operation.

Any device that produces a type of radiation that Part 15B defines is subject to the regulations within this part of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Electronic devices that fall under Part 15B regulations include:

  • Consumer electronics and digital devices
  • Computer and peripherals such as monitors, printers and external devices
  • Microwave ovens, washing machines and other home appliances
  • Certain LED lighting devices and equipment
  • Electrical device power supplies and other parts
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • TV and radio receivers
  • Electronic toys

Understanding Part 15b Radiation Types

Intentional Radiation

Intentional radiation is the most straightforward type of radiofrequency output that FCC Part 15 governs. It refers to radiation that your device deliberately produces to communicate with other devices.

When you connect to a Wi-Fi network or call a friend, your phone or other device is acting as an intentional radiator. However, that same phone is also an unintentional radiator any time that it’s on.

Unintentional Radiation

Unintentional radiation is a bit more complex. When a device uses radio frequency energy as a means to function internally, it will still produce some amount of radiation that might affect other devices.

Devices that use radio spectrum energy to operate but are not designed to affect other devices are referred to as “unintentional radiators.” These devices are governed by FCC Part 15B and need to be compliant with Part 15B regulations.

What defines unintentional radiation and separates it from incidental radiation is that the output is key to the device functioning, but is not supposed to affect other devices.

Incidental Radiation

Incidental radiation is a type of latent EMI that isn’t relevant to the operation of the device that produces it. In this case, the radio frequency output of the device is purely accidental.

Devices that may produce incidental radiation include light bulbs, DC motors, and simple mechanical products.

FCC Part 15B Testing & Compliance

If your electronic device is classified as an unintentional radiator, you need to perform FCC Part 15 testing to make sure your device complies with all relevant standards. This process is part of the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC).

As specialists in FCC testing, we can help you with the entire testing and compliance process to make sure your device conforms with FCC regulations.

If your device is an intentional radiator, it needs to receive FCC certification under FCC Part 15C before going on sale.

You can learn more about the FCC testing, compliance and certification process by reaching out to our team or visiting our FCC testing page.

Contact Us

If your device emits radio frequency energy, we can help you make sure you comply with FCC regulations and complete all necessary testing before going to market.

Contact us now on 866-540-5287 or ask our engineers a question online and we’ll respond with complete information to help you start testing and make sure your device is fully compliant.