In the world of electronics manufacturing, ensuring that your product complies with regulatory standards is crucial for maintaining market access.

One of the key regulatory requirements for electronic products in the United States is Federal Communications Commission (FCC) testing, particularly under FCC Part 15. Testing ensures that your device complies with FCC regulations and can legally go on sale.

Below, we’ve explained what FCC testing is, as well as how the testing process usually works for an electronic device.

We’ve also discussed several common tests used to assess a device’s compliance with FCC Part 15, including radiated and conducted emissions testing and immunity testing.

For more information about FCC testing, or to request a free quote for testing your device for FCC compliance, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.

What is FCC Part 15?

Understanding Part 15

Part 15 is a specific section of the Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), or the FCC’s rules and regulations. It establishes limits for the emissions of radiofrequency energy (RF) by electronic devices.

Under Part 15, electronic devices can only output a limited amount of RF energy, and must demonstrate a minimum level of immunity to electromagnetic interference produced by other devices. 

The goal of Part 15 is to prevent harmful interference from electronic devices from affecting radio communications. Part 15 rules apply to a wide range of devices, from household TVs, computers and other consumer electronics to complex industrial machinery.

Types of Devices Under FCC Part 15

FCC Part 15 categorizes devices into two main groups: intentional radiators and unintentional radiators. 

Intentional radiators are devices that are designed to emit radio waves for communication, such as Wi-Fi routers. Unintentional radiators, on the other hand, are devices that are not intended to emit RF energy, but do so as a byproduct of their operation, like a digital camera or TV.

Devices are also categorized as either Class A or Class B devices under Part 15 based on their design and intended purpose.

How FCC Part 15 Testing Works

Compliance with FCC Part 15 isn’t just a legal requirement — it’s also an important mark of your device’s quality and reliability. 

Products that fail to comply with Part 15 can cause interference with other devices. If you sell a non-compliant device, you also face the risk of being subject to a fine, product recall, or another legal action from the FCC.

Because of this, understanding how Part 15 works and completing FCC testing for your device is a key part of bringing your product to market in the United States.

The testing process involves several key steps. Initially, you’ll need to determine if your device falls into the category of intentional or unintentional radiator. This classification determines the specific tests and standards that apply to your device.

Pre-Compliance Testing

Pre-compliance testing is an optional but recommended step in the FCC testing process. This step involves carrying out testing for your device in the design phase to identify potential issues before your device undergoes formal testing. 

Carrying out pre-compliance testing can save time and money by reducing the risk of failure in the FCC testing process.

Laboratory Testing

To formally achieve full compliance with the FCC rules, your device will need to be tested in a recognized laboratory.

These labs have the necessary equipment and expertise to carry out thorough testing. During the FCC testing process, your device will be assessed to measure its emissions and immunity, with the FCC standards used as a reference.

As an ANSI accredited laboratory, we can test your product and verify that it complies with the FCC Part 15 rules and regulations.

Certification and Reporting

If your device passes testing, you’ll need to complete the necessary paperwork, including your device’s test report, then submit your documents to the FCC. Our team can assist you with this part of the process and prepare detailed documentation for you to submit to the FCC.

Upon approval, you’ll be able to affix the FCC mark to your device’s packaging and market your device in the United States.

Common FCC Tests for Electrical Devices

Radiated Emissions Testing

This test measures the amount of RF energy that your device radiates into the air. It’s a critical test for both consumer and industrial devices, as radiated emissions can affect other electronic devices and potentially cause safety and/or reliability issues.

Conducted Emissions Testing

This test measures the amount of RF energy that’s emitted from your device through a power cord or other type of cable. Like radiated emissions, conducted emissions can affect electrical devices in the same area and potentially cause reliability problems. 

Immunity Testing

This type of test assesses how well your electronic device functions when it’s exposed to RF fields from other products. Immunity testing is critical for ensuring your device is reliable and able to continue functioning when it’s in the presence of other RF-emitting devices. 

Additional Tests for Intentional Radiators

If your device is an intentional radiator, it will need to undergo additional tests in order to comply with FCC Part 15 requirements. This includes spurious emissions testing, which measures your device’s unwanted emissions outside of normal frequency bands.

These additional tests are important for preventing interference from your device that may affect other communications services.

Contact Us to Discuss FCC Testing for Your Device

Completing FCC testing and achieving compliance with Part 15 is a critical step in bringing your device to the market in the United States.

As specialists in FCC testing and compliance, we can carry out testing for your device and help you to achieve FCC Part 15 compliance.

To request a free quote for your device, ask our engineers a question, or talk more about FCC testing for your product, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.