What is FCC Part 15 Testing?

FCC Part 15 testing is an essential step for any company looking to manufacture or sell electronic products in the United States. It ensures that the products you bring to market meet federal regulations regarding electromagnetic emissions and EMI reduction.

While the process of getting your product tested may seem daunting at first, it provides invaluable peace of mind knowing that your product is compliant with all applicable regulatory standards and is ready to market. Read on to learn more about FCC Part 15 testing.

Where Do FCC Part 15 Standards Come From?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established rules and regulations regulating radio frequency (RF) energy use. RF devices are products that “have the potential to cause interference to radio services operating in the radio frequency range of 9 kHz to 3000 GHz.” If a company wishes to manufacture, market, or sell RF products, it must first have them undergo FCC Part 15 testing to ensure compliance with the FCC's regulations. The scope of an FCC Part 15 test will vary depending on the type of product being tested and its intended use. 

What Does an FCC Part 15 Test Entail?

FCC Part 15 contains the regulatory standards permitting intentional, unintentional, and incidental radiators to be operated without an individual license. An FCC Part 15 test is a technical evaluation of an electronic device to ensure it meets the requirements stipulated by the FCC. This testing examines the radiated and conducted electromagnetic emissions produced by a product. These results determine whether the product meets FCC limits and the potential for electromagnetic interference (EMI) created by that product.

What is an intentional radiator?

The FCC states that an intentional radiator is “a device that intentionally generates and emits radio frequency energy by radiation or induction.” Examples of an intentional radiator include:

  • Auditory assistance devices
  • Biomedical telemetry devices
  • Cable locating equipment

A Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB) is required for FCC Certification of intentional radiators. GME can help customers implement FCC-certified wireless modules (WiFi, BT, etc.) in their products by performing Host Product testing.

What is an unintentional radiator?

The FCC defines an unintentional radiator as, “A device that intentionally generates radio frequency energy for use within the device, or that sends radio frequency signals by conduction to associated equipment via connecting wiring, but which is not intended to emit RF energy by radiation or induction.” Examples of an unintentional radiator include:

  • Digital devices
  • Power line carrier systems
  • TV interface devices

GME can help customers comply with FCC rules by performing unintentional radiator testing.

What is an incidental radiator?

According to the FCC, an incidental radiator is, “A device that generates radio frequency energy during the course of its operation although the device is not intentionally designed to generate or emit radio frequency energy." Examples of an incidental radiator include:

  • DC motors
  • Mechanical light Switches

Testing is not ordinarily required for these products.

What Are the Benefits of Meeting Part 15 Requirements?

The primary benefit of meeting FCC Part 15 requirements is that your product will comply with federal law which means your product is safe to use in any location in the United States. Additionally, meeting Part 15 requirements allows your company to avoid costly fines due to non-compliance. Ensuring that your products meet all applicable EMC standards helps protect consumers from potential hazards associated with using RF devices. Ultimately, having your products tested for compliance is one of the best investments you can make for your business.

GME is here to help

Green Mountain Electromagnetics is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory that tests for product compliance with FCC Supplier Declaration of Conformity Rules of 47 CFR Part 15.

With 30 years in the industry, our team of experts is equipped with the latest technology and knowledge to ensure reliable test results. GME is A2LA accredited and supports clients, developing long-term business relations.

Contact us today to find out more about our services!