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'[EE]: Product certification rules?'
2003\05\30@165025 by Natalia

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I was wondering if someone could explain the rules of getting a product
certified so it can be sold commercially.

If I'm making a PIC-based product that will use a simple wall-wart adapter,
what do I need to do to sell it even in small quantities in the U.S. and
outside the U.S.?

Thanks...

-- N

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2003\05\30@170640 by Micro Eng

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certifed.....UL/TUV or FCC?   Harold has some really good info on FCC
certifications, but if you run the clock slow enough, I don't think it has
to even be class B certified?

I don't think there is any rule about having a product certified to sell it
anyway.  It just means that if it causes a problem, there is some fallback
on it.

I wonder if you add a disclaimer of not being certified is worse than not
saying anything at all?

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2003\05\30@174611 by Harold Hallikainen

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I'd read somewhere that OSHA requires equipment used in the workplace to be safety tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Lab. Some cities (such as Los Angeles) also have a requirement on any equipment used in that city (I was visited by a city inspector at a trade show in Los Angeles). As for FCC, there are various exemptions to the certification requirements of part 15. One is for battery operated equipment with a low (1.7MHz or lower, as I recall) clock speed. There's also an exemption for medical equipment. Another for appliances, etc.

A good resource is news:sci.engr.compliance .

Good luck!

Harold

--- Micro Eng <micro_engspamKILLspamHOTMAIL.COM> wrote:


certifed.....UL/TUV or FCC?   Harold has some really good info on FCC
certifications, but if you run the clock slow enough, I don't think it has
to even be class B certified?

I don't think there is any rule about having a product certified to sell it
anyway.  It just means that if it causes a problem, there is some fallback
on it.

I wonder if you add a disclaimer of not being certified is worse than not
saying anything at all?

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2003\05\30@174815 by Bob Axtell

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Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt:

Basically, there are two types of certification:

UL (safety) and FCC (emissions).

The FCC normally does NOT make equipment tests, but they license
well-qualified engineering companies to perform the tests. I use

Timco Eng Inc  1-888-472-2424
                PO Box 370
                849 SR 45
                Newberry, FL 32669
                1-352-472-2030 fax
                Sid Sanders

Budget about $1800 for an FCC certification.

The FCC wants to verify that your product will not interfere with other
products, nor interfere with public radio or telephone networks. The FCC
number needs to be prominently displayed in the product or on the PCB. Each
PCB revision technically requires another test, so make sure you are done
with the design before testing.

Warning! Emission standards in the European Union are stricter than FCC's.

If your product is powered by a certified wallwart (be careful here, there
are MANY bogus fakes being sold), and if the voltage is below 15V, and if
the current being used is kess than 8A, no UL testing is REQUIRED**. A UL
certification is like getting a smallpox vaccination against lawyers. If
you have one, you will have few (read, NO) frivolous lawsuits. **Products
sold in Los Angeles must have UL certification regardless.

UL performs its own testing, but also licenses certain qualified people to
perform these safety tests. These tests are usually tests for flammability,
NOT function, which surprises newbies- UL cares not one whit whether the
widget actually works, they just want to make sure nobody is harmed by
buying and using it. One learns to expect that its beautiful product is
returned in a box, a heap of melted plastic and ashes. These safety tests
will vary in cost from $1500 TO $4000.

Generally speaking, retail centers (WalMart, Sears) will not distribute
your products unless you can prove that your products are safe and don't
radiate emissions. Then they will perform their own tests for function and
merchandising ideas.



At 04:55 PM 5/30/2003 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\30@175707 by Bob Axtell

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About 16 years ago, when motherboards and add-on boards were just being
franticly sold in the US from China, FCC Engineers together with armed US
Marshals raided a COMDEX show, confiscating piles of uncertified, noisy
boards and even arresting a few people. It was done just to prove a point.
And it worked.

Generally, 32Kkhz is exempt, but, again, a diathermy machine generates a
whale of an interference, at about 35Khz.

No, it used to be that way. Nowadays, it should be certified.

--Bob

At 03:05 PM 5/30/2003 -0600, you wrote:
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2003\05\30@180312 by Natalia

picon face
Okay.  Let me get more detailed.  My product will have the following:
FLASH-based PIC, off-the-shelf 2-line LCD, a bunch of pots, MIDI ports, and
potentially USB.  I would like to power with a 9-14V wall-wart that will
supply under 1A -- this will be off-the-shelf as well.

I will be distributing this myself online and would like to sell to the U.S.
and beyond.  I would also like to stay out of trouble if I were to attend a
trade show.

I have read people's comments online saying that ALL commercial products
need to have certification.  I'm assuming this isn't urban legend???  :-)

Does any of the above info on the spec's help in whether or not I will have
to get certification?

Thanks...

-- N


{Original Message removed}

2003\05\30@184240 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Most critical is the PIC osc speed. PIC's tend to be very quiet, but even
there, it can get noisy.

You'll need an FCC cert, but if you can verify the wallwart's UL #, you can
avoid safety testing.

--Bob


At 06:08 PM 5/30/2003 -0400, you wrote:
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>{Original Message removed}

2003\05\30@185853 by Natalia

picon face
If I get an FCC cert. can I sell outside the U.S. or do I then have to get
other certifications?

Thanks for all of the info...

-- N

{Original Message removed}

2003\05\30@190719 by Picdude

flavicon
face
I had read thru the FCC regs (ch 15) many many months ago, and the way I interpreted it is as follows... every commercial product needs to comply with the FCC regulations.  Compliance means being tested/certified as not producing more than some amount of emissions, etc.  However, some classes of products are exempt from the testing requirements (but not tested from meeting the minimum emmissions, etc).  If an exempt product is later found to be producing emissions, it needs to be stopped (sales) until it can be corrected and tested to prove so.  The exemptions are for products that are "unintentional radiators", such as digital ckts, which run under 1.708Mhz, and are battery powered.  Also for products in any vehicle, kits, and one-off products built for home use.  I do remember a specific part about products that are designed for AC-outlet charging, that can also be powered in that fashion, are not exempt.  If you meet the exemption criteria, you can put a sticker on it stating that the product complies with FCC part 15 B, etc, etc.

There is a lot more detail that I'm leaving out, and I urge you to read it straight off the FCC's site (don't take my word for it :-), as it's really not convoluted as would be expected from one of these docs.  Somewhere in http://www.fcc.gov .

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Friday 30 May 2003 17:08, Natalia scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2003\05\30@193008 by Kenneth Lumia

picon face
Yes and No.  Depends on where you plan to sell it.  Some
countries will accept FCC, others require more stringent
testing.

As for the previous posts, you will need approvals for
your commercial product.  Period.  If the FCC determines
a product you are selling exceeds the limits, you are not
only required to fix it for new builds, you must fix shipped
products, you can be fined big time, goto jail, etc.


As far as safety goes, UL for some countries, CSA for others,
TUV, and JATE to cover others.  Safety testing is required
even with a wall wart.  Flamability, access to dangerous voltages
in the event of damage (as I recall they drop a 2.2lb steel ball
48 inches on all surfaces of the unit, including connectors) are
among the things looked at.

In some areas of the USA, you are not even supposed to
plug in a device that isn't UL approved (local law).

Ken

{Original Message removed}

2003\05\30@194654 by Rob Robson

picon face
Bottom line: if you want to sell your product in the US, it must be at least
as safe as the Ford Pinto, and emit no more undesirable radiation than the
FOX network.

RR

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2003\05\30@203914 by Picdude

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face
Okay, found it.  There are some corrections to what I wrote below, so take it from the horse mouth...
  http://ftp.fcc.gov/oet/info/rules/part15/part15_5_30_02.pdf

Section 15.103 will probably be of high interest.

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Friday 30 May 2003 18:09, Picdude scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}


'[EE]: Product certification rules?'
2003\06\03@120747 by Harold Hallikainen
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    Each country has their own rules. Some MIGHT accept certification of another country. As I recall, the EU requires a Declaration of Conformity, which is a sort of self certification that you meet their requirements. You then must keep a Technical File with design information and test results. The TF is to be available to any government asking for it.
    A test lab SHOULD be able to run a single set of tests to show compliance with the requirements of all the countries you wish to sell to. Ideally, the test lab is the "compliance expert," though the one I've dealt with hasn't convinced me they are...

Harold

--- Natalia <TakeThisOuTsoulsourceEraseMEspamspam_OUTCOX.NET> wrote:


If I get an FCC cert. can I sell outside the U.S. or do I then have to get
other certifications?

Thanks for all of the info...

-- N

{Original Message removed}

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