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OT: [aprssig] Type acceptance FYI

Steve Noskowicz noskosteve at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 7 21:06:33 UTC 2007

--- Floyd Rodgers <kc5qbc at swbell.net> wrote:

> ...me wondering...
> If fcc requires non modifiable gear (they do), How
> in the world will software defined radios ever get
> into type acceptance and thus production?

Sorry, can't resist clarifying.  While this thread is
OT, it is nonetheless interesting and the readers have
the ability to appreciate it.

    Some information/background.

     This may appear to be a fine point, but the
"non-modifyable" (or more correctly
"Difficult-to-modify") rule is very narrow in this
case.  Here it only applies to receivers capable of
tuning near cellular (or having an image on cellular
    Actually, Hams can modify all they want as long as
they stay in the other rules.  We can *build* our
equipment without FCC approval.

    While a terminology fine point, Ham radios are not
"type accepted".  
    Ham transceivers are certified under Part 15 as
"scanning receivers".  Part 15 is the "Don't generate
and radiate so much that you interfere with other
equipment" rules.
    There are, however, a few other restrictions that
have either been tacked onto Ham radios or are there
by default.  One is the 11 meter power Amplifier
restriction and the other is the cellular block --
which, by default, applies to all receivers in
   Other than that, there are only some "guidelines"
for the transmitters, If I recall, primarily harmonics
and possibly out of band spurious.

    For all other services requiring Certification,
the term "Type Acceptance" is no longer used.  I
should know the new term having managed a test
department in Morotola untill last Sept., but have
dumped that knowledge to make room for things like
APRS.  (hey, I made this ON topic !) The guy who did
that task also isn't answering his phone right now, so
I can't ask him.   I think it is just called "FCC
   THIS process is basically taking extensive data to
prove the product remains within the legal
requirements on many specifications.  Many parameters
are measured on the receiver and transmitter including
modulation and spurious, including both conducted (out
the antenna connector) and radiated from the box
(which is what Part 15 is about).  These also
typically must meet one of two Part 15 versions (A or
B).  This data must be approved before sale is
allowed. These products can't legally be modified and
still be used, except possibly by hams in the ham

    Ham traansceivers are NOT measured in this way for
the FCC.  Look on yours and you will see only the Part
15 reference.

Done, Steve, K9DCI

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