315MHz is primarily used for remote keyless entry (RKE) systems and garage door openers. As a result, this frequency is somewhat crowded, increasing the chances for interference. The FCC allowed power is lower than 418MHz or 433MHz and the selection and efficiency of antennas is limited.
418MHz is a good frequency to use in the US as it is not very crowded. This gives the least likely chance for interference and therefore the best performance.
433.92MHz is primarily used for RKE applications in Europe. It is also a popular frequency for active RFID tags which can have a range of up to 1000 feet. It is not good for use in the US because of the chance of interference from amateur radio and the nearby pager band.
868 – 870MHz is an unlicensed band in Europe. The band is subdivided for different applications, but there are not many restrictions on the type or duration of data. Unlike the 902MHz-928MHz band in the US, there are only 2MHz to support many applications, so the band has become somewhat crowded.
902 – 928MHz is more versatile than the 260 – 470MHz band in the US because the FCC has only specified the output power and harmonic levels. There are no restrictions on the type or duration of data that can be sent. This gives the design engineer a great deal of freedom in the possible applications, but also results in the band being more crowded. A disadvantage for cost-sensitive applications is that 900MHz modules are typically more expensive due to the more complex filtering and modulation required for link reliability at these higher frequencies.
Review AN-00125: Considerations for Operation within the 260 – 470MHz Band, AN-00126: Considerations for Operation within the 902 – 928MHz Band, AN-00128: Data and bidirectional Transmissions under Part 15.231 and FCC Title 47 for more information. A resource document containing a hard copy of the application notes ships with every Linx evaluation kit. You may obtain a hard copy of FCC Title 47 from your local government bookstore or from the Government Printing Office in Washington.
The receivers must be issued a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) by an approved test lab. This is far less complicated and expensive than a transmitter certification. There is not an actual filing with the FCC, just keep these documents in your company files.
Recognizing that new uses of low-power transmitters often generate questions that are not directly addressed in the regulations, the FCC accepts inquiries or requests for specific interpretations. Occasionally, the FCC proposes changes to its regulations, generally to address industry concerns and/or as new uses of low-power transmission equipment appear. The FCC accepts questions through their website.
The FCC reviews thousands of applications a year. Depending on your presentation, an inspector may misinterpret information. If you feel you have complied with the regulations, you will want to exercise your rights in accordance with CFR 47 2.923 and petition for reconsideration and review.
In the FCC’s own words: IDENTICAL. However, identical is further defined as identical within the variations that can be expected to arise as a result of quantity production techniques. One of the advantages of using Linx modules is the tight production control and testing procedures to which the modules are subject. Similar controls over the rest of your product’s production will make compliance with these requirements straightforward.
The FCC maintains an electronic copy of the rules on their website. Refer to the FCC resource document for a copy of the sections applicable to Linx products. For a printed copy, you should contact the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C., and indicate that you need a copy of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (47CFR). If your need is for equipment authorization, you will require Volume 1 which contains Parts 0-19. Their telephone number is (202) 512-0132. You can also contact the Government Printing Office in your local area for a copy of the rules. The telephone number for the GPO in your area can be obtained from your telephone directory or operator. It would be listed under the federal government.
For applications like amateur HAM radio, the FCC requires that the end user have a license to operate the radio equipment. For the portions of the spectrum governed by Part 15, the end user does not need a license. Instead, the product manufacturer must have the equipment tested in an FCC authorized facility and receive certification and an FCC ID number for the transmitter and a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) for the receiver before the product can be legally sold in the US. In this sense, the equipment must get the license so that the end user does not need one.
The FCC makes available a list of authorized test labs and updates it monthly. This information is at the FCC website. It is not necessary to be present at the lab during testing, so the lab you choose can be located nationwide. Linx highly recommends Compatible Electronics, which offers special pricing and exceptional service to our customers.
The FCC has greatly streamlined the approval process in recent years. The entire process can now be completed in less than 30 days. In fact, receivers no longer require certification — just a quick test at an approved lab through the Declaration of Conformity (DOC) process. Transmitter certification is almost as painless since many labs that are TCB certified are now allowed to issue certifications on behalf of the FCC. Linx highly recommends our prescreen process in advance of formal lab testing. Prescreening helps to ensure optimum application of Linx components and improves your chances of a smooth passage through the certification process. Linx maintains a close working relationship with Compatible Electronics, which extends excellent service and special pricing to Linx customers.
This depends on how much you have the test lab do. Full transmitter and receiver testing can cost around $5,000, transmitter only around $3,500, and the receiver about $1,500. If testing for other countries, such as Industry Canada or European CE, is desired, then the costs will go up, but will not generally double. The FCC has authorized the test labs to issue identity numbers on its behalf so the testing can usually be done in about a week, depending on the backlog of the test lab. Linx maintains a close working relationship with Compatible Electronics, which extends excellent service and special pricing to Linx customers.