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FAQ'S

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you are unable to find the information you're looking for please contact us.

Jump to: EMC FAQ's   Radio FAQ's   Safety FAQ's   VCA FAQ's   FCC FAQ's   Cable FAQ's  

General Frequently Asked Questions

All of the harmonised standards are listed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) that are suitable for demonstrating compliance
to the directive. The list is unique for each of the CE marking directives and a copy of the most recent for many of the directives can be found
on the European Commission web site.

A full report and test certificate will typically be sent within 4 weeks, subsequent to all the testing being completed. If you require the test report
before this time please feel free to contact us.

Completing the questionnaire is very important. It enables us to ensure that your product is being tested to the correct standard, in the applicably
operational modes. It also allows us to prepare for any special ancillary test equipment that may be required in order to properly exercise and
monitor the unit under test. The questionnaire also allows us to verify the correct amount of test time has been allocated, and most importantly
forms the basis of any test reports/certificates that may be issued. Failure to provide a completed questionnaire before test will slow down testing
as the information will be obtained before test commence.

For certain EMC specifications, i.e. medical equipment an extra test plan is required. This allows further information to be established on EUT
configurations, specific test modes, any EUT risk analysis (potential for patient harm under immunity testing etc.), special cabling earthing
considerations and declarations on equipment types and applicable test levels.

Complete copies of the product circuit diagrams are helpful for troubleshooting, an operating manual is useful in knowing how to operate the
equipment, both of these are also required for carrying out safety testing.

UKAS is the United Kingdom Accreditation Service which assesses laboratories against the requirements of the international standard. A
laboratory seeking UKAS accreditation has to satisfy UKAS Assessment Managers and independent assessors that it is technically competent
and operates a quality system to rigorous international standards. Following successful assessment, UKAS will issue a schedule of accreditation
to the laboratory, which will specify those tests the laboratory has been accredited for, and for which it should issue reports bearing the UKAS
testing mark. It is in the interest of customers to specify clearly in their orders that a UKAS testing report is required for the work done by the UKAS
accredited laboratories they are using. 

Even though the version of the standard is no longer used for testing new products. There may still be a grace period before the standard is withdrawn.
There may also be no need to re-test your product if there have been no technical/test changes or additions. If you would like advice on whether or not
a new version of a standard has implications on your product, please contact us and we would be happy to help.

Cable lengths will need to be 10m for our large chamber (site M) and 5m for our smaller chamber (site B). Chamber connection panel diagrams can
be viewed here.

 

EMC Frequently Asked Questions

The CE (Conformite Europeene) mark is required on all products within the scope of New Approach directives that are placed on the UK market. By
affixing the CE mark the manufacturer, its authorized representative, or person placing the product on the market or putting it into service asserts that
the item meets all the essential requirements of the relevant European Directive(s).
cemark
At the beginning. EMC requirements should be part of the initial design specification of any product. The later you leave
it in the design cycle, the harder and more costly it becomes to implement EMC.

Generally, yes. Proper layout and routing can contribute a great deal to the good EMC of an installation. If you know
that your installers have no control over the cables, then it is necessary to be more careful over the cable specification and/or the interface design.

As a general rule, a ground plane is always a good idea. Even for an analogue circuit, it will help improve its immunity to RF. For high-speed digital
circuits, it’s necessary for correct operation, let alone for EMC. But a ground plane needs to be applied carefully and with some thought as to its
purpose, or it won’t be effective.

Pre-compliance testing is available to provide an early indication of whether equipment is likely to meet the requirements, before full compliance testing
is carried out. Whilst not fully conforming to the requirements of the relevant standard, it should still be carried out in a manner which will give meaningful
results.
 
Typical EMC tests include: Radiated Emissions (RE), Radiated Immunity (RI), Conducted Emissions (CE), Conducted Immunity (CI), Transients,
ESD and Surges.
EMC Diagram
Before placing the CE mark on a product or safety components the manufacturer must draw up a Declaration of Conformity which needs to include the
following:
• A reference to the 2004/108/EC EMC directive.
• An identification of the apparatus to which it refers.
• The name and address of the manufacturer and, where applicable, the name and address of their authorised representive. • A dated reference to the 
  specifications under which conformity is declared.
• Date of the declaration.
• Identity and signature of the person empowered to bind the manufacture or there authorised representive.This documentation shall be retained and kept
  available for up to ten years from the time of last manufacture of the machinery.

A Technical Construction File is the documentation which demonstrates that a product or product family meets the protection requirements of the EMC
Directive, as a general guide the following items should be included:
• Description of the apparatus, usually accompanied by block diagram
• Wiring and circuit diagrams
• General Arrangement drawing
• List of standards applied
• Records of assessment to standards
• Description of control philosophy/logic
• Datasheets for critical sub-assemblies
• Part list
• Copies of any markings and labels
• Copy of instructions (user, maintenance, installation)
• Test reports
• Quality control & commissioning procedures
• Declaration of Conformity The technical documentation shall be retained and kept available for up to ten years from the time of last manufacture of the 
  machinery.

Fixed installation, is a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and
intended to be used permanently at a predefined location.

 

Radio Frequently Asked Questions

We need to be able to control or set the RF frequency/channel of operation over the entire frequency of your product, to allow testing on the relevant
channel or channels as required by the product standard. For certain tests and to allow faster test lines, a method of getting the transmitter into a
constant RF transmission state, with and without modulation.

Testing can be performed on one unit, however, usually different modes are required for certain tests, ie. ('const Tx' with & without modulation, receive
mode) and if not easily configured more than one test sample would be advantageous.
 
Certain radio tests require constant transmission with and without modulation and require a number of frequency channels to be tested (if applicable),
different power levels are also sometimes required for testing if user adjustable. Therefore software control and or hardware modifications of the devices
under test is a requirement.
 
A range of techniques are possible; bandwidth-limiting filters at the antenna input are the most common, but a receiver’s performance can also be
improved by designing it for a wide dynamic range, so that out-of-band high level signals don’t cause non-linear operation. Low-cost designs are naturally
the hardest to optimise.

 

Safety Frequently Asked Questions

The Low Voltage Directive, or LVD, is Directive 2006/95/EC, and was introduced by the European Union in an attempt to create a single market in
European (very much like the EMC Directive). It lists a set of safety requirements for electrical products sold in the EU. It applies to most electrical
products and is not limited to electrical safety but also covers mechanical, thermal, fire, energy, chemical & radiation hazards. The Low Voltage
Directive is not a ‘standard’ in the traditional sense but it’s a set of safety objectives that all electrical products should comply with. The main theme of
all the safety objectives is that the equipment should not cause any physical harm or any other kind of damage to any person, animal or building. There
are several product specific and generic standards that are listed in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union. Compliance with these standards
leads to the presumption of conformity with the Low Voltage Directive.
 
All electrical products that are in the range 50-1000 V ac and 75-1500 V dc. This applies to voltages at the input/output – not to the ones that are internal
to the equipment. All telecommunications (radio + wireless) products must be tested to LVD regardless of their input/output voltage rating.

Yes, CE + CE does not necessarily equal CE. Yes the power supply / transformer is tested in its own right but the PSU put together with the unit forms
a new system. The way the PSU is loaded in end application is not necessarily the way it is loaded during testing; therefore further evaluation of the whole
unit put together is necessary.

Yes LVD does apply as long as the input/output voltages of the unit are within the range 75 – 1000 V DC. All Radio & telecommunications products
falling under the R&TTE directive need to comply with LVD requirements irrespective of their voltage. If product is below 75 V dc yes LVD does not
apply, however the product still needs to be safe and can be tested under the General Product Safety directive. For examples most digital cameras
runs at below 75 V dc but most manufacturers still CE mark them with respect to the Low Voltage Directive. This is because they are supplied with a
mains powered battery charger, therefore as a system the unit falls under the limits of the LVD directive.

Yes, again CE + CE does not equal CE. The system as a whole needs to be tested to ensure the requirements of the LVD directive are still met.

Third party certification / testing adds an element of quality and confidence in your product. Third party test laboratories are usually quite experienced
at testing systems and can be quite helpful in ensuring you comply with the safety regulations of target market. Most manufacturers are not familiar
with the regulations and changing standards w.r.t safety, therefore use of a test laboratory can save valuable time & money. Third party evaluation also
give you a marketing edge as you could use evidence of testing to promote your product (shows that you product is of a high quality). Moreover in case
of a challenge the presence of third party assessment report can work in your favour.

 

VCA Frequently Asked Questions

ESA stands for Electrical Sub Assembly.

CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other within
a vehicle without a host computer. A modern vehicle may have as many as 70 electronic control units (ECU) for various subsystems. Typically the
biggest processor is the engine control unit, which is also referred to as "ECU" in the context of vehicles; others are used for transmission, airbags,
antilock braking, cruise control, audio systems, windows, doors, mirror adjustment, etc. Some of these form independent subsystems, but
communications among others are essential. The CAN bus may be used in vehicles to connect engine control unit and transmission, or
(on a different bus) to connect the door locks, climate control, seat control, etc.

 

FCC Frequently Asked Questions

An agency of the U.S Federal Government responsible for the management of the radio spectrum in the United States of America.

The FCC protects against "radio and broadcast interference", by enforcing standards of broadcast, and by regulating electromagnetic noise
sources.

FCC regulations apply to electrical and electronic products that may produce radio frequency pollution. Two main types of products covered
are "Intentional Radiators" and "Unintentional Radiators". An Intentional Radiator is a device that broadcasts radio energy to perform its
function. An Unintentional Radiator is an electronic device that produces radio signals that are broadcast through space, or conducted along
power/signal lines.

Most common exemptions: Digital devices oscillating below 1.705 MHz that do not connect to the power grid, even indirectly. To be exempt,
devices also cannot connect for the purpose of recharging batteries. Digital devices that use less than 6 billionths of a watt (6 nW) of electrical
power. Devices only used in vehicles. Specialized medical, electrical utility or commercial test and measurement devices. Appliances (white
goods), or devices used exclusively in appliances. Non-digital simple passive devices.
 
The FCC requires that any product that is covered by FCC regulations undergo "equipment authorization procedure". It is illegal to import, sell,
or lease covered equipment that has not undergone the required equipment authorization procedure. Additionally, operators must cease to use
equipment that causes interference upon notification by the FCC. The FCC does have the ability to levy fines, impose seizures and even jail
offenders. The FCC frequently targets end-users with fines to bring pressure to bear on retailers.

If the unit is battery powered only then, no. If the unit is supplied with an AC/DC power supply brick then AC conducted emissions are tested.
If the unit is not supplied with an AC/DC supply then it is reasonable to test AC conducted emissions with a random (off the shelf supply).

 

Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, RN Electronics will sign and return the contract between ourselves and you, then forward the CAI contract to the CAI.

It generally takes 2 days to test a cable, and we normally do this within 2 weeks of the cable sample and all relevant paperwork arriving here.

We do have the ability to test other types of cable, please feel free to phone or e-mail particularly with details of the cable to be tested and tests
required.

 

Your complete technical solution for CE Marking

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RN Electronics Ltd

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Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing, UK Test Lab - EMC testing for all European EMC test standards and world wide.

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