|The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the authority
in the United States of America that creates and enforces the use of airwaves throughout the entire
radio frequency spectrum. This group of documents contains the entirety of the
FCC Part 15 regulations
that concern unlicensed radio frequency devices. As with all government documents, this material
is in the public domain and may be freely copied so long as the content is not changed. This copy
is provided as a convenience for RF Cafe visitors.
Click here for the
Table of Contents.
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 1]
[Revised as of October 1, 2008]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
CHAPTER I--FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
PART 15_RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES--Table of Contents
Subpart C_Intentional Radiators
Sec. 15.212 Modular transmitters.
(a) Single modular transmitters consist of a completely self-
contained radiofrequency transmitter device that is typically
incorporated into another product, host or device. Split modular
transmitters consist of two components: a radio front end with antenna
(or radio devices) and a transmitter control element (or specific
hardware on which the software that controls the radio operation
resides). All single or split modular transmitters are approved with an
antenna. All of the following requirements apply, except as provided in
paragraph (b) of this section.
(1) Single modular transmitters must meet the following requirements
to obtain a modular transmitter approval.
(i) The radio elements of the modular transmitter must have their
own shielding. The physical crystal and tuning capacitors may be located
external to the shielded radio elements.
(ii) The modular transmitter must have buffered modulation/data
inputs (if such inputs are provided) to ensure that the module will
comply with part 15 requirements under conditions of excessive data
rates or over-modulation.
(iii) The modular transmitter must have its own power supply
(iv) The modular transmitter must comply with the antenna and
transmission system requirements of Sec. Sec. 15.203, 15.204(b) and
15.204(c). The antenna must either be permanently attached or employ a
``unique'' antenna coupler (at all connections between the module and
the antenna, including the cable). The ``professional installation''
provision of Sec. 15.203 is not applicable to modules but can apply to
limited modular approvals under paragraph (b) of this section.
(v) The modular transmitter must be tested in a stand-alone
configuration, i.e., the module must not be inside another device during
testing for compliance with part 15 requirements. Unless the transmitter
module will be battery powered, it must comply with the AC line
conducted requirements found in Sec. 15.207. AC or DC power lines and
data input/output lines connected to the module must not contain
ferrites, unless they will be marketed with the module (see Sec.
15.27(a)). The length of these lines shall be the length typical of
actual use or, if that length is unknown, at least 10 centimeters to
insure that there is no coupling between the case of the module and
supporting equipment. Any accessories, peripherals, or support equipment
connected to the module during testing shall be
unmodified and commercially available (see Sec. 15.31(i)).
(vi) The modular transmitter must be equipped with either a
permanently affixed label or must be capable of electronically
displaying its FCC identification number.
(A) If using a permanently affixed label, the modular transmitter
must be labeled with its own FCC identification number, and, if the FCC
identification number is not visible when the module is installed inside
another device, then the outside of the device into which the module is
installed must also display a label referring to the enclosed module.
This exterior label can use wording such as the following: ``Contains
Transmitter Module FCC ID: XYZMODEL1'' or ``Contains FCC ID:
XYZMODEL1.'' Any similar wording that expresses the same meaning may be
used. The Grantee may either provide such a label, an example of which
must be included in the application for equipment authorization, or,
must provide adequate instructions along with the module which explain
this requirement. In the latter case, a copy of these instructions must
be included in the application for equipment authorization.
(B) If the modular transmitter uses an electronic display of the FCC
identification number, the information must be readily accessible and
visible on the modular transmitter or on the device in which it is
installed. If the module is installed inside another device, then the
outside of the device into which the module is installed must display a
label referring to the enclosed module. This exterior label can use
wording such as the following: ``Contains FCC certified transmitter
module(s).'' Any similar wording that expresses the same meaning may be
used. The user manual must include instructions on how to access the
electronic display. A copy of these instructions must be included in the
application for equipment authorization.
(vii) The modular transmitter must comply with any specific rules or
operating requirements that ordinarily apply to a complete transmitter
and the manufacturer must provide adequate instructions along with the
module to explain any such requirements. A copy of these instructions
must be included in the application for equipment authorization.
(viii) The modular transmitter must comply with any applicable RF
exposure requirements in its final configuration.
(2) Split modular transmitters must meet the requirements in
paragraph (a)(1) of this section, excluding paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and
(a)(1)(v), and the following additional requirements to obtain a modular
(i) Only the radio front end must be shielded. The physical crystal
and tuning capacitors may be located external to the shielded radio
elements. The interface between the split sections of the modular system
must be digital with a minimum signaling amplitude of 150 mV peak-to-
(ii) Control information and other data may be exchanged between the
transmitter control elements and radio front end.
(iii) The sections of a split modular transmitter must be tested
installed in a host device(s) similar to that which is representative of
the platform(s) intended for use.
(iv) Manufacturers must ensure that only transmitter control
elements and radio front end components that have been approved together
are capable of operating together. The transmitter module must not
operate unless it has verified that the installed transmitter control
elements and radio front end have been authorized together.
Manufacturers may use means including, but not limited to, coding in
hardware and electronic signatures in software to meet these
requirements, and must describe the methods in their application for
(b) A limited modular approval may be granted for single or split
modular transmitters that do not comply with all of the above
requirements, e.g., shielding, minimum signaling amplitude, buffered
modulation/data inputs, or power supply regulation, if the manufacturer
can demonstrate by alternative means in the application for equipment
authorization that the modular transmitter meets all the applicable part
15 requirements under the operating conditions in which the transmitter
will be used. Limited modular approval also may be granted in those
instances where compliance with RF exposure rules is demonstrated only
for particular product configurations. The applicant for certification
must state how control of the end product into which the module will be
installed will be maintained such that full compliance of the end
product is always ensured.
[72 FR 28893, May 23, 2007]