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Being a RFID UHF antenna a "passive" element does it need to be FCC certified? Or, we just need to have the RFID UHF reader certified?

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A antenna by itself does not radiate, so can't be certified. The entire unit of a intential radiator, including the antenna, absolutely needs to have FCC certification if you want to legally sell it in the United States.

If this antenna is connected to a receiver-only device that never intentionally radiates, then certification is not required. However, it still must meet the radiation limits for a unintentional radiator, but it is up to you to make sure of that. You don't have to get it tested, but if there is a complaint and the FCC finds it violating the limits, you're in deep doodoo.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not that I doubt you, but do you have a cite for the relevant FCC regulations here? \$\endgroup\$ – ObscureRobot Nov 2 '11 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Obscure: No, this is just what I've gathered from projects that went thru this. I am not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Nov 3 '11 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just poking around on fcc.gov and couldn't find anything relevant either. They seem to be very broadband focused. \$\endgroup\$ – ObscureRobot Nov 3 '11 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, I am not sure what you mean by fcc.gov being very broadband focused. They have every rule here wireless.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=rules_and_regulations \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Nov 3 '11 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you go to fcc.gov and click on the "Tools & Data" tab, most of that stuff seems to be focused on broadband deployment. I get that the exact rules and regulations are available there. What I would have liked to see is something like a hardware designers RF licensing FAQ which would have a decision tree that points you at the regulations relevant to your project. \$\endgroup\$ – ObscureRobot Nov 3 '11 at 20:06

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