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Is FCC certification needed for product acting as receiver but having transceiver chip inside? or there should specifically be a receiver only chip inside in order to bypass complicated certification process?

The document by TI "ISM-Band and Short Range Device Regulatory Compliance Overview" here states that "Receivers do not need a certification, but the vendor has to state in a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) that each device complies with the spurious emission requirements of unintentional radiators according to section 15.209."

The frequency of operation for this device is 902–928 MHz ISM band.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe that FCC always requires testing of all radio devices nowadays. In Europe you can write a DoC and skip the tests, given that you vouch for the product. But there are different tests needed for European conformance - you can't cite FCC or FCC tests there. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jun 27 '17 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ The tests you can skip for either FCC or EU are tests regarding emissions in the out-of-band-domain, bandwidth & power characteristics etc. Basically you can skip everything that has to do with a transmitter save for spurious emissions. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jun 27 '17 at 11:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ LO and Clock noise must be measured at 3m to conform to acceptable limits. This can be done inhouse with a calibrated emitter antenna and receiving antenna and comparing. This becomes evidence for DOC. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 27 '17 at 15:46
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You should have it tested as an "Unintentional radiator". Receivers can definitely radiate energy, and can violate the limits. The local oscillator in a superhet can end up radiating from the antenna or from the PCB, just for one example. If you have a processor or microcontroller, that's another potential source of radiated noise.

It's a relatively inexpensive test, and if you've done you work properly you will pass.

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A certification process is required in both cases. It might be easier to pass it. You will have to prove it is an RX only device.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ An unexplained emission in the form of a carrier wave in a RX-only device will cause it to fail the test, simple as that. No need to "prove" anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jun 27 '17 at 11:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess that you mean "easier" in the sense of "peace of mind". Because think of the trouble you're getting yourself into if you say that the product is compliant but then someone else finds out that it is not. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Jun 27 '17 at 11:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin it is not that simple, emissions are allowed, question is how much. It is nigh impossible to make a receiver that transmits nothing. But if those transmissions are low enough in power so that it does not disturb anyone, then that's OK. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Jun 27 '17 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bimpelrekkie Why I wrote carrier wave, which implies that there's a (relatively) high power transmitter present. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jun 27 '17 at 11:30
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The FCC regulations stipulate different conditions depending on the type of receiver. For an exact answer, specify the frequency range and application of your receiver.

The presence of a transmitter chip has no bearing if the chip is not enabled and cannot readily be enabled by the consumer.

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