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I'm FCC certifying as an "intentional radiator" a product that uses a custom antenna and off the shelf Broadcom WiFi module. The module has an antenna port, so single-modular and limited single-modular certification are out of the question. I have manual transmitter control, through specialized vendor firmware.

My FCC lab is shuddering at the number of test passes, which are some combinations of:

  • Two bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • Eight protocols (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, BTLE)
  • Six modulation techniques (FHSS DSSS OFDM HR-DSSS 256-QUAM CKM) at various data rates from 1 to 54 Mbps.
  • Two channel pairings (20 Mhz, 40 Mhz)
  • Three regulatory regions (US/Canada, Japan, Europe).
  • Bluetooth in three modes.
  • DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) in the 5Ghz band to avoid radar.

Each test takes about two minutes of stunningly boring waiting, then manual set up of the next band/speed combination.

Is it permissible to use software to sweep each of the data rates (say at one rate per second) and check for out of band exceedances during that time period?

Are there other techniques to speed this process up? See also How do I cycle a WiFi transmitter through all modes, for FCC intentional radiator EMC testing?

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Is it permissible to use software to sweep each of the data rates (say at one rate per second) and check for out of band exceedances during that time period?

I doubt there is a rule that you have to walk to the device and reconfigure it and then run another test. However, the product needs to be tested in multiple configurations (like powered or battery mode) and a debug cable is probably not going to be an option because it changes the products configuration. So if you can switch the modes wirelessly (without using another software mode) then this would be probably be acceptable.

But if you already have a quote for time and they don't charge addtional hours, why would it matter? If they charge for extra time, then its in your best interest to make sure the testing goes as fast as possible.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm on site now, it looks like 4 solid days of lab time to manually sequence all these modes and capture the results. The bid is flat rate, but not cheap. It is also really boring. \$\endgroup\$ – Bryce Jul 17 '17 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ And yes, we're using a debug cable, and it shows in the DUT photos for the FCC. \$\endgroup\$ – Bryce Jul 17 '17 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't sound like fun. It might be nice for other people who have answers for your questions (this question isn't really an answer so don't worry about) to go through you question history and mark some of the answers as answers as a payback to the volunteers here. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Jul 17 '17 at 22:57

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