I want to build an esp32 device using the esp32-pico-d4 chip that I will sell to hobbyists.

However, I recently came across something called the FCC. It requires radio devices to get certified which can cost thousands of dollars. I cannot afford that.

I lot of esp32 devices use modules that are already certified but I don't want to use one because there too large.

Also, I have seen boards such as the Sparkfun Esp32 Thing that aren't FCC certified. Is that illegal?

Can someone simply explain these complicated guild lines for someone only trying to sell an esp32 board.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Any questions?? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2019 at 23:42

2 Answers 2


Here's a link in more general terms in which this question has already been answered

Kit vs Device:

No one on this forum can really give you legal advice, but from what I've read and my current understanding, if your device is sold as a kit, it does not have to be FCC certified. The FCC also has listed differences between intentional emitters and non-intentional emitters (read that link above for more detail).


Of course, this can depend on where it is you would like to sell. If you are selling through a large chain like Walmart or Target, which it doesn't sound like you will be, then you would be required to give them information such as UL numbers, FCC certification, etc.

Pre-Certified devices:

The good news is, most ESP32 chips sold from Digikey and other vendors already have an FCC certification, whether or not it's in a dev kit. That would at least help reduce the chance that you will interfere with nearby electronics.

In the end though, you want to provide a quality experience for the end user of your device, which means you would want to make sure you will not interfere with other electronics regardless of its legality. Sparkfun has a great videos on PCB design such as this one.


If you are a small seller, you don’t have much financial risk if they get banned due to an accident. You or your customers just get told by some FCC agent to cease using them. But if some one sues you, that’s different. Then you better be prepared to defend it. There is a higher tolerance level for industrial level than consumer level, but then the stakes are higher and some industries “police” their own unwanted interference.

But if you are a responsible seller, then you will do in-house testing . There are many exemptions , too many to list.

Kits are still undecided.


Another consideration is are these devices immune to worms for DoS attacks? Or jamming?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Lame downvoted without comment \$\endgroup\$ Sep 6, 2019 at 13:09

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