FCC - Can I get some pointers?

Hi, we’re about to launch our kickstarter for our product https://brewskey.com. We have been working on a few revisions of the hardware and are finally ready to start producing these for consumers.

In order to sell this we know we need to get certified by the FCC. We can use the existing certificate for the WiFi module but we are also using a PN532 and a custom antenna. I was wondering if Particle has any advice towards getting certified with this or if you know what the right approach is.

I would love to get feedback on the process and what the overall cost is so we can bake it into our projections.


I would reach out to one of the certification companies. I found Intertek to be very helpful in understanding what was required. They can provide you with an exact cost.

You’ll be looking at several expenses. The NFC will require the most testing and be the costliest. They will test the rest of the product as an unintentional radiator. You can then opt to have them help with the application process.

One thing to note is the cost they provide assumes you pass. If you have to repeat the testing, you’ll be looking at extra cost.

Thanks @brandongoode. I didn’t realize there were companies specialized in this. I’ll definitely check them out.

This thread might be helpful

Particle-based products & avoiding overseas customs issues

I’m afraid you can’t use the particle FCC/IC certificate (ie modular certification) in a product with more than one radio - and yes, the PN532 is a radio; you may not have been able to use modular cert based on your custom antenna too. You will need to re-do testing from scratch. See section V of https://apps.fcc.gov/eas/comments/GetPublishedDocument.html?id=50&tn=916170

Depending on where you are based, NWEMC are good - I’ve been to both their Irvine, CA and Portland, OR labs. FCC/IC testing, last time we had a quote, was $4k for testing, plus $2k in documentation fees and $4k for the FCC and IC applications (2k each) - that was just for the 15c testing, you’ll need your 15b testing too, and with multiple radios it will get more expensive.

I would strongly recommend that you do ESD testing too, which isn’t required for FCC (but is for CE). Shipping with no idea about your ESD resilience can be expensive, because you don’t know if your device will survive the kind of static discharges that are common in some very dry parts of the US.

One other thing to note is that when the wifi module is in test mode (driven by a PC running broadcom’s WL.EXE application) you will need to work out how to drive your PN532, as the module won’t be doing anything else. You may need to use a bis pirate or similar to get the PN532 in a transmitting mode, as they will want to test both wifi and NFC running concurrently.

Good luck!

One thought: If you want to reduce costs, you might want to consider using a separate, off the shelf, already approved NFC reader box, that is plugged into your box by the end user, and use the default particle antenna in your box (so your box can re-use the particle modular cert).

“User installed” (or connected) devices don’t need to be approved to work together - like the old PCMCIA wifi cards that plugged into PCs were approved separately - and that means you can just simplify the approvals work significantly.