Radio Frequency Test – What is an RF Device?

Radio Frequency Test – What is an RF Device?

Radio frequency is something used by most electronic devices that we come into contact with every day. Does this mean that all electronic devices require a radio frequency test? If not, what kind of electronic devices require testing to prove compliance with FCC rules? As a team of SAR experts, RF Exposure Lab is here to help you better understand the different types of RF devices and FCC regulation for these devices. Keep reading to learn everything you should know as a manufacturer.

FCC Radio Frequency Regulation

Not all electronic devices emit radio frequency energy, but just about all of these devices are capable of doing so. This is why many electronic devices require a radio frequency test to prove that they comply with FCC rules. All products that operate in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum are required to show compliance using FCC equipment authorization procedures, such as the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) or  Certification. The requirements for particular devices are specified in FCC rules. Without proving compliance, radio frequency devices cannot be marketed, imported, or used in the US and other countries. 

To determine what procedure or procedures will need to be used to prove compliance and which specific FCC rules apply, it’s important to know how to categorize an RF device. This requires technical understanding and knowledge of FCC rules that most manufacturers may not have but can be found at a testing lab like RF Exposure Lab

Incidental Radiators

Incidental radiators are electrical devices that are not designed to intentionally, use, generate, or emit radio frequency energy over 9 kHz. However, it’s possible for these devices to produce and emit byproducts of radio frequency over 9 kHz. 

These devices are not required to obtain equipment authorization. However, these devices are still regulated and a radio frequency test is required to determine if the device causes harmful interference. If it does cause interference, operation must be stopped and the device must be fixed.

Unintentional Radiators

Any device that is designed to send radio frequency signals by conduction to associated equipment through connected wiring but is not intended to emit RF energy wirelessly is an unintentional radiator.

Many products that were previously considered incidental radiators are now classified as unintentional radiators due to their use of digital logic. 

The FCC is expected to make a decision regarding SAR testing for unintentional radiators that will be announced at the beginning of next year. This is a decision regarding whether or not all unintentional radiators should be required to undergo SAR testing to prove compliance with FCC RF requirements. 

Intentional Radiators

Intentional radiators are devices that both intentionally generate and emit RF energy by either radiation or induction. These devices may be operated without an individual license.

Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Equipment

Some electrical products are used to produce RF energy for applications outside of telecommunications, such as physical, biological, or chemical effects; they fall under Part 18 of FCC rules.

However, this does not typically apply to general consumer medical devices. This largely applies only to medical equipment that is designed to generate and use RF energy for medical or therapeutic purposes.

Get Radio Frequency Test Help from RF Exposure Lab

Our team’s expertise comes from RF Exposure Lab’s Owner, Vice President, and Chief Engineer, Jay Moulton. An authority in SAR testing with a background in manufacturing and the regulatory side of SAR testing, Jay Moulton has more than 25 years of experience. He is unique in his ability, experience, and knowledge of SAR. It’s this distinctive expertise and knowledge that allows us to guarantee our clients accurate SAR testing results and solutions. 

In addition to this expertise, our team always works hard to go above and beyond, making sure that our clients understand how we are testing their devices and how SAR standards affect this. We strive to be as communicative and transparent as possible throughout the testing process so our clients are always up to date on the status of their testing.

We offer SAR testing services for a variety of wireless devices, such as

As well as many more devices! If you’re looking for SAR testing help that is provided with expertise, speed, accuracy, and integrity, contact us to learn more about our services or to get a quote.