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Designing a synth for FCC/CE compliance?
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puggle



Joined: Jun 12, 2016
Posts: 1
Location: puggle

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:14 am    Post subject: Designing a synth for FCC/CE compliance? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So I'm looking at what might be involved to bring a DIY synth of mine to production for sale, and it seems FCC/CE compliance is likely the most costly and difficult issue.

Does anyone know how much it tends to cost to bring "unintentional radiators" through compliance testing? I've read $1,000-1,500, but also $3,000-$5,000, and that's a big difference.

It also seems that the only way to keep costs down is to design in such a way to avoid issues, but where to learn how to do that? I found a book called the EMI Troubleshooting Cookbook, it's not synth design specific, but seems helpful. It would obviously be better to have something more synth or music electronics oriented. Any suggestions on how best to learn these issues?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 347
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I've been involved in a couple of projects regarding EMC compliance, but that's for equipment that by design needs high power rf emissions (MRI equipment). So, a bit more complicated, bigger equipment, spread out over several cabinets, with cables in between.

It shouldn't be too hard to get a synth EMC compliant, but on the other hand it shouldn't be taken for granted either.
Take advantage of off the shelf solutions for things like mains entries and other connectors. But all those holes needed for potmeters, the cutout for the display etc. Not sure how this is commonly done.
Most work is designing a proper enclosure I suppose. You can really nail it shut with things like EMI gaskets, but probably that's not needed.

The work I did was on complete 19" cabinets, not so much individual enclosures inside a rack (those have been tested on an component level).

By the way, in our case it was a whole series of tests, radiated immunity and emission, conducted immunity and emissions, power surges and dips, magnetic fields. It's easily half a day per test (more in our case, but for component level testing rather than system, it might be easier), at maybe 150$ per hour? (in our case, but it is an internal facility). Plus the time needed to do the reporting, and that's assuming there will be no iterations. Maybe a week of work, 6k$ or so.
You may want to look into rationalising some tests ("we do not need to a certain test, because we use local shielding so RF cannot be emitted by the equipment" or "we do not need to do test "X", because it is not safety related, and we have this big sticker telling people not to use it near life support equipment"), not sure if this is acceptable. But it is wise to study beforehand, and design for EMC compliance rather than finding out when you are done.
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