FCC Compliance Question

Hello All,

Up to this point I've mainly been involved with robotic circuits from a "hobby" standpoint. If I venture into more of the commercial realm, I'm wondering about FCC compliance.

For example, if I develop several small "animatronic" type figures (based on PICs and servos) for use in a restaurant-type environment, what do I need to worry about regarding FCC regs -- particularly Part 15 compliance? If I have, say, 30 different "one-off" circuits controlling the different figures (each one may have different characteristics), am I basically looking at the need to certify each one of these circuits?

Some of these circuits may also be networked via RS-485. Does that change anything regarding compliance?

I guess the real question is: Are there any ideas on how to do this in such a way that compliance doesn't become the dominant cost of commercializing these things?


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I've never done it before, but if you are not controlling the systems using a radio-link, I don't think you need to get an FCC part-15 test done.

I looked on several devices around my home and found ones that don't mention FCC part-15 on them. Portable DVD player, digital camera, USP-to-RS232 adapter etc.

You really meed to send an e-mail to the FCC about this. I like to help, but this is not the right group to ask when there is clearly a way to ask the right authority. snipped-for-privacy@fcc.gov

Reply to
Alan Kilian

The FCC is the least of your worries. Depending on the area, you may have local fire and OSHA codes to deal with. If you're using motors rated at 24 volts or higher, that means the motors may need to be UL approved, with proper labelling, etc. Forget any home-made power supplies. The fire inspector will pull the plug if the wiring doesn't look peachy-keen. This goes for the low-voltage DC as well.

Though checking with the FCC would be a good idea, I don't think there would be much of a certification issue if you limit yourself to just one or two installations. Selling these commercially, for commercial use, may be another matter.

You also need to be EXTREMELY careful about liability issues involving curious patrons getting too close to one of the animatronics. They will, and you could get sued if little Timmy gets his fingers squeezed. Don't even think about doing this unless you have adequate liability insurance, and preferably have incorporated as an LLC.

-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases, Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza

MW wrote:

Reply to
Gordon McComb

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