NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

Upcoming Changes for Wireless Equipment in the 2.4 GHz Band EN 300 328

By Deniz Demirci, Senior Wireless/EMC Engineer at NTS Silicon Valley

EN 300 328 V2.1.1 was harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union under Directive 2014/53/EU for RED (Radio Equipment Directive) on January 13, 2017. This version of the standard covers the essential requirements of article 3.2 of RED for 2.4 GHz ISM band WiFi, Bluetooth and other Wideband transceivers.

Manufacturers of these type of equipment can still use R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC (Radio and Telecommunication Directive) and it’s harmonized standard EN 300 238 V1.9.1 in their Declaration of Conformities (DoC) until June 13, 2017.

After this date, manufacturers of any radio device who enters any country which requires CE marking, have to use RED (Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU) in their DoC.

This is applicable for all new products as well as for products that are currently being marketed and intended to be sold after this date. Products which DoCs are not updated by this date, should not be sold in the European Union.

Manufacturers should follow EN 300 328 V2.1.1 requirements and update their test reports for their current products as soon as possible since there is significant change in the essential requirements;

  • The Receiver Blocking Requirement is unconditionally applicable to all radio equipment regardless of receiver category or adaptivity capability. This is a major change from the previous version of the standard.

Since the Receiver Blocking was conditionally applicable to the adaptive equipment only and the test methods as well as the performance criteria were different, most products may have never been evaluated for this requirement before.

Note: After June 13, 2017, any radio device which the standards are not yet harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union, must have a Notified Body Opinion/Type Examination Certificate in order to presume compliance with the essential requirements in Article 3.2 of Directive 2014/53/EU – RED.

For more details and information on how to update test reports for the Radio Equipment Directive, other specification interoperability scenarios or test, design and engineering help is available by contacting NTS at 800-270-2516 or emailing sales@nts.com.

Radio Equipment Directive (RED) Transition Time Coming Soon

Is your organization ready for the transition to the Radio Equipment Directive (RED)? RED must be employed for all products included in its scope and not yet placed on the EU market after June 12, 2017. Even products that were already being sold as compliant with the R&TTE directive must comply with the RED to continue to be placed on the market after this date.

To learn more, visit our RED page or contact us today!

TorBots 1197 Robot Reveal


The TorBots 1197 revealed their latest robot creation on Friday, March 3rd at South High School in Torrance, California. The six week build period came to a close and students from all grade levels gathered to not only reveal their robot but to thank everyone that made it possible.

Throughout the year the TorBots team competes in a series of “games” where they must build a robot that is capable of doing certain tasks. This year’s game is titled FIRST Steamworks where the robot must collect gears, fuel (softball-sized whiffle balls) and construct a “flying” device. Not only does it have to collect those items but it must also have the capability to hoist itself up to “fly” away with the final product. Here’s a preview of what the students were able to construct:

This is all made possible by a group of mentors, sponsors and charitable donations. Mentors are either teachers or staff at the school, volunteers within the local engineering community or alumni of the TorBots program that simply want to lend a helping hand. Sponsors help, along with fundraisers, send the team to regional, state and national competitions. Donations can range anywhere from unused equipment, safety glasses or financial donations to help keep the program alive and well.

Last summer NTS donated several testing machines from the LAX facility that would help the team test the durability of their robots, including the one to be used in the FIRST Steamworks competition. Along with the testing equipment, safety glasses were donated to maintain the high safety standard that NTS promotes at its own facilities. Equipment and safety glasses weren’t the only items donated by NTS, Jerry Shu, a Test Technician out of LAX, donated his time and knowledge to the team. As an alumni of the program Jerry knows exactly what it takes to teach the students about mechanics but also understands what it takes to inspire young minds to come up with such amazing inventions.

An opportunity to combine a formal education and real-world skills is presented to these students and is made possible through various donations of time, equipment and money. Students fabricate frames, program software, engineer gears and mechanisms and learn to come together towards one common goal to succeed at the task at hand.

The TorBots 1197 team will be participating in their first Los Angeles Regional event March 23rd – March 26th at California State University of Long Beach. For more information on the First Robotics Competition click here.

For more information on the TorBots 1197 FIRST Steamworks competition please click here.

Taiwan: Emissions Testing for Information Technology Equipment, CNS 13438 Requirements

by Wayne Fisher, EMC Lab Manager,
NTS Silicon Valley

Manufacturers of Information Technology Equipment (ITE) intended for sale in Taiwan should take note that as of October 1, 2010 EMC testing requirements under emissions standard CNS 13438 have changed.

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) requires radiated emissions both from 30MHz to 1GHz and conditions requiring testing upwards of 6GHz. Additionally, con­ducted emissions on telecommunication ports are required on all networking ports (IE: Ethernet).

The radiated emissions above 1GHz requirements are based on Amendment 1:2005 of CISPR 22:2005, which means testing is performed in a free space facility.

  • If the highest internal frequency source of the device under test is less than 108MHz radiated measurements are only performed up to 1000MHz.
  • If the device has an internal frequency source between 108MHz and 500MHz, the measurement shall only be made up to 2GHz.
  • If the frequency is between 500MHz and 1GHz, the measurement shall be only up to 5GHz.
  • If the frequency of the internal sources is above 1GHz the measurement shall be up to 5 times the highest frequency or 6GHz, whichever is less.

The Conducted Emissions on Telecommunication Ports requirements are the same as those in CISPR 22 with multi-speed ports operating at their highest data rate. Where there are many electrically identical telecommunication ports, multiple pre-scans may be required to determine the ‘worst case’ port for final evaluation.

The testing is performed with the device under test operating from line voltages consistent with Taiwan. For Class A devices, testing must be performed at both 110VAC and 220VAC or 230VAC, 60Hz. For Class B devices, testing need only be performed at 110VAC, 60Hz.

Products that were approved prior to October 1, 2010 will be accepted into the Taiwan market until their certificate is subject to renewal or if changes have been made to a product that needs re-certification after that date. At that point in time, products will need to demonstrate compliance with the new requirements.

New rules currently under draft may be implemented this year have indicated that all approvals must adhere to RoHS rules otherwise certificates will expire at the end of this year. Evidence of RoHS certification for the EU will be accepted by Taiwan towards this requirement.

Contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516 to know more about the steps you need to take to ensure compliance of your ITE products with the requirements of Taiwan.

IPC Emerging Engineer Program

NTS is pleased to participate in the new IPC Emerging Engineer Program. Launched in 2016, this program provides professionals who are beginning their careers the opportunity to learn from dedicated industry volunteers.

2017 Emerging Engineers including Rene Michalkiewicz of NTS and her mentee Tayler Swanson a student at RIT in NY (3rd and 4th from right)

To learn more about this program, visit the IPC website.

Solicitation Alert: SPEAR Soft Armor Ballistic Inserts

The Solicitation Reminder is a service of NTS Wichita and Chesapeake Testing divisions to help our customers uncover Federal Business Opportunities. We hope that you find this a valuable benefit of your partnership with us.

SPEAR Soft Armor Ballistic Inserts

Solicitation Number: H92222-17-R-0005
Solicitation Location: Click here for Solicitation

Issued: 6 March 2017
Response Date: 4 April 2017

Other details/instructions:

  • As part of each offeror’s proposal, ballistic data must be provided per Tables C-1 and C-2 of Appendix C of the Performance Specification.
  • Offerors will be required to submit Product Demonstration Models (PDMs) with proposal submission for evaluation. See Table C-3 and C-4 of Appendix C of the Performance Specification.
  • All interested offerors MUST submit a Notice of Intent to submit a proposal in order to obtain the Performance Specification and have their proposal considered by the Government.

Please visit this link for detailed solicitation information and attachments: Click here for Solicitation

Solicitation Primary Point of Contact:
Kelly L. McNeill, kelly.mcneil@socom.mil

Solicitation Secondary Point of Contact:
Laura Fuller, laura.fuller@socom.mil

NTS Wichita and NTS Chesapeake are both NIJ-Certified laboratories with the expertise and availability to perform all ballistic and non-ballistic testing as identified in the Solicitation. Both laboratories have the capacity to accommodate test range needs and provide deliverables within the due dates specified in the Solicitation.

NTS Wichita POC:
Matt Lutz, matthew.lutz@nts.com, 316-832-1600

NTS Chesapeake POCs:
Craig Thomas, craig.thomas@nts.com, 410-297-8154
Kyle North, kyle.north@nts.com, 410-297-8154

 

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) in 5GHz Unlicensed Bands

An Overview of Worldwide Regulatory Requirements

The advent of the 802.11a wireless market and the constant push to open up spectrum for unlicensed use required that a mechanism be implemented for spectrum sharing. Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) is the mechanism that was adopted to allow unlicensed devices to use the 5 GHz frequency bands already allocated to radar systems without causing interference to those radars. The concept of DFS is to have the unlicensed device detect the presence of a radar system on the channel they are using and, if the level of the radar is above a certain threshold, vacate that channel and select an alternate channel.

The regulatory requirements for DFS, along with requirements along with Transmit Power Control (TPC), have been adopted in Europe, the United States of America, and many other geographical areas. The following is an overview of the current DFS requirements for Europe, the USA, Canada, Taiwan, Australia, and Japan.

Click here to download and review this white paper.

NTS by the Numbers

For over 50 years NTS has been sharing our testing expertise with our customers to help design and implement test programs according to project needs. We have consistently expanded our network to meet the needs of our customers, constantly adding capacity and capabilities across North America.
Check out this info graphic for just a sampling of NTS extensive offerings!

EN 61326-1: EMC Emissions/Immunity Requirement Changes for Laboratory Equipment

By Conrad Chu, EMC Engineering Manager, NTS Silicon Valley

EN 61326-1 has been adopted and published in the EU’s Official Journal. As this standard is the applicable standard for Measurement, Control and Laboratory Equipment, it affects a large number of devices.

The EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard superseded EN 61326-1:2006 and became mandatory on August 14, 2015. EN 61326-1:2013 is equivalent to international standard IEC 61326-1:2012.

Summary of Significant Changes

Emissions: The 2006 version references CISPR 11:2003, while the 2013 version references CISPR 11:2009 +A1:2010. The first amendment to CISPR 11:2009 has established alternative radiated emissions limits at 3 meters test distance for “small equipment”, where “small equipment” is defined as “equip­ment, either positioned on a table top or standing on the floor which, including its cables fits in a cylin­drical test volume of 1.2 m in diameter and 1.5 m above the ground plane”.

Basic Immunity Environment (Immunity)

The test levels for electrostatic discharge (ESD) have increased from ±4 kV contact discharge and ±4 kV air discharge in EN 61636-1:2006 to ±4 kV contact discharge and ±8 kV air discharge in EN 61326-1:2013.

For magnetically sensitive equipment, EN 61326-1:2013 adds a new requirement for power-frequency magnetic immunity (IEC 61000-4-8) at a test level of 3 A/m.

Controlled EM Environment (Immunity)

EN 61326:2006 has a port category called “Measurement I/O”, where the manufacturer is allowed to define the test level (i.e. no mandated test level) and state in the product documentation what level the EUT was tested to. In EN 61326:2013 this port category has been removed. Hence the ports that would previously fall under the “Measurement I/O” category would now fall under the remaining “I/O signal/control” category, where the required tests levels are defined by the standard and not left to the discretion of the manufacturer

Portable Environment (Immunity)

For magnetically-sensitive equipment, EN 61326-1:2013 adds a new requirement for power-frequen­cy magnetic immunity (IEC 61000-4-8) at a test level of 3 A/m.

How this Affects Existing and New Test Programs

NTS has been testing to this latest standard with all reports to be issued to the EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard.

Customers who wish to update their product(s) to the 2013 version can do so based on applicable testing needed. Once the additional test requirements are fulfilled, the report (s) can be reissued to reflect the 2013 version.

Despite the addition of new magnetic immunity requirements in EN 61326-2:2013, in most cases magnetic immunity testing will still not be required as the testing is only required for devices that contain components inherently susceptible to magnetic fields.

Conclusion

Manufacturers should be testing to the EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard.

For more information about how this change affects your products or for a price quote for services, please contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516.