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What is ANSI C63.10?

What is ANSI C63.10?

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Editorial Team - EMC Directory

Feb 16, 2024

Figure: Unlicensed wireless device ANSI C63.10 is an American National Standard for testing unlicensed wireless devices, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It is an EMC standard (Electromagnetic Compatibility standard) for the U.S. This standard specifies standardized methods, instrumentation, facilities, and test sites for measuring radio-frequency (RF) signals and noise emitted from unlicensed wireless devices (also called unlicensed transmitters, intentional radiators, and license-exempt transmitters) operating in the frequency range of 9 KHz to 231 KHz. These standardized emission measurement methods/procedures are used for compliance testing of unlicensed wireless devices to certain regulatory requirements such as FCC rules (FCC 47 CFR part 15). ANSI C63.10-2020 is the new edition of this standard. 

In the US, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulates RF devices contained in products with the capability to emit radiofrequency by radiation, conduction, or other means. Every electronic product to be sold in the US market needs to comply with FCC part 15, which is a U.S. EMC standard.   

Note: Unlicensed wireless devices are wireless devices (e.g., cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, ...., etc)  that do not require an individual license to operate in some countries, provided they comply with certain requirements and regulations. Almost all electrical and electronic devices emit unintentional electromagnetic energy (called radio frequency emission or RF noises) during their operation, and unlicensed wireless devices are no exception. These devices usually emit RF noises during operation that have the potential to interfere with the radio services. These devices may emit RF noises using conducted emission (RF noises travel via connected wire and affect/disturb other nearby devices) and radiated emission (RF noises travel via air and may affect/disturb other nearby devices).   IEEE/ANSI C63.10 standard focuses on RF emission testing procedures/methods for Compliance Testing of Unlicensed Wireless Devices.

ANSI C63.10 standard Scope/Objective:

ANSI C63.10 standard titled - “American National Standard of Procedures for Compliance Testing of Unlicensed Wireless Devices”. The scope/objective of this standard is to specify radio-noise emission measurement methods/procedures, instrument requirements, facilities, test sites, and test report preparation for measuring radio-frequency (RF) signals and noise emitted from unlicensed wireless devices operating in 9 KHz to 231 KHz frequency range.

Note that the ANSI C63.10 standard does not include generic or product-specific emission limits. It also does not cover testing procedures for the measurement of radio emission from unintentional radiators, as mentioned in the document of the standard (mentioned in 1.2 of ANSI C63.10-2020). Where possible, the specifications details provided in this standard are harmonized with other national and international standards used for similar purposes. 

A wide range/variety of unlicensed wireless devices described in this standard can generate radiated and line-conducted RF emissions (e.g., see section 1.2 of the ANSI C63.4 2020 edition for information regarding those devices). This standard provides test methods or procedures for measuring both radiated and line-conducted RF emissions from these devices to check the compliance of the devices with the regulatory requirements or relevant EMC standards.

The unlicensed wireless devices have the potential to cause interference to radio services. EMC testing laboratory or EMC testing engineers use the ANSI C63.10 standard to perform radiated and line-conducted emission measurement tests on products concerning regulatory requirements (i.e., EMC emission standard requirements) designed to protect radio services.

EMC testing stands for Electromagnetic Compatibility testing. EMC testing is the set of tests and evaluations conducted to ensure that electronic and electrical devices can operate as intended in their electromagnetic environment without emitting harmful radio noises. EMC testing typically includes tests for emissions measurements (how much electromagnetic radiation a device produces) and immunity (how well a device can operate in the presence of electromagnetic interference). EMC testing is conducted as per EMC standards.

FCC part 15 is a U.S. EMC standard that has several subparts. Subpart C of FCC part 15 specifies maximum permissible RF emission level limits for intentional radiators (unlicensed wireless devices). The ANSI C63.10 EMC standard specifies testing procedures for these devices to check compliance with regulatory requirements like subpart C of FCC part 15 (FCC 47 CFR part 15). Successful compliance with FCC Part 15 requirements is often a prerequisite for selling devices in the U.S. market.

ANSI C63.10 standard purpose:

Various kinds of unlicensed wireless devices (also known as unlicensed transmitters, intentional radiators, and license-exempt transmitters) are subject to certain regulatory requirements or EMC standard requirements. The primary way to show compliance with regulatory requirements is by testing such devices in a repeatable and reproducible manner.  This standard specifies emission measurement procedures for the majority of current wireless devices in wide use to show compliance with the technical specifications.

ANSI C63.10 standard use and applicability: 

The ANSI C63.10 document specifies emission measurement procedures for conducted and radiated emission tests to test the compliance of a wide variety of unlicensed wireless devices operating in the 9 KHz to 231 KHz frequency range. This standard applies to a wide range of unlicensed wireless devices including, but not limited to: 

  • Remote control and security unlicensed wireless devices
  • Frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum devices
  • Antipilferage devices
  • Cordless telephones
  • Medical unlicensed wireless devices
  • Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices
  • Intrusion detectors
  • Unlicensed wireless devices operating on frequencies below 30 MHz
  • Automatic vehicle identification systems and other unlicensed wireless devices authorized by a radio regulatory authority are covered in this standard.

Note: This standard does not cover all unlicensed wireless devices (i.e., a few devices are not covered).  This standard does not cover test procedures for unlicensed wireless devices already covered in other published standards, such as, but not limited to: 

a) Unlicensed Personal Communications Services (UPCS) devices covered under ANSI C63.17-2013 

b) Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) functionality required for U-NII devices in the United States

The document of the ANSI C63.10 standard contains a series of annexes that provide details for certain measurement methods and facilities. For example, “Annex A” of the ANSI C63.10-2020 edition describes cross-references between regulatory requirements and ANSI C63.10 test methods and Annex F provides Broadband measurement discussion.

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