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United Kingdom Hardware

Raspberry Pi Passes EU Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing 137

Posted by timothy
from the red-tape-dissolved-by-logic dept.
A week ago, we posted news of the delay that the Raspberry Pi Foundation faced because of a requirement that their boards be tested to comply with EU regulations. Now, the word is in, and the Raspberry Pi passed those tests without needing any modifications. From their post describing the ordeal: "The Raspberry Pi had to pass radiated and conducted emissions and immunity tests in a variety of configurations (a single run can take hours), and was subjected to electrostatic discharge (ESD) testing to establish its robustness to being rubbed on a cat. It’s a long process, involving a scary padded room full of blue cones, turntables that rise and fall on demand, and a thing that looks a lot like a television aerial crossed with Cthulhu."
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Raspberry Pi Passes EU Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing

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  • by Psychotria (953670) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:00PM (#39603393)

    I'm sure that not every product passes this test, otherwise the test wouldn't be necessary :p

  • by andersh (229403) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:44PM (#39603665)

    All electronics that are going to be sold, as finished products, in the European economic area (EEA) have to be tested and comply with European standards. It's the short answer, and I'm skipping a lot of details.

    The problem the Raspberry-foundation faced was that it was initially not a "finished" product, more of a DIY kit. Once it became clear it was more of a "consumer" product it had to comply and be tested.

    The same applies in the US where the FCC has the same role, but labs do the actual testing in both jurisdictions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:25PM (#39603865)

    Not when one of the FCC regulations is "must accept interference". No seriously, that's actually a requirement.

  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @12:01AM (#39604625) Journal

    The issue is with the distributors, not the RaspPi people.

    Farnell and RS got nervous when they realized how many of the boards they would be shipping. There is not the same requirement for low volume eval boards they sell as engineering prototypes.

    The Foundation always planned on obtaining the CE mark for the Raspberry Pi boards during the main launch, which will come in the future when schools have their curricula worked out and huge numbers of the finished devices (in enclosures mostly) will be going out to schoolchildren. Right now the boards are seen as a preliminary release. The Foundation had CE certification on the schedule. Just not this soon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:44AM (#39605191)

    Placing a CE mark on something that doesn't pass CE tests can be done, but it makes you liable for any damage it might cause. With the CE mark you say "I swear it passes CE tests", if it doesn't, and people find out, you can get into serious trouble.

  • Re:Changing hands... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:04AM (#39605265)

    "they claimed they already gave 10000 boards to distributors"

    Errr.... NO.

    The first batch of 10000 was produced. When these arrived in the UK, the Foundation performed full functional testing on samples from the batch (as compared to electrical tests carried out at the factory) and discovered that the manufacturers had substituted a certain component between the first manufacturing samples and batch production. All the production was returned to the manufacturer for rework, which has taken some time. Reworked stock is now in the UK and going into distribution. Delivery is now contingent on RS and Farnell receiving copies of the test results so they are satisfied in their own minds that the Raspberry Pi can be sent out. Neither RS Components or Farnell have had "a 10k batch" to hand. Ever.

    Its all on the Raspberry Pi forum you know. Whats "nice" is your complete lack of knowledge and comprehension. :-)

  • Re:R-Pi question (Score:4, Informative)

    by spatular (2474044) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @05:12AM (#39605435)

    Generally there is a small ROM embedded in CPU that loads another bootloader from NAND, SD card, SPI Flash, etc. On Atmel ARM chips that bootloader must be small enough to fit into embedded SRAM. Than bootloader initializes SDRAM and fetches U-Boot into it. U-Boot in turn may initialize wider range of devices and then load Linux kernel.

    All boot process is very SoC- and board-specific. Bootloaders must be compiled for selected CPU and board components, and Linux kernel should also have board description down to what types of chips are installed as autodetection is usually very limited.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2012 @09:11AM (#39606275)

    If you're suggesting FM broadcast, you're dealing with a step phase shift every tenth of a second. Yes, you can "time it right" for one point (say, equidistant from all ten) but at other points it will vary considerably. I'd have to run the math (which I can't be arsed to do) to put numbers to it, but I'm pretty sure you'd get audible buzz at some multiple of 10 Hz on some receivers.

    More importantly, note that a lot of cheap FM receivers have pretty poor AM rejection, thus the volume will "throb" through ten values related to the distances, repeating every second. Even for receivers with perfect AM rejection, the noise floor will throb in the opposite pattern (louder for faint signals), so I really don't see this as a feasible solution.

    Oh, and people tracking you down? With a high-gain antenna (e.g. Yagi-Uda), guess what, the needle on my S-meter is pulsing up and down at 1 Hz -- So I sweep more slowly and just watch for the strongest peak. Then I'll move toward that signal (making it even stronger), until I get to it. Yes, I could be "stuck" equidistant between the two nearest ones -- in which case I'll pick one of the directions at which I get an equally strong signal, and go. Then it's stronger, so I keep following it.

    It would pose a problem for old-school DF with a loop antenna, where I'm trying to null out the signal, and these are preferred for DF per se (because antenna nulls are steeper than peaks, it gives you more accurate direction), but it's not like the FCC guys only have one trick in their bag, and a lot of fox-hunters do primarily use Yagi-Udas because the waving an antenna in front of you is a lot easier/more intuitive, particularly while moving, than holding a loop overhead and sweeping for the null.

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