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PC Devices Need Equipment Authorization

PC Devices Need Equipment Authorization

The FCC wants to clarify equipment authorization requirements for electronic musical instruments, recorders, amplifiers, and other sound creation and enhancement devices used with a personal computer. That’s because some of this equipment is being imported and marketed in the U.S. without authorization.
Simple digital devices are subject to a self-approval process, called Verification. This process only requires the manufacturer to perform tests on the devices, maintain test data that demonstrates compliance with the FCC technical rules, and properly label the device. Such devices include handheld games and calculators, as well as musical equipment that employ digital electronics or have ports for connections between musical equipment.
Recently, several types of musical equipment have been introduced that are designed to connect directly to personal computers via standardized PC interfaces such as a USB or IEEE 1394 port. Such devices are then considered computer peripherals, which have a separate equipment approval process.
Computer peripherals, when marketed for use in residential areas (Class B devices), are required to follow the Declaration of Conformity or certification process. DOC is a self-approval process similar to Verification except that it requires that the tests be performed by an accredited test laboratory.
The commission says certain musical equipment, digital recording devices and amplifiers are being improperly imported and marketed in the U.S., despite instructions and marketing materials that clearly indicate that they contemplate a connection to a personal computer via a USB port or other connection.

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