You’re visiting a friend in Europe who wants to start a radio project for fun. You pack some essential radio equipment, like an RF directional coupler, for your trip. Before setting foot in Europe, however, you should be aware of the laws involving your project. There’s testing for electrical safety in which the standards differ from the U.S. You also must know who to go to for receiving approval of usage. Even if you are approved in the U.S., the slight difference in requirements may garner major changes in which equipment you need.

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The Radio Equipment Directive

Not everyone can just set up shop and have their voices transmitted to every car in the area. That’s because you should go to the Radio Equipment Directive, or RED, before using that RF directional coupler you got for Werlatone. They are the ones who enforce the standard on who can and can’t set up radio equipment. You can test for the standards, which are EN 60 950-1, EN 60 215, and EN 62368-1. However, you are still required to have your equipment evaluated regardless of testing with your RF directional coupler. This is because RED doesn’t have the same exemptions as the Low Voltage Directive.

FCC in the U.S., RISE in Europe

The regulator of the usage of radio equipment in the U.S. is the FCC. They’re not available in Europe, but RISE is. RISE has been appointed by the FCC to run tests and provide certification to those who are approved. This is one of the multiple places you can visit in Europe, particularly Sweden, to get your radio equipment tested. This doesn’t mean that you should consider leaving your RF directional coupler at home. RISE would more test for safety and limitations, whereas you could still use your coupler for performance testing.

There are a lot more rules to consider before setting up your radio equipment in Europe. For example, learn who the particular RED tester is in or near the area you’re going to. However, if you’re relatively familiar with the same laws in the U.S., then all you would need to learn are the differences. RISE is just an example tester, so be sure to do extra research. Once you have had your equipment approved, you can begin using your RF directional coupler to test for performance. Just remember that approval is required whether it’s for a small project or something bigger.