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Tips, tricks and detailed FAQ replies

Q: I have a question for you. It can be assumed that my new product contains a certified GSM module and is connected to a PCB antenna I developed. If my device is to receive CE certification, does it need to be fully re-tested? Will my custom PCB antenna cancel the wireless module certification?

Answer about certification and antenna

A: The CE (RED) certification only applies to the radio module and is not transferred to the complete circuit board and enclosure. CE +CE ≠ CE. You will have to test the final configuation, but only a subset of the tests already passed by the GSM module on its own.

With a badly designed antenna with a high Return Loss, harmonics can be generated quickly. Also, even a good chip antenna that is incorrectly integrated, for example with a ground plane that is too small or with a poor layout may also lead to harmonics.

If you don’t have any experience or measurement equipment (Vector Network Analyser), it is difficult to evaluate a self-made PCB antenna. If you are lacking experience then we recommend using an external antenna consultant. A consultation with report often costs only 3 to 4 hours working time and saves thousands of Euros in repeated attempts at radio certification.

Extract of wireless IoT related services from the akorIoT team:

  • Matching of the antenna in the device (chip, PCB antenna, helical antenna)
  • Guidance on antenna design if undertaken by the client
  • Antenna layout of the dual F-antenna on an empty PCB in the customer’s enclosure
  • Antenna layout of any other custom PCB antenna: Helix antenna, Flex PCB antenna, Antenna punched from tinplate, Antenna printed on plastic in housing, Antenna on ceramic, Slot antennas and many more techniques
  • Antenna with radio module and power supply for extremely low power consumption
  • Assisting in the implementation of the antenna or power supply concept in the fully-featured PCB of the customer
  • Development of the whole PCB including an antenna with software Development by the customer
  • Development of the whole device (HW + SW) following the client’s specifications
  • Reference designs with NB-IoT, LTE-M, GSM, GNSS, BLE, Wi-Fi, MCU, sensors, charging electronics for over 20 applications with an open block diagram and the possibility for customers to develop their own code using a free C compiler
  • Preliminary measurements and tests required for radio certification
  • Radio certification according to RED (CE), FCC and several more standards
  • Workshops at the client’s office or via video conference
  • Training and seminars on radio technology and radio certification

February 11, 2019

Author: Harald Naumann

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