As a manufacturer with products destined for the European Union, the changes between EN 300 328 V1.7.1 and V1.8.1 can be difficult to understand at first. Thankfully, there are three simple actions manufacturers can follow to prepare for testing. More than ever before, preparing for your lab visit will help ensure a smooth and trouble-free experience.
- Understand Required Test Modes
The Equipment Under Test (EUT) should be capable of producing all available modes, modulations, and data rates without the use of any of the traditional test modes. For example, with 802.11 devices, all data rates and bandwidths should be accessible. Another example is Bluetooth: testing requires all modes and packet types. This includes classic Bluetooth, Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), Adaptive Frequency-Hopping (AFH), and Low Energy modes, if available.
Some of these modes may not be available to the user, so they might require unique configuring or special firmware to achieve. It may be necessary to place your device in a network configuration with a companion product, or you may need specialized communications equipment to exercise all of the modes.
- Provide The Correct Documentation Ahead Of Time
Test labs also need the right documentation, and you should provide it prior to your visit. This information helps the lab understand the full functionality of the product, and in addition, the information supplied is often required as input variables to the individual test suites. The V1.8.1 standard does include a checklist in Annex F, which specifies the necessary information for the lab. This checklist must be included in the test report, so it is essential that it is complete and accurate. Any incorrect information included in this checklist could alter the test results.
- Supply All Necessary Accessories
Equipment submitted for test should be supplied with all cables, connectors, and accessory equipment necessary for testing. Supplying a device to a test lab without a way to access the radio frequency (RF) output port or a way to provide power would certainly be an issue and cause unnecessary delays.
Also bear in mind that some tests must be performed under extreme voltages, so it is important to provide a means to regulate the input voltage as well. You should not expect the test lab to have all of the accessories, or to make any modifications to your product.
To avoid delays in testing, it’s critical that manufacturers understand how to configure the equipment and supply the necessary documentation and hardware. These three simple actions can mean the difference between a successful test, and non-representative or non-compliant results.