[Battlemesh] Chilling effect - Lockdown (FCC/EU)

fboehm fboehm at aon.at
Thu Feb 18 13:24:26 CET 2016

Am 18.02.2016 um 12:22 schrieb Bastian Bittorf:
> * fboehm <fboehm at aon.at> [18.02.2016 12:09]:
>> You anyway loose the initial FCC or ETSI certification when you
>> modify the radio driver. A re-certification would be necessary.
>> Pragmatic solution from the FCC: firmware lock, period :)
> ok, unsure about that. does it mean if a vendor
> changes code in the wireless driver the whole thing
> has to be re-certificated? I dont think so. Are there
> other people know something about that?
>> It's also not necessary to design a new board. Plenty of PCIe radios
>> and suitable boards are available. Manufacturers will have an
>> incentive to produce them as long as there are enough users/buyers.
> the community is just to small: <100.000 boards a month 8-)
>> As an alternative: there are finished MT7621 router designs that you
>> can modify towards a PCIe ath9k radio instead of Mediatek radio. But
> there is no need for replacing the mt76 thingy, the driver
> is good enough even now and is getting better and better...
>> the radio should be a module and not an embedded radio. Otherwise you
>> have to deal with radio calibration stuff. Such a board would not
>> even be considered a wireless router when you buy the wireless card
>> separately.
> are there good miniPCI/miniPCIexpress cards available?
> (not hirose/UFL connectors but mmcx)
> bye, bastian
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I'm not a certification expert either but my two cents:
In theory driver modifications should trigger a new certification 
process. In practice I expect that only some internal pre-certification 
tests are done. In real-life every manufacturer tries to avoid another 
FCC certification. ETSI is easier because it's a "self-certification" in 
many cases. You do the tests and publish a declaration of conformity.

All this regulations and certification procedures regarding 
software-based radios like Atheros stuff (and real SDRs of course) is 
pretty new. In political time measurement! We will see what is happening 

I didn't know that the mt76 is so promising. Sounds interesting :)

I would say with a few thousand boards per month you can consider a 
customized product. Electronics manufacturing is no longer rocket 
science. In theory even my equipment would be good enough to produce a 
thousand such boards per month.

The PCIe cards with the MMCX connectors are high-power cards with 
heatsinks and all that stuff. Pretty expensive but also the highest 
range. Not because of the higher power limit but due to the better PA 
and LNAs. I honestly never had much problems with U.FL connectors but 
you are right that there are better connectors out there.


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