Sign Operators Face Fines and Shutdowns Over Excessive Electromagnetic Interference

The FCC requires that electronic equipment, such as digital signs, be tested to ensure compliance with emissions limits set in Title 47, Part 15.

Specifically, the law states that manufacturers must suppress electromagnetic emissions as much as practicable, and obtain verification from an FCC accredited lab that the device does not radiate interference that exceeds specified levels.

Mounting evidence suggests that manufacturers of LED billboards and digital signs that are being imported from Asia are either ignoring or disobeying this federal requirement.

The design architecture that is used by most manufacturers in Asia requires an intermediate controller unit called a “receiver card” which sits between the controller and the sign’s LED panels. It is a design that focuses on delivering a cheap product, and unfortunately it also delivers harmful emissions.

We have received third-party verification that this design, which cannot be adjusted in the field, does not meet FCC laws because it emits too much interference.

This is important news in our industry because Part 15 places the responsibility of operation and the remediation of electromagnetic interference on the sign owner. This means that if you are operating one of these illegal signs and you receive an interference claim, it would be your responsibility to shut down the sign, correct the issue, and pay any fines levied by the FCC.

Download FCC White Paper

Watchfire has produced a white paper detailing our discovery that imported signs and billboards are emitting electromagnetic interference at levels that dramatically surpass FCC limits. Click here or on the icon to download it.





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