Being an amateur radio operator and paperwork originator for a few licensed point-to-point network links, I occasionally find myself in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS). Trolling around in the ULS can be kinda fun (when you’re really, really bored) if you want to get information on different kinds of valid and expired licenses for everything from public safety to TV stations to IT-related transmitters.
For those of us in the Wi-Fi world, there is another FCC resource that holds a treasure trove of information on every piece of gear ever certified for use in the US. The EAS (Equipment Authorization Search) is your gateway to RF testing reports, internal and external photos of a particular access point, wireless router, etc, and basically the whole “how it came to be” story for each device.
An example- the BlueSocket model 1800v2 access point.
1. Go to the EAS front door.
2. In “Applicant Name” field, enter BlueSocket. (I’ve not had much luck with any of the other fields, even when I have the absolute specific information that should go in them.) You may want to adjust the “show ___ records at a time” field from the default of 10, to something like 50 or 100.
3. Click “Start Search” at bottom of page.
4. You’ll be presented with a table of fairly obvious values- some will be one page, and some will span dozens of pages depending on manufacturer. For BlueSocket, there are only 32 entries and finding my 1800v2 in FCC ID column is pretty easy.
NOTE- Each piece of equipment has Summary or Detail available. Being geeky, we want Detail, as that is where the good stuff is. If multiple entries for same device, pick most current date.
5. You’ll be rewarded with a table of contents like this:
|OET Exhibits List|
|View Attachment||Exhibit Type||Date Submitted to FCC||Display Type||Date Available|
|Ad Hoc letter||Cover Letter(s)||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Request for Confidentiality||Cover Letter(s)||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|External Photos||External Photos||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Label Location Info||ID Label/Location Info||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Internal Photos||Internal Photos||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Monopole MPE 11an||RF Exposure Info||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|MPE PIFA 11an||RF Exposure Info||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Monopole Test Report||Test Report||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Monopole Test Report 11an||Test Report||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|PIFA Test Report||Test Report||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|Monopole Test Setup Photos||Test Setup Photos||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|PIFA TEst Setup Photos||Test Setup Photos||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
|USer Manual||Users Manual||03/17/2010||03/17/2010|
And from there, you can see more than you ever imagined you could care about a wireless device. The Internal Photos and Test Setup Photos tend to be the most interesting, at least to me. Enjoy!