Using the FCC to your advantage in identifying radio gear

Often I will find myself needing information about electronics where there is apparently no service information available on the web. This is where FCC processes become extremely handy.

Let me introduce to you the FCC approvals database.

Lets say, you have a piece of gear, or have seen a piece of gear shown on YouTube, where the use of the equipment is not clear, and where you can’t find any data on the web. There are a couple of videos on YouTube, but this one was rationally presented.

Still from the above video – Showing salient information

The device shown certainly doesn’t have any useful words. Let’s do a Google Search for the apparent Model Number SRLJ9300.

Google search for SRLJ9300

Well – That was useless – 3 hits, one of which is somebody talking about removing a device and having issues with tuning his Chevy, and two that were useless. There was a photo, but that wasn’t of much use…..

Where to from here? Well might you ask !

The Mighty Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – Every manufacturer has to submit detailed equipment information to get a radio transmitter certified in the USA, and every device certified in the USA has to prominently display its FCC approval number.

Lets Google “FCC database IDILJU-02” – Ohhhhhh Ahhhhhh

The report on the FCC database…..

Instantly, we find the test report that had to be submitted – including theory of operation, test results, alignment details, and even photos of the device. This is not some weird GPS tracking device as the YouTuber was so worried about, instead it is an artifact of the reality that too many vehicles in the USA get LoJacked, so companies purchase a LoJack tracking service that installs a GPS tracker, and low power transmitter to assist in locating the vehicle after it is stolen.

In this case, the device is a transmitter for the LoJack corporation, which transmits on 173.075Mhz.

It even contained photos of the board in the device.

The PCB – Hmmm – Lots of crystals for a simple transmitter.

So next time you have a device that you can’t find any information for, let the FCC and Google help find information for you….

Of course, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the *really* interesting stuff is made confidential. Something Something, military, something…..

Harris gear for DoD is usually confidential.

That makes sense 😉 I guess I will have to wait for those really nice 30 – 500 Mhz Software Defined radios to come out… Probably something like the 12th of never.

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