leech wrote:Wow, I've been building every computer that way since after the first Windows 95 computer I got. I started the upgrade path for that piece of crap and eventually just had enough components to build my own.
Granted I never tried to turn around and sell them, but that just sounds insane. Talk about corporations trying to stomp on the little guy.
You're generally OK with building unintentional radiators (i.e. not transmitters) for personal use only. The worst that can happen if it causes radio interference is someone will come knocking on your door and tell you to shut it down. In the US, the FCC allow you to build up to five units for personal use providing you don't give them away or sell them. I don't even think the EU has a limit to how many devices you can build at home for private use.
Where you can get into serious trouble is by building transmitters, even for private use. You can be fined, have the equipment confiscated (including any equipment they perceive to be related to the offence) and go to jail.
It's a terribly restrictive system. It favours only large corporations and law-breakers - which is why China have won. I don't approve of government interference, but especially not interference which destroys small businesses and encourages large ones. We managed just fine before 1996 when CE was introduced, which is proof enough that we can live quite happily without such draconian restrictions. In fact I'm almost certain that the UK home computing boom of the 80s was almost entirely because there were no legal restrictions in place. At that time the US had FCC interfering with the free market - thus the only computers popular there were from mega-corporations like IBM and Apple.
The only good news is that it seems to be getting cheaper to get CE certification. $2000 per product is probably sufficient - providing you can pass the test on the first try. It's getting more difficult to certify mains powered equipment due to the low voltage directive. No wonder so many manufacturers use external transformers these days. This is true of the EU, but not the US. Absurdly, you can put an electrically lethal product on the market in the US - just as long as it doesn't cause radio interference. It shows where government interests really lie. Not in protecting people, but protecting valuable RF spectrum they make a fortune on licensing to huge broadcasting corporations.