alexh wrote:I don't think Jookie can make any more himself due to the changes in European law surrounding electronics manufacture, it's just too expensive.
Do you know what changes to the law are involved? I know you need CE compliance since 1996 to sell in Europe, in addition to being RoHS.
This is something I will have to deal with when my MIDI expander project is complete. The cheapest I could find for a CE compliance test was about £1000 for a SELV device which is an unintentional radiator. That may or may not be worth it depending on how many units I can sell. The problem is if I can't pass the test first time, it can get extremely expensive. Plan B is to break the law and never disclose my postal address to avoid getting caught. I think this would worry a lot of potential customers though!
I'm interested in learning about other loopholes. I think selling as a kit is one option, but I don't know if pre-assembled or nearly-assembled kits count. I know that selling kits is illegal in the US, so that rules that market out. Another loophole applies when you sell a "sub-assembly," but what little information about this I could find is very grey and unclear. The Amiga Vampire accelerator appears to be CE compliant, which surprises me because surely that's the closest definition of a sub-assembly? Since my device attaches to the printer port, I think it would be very difficult to pass it off as a sub-assembly. Unless perhaps the user has to provide their own metal case and I/O sockets (with EMI filters).
I believe there's another loophole which applies if you're not a business. You can apparently sell electronic devices as an individual without complying with CE - which is why it's legal to sell used electronics on eBay. I don't know at which point you become a business, perhaps promoting your products would be a red flag. The laws in the US are tighter, IIRC FCC requires that you build no more than 5 devices - even for personal use that never leave your home. Land of the free indeed.
I don't think RoHS poses me any special problems. Just about all components and board houses are RoHS these days. I don't know much about the recent WEEE requirements. I don't plan to include a mains power supply, so hopefully I can avoid the low voltage directive.
It seems absurd that add-ons for old computers need to pass CE/FCC. In many cases, the computers themselves wouldn't pass a modern CE/FCC test anyway! And without the computer, the device is useless. Before 1996, pretty much everything sold in the UK had no EMI shielding whatsoever.
How does Lotharek get around the CE requirement? Does he actually submit devices for CE compliance?