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Raspberry Pi Computers Held Up For CE Mark Test


Raspberry Pi
The first batch of Raspberry Pi mini-PCs cannot be sent to customers until they are safety tested

The eagerly awaited and now rather delayed Raspberry Pi computer has been hit by another hold up. After a earlier mass-production hitch, the first batch of 2,000 units has now arrived in the UK, but the retailers dealing with orders are not going to send any out to customers until the circuit boards have been tested for compliance with CE Mark standards.

In the view of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, “We believe that the uncased Raspberry Pi is not a ‘finished end product’, and may be distributed on the same terms as Beagleboard and other non-CE-marked platforms,” it said on its blog.

Raspberry Pi

However, the sub-£30 PCs retailers, RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell, beg to differ. For instance, RS sent this update in a recent email to those who’d registered an interest in buying the device:

“Compliance testing is an essential part of bringing any electronic product to market. The Raspberry Pi is being tested to make sure it conforms to all the regulations that apply to electronic devices around the world. This means that we can be sure the Raspberry Pi we deliver to you meets the correct standards and is as safe as you would expect any electronic device you purchase to be.”

RS goes on to say, “We’re working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to manage the testing process as quickly as possible, while ensuring all tests are carried out to guarantee safety.”

Raspberry Pi

Testing will continue in parallel with bringing the remainder of the first batch into the UK. The Linux-based PC’s creators say that, “On the basis of preliminary measurements, we expect emissions from the uncased product to meet category A requirements comfortably without modification, and possibly to meet the more stringent category B requirements which we had originally expected would require a metalised case.”

Demand for the ultra low-cost PC has been understandably phenomenal. Although the wait continues, emails have gone out to those who are first in line to get one.

Raspberry Pi


March 29, 2012, 8:48 pm

So the Raspberry Pi Foundation believes that the uncased Raspberry Pi is not a 'finished end product' and the retailers do? Why the discrepancy? Bit confused as to what is going on here.

Frustrating to see my lovely little Pi in that photo, but have to keep on waiting. At this rate there will be a cheaper better spec'd version from another company any day!


March 30, 2012, 4:17 am

Such cheaper and better devices are not that far away, the http://rhombus-tech.net/all... is a great example.

As for CE certification, cased on uncased is irrelevant, it's the sheer scale of even the first run (10,000) that is incompatible with them claiming it's an experimental device. Lots of computer hardware is sold uncased but still must have CE compliance. Other popular developer boards such as the Arduino are also CE certified.

Maybe they could have evaded the law via less reputable suppliers, but since RS and Farnell are the ones doing the import into the UK they just aren't willing to risk it.


March 30, 2012, 4:05 pm

Thanks for that information Gk.pm - They do really appear to have dropped the ball, which is a massive shame as they will really lose all that momentum they had fought to create.

I did think that the choice of these retailers was a very bad one. I am just left stunned that no one actually had this conversation months ago. Potential retailers would have know about this from the initial handshake, so why it's so suddenly become an issue is confusing.

I think that this whole business exercise will become a chapter in a book soon - 'How not to launch a new product to market'.


April 2, 2012, 5:12 am

I think the most praise is due to Broadcom.

They are supplying the main processor at a very low - unheard of - price, have supplied the design (most of Raspberry Pi is based on the processor application note from Broadcom, with a few added cost-cutting changes) and not to mention pay for the day job of most of the people behind the Raspberry. Raspberry Pi would not exist without them.

That said I have no idea why Broadcom didn't pick up the project themselves and opted instead to just supply chips below market price to a non-profit run by their employees.

It's a strange decision, especially at times like this - Broadcom and their vast technical resources would have no issue certifying or manufacturing these devices.

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