We occasionally get questions about SMVs, SMQVs and other products*, with regard to the “extra letter” that sometimes appears at the end of the model number on the badge label. The letters are E, L, M, H and V. What do these letters refer to and why are they there?
* You may also notice this on HH, HM, LMA, MM400C, UM400A, UT400 and WM units.
These aren’t variations or special units. That additional letter comes about because of the FCC Certification process. Certification is the mandatory testing regimen for all RF Devices with the potential to cause interference to radio services, and all of our wireless products are subject to this process. Certified products are required to be uniquely identified by a letter/number combination known as an FCC ID, which is assigned through a grant process. You’ll see the FCC ID engraved on the case, or as an additional label. Units manufactured prior to 2018 will have labeling similar to this:
In the photo and badge drawings above, the “L” is part of the FCC designator (ID). The FCC attaches it to our model number, and it delineates the different blocks we are required to test at the Certification labs. The "L" has nothing to do with our production or model types, but rather indicates a frequency range:
- If the unit’s FCC ID has a suffix of E (“Extra-low”), the frequency range is 470.100 – 537.500 MHz, in Blocks 470, 19 and 20
- Suffix L (“Low”) is for the frequency range of 537.600 – 608.000 MHz (plus 614.000 – 614.300 MHz) in Blocks 21, 22 and 23)
- Suffix M (“Medium”) is for the frequency range of 614.400 – 691.100 MHz, in Blocks 24, 25 and 26
- Suffix H (“High”) is for the frequency range of 691.200 – 767.900 MHz, in Blocks 27,28 and 29
- Suffix V (“Very high”) is used for the frequency range of 944.100 – 951.900 MHz, in Block 944
The FCC issued our grants in 2011 with the suffixes to allow a single grant to cover 3 sequential blocks. This eliminated the need for us to get 12 different grants for the (then current) transmitter product lines. Using the suffixes required us to need only 4 grants to cover the 12 different frequency blocks. Not all units will have these markings – it depends on how old your unit is and also what grants were in effect at the time of manufacture.
So, in summary, your L unit is the same as an E, M or H unit – it’s just a different frequency range, and it was manufactured prior to 2018, when our effective grants changed.