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What is a Public Safety BDA (Bi-Directional Signal Booster)

by May 8th, 2017

Signal Boosters, also known as Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDA), use a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to extend the coverage range of radio systems in places where reception is bad, like large Public buidlings with garages. This is particulilary important for Fire Departments because they need their radios to work under duress or they could be trapped and killed in the building.

Most fire departments mandadate BDAs for new construction and many have a policy of letting the building burn to the ground if their radios don't work. There have been several high profile deaths of Fire Personnel due to poor radio coverage over the years and this led to govenrment mandates requiring this equipment. Often Fire Departments will not give you occupancy permits without it and this has surprised many building owners at the last minute before opening a new property.

BDAs after the fact are very expensive and time consuming. They can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and will not be less than thirty thousand to put one in. The biggest reason for this is the cabling. BDAs work by having a string of small receiver antennas every 100 feet or so depending on your building. It's a lot cheaper to have that wiring put in place while it's being built and not after the fact. The RSSI (signal strength) for radio coverage is usually in the -95dBm range for every 100 square feet. More than 2 or 3 fails means the whole building fails. You can understand why the cabling is expensive after you built your building.
 
Published by: Puget Sound Instrument, Tacoma, WA

What is a Public Safety BDA (Bi-Directional Signal Booster)

by Peter Ollodart May 8th, 2017

Signal Boosters, also known as Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDA), use a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to extend the coverage range of radio systems in places where reception is bad, like large Public buidlings with garages. This is particulilary important for Fire Departments because they need their radios to work under duress or they could be trapped and killed in the building.

Most fire departments mandadate BDAs for new construction and many have a policy of letting the building burn to the ground if their radios don't work. There have been several high profile deaths of Fire Personnel due to poor radio coverage over the years and this led to govenrment mandates requiring this equipment. Often Fire Departments will not give you occupancy permits without it and this has surprised many building owners at the last minute before opening a new property.

BDAs after the fact are very expensive and time consuming. They can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and will not be less than thirty thousand to put one in. The biggest reason for this is the cabling. BDAs work by having a string of small receiver antennas every 100 feet or so depending on your building. It's a lot cheaper to have that wiring put in place while it's being built and not after the fact. The RSSI (signal strength) for radio coverage is usually in the -95dBm range for every 100 square feet. More than 2 or 3 fails means the whole building fails. You can understand why the cabling is expensive after you built your building.
 
Published by: Puget Sound Instrument, Tacoma, WA

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