Cable Installation

All cabling will be installed by a licensed electrician and must be installed in accordance with applicable sections of the national electrical code as well as in accordance with AHJ requirements. We use a non-radiating, fully shielded cable which can be run against other metal structures and alongside other wiring. No special standoffs or procedures are needed. At the same time an 8-conductor cable for the dedicated annunciator panel will be installed as well as the fire alarm SLC (Signaling Line Circuits) loop.

Antenna Installation

Best Defense will terminate coaxial cables, install antennas and signal couplers, dividers, and make all necessary connections. Antennas may be mounted vertically for better horizontal coverage or horizontally for improved floor penetration.

DAS antenna installed in ceiling
A DAS antenna installed inside a ceiling.
A donor antenna installed on a roof
A donor antenna installed on a building roof.

BDA Installation

Once the BDA equipment room is ready and electrical power is available, we will install the BDA system. The unit and battery backup enclosure will be mounted on a metal strut channel to allow for airflow behind the enclosures. We will test all components and connections as well as make all necessary adjustments such as amplifier gain and power and measuring RF isolation between DAS and donor antenna.

 

System Testing

BDA testing using signal generator
Generating a known signal level using a signal generator.

Once all of the system components are installed (BDA, battery backup, donor antenna, DAS, and supervision) we proceed to system testing.

Using a signal generator, we’ll generate a known signal level on a test frequency close to the actual downlink frequency. Then we’ll measure the signal level at each antenna, verifying that the path to each is fully operational and there are no breaks in the line, bad connectors, etc.

We also test the signal at the donor antenna on the roof to be sure the signal it’s feeding the BDA is optimal. We will set the BDA amplifier gain to the desired level and verify the gain is within spec.

 

Signal Survey and Coverage Certification

Once the BDA system is installed and all components are fully tested, we proceed with the signal survey to be able to provide the final signal survey report and coverage certification. In-building signal levels ensure emergency responders will have sufficient signal levels and reliable communications throughout the whole building.

 

Project Closeout Documentation

Once the system is fully tested and the signal coverage is verified and documented, we can prepare the final closeout documentation and submittals.

 

Inspection with AHJ

Inspection of BDA system with AHJ
Testing and inspection with AHJ.

Once the system is fully tested, the coverage survey is done, and closeout documentation is ready, we can schedule the testing and inspection with the AHJ. Often, the BDA inspection coincides with the Final Acceptance Testing of fire alarm systems.

 

Building Owner Responsibilities

Building owners are responsible for service and maintenance of the BDA system. This includes annual inspections as well as re-certifications of the coverage every 5 years. BDA maintenance and annual inspections are important to ensure the coverage has not degraded and to ensure compliance with FCC rules and regulations. Building owners are also responsible for system updates such as frequency changes as required by the fire department.