At this point in the project a distributed antenna system (DAS) incorporating bi-directional amplifiers (BDAs) to boost, enhance, and increase the coverage must be designed and installed. The code has specific requirements for certification to design and install these systems as well as requirements for fire alarm monitoring of the system components. This solution cannot be met by one entity. Drawings must be submitted for permit and fire code official approval with a PE seal. JDRM has aligned with a number of strategic partners to form a design/build team to implement and execute a code compliant system and get competitive pricing for your project.
This question comes up often and is extremely important. There are several options the JDRM FRR Testing team suggests:
Unlike other code requirements, emergency communications systems for first responder radio should not be designed up front without testing results. We see a number of specifications requiring a bid for a system without any testing being conducted or test results provided. Though this will get you a price, it is not necessarily an accurate price. There are a number of issues with this approach:
The Code requires systems to be inspected and re-tested annually. This includes testing the hardware and the batteries under load to be sure the BDE (bi-directional amplifier) is in conformance to the original specifications.
Several reasons besides the code required annual test may occur and require you to re-test.
There is no easy “yes” or “no” answer to this. It depends on the frequencies, your carriers, certain signals are not recommended to be mixed together on the same system — and there are more factors to consider. Please call us, we’ll be happy to guide you through that process.
By LOTS of Windows: Generally, when the first floor of a building passes FRR testing, the higher levels do as well. We have experienced a testing situation where this was NOT true. The first floor passed our tests, but the higher floors did not, due to an abundance of windows in the upper stories. Low E- Energy saving glass windows can block RF by -35 to -56Db. Adding a BDA DAS enabled the facility to meet code by bringing the signal strength to the proper levels inside the building.
We Can’t Amplify What isn’t Available: Initial signal tests failed when low failing signal was identified while testing outside of a facility in an industrial park. Our work turned from testing the facility to coordinating with state and local authorities to coordinate enhancing the state radio system to enable our client to meet code requirements.