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Chicomm Blog

How Does a Bi-Directional Amplifier Work?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When looking into improving your in-building communication, you'll probably come across the term bi-directional amplifier or BDA. The BDA is a tool BDA.pngused to boost wireless signal throughout your structure. These tools are often used in large buildings, like campuses, hospitals, hotels, or manufacturing plants, and they help your two-way radios and smartphones avoid dropping calls or receiving spotty coverage.

In short, a bi-directional amplifier is a device that locates a wireless signal, amplifies it, and then rebroadcasts it throughout your building.

This blog provides more insight into how this actually happens, and next steps to take if you think a BDA might solve your problems..Capturing the Signal

When your BDA is up and running, it seeks out the wireless signal that you are trying to use throughout your building. Your signal often comes from an antenna on the roof of the building. The bi-directional amplifier will locate that signal, and capture it. Step one, complete.

Amplifying the Signal

After the device has located the signal, the next step is for the BDA to amplify it. Imagine being at a venue where a musician is singing on stage. If there's no microphone, it's nearly impossible for people more than a few rows back to hear the song. But, when you add a microphone, their voice (the signal) is “captured” and amplified to the audience (the building).

Redistributing the Signal

Just as the speakers at that venue would redistribute the singer’s amplified voice to the entire audience, the bi-directional amplifier redistributes the amplified signal throughout your building. The success of this process directly relates back to the installation of the BDA, as it needs to be strategically placed in order to receive the best signal possible.

Setting Up the Device

In order to work properly, a BDA should be installed in the optimal location within your structure. For example, say you have a multi-story warehouse that has working floors all the way up, and into the basement (below ground). The signal you're trying to receive with your smartphone is coming from the roof of the building, but you are currently standing in the basement. Where would you install the device?

The best way to achieve coverage here is to have an experience solutions provider analyze your structure, and determine the best location(s) to place the BDA(s). That’s because the installation of bi-directional amplifiers is actually a two step process: strategy and then implementation.

Regardless of how tech-savvy you or your team may be, setting up a bi-directional amplifier on your own is a risky idea because it can compromise the equipment's effectiveness.

What now?

For more information about whether a BDA will meet your needs, check out these four signs a BDA is the right solution for you here. You can also set up a time to chat with Chicago Communications about implementing the right solution for you.  

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