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How do DAS (Distributed Antenna System) Installers Make DAS Work?

Mar 23, 2018

How do DAS (Distributed Antenna System) Installers Make DAS Work?

This post will answer your questions, "What is DAS?" and "How do Distributed Antenna System installers make it work?". We will also outline our offering of turnkey DAS installation services which consists of a site survey, system design, quotation, professional installation by certified installers, and obtaining all necessary approvals and certifications before, and after installation as required.

What is DAS?

DAS or Distributed Antenna System (active) is a powerful signal enhancing system using direct feed from respective service carrier(s) to boost wireless signals. It is ideal when signals are too weak outside to use exterior antenna to catch and amplify those signals inside. Therefore, a direct carrier feed is injected into the building from bottom up creating a mini-tower effect within a building. If exterior signals are strong, a passive DAS can be used to boost indoor signals with roof-top donor antenna connected to bi-directional amplifier(s) and an elaborate system of interior antennas.

How do DAS installers make it work?

Active DAS system installers first survey the site. Then they design the system. Thereafter they obtain approvals to install the system. Finally after installing, they test the system again until it works perfectly. In a typical building, active DAS consists of a head and an equipment room that houses the DAS equipment which receives service provider signals injected to it from outside the building. Multiple signal sources can be used.

Passive DAS uses only a cellular source from top of building using donor antenna for 3G, 4G, LTE and Public Safety Bands. Such RF signals after amplification by a bi-directional amplifier are converted from radio frequency to light by fiber distribution head-end equipment. Injected signals from carrier feeds enhance the signals fully. Resulting powerful signals are then sent to fiber distribution remote units using single mode fiber. From Fiber Distribution Remotes, half inch coaxial cables transmit it to interior antennas. Those interior antennas transmit signals to cellphones and two-way radios within all interior areas.

Processes followed by our trained DAS system installers:

  1. Site Survey, Planning, Designing the DAS System to be Installed:

    A DAS system installer at this stage defines the building - Its address, interior size, wall materials (framed or concrete?), ceiling (solid, suspended, or open?), and takes photographs of weak signal areas (usage). It also consists of deciding which cellular service providers need better service? This may also include client input regarding where service is good, poor, critical and general areas where cell service is mostly used/ needed. It includes measuring existing mobile service quality using professional signal meter/ detector. It also consists of choosing donor antenna location(s), or other donor source for best wireless signal quality and data speed rates.

  2. DAS Installation Phase with Pre-installation Testing:

    This is when all DAS equipment components are soft installed and tested to work. Carrier feed connectivity and LAN/ Internet connectivity if required, are co-ordinated so that they are ready when needed. Cellular service provider feed needs to be active for testing and while permanent LAN is best, temporary at a minimum is required for commissioning. All cables are run and all hardware mounted per design prepared/ created in previous stage. All cables are connected to devices that will help amplify signal and the systems are powered up.

  3. Evaluate & Optimize DAS System (if needed):

    Optimizing the DAS system by installers is the final step in installation. Alarms, if any, are cleared (indicated by LEDs on bi-directional amplifiers or DAS headend equipment room) by tweaking the signal enhancing system including donor signal strength test. LTE signal testing consists of RSRP (Reference Signal Received Power), RSRQ (Reference Signal Received Quality), SINR (Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio) or SNIR (Signal to Noise plus Interference Ratio). WCDMA signal testing consists of RSCP (Received Signal Code Power) and EcIo (Experiment Computer Input/Output).

Turnkey DAS installation services. offers turnkey DAS installation services whereby we perform site survey, design the system, offer accurate quote for installing appropriate passive or active system, install that system professionally by certified installers, and obtain all necessary approvals and certifications prior and after installation as required.

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  • What is this direct carrier feed that is injected into a building? Is it a bunch of wires? Antennas? I’d love to see a video of how DAS is installed and how it improves signals. Are there any videos like this on your site? Are there any times when a home would need a mini version of DAS?

    Cory Townsend on
  • Bobby McCoy asks, “What could weaken a cellphone signal? What weakens them so you need a DAS in your building?” I’ve read many blogs here so I feel qualified to answer your question. Cellphone signals are affected by various factors such as building materials, distance, and weather. Materials can weaken or block a call (for example, concrete). Distance can affect the signal because the further away from the cell tower you are, the weaker the signal gets. Finally, weather can affect cellphone signals too. Often, it’s not the weather per se, but the factors creating the weather (such as atmospheric conditions causing rain or high winds). Now take all these and add them together and you can have a weak signal or no signal at all. That’s why some people get cell phone boosters to make sure their signals are at maximum power. When you have a building, you may use a cell phone booster, but the structural conditions may require you to get a DAS, which is (my understanding) a way of wiring your building so you have great cell phone coverage no matter where you are.

    Patrick Gallagher on
  • So these DAS designs can boost cell phone signals. However, what could weaken a cellphone signal? What weakens them so you need a DAS in your building?

    Bobby McCoy on
  • Thanks for the distributed antenna system tutorial. I’ve heard the terms das installers and das installation companies, but I didn’t know what DAS stood for. Someone told me that there are certain situations where cell phone boosters aren’t ideal so it’s good to know distributed antenna system designs can remedy this problem. DAS installation companies sound like they have a solid plan for anyone who needs a DAS installed in their facility.

    Bert Kerpacknick on

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