Originally posted on 2:11 PM on June 14, 2024
Last updated on June 24, 2024

components of a BDA system

Components of a BDA System

By: Kati Bucciero on June 14, 2024
Last Updated: June 24, 2024

A BDA system or bi-directional amplifier system is also known as a signal amplifier. It amplifies the radio frequency simultaneously in two directions. The signal goes from an individual to the radio repeater system and also from the radio repeater system to the individual. Learn more about factors that can impact the signal strength of Bi-Directional Amplifiers here

BDA systems are classified as life safety systems must be monitored by the building fire alarm system. As such, they are typically purchased with the fire alarm system and installed by a qualified contractor

What Are a BDA System’s Components?

The main components to a BDA system are as follows:

  • donor antenna is installed on the roof of the building pointed toward the public safety radio repeater site. It does not need a line of sight and has high gain and high directivity.
  • Coaxial cables connect the donor antenna to the BDA and are usually a half-inch in diameter. Some jurisdictions have labeling requirements.
  • Signal splitters and couplers are used for signal distribution and come in different coupling values.
  • RF connectors are installed by a technician using a specialized tool and are designed to work at radio frequencies in the multi-megahertz range.
  • DAS antennas are distributed antennas. Fiberglass stick antennas tend to perform best. Other low-profile options are available.
  • battery backup provides 24 hours of emergency power in case of failure.
  • dedicated monitoring panel/annunciator panel is required and is independent of the fire alarm system. It is powered by the BDA power supply and battery backup. It can be installed on a two-gang electrical box.
  • fire alarm panel connection is the way to connect the BDA to the fire alarm system to allow for monitoring. Signals may include donor antenna malfunction, BDA failure, low battery, loss of normal AC power, and failure of a battery charger.

Each jurisdiction is different, and which frequencies and channels are required in your jurisdiction may vary. Click here to contact us for a consultation. 

While many customers are looking to install a new BDA system for the first time, Century Fire Protection can also handle upgrade or replacement needs for BDA systems. Contact us here to ensure your people and property are protected with the proper emergency response system.

Ultimate BDA Cheat Sheet Download CTA


Topics: BDA