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Protecting Your DAS Equipment During Renovation Projects

Preventative Steps to Protect Equipment Can Save Time and Money

When undertaking renovations or construction projects, protecting your existing DAS infrastructure is essential to avoid damaging the individual components. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for coaxial cables or antennas to be damaged during construction – especially across large campuses where there seem to be continuous improvements or renovations occurring.

By taking on a few extra steps and small expenses to protect your equipment during the construction and renovation, you’ll likely save your organization a substantial amount of money by avoiding costly repairs or replacements.

Why Are DAS Repairs So Expensive?

There is a common misconception among construction workers that replacing coaxial cables disrupted during renovation is a quicker and more cost-effective solution than taking preventative measures to avoid damage in the first place. However, workers often opt to cut cables in their way, preserving only the antennas. The reasoning is that the cables are relatively inexpensive – and while that’s true, the cost of replacing the cables coupled with the installation time, expense, and the subsequent testing costs once the system installation is complete drives up the overall cost.

Whether installing a new DAS or addressing partial damage due to construction or other causes, DAS integrators must conduct tests to guarantee signal quality and overall system performance.

Three tests are most common for carrier-grade DAS:

  • Sweep and PIM (Passive Intermodulation) tests for coaxial cable in multiple frequencies
  • OTDR and Optical Loss Tests for fiber
  • CW (Continuous Wave) test on the completed system

These tests identify faults or defects in the system, ensure signal continuity at intended frequencies, minimize signal loss during transmission, and reduce interference. Depending on the nature of the damage, conducting one or all three tests may be necessary and – whether purchased or rented – the equipment required for these tests is quite expensive.

How To Minimize DAS Repair Costs

The most straightforward and effective way to minimize DAS repair costs is to contact the individuals responsible for maintaining the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) or contact the original system integrator who constructed the DAS before you start any construction. By speaking with them, you can ensure that your contractors and their teams know exactly where vital equipment and cables are located so that nothing is accidentally (or intentionally) damaged.

If you cannot contact the team who originally installed the system, follow the steps below to do your due diligence in determining where equipment is located.

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