Bird, TXRX Systems brand, model 613-8 series signal boosters are designed to operate in both the 700 and 800 MHz bands. The filtering is handled by digital signal processing. It has 14 to 30 digital filters, which are programmable from 6.25 KHz up to 12 MHz. This paper is designed as a quick setup reference guide for interfacing with the SBIII. Since every signal booster application is different, this should be used as a reference aid only. For a more detailed description on any of the steps mentioned, please refer to the operation manual.
The initial setup can be completed either as part of a pre - installation bench test, or after its installation into a distributed antenna system (DAS). Before operating the signal booster in a system, it is critical that the antenna to antenna isolation is measured. The process for doing this is explained in the operation manual. This isolation should be at least 15 dB or greater than the maximum gain setting of the signal booster. For example, if the signal booster gain is 80dB, you will need at least 95 dB of antenna to antenna isolation. This will prevent the signal booster from oscillating, which can produce unwanted noise, and potentially damage the device.
To communicate with the Signal Booster III, the user will need a few basic items.
- A laptop computer, with a network interface card installed
- A CAT-5 Crossover Cable
- Internet Explorer Web Browser or Mozilla Firefox ESR.
- JAVA runtime environment version 1.8.0 or later installed. This can be found free of charge from Sun Microsystems website at http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp
There are a few different ways to connect and communicate with the SBIII, but for this discussion, we will use the direct connect method.
Step 1: Ensure power has been applied to the signal booster, and connect the laptop computer to the Ethernet port on the control card assembly.
Once the connection has been made, the left most status LED built in to the LAN port will flash either amber or green. After about a few seconds, this light will begin to flash rapidly. This will indicate that a good connection between the laptop and the signal booster has been successfully achieved. The faster the flashing, the faster the connection will be.
Step 2: Open up the laptop computers web browser. In the address bar, type the signal boosters shipped address, “http://192.168.1.1” and select enter.
The signal booster’s web interface will begin to load. If nothing appears at first, it may be necessary to change the IP address of your laptop so that both devices are operating within the same IP subnet. For instance, if the booster has an IP address of 192.168.1.1, then the laptop might be configured for an IP address of 192.168.1.10. The procedure to change the laptops IP address can be found in the operation manual.
Step 3: Move your cursor to the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, and click on User Administration, shown in below. This will bring up the screen to enter the systems Username, and Password. The default user info is as follows; Username: admin / Password: admin
Once the correct Username and Password are entered, click on the Submit. This will open up a new menu item in the left-hand menu, the Control Panel. Click on this menu item to begin loading the signal booster parameters.
*Note, Java runtime environment is needed for the interface to load properly. If Java is not enabled, is not installed, or you are using an incompatible browser (e.g. Chrome, Standard version of Firefox), it will redirect you the Java Download site, and will not load the interface.*
When the signal booster’s configuration settings have been loaded, the first screen to appear will be the Filters Tab. This tab will display all the available Filters for each Filter Link selected. The Filters page will display information regarding the Name, Frequency, Bandwidth, and Output Power of each Filter shown. To select a different Filter Link; e.g. 700MHz Uplink, move the laptop’s cursor over to the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner. Click the arrow, highlight the desired Filter Link, and select it. This allows the user to view the different parameters for each Filter Link available.
Step 3: In order for the Signal Booster III to operate properly, all the available channels need to be populated with information before proceeding. This is regardless of whether the channel is in use or not. The Filters page shown below shows a 14-filter model with all 14 filters populated for the 700MHz Downlink. The frequencies shown are generic and will be spaced out every 500 KHz. If the Filters page does not show a similar setup, a Factory Reset should be performed for each Link. *Perform this only if the screen looks different from the one shown. *
To perform a Factory Reset, select the Link page. This is done by clicking on the Link tab at the top of the screen. Click on the Factory Reset Command Button to the left of the page. Once selected, a pop up note will appear asking if you are sure you want to do this. Select Ok for the Factory reset to begin; Figure 7.
*Note: The Factory reset erases all Filter information, and populates it with generic info. This will erase any information that may have been entered up to this point. This process will result in all PA assemblies being turned off, displaying a Red LED on each assembly. This is normal operation. Repeat the process for each Link available.
Step 4: The signal booster gains should be set to a minimal amount. The BDA should have been Factory set to 60dB Gain. This will give the user the flexibility to increase the gain to a suitable level during the final system setup. If it is not, the gain should be reduced to start. To change the Maximum Gain setting, select the Link tab. Under Settings, which is in the middle of the screen, reduce the Max Gain 60dB. This can be reduced even further if desired. This is done by selecting and typing in the space provided. Click on the Submit button to save.
Step 5: The Max Output power is factory set for 34dBm. If not, select and type 34 dBm into the space provided (or highest number allowed). Click the Submit button again to save.
*Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each Link available.*
Step 7: Select the Filter Detail Tab. The SBIII can operate as a channelized, windowed, or broadband signal booster. Each signal booster installation will be different and may require its own unique approach. For the purpose of this paper the channelized method will be used.
Step 8: Select and highlight the desired Link to enter Filter information for, e.g. 700MHz Downlink. This is found in the upper left Link drop down menu. Select and highlight Filter 1 using the drop down menu directly below, Figure 8.
Step 9: Naming the Filter. Click on the space provided next to Name, and type a name for the Filter; e.g. Filter 1. This is at the top center of the Filter Detail page.
Step 10: Enter the center frequency that needs to be passed. This is done by typing the center frequency into the space provided next to Center Frequency, e.g. 764.50000.
Step 11: The factory set Desired Output Power for each filter is factory set for -10dBm. It is assumed the end user will adjust this up. To adjust this, type in the desired Output Power in the space provided, e.g. 34 dBm for a single filter
*Note: The sum total output power cannot have a composite output greater than the maximum output power setting on the Links page; i.e. If 1 filter is 34dBm per channel, then 2 filters would be approximately 31dBm per channel. 3 filters would be approximately 29 dBm per channel, and so on. If a value greater than the sum total is entered, a warning message will be given.
Step 12: The SBIII is shipped with a predetermined ideal OLC Hold and Decay time. To ensure this setting, select the “APCO P25 Phase 2” OLC setting from the drop down menu. This will auto fill the OLC Hold and OLC Decay times in the spaces provided.
Step 13: Select and design a filter from the Filter drop down menu. The SBIII comes preloaded with pre deigned filter settings. The actual choices will be determined by a number of factors, but ideally, a filter should be designed to pass its own channel, with a minimum amount of Delay time. The factory designed 12.5 KHz Low Delay filter accomplishes this for most scenarios.
Step 14: Enter the desired Carrier Squelch Level in the space provided; ensuring the Carrier Squelch checkbox is enabled. The value of this number is determined by the amplitude of the incoming signals. In summary, you want this value to be set to a value equal to or less than the lowest donor signal level. This will ensure the filter is enabled when an incoming signal is present. The SBIII is factory set for -80dBm.
*Note: it is not advised to operate the BDA with the Squelch turned off. This will result in the filter operating in a constant enabled state, and will result in an elevated noise floor around the programmed frequency.
Step 15: Once all the items above have been entered, click on the Submit button to save all the filter settings. Then click the Enable Command button to begin operation of the filter.
*Note: Repeat steps 7 through 15 for each filter that needs to be programmed.*
An example of the Filter Detail Tab can be seen below. It includes all the items that were mentioned in the steps above.
When all the filters for each Link have been programmed, select the Filters page. A summary of all the programmed filters will be viewable.
The signal booster in this example has been programmed with four filters per Link. Currently the 700MHz Downlink is visible. Information about the Filter Names, Center Frequency, and Output Power can be seen. Each Filter that has been set up for use has a check mark in the column labeled En. This means they have been enabled for use. Anything without a check mark will be inactive, regardless of the information that is seen. This may help to differentiate what is active and what is not. The first line of the “Filters” page, which has no label, shows the composite input power applied to the signal booster and the composite output power of all filters together.
After all the steps have been completed, the signal booster is ready for testing. For more information regarding any of the steps listed in this paper, please refer to the signal booster’s operation manual.