All About VHF Leaky Feeder Systems

All mines require a low-maintenance communication system to maintain efficiency and safety. The system consists of a radio, usually a mobile radio in the case of a vehicle-mounted unit or a portable radio for use inside buildings or below ground where it is impractical to have a mobile radio. Also included are an antenna and some form of feeder line to connect the antenna to the radio.

The traditional way to install these systems was to use a series of cables and brackets which support the feeder line as it passes from the roof of the mine to where it connects to the radio. This system is known as “hardline” and means that cables need to be routed through points such as ventilation shafts.

Where access for cabling is limited, such as in very dusty conditions, the feeder line is run outside of air intake shafts or in piping to protect it. This type of installation is known as “leaky” or “leaky feeder”. 

The most common method of leaky feeders is to use a length of coaxial cable with the inner conductor simply pushed through a hole drilled through the roof to connect with the radio antenna. The cable is then secured in place.

The cable can be modified to include various taps for data transfer or expansion and the system offers some of the lowest costs of ownership for installation and maintenance in any VHF communication solution. 

With local diagnostic support, you can get easy support systems for repairs and simple fault finding through our leaky feeder installations. If you would like to learn more about our VHF Leaky Feeder Systems, please contact us today. We can help you upgrade your mine communication systems with modern and reliable solutions for your communications.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Tunnel communication system and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.

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