How Does a Leaky Feeder System Work?

A leaky feeder radio system is a network of underground stations that transmit messages to miners working deep in a mine. These stations can be used for voice communication, text communication, or for sending and receiving shortwave broadcasts.

Let’s start from the top! The transmitter and receiver are located in the surface station. It is connected to a transmitter antenna. And it transmits signals to the receiver, which is located in a receiver antenna.

The signal transmitted from the surface station can be for either voice communication or text communication. It will also transmit any existing broadcasting signals transmitted by the public broadcasting stations in your region. The receiver located in the underground station will receive the signal from the transmitter. It will then decode and amplify the signal and broadcast it to miners through an antenna.

The transmitter is usually connected through a cable to a battery that supplies power for a time period ranging from 12 hours to 24 hours. The receiver is powered by solar energy or a small petrol generator connected to an inverter that powers a battery.

The batteries have two distinct functions: communication and power backup. The transmitter is connected to the battery and starts up. The battery charges for a period of time (usually 12 hours), depending on how much power needs to be transmitted to miners, and then switches off and charges again.

When the batteries are fully charged, the transmitter turns on and sends signals to the receiver. The receiver will then amplify the signal by using a crystal oscillator that works with a fixed frequency.

Becker Varis is a Leaky Feeder Radio System you can install at any point in your mine. It provides voice and text communication and lends itself to broadcasting signals from the public broadcasting stations. The transmitter and receiver are located in one surface station connected to a battery that charges for 12 hours, then switches off and charges again when needed.

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 Gas Monitoring Devices 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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