A leaky feeder is a communication cable used in underground mines, tunnels, and other confined spaces to provide reliable communication between workers and the surface. The main purpose of a leaky feeder is to extend radio coverage in areas where traditional communication methods such as mobile phones or walkie-talkies may not work due to poor signal strength or interference.
A leaky feeder consists of a coaxial cable with small gaps or slots along its length, which allow radio signals to leak out and provide coverage in the surrounding area. The cable is typically installed along the walls or ceilings of a mine or tunnel, and it acts as a distributed antenna system, providing continuous communication coverage over a large area.
In addition to providing communication coverage, a leaky feeder can also be used for tracking and monitoring purposes. By adding specialized tags or sensors to the cable, it is possible to track the location of workers and equipment, monitor environmental conditions such as temperature and air quality, and detect potential hazards such as gas leaks or fires.
Overall, the purpose of a leaky feeder is to provide reliable communication coverage in underground mines, tunnels, and other confined spaces, where traditional communication methods may not work. By extending radio coverage and providing additional features such as tracking and monitoring, a leaky feeder can help improve safety and productivity in these environments.
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 leaky feeder systems mining 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.