Enclosures, Cabling & Connectors

Becker Mining offers multiple smart voice and data radio channels

May 2023 Enclosures, Cabling & Connectors

Becker Mining’s Smartcom VHF leaky feeder system offers the mining sector multiple simultaneous voice and data radio channels, with low intermodulation noise levels to ensure clear and reliable communications underground at all times. This system, which ensures dependable underground communications, has advanced technological features for reliability, flexibility, and low maintenance requirements.

This advanced futureproof system, with a modular design and the latest technological enhancements, has the option of local and remote diagnostic amplifiers, with manual and automatic gain control, to ensure all installations, and subsequent upgrades and maintenance procedures are safe and effortless.

Critical features of the VHF system include the widest bandwidth and highest RF gain amplifiers available, a common amplifier platform, automatic and manual gain modes, a supply voltage range from 5 to 36 V DC, and a two-year component and workmanship warranty.

Applications for Becker leaky feeder systems include mine-wide voice communication networks, medium-speed mobile data, local and portable video monitoring, and distributed control and monitoring networks. This system is also designed for wide area antenna coverage.

The low-maintenance Smartcom system provides multiple simultaneous noise-free voice and data radio channels, offering one of the lowest cost of ownership systems on the market. Narrowband radio modems can also be used to provide a 9600 bps fixed/mobile data connection over the entire coverage area of the leaky feeder network.

The industry-leading 30 MHz bandwidth allows multiple voice and data channels that operate simultaneously, with low intermodulation noise levels. The RF gain pilotless amplifier, with automatic and manual gain modes, allows amplifiers to be installed at greater distances along the network, reducing the required components. The automatic gain mode allows the amplifiers to intelligently alter gain levels independently, as the system grows and changes. This mode effectively reduces system maintenance requirements and costs.

Smartcom does not require a return pilot signal to operate, which is an important advantage for users. In automatic mode, the amplifier makes use of a forward pilot system that is more advanced than systems that utilise a return pilot. In automatic mode, the product monitors the RF strength of the forward pilot signal from the base station at each amplifier, and automatically adjusts to ensure the communications network is running at its optimum, even as the system is being reconfigured.

The Smartcom VHF leaky feeder system is designed with local diagnostics via three onboard LED indicators as standard. This unit facilitates fault finding, and system troubleshooting by being able to quickly identify the faulty component, and communicate relevant information on the display unit, thus reducing downtime and repair costs. This amplifier is suitable for installations that do not require the added expense of Ethernet, and where remote diagnostics are not necessary.

In addition, Smartcom supports telemetry, and can be used for effectively controlling underground environmental monitoring systems and motor protection (ventilation fans and pump motors and cavitation). This advanced system is also used to control cable theft, asset and personnel tagging and tracking, and conveyor management systems, including rip detection, pull key systems, and conveyor motor protection.

Important information is communicated efficiently back to mine control systems for optimum productivity and to enhance safety. These Smartcom products support both analogue and digital radio repeaters, providing the flexibility of choice of radio infrastructure.

Smartcom systems are compatible with other leaky feeder systems and can be installed in existing networks. The majority of Smartcom installations worldwide make use of Becker’s industry-leading remote diagnostic amplifier. This unit has the functionality to send information to a server installed on the surface, enabling a control room operator to retrieve relevant information, such as DC line voltage, downstream RF power, the automatic gain control/manual gain control modes and attenuator settings via a web-based user interface. This is particularly useful in the event of a system fault, as the operator can easily identify precisely where the problem is and what equipment may be needed to repair the fault.

The user-friendly web-based software is available with OPC server connectivity, allowing maximum inter-operability with other scada/HMI applications or any other OPC compatible client, such as Becker’s own MineView software application package.

For more information contact Rick Jacobs, Becker Mining South Africa, +27 11 617 6300, info@za.becker-mining.com, www.za-becker-mining.com

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