Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring


Safety certification for Becker Electronics

September 2009 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Becker Electronics has recently obtained IECEx certification for intrinsic safety of the new Becker VHF and UHF portable two-way radios. This range has also obtained ATEX and Russian approval.

“These handheld radios, which are designed to minimise spark and thermal ignition potential when operated in areas classified as potential Group 1 gas hazardous locations, are the only approved radios available for the Australian coal market,” says Albert Bower, managing director of Becker Electronics. “What is critical is that these radios enable safe and continued use – even when hazardous gas is present during an underground emergency situation – which is when they are needed most.”

These UFMR and VFMR handheld professional radios are recommended for use with BeckerCOM radiating cable and distributed antenna systems that reticulate radio coverage to the underground environment. The Becker two-way radio system utilises this mobile underground backbone to facilitate two-way half-duplex voice communications between surface and underground, as well as underground to underground personnel.

Special features applicable to underground communication make these radios suitable for both hazardous and non-hazardous environments. These benefits, which include voting, allow the radio to look for and lock on to the best available repeater signals. Other advantages are the compact design of a miner’s portable underground equipment, enhanced by easy operation of the system.

This system can be used as a standalone point-to-point voice solution, or in combination with the Becker Electronics ANZex approved Leaky Feeder system, to provide reliable voice communications throughout a mine.

Channel selection and audio volume is easily controlled with two rotary dials located on top of the radio. The ‘lone worker’ feature provides additional safety for miners who work remotely, as well as for those working in hazardous areas. As long as buttons are pressed regularly, the radio operates normally. If there is a long lapse, the device will sound an alert. In the absence of further response from the user, the URMR and VFMR automatically place an emergency call to a pre-determined person.

These radios, which support the wide uplink and downlink frequency band split required by leaky feeder systems, have standard features that include multiple channels, emergency signalling, voice enhancement, man-down and telephony interface capabilities.

Becker portable radios provide easy operation, versatility and reliability for effective communication underground, to enhance safety for miners, even in hazardous environments.

For more information contact Albert Bower, Becker Electronics, +27 (0)11 801 5900, albertb@wbsa.co.za, www.za.becker-mining.com





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