What Is the Difference Between UHF and VHF Leaky Feeder?
Leaky feeder systems are communication systems commonly used in underground mines, tunnels, and other confined spaces where traditional communication methods may need to be revised. These devices use cables with small slots or holes along their length that allow radio signals to leak out and be received by communication devices. Not all leaky feeder systems are created equal; two common varieties include UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) leaky feeders.
UHF vs. VHF Leaky Feeder
A leaky feeder is a communication system utilized in underground mining operations to enable radio communication between workers and surface personnel. There are two varieties of leaky feeder systems: UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency). The primary distinction between them lies in their operating frequency ranges.
UHF leaky feeder systems operate within the 400-512 MHz frequency range, while VHF systems cover 136-174 MHz. As such, UHF systems possess higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths than their VHF counterparts, enabling them to penetrate better through rock or other obstructions in underground mining environments.
In addition to the difference in the frequency range, there are other distinctions between UHF and VHF leaky feeder systems:
- Distance: UHF leaky feeder systems have the advantage of covering longer distances than VHF systems due to their higher frequency which enables more power transmission over longer distances.
- Interference: VHF leaky feeder systems are less vulnerable to interference from other radio signals than UHF ones due to their longer wavelength, making them less vulnerable to obstructions and reflections.
- Bandwidth: UHF systems offer more bandwidth than VHF, enabling them to transmit more data faster.
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.