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Introduction - 1.1 History Of Underground Communications; Underground Mine Communications, Control And Monitoring
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    Although the technology involved in removing material from below the earth's surface has a long history, communication systems in underground workings are relatively new to the industry. Communication equipment did not begin appearing in underground mines until the early 1900's. Figure 1-1 shows a miner using a Western Electric standard telephone set for underground mines in 1913. These early phones were essentially the same as those used aboveground, except that they were enclosed in cast-iron boxes as protection against moisture, acid fumes, and gases. In the 1950's, the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. of West Virginia introduced a telephone set for use in explosive atmospheres that was designed around the philosophy of explosion containment. To contain an explosion within the telephone set required a 39-pound casing, which greatly limited portability. [ ] Both of these telephone sets required "pipe" or conduit, not a very practical item for a 100-squaremile coal mine. A common thread prevalent in the first 40 years of design and development is that the primary effort was placed on the telephone set. In the early 19701s, as work began on the design of modern communication systems for use in underground mine environments, the following requirements were established: 1. Must meet intrinsic safety standards .--This applies not only to coal mines, but to other explosive environments. 2. Must be compatible with the environment.--The system must with- stand dust, moisture, and corrosive conditions. 3. Must be rugged in structure.-- The system must withstand maintenance by 10-inch pliers and 4-pound hammers, as well as impact from a falling piece of roof. 4. Must be size-flexible.--Whatever is built must be sized for the small operator as well as the large companies. 5. Must be a total system in design.--The system must be intrinsically safe, including cable, power supply, and station set. 6. Must work with present telephone system.--The system should be compatible with aboveground communications already in place; it should not be the single cause of change in aboveground communications. 7. Value-added pricing.--The system should be reasonably priced so that savings created by its introduction will more than offset the installation cost.

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