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Solutions To The Communication Requirements - 3.1 Introduction; Underground Mine Communications, Control And Monitoring
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  • Description:
    Three types of communication systems have become popular in solving communication requirements underground: Loud-speaking pager phones, carrier current phones, and magneto ringing phones. Basically, all three are simply single-channel party line systems. Although these systems are quite reliable, the single channel creates a variety of problems. For example- 1. Since no call is confidential, messages are sometimes purposely made vague, especially if accidents or safety topics are being discussed. 2. A potential user must literally "wait in line" until the channel becomes clear for his use; thus, when foremen have to wait to call in reports or supply requests, this single chan-nel creates a serious productivity bottleneck. 3. In many large mines, there are independent branch lines that must be tied together by a dispatcher, adding further delays to the system. To solve these problems, some mines have installed other phone systems-mostly commercial dial phones in industrial enclosures that offer extra channel capacity and private line features. Others have installed a system that combines both dial- and page-phone features in a single unit. Although these do represent improvements, they do not truly solve the overall problems that face modern mines. Besides extra channels, a communication system should have the following features to enhance productivity and safety: 1. A means of paging a roving miner to alert him that he is wanted on the phone. 2. Wireless-to-wired system interconnects by which a miner can talk on the wired phone system by using a remote portable radio. 3. Remote monitors that alert personnel when there is a toxic or explosive gas buildup. 4. Control interfaces that allow remote control of fans, pumps, or other devices. 5. Transmitters and receivers that can serve as emergency links. 6. Loopback that allows an alternate path of communications if the main path is cut. This chapter focuses on equipment and methods to meet the special communication needs of individuals in various places of the underground mine. The communication requirements can be broken down into four categories: 1. The mine entrance (shaft communication). 2. Permanent and semipermanent locations (shop areas, lunchroom, crusher stations, etc.). 3. Mining areas (the room-and-pillar sections, longwall faces, block caving areas, etc.). 4. Haulageways (tracked trolley haulage, diesel, belt haulage). Methods of implementing systems to meet the communication needs of these areas are described in sections 3.2 through 3.5. Section 3.6 discusses methods of satisfying special communication requirements that exist. Major topics in this category include communications with roving personnel, the isolated miner, and motorman-to-snapper communications. Emergency communication systems are described in section 3.7.Detecting and

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