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Communication System Design And Improvement - 5.1 Introduction; Underground Mine Communications, Control And Monitoring
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    This chapter analyses the parameters influencing initial design of communication systems, for new mines and upgrading existing systems. Paragraph 5.2 outlines those variables that must be taken into account during the design stages of a new wired phone system. Recommended features, general requirements, and how they can be implemented are treated in this section. Paragraph 5.3 describes ways of improving or extending the range of trolley carrier phone systems and pager phone systems already installed in the mine. 5.2 New Phone System Design The task of designing an adequate communication, control, and monitoring system for an underground mine must be addressed on a system basis. In addition to insuring that effective voice communication is established, any new system should take into account present and future requirements of remote control and monitoring functions. Chapter 4 illustrated the drastic savings in response time that can be realized when remote control and monitoring are integrated into the overall communication system. The importance of including control and monitoring in the overall design plan for any system cannot be overemphasized. Because each mine is unique, and thus usually has its own special operating characteristics and communication requirements, there is no such thing as "the one best system" to meet the requirements of all mines. The optimum communication, control, and monitoring system for a mine must be one that has been tailored to meet the special requirements of that particular mine. Factors that must be considered during system design include- a. Type of mine and mining methods (low- or high-seam coal, deep hardrock mine, stope caving, longwall, room and pillar, etc.). b. Maximum number of working sections. c. Expected mine growth rate and eventual maximum size. d. Haulage methods (tracked trolley, diesel, belt, etc.). e. Underground power distribution system (dc, ac, or both). f. Features desired (two-way radio paging, private line capability for emergency use, etc.). g. Redundant or backup systems for use during outages of the normal system. Although no two mines are alike, the following items have been established as the main characteristics desired for any underground communication system: 1. Multiple Communication Paths to Outside--the objective here is to give all telephones a second method of communicating with the surface. 2. Audible Emergency Signaling--the communication system provides the main means of alerting miners during emergencies. The system should include means to broadcast distinct audible signals for emergency signaling. Initiation of these signals should probably be controlled from. a central outside point, such as a surface control room. 3. Emergency Override--provisions should be included to permit any conversation to be overridden with emergency communication. 4. Selective Area Page--as mines grow larger it is apparent that the entire telephone system paging mode need not be activated each time a call is initiated. When the general area of a

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