What is a Leaky Feeder Cable + How Does it Work?

leaky feeder

wall to wall comms




If you are working as part of a large business, two way radios can become a vital system in ensuring there is consistent and reliable communication between staff members. Large businesses often span multiple sites which makes reliable two way communication even more important but more difficult to obtain. Mobile phone signals cannot be relied upon as signal coverage can be patchy and inconsistent which can inhibit the safety and running of your business, which is where two way radios come in. Regardless of whether your business is based underground, in a rural area,  in a built up city with dense signal blocking buildings or spanning all three, two way radios can be your solution. With the help of a leaky feeder, your two way radio signal can be trusted to keep you in contact and your business running smoothly. But what is a leaky feeder, and how does it work?


What is a leaky feeder?

A leaky feeder cable can also be called a ‘radiating cable’. You can find them between a radio transmitter and the antenna. Comparatively, a normal feeder cable is designed to trap a signal within the cable and inhibit any other interfering signals penetrate the cable. In contrast, a leaky feeder cable is specially designed to ‘leak’ signal out of the cable in a controlled manner. Simultaneously, the cable will allow a controlled amount of signal to penetrate into the length of the cable. In summation, a leaky feeder cable essentially behaves like a very long antenna for radios, allowing the signal to reach where it would have not been able to without one. 

leaky feeder








When do you need a leaky feeder?

If you have a large business, you may have sites that span across the UK. These sites may include areas that are located underground, along shafts or tunnels where signal would typically struggle to reach. This is where a leaky feeder comes in…

A particular case study that Wall to Wall Communications worked on is the Tottenham Court Road Underground Upgrade. The challenge here was that the staff needed to be able to communicate from underground to above ground, penetrating thick layers of concrete. The solution was to install a leaky feeder antenna system. Installing a leaky feeder cable allowed for the staff working underground to have a consistent and clear connection with the workers above ground level, a vital function in the smooth running of the underground tunnel. 


Installing a leaky feeder

Businesses in need of a leaky feeder typically require this enhanced signal and communication 24 hours a day. For this reason, leaky feeders are generally installed on a permanent basis. However, if you only require one for a short period of time, for example, in an underground emergency, they can also be installed on a temporary basis.

With over 40 years of experience, Wall to Wall Communications are experts in two way radios and what is required to ensure signal is consistent, wherever you are based. Wall to Wall has installed leaky feeders to a number of companies throughout Sussex, London, Surrey and the rest of the UK.

If you have any questions about two way radio hire and how it can help your business or anything mentioned in this article, feel free to email, call us or use the form below. Email: info@walltowallcomms.co.uk , Phone: 0208 770 1007