Leaky Feeder- The Ultimate Guide
Leaky Feeder, also often known as radiating cable, may sound complicated but can often provide the best solution in terms of quality and RF coverage for your business or project. What does it do? And which businesses and projects should use a leaky feeder installation instead of two way radio and other communication solutions? Read on for answers to those questions alongside expert information and advice about leaky feeder systems.
What is a leaky feeder?
Essentially, a Leaky Feeder acts as functioning extended antenna and is specialist coaxial cable that emits radio frequencies from point A to B. So, where there is leaky feeder cable there is signal.
The reason as to why they are named ‘Leaky feeder’ is due to the ‘leaking’ of signal that comes from the gaps in the copper casing surrounding the cable.
In simple terms, most co-axial cables have a copper shield surrounding the cable but as mentioned, a leaky feeder has small gaps with allow signal to be transmitted and received back and forth between communicators.
What is beneficial about leaky feeder, is that assets such as couplers and splitters can be used to send extended lengths of cable down different pathways and wireless devices can interface with the feeder, to allow for seamless two-way communication.
What does this mean for your business?
A Leaky feeder installation is a permanent solution, with ensures 24/7 communication when required and is ideal in emergency situations, where easy access to communication is needed.
To take an example, a hotel may need to provide RF coverage to all service areas, and to do this, multiple antenna’s would be required throughout the building (distributed antenna system). A Leaky feeder dramatically reduces the number of access points required and provides a permanent, higher quality solution, beneficial for both staff and guests.
What types of business and projects can leaky feeder systems benefit?
Leaky Feeders are commonly used in venues or spaces where communications tend to be difficult due to signal issues or where is it difficult to obtain an OFCOM licence for an antenna system. While Two-way radios can achieve excellent coverage in areas which mobile phones and other communication devices cannot, in certain circumstances, such as particular types of lifts, tunnels and or in basements they may struggle. This can be a major problem for those who work continuously in these areas such as; construction, mining, shopping centers and buildings where fire regulations stipulate the London Fire Brigade must have radio coverage. By having a leaky feeder system installed and in place, this ensures safety for all in the work place and consistent lines of communication, temporarily or permanently depending on the venue or project.
Choose a company with expertise for your business’ leaky feeder installation
Wall to Wall Communications have provided and recommended Leaky Feeder solutions to a range of companies in London, Surrey, Sussex and the UK. Including delivering for projects such as the Tottenham Court Road Underground Upgrade.
In this particular example, Wall to Wall were presented with the project and objective of achieving seamless two-way radio communications to everybody on site, particularly those who were working below ground and ensuring employees and the thousands of people commuting across this area where kept safe. The system needed to be robust, reliable and to be able to provide a multitude of channels- this is where Leaky Feeders came into play and met the criteria.
Wall to Wall provided a Digital Motorola MOTOTRBO system (Motorola DP3400, Motorola DP3600 and Motorola DP3000 repeaters) with multiple channels and Integrated telephone connectivity solution, as well as the integrated underground solution of using a leaky feeder antenna system.
Using the leaky feeder system, ensured efficiency throughout the completion of the project, provided great coverage of communication and in addition, the system also included text messaging and voice clarity features.
In conclusion, Leaky feeders provide an incredibly beneficial solution in the two-way communication world. They provide and guarantee easy communication in busy and hard to access locations. Without a doubt having one installed can benefit a company a great deal in terms of efficiency and safety.