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 a leaky feeder cable work?
What is a leaky feeder?
A leaky feeder cable also known as a ‘radiating cable’ is an alternative to a traditional network of RF antennas. Comparatively, a normal feeder cable is what is used to connect a repeater to an antenna and is designed to trap a signal within the cable and inhibit any other interfering signals penetrating the cable. In contrast, a leaky feeder cable is specially designed to ‘leak’ signal out of the cable in a controlled manner. Simultaneously, the leaky feeder 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.
When do you need a leaky feeder?
In circumstances like tunnel works where it is impractical to install a network of traditional RF antennas or where Licensing restrictions limit signal from radiating outside of a building like a large building in a city centre, Leaky Feeder may be a good option.
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.
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 feeder systems to a number of companies throughout the UK.