More communication options for underground mines

Ampcontrol’s new Intrinsically Safe Ethernet Switch (ISES) and Serial to Ethernet Converter (STEC) provides communication options in hazardous environments. ISES is used to interconnect other fibre optic Ethernet devices, forming an underground network. It uses an Ethernet based communication protocol over multiple or single mode fibre technologies at both 10 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s data rates. “STEC allows users to integrate new and existing serial devices such as VoIP phones, web cameras, PDAs and fixed and wireless sensors to Ethernet networks”, the company says.

Ampcontrol: “It serves as an interface between RS-485 serial devices and computer hosts running TCP or UDP protocols on an Ethernet network. As it is protocol insensitive it can connect devices or controllers running serial protocols to Ethernet networks; allowing underground operations to use products that were previously only available on surface.”

ISES and STEC, developed as part of the CSIRO NEXSYS project – an international collaborative research project, help to improve the levels of communication in underground coal mines along with improved data communication transfer and dissemination. It can also potentially lower infrastructure and maintenance costs combining a number of communication cable networks into a single Ethernet backbone.