Mining specialists




Mining specialists

'Ex ia' Portable Radio's Now in Stock

After much anticipation, Illcom is now a stockist of the only Underground Approved Ex ia Portable Radio throughout Australia. We have a large amount of both UHF and VHF Radio's ready to be deployed throughout Australia's Underground Coal Mines.


For more information relating to the exciting breakthrough, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 1800 339339.


Illawarra Communications Pty Ltd is known throughout Australia and New Zealand as the Leading Solutions Provider to the Mining and Tunnelling Industry. Our main areas of expertise include Underground Communications Systems, Mine Tagging and Tracking Systems, Mine Data Collection and Underground Haulage Control Systems.

Leaky Feeder Systems

There are various methods available for underground radio systems for the distribution of Voice & Data, but the most versatile and reliable system is the so-called "Leaky Feeder" system. The Leaky Feeder cable or backbone is analogous to a surface antenna system.
A good leaky feeder system will provide the basis for not just basic two-way voice and data applications, but allow full telemetry control of remote equipment, such as pumps and fans.
The most effective and universally accepted frequency band for two-way voice, data and video is VHF. These frequencies cannot penetrate rock due to the high level of attenuation that they suffer, communication is primarily reliant on line of sight. An example of this problem is the inability of a commercial radio signal to broadcast through tunnels. On the surface, line of sight transmission is feasible, however, this is not always the situation in a mine.
To allow radio frequencies to function underground, it is necessary to replace a standard surface antenna system with a cable network. The cable networks can be installed to effectively radiate the signal throughout the mine. The cable utilised is designed to "leak" signal, which allows radio transmissions to both leak from the cable and also enter the cable.
The inherent loss of signal must be compensated for and this is achieved by the insertion of line amplifiers. The amplifiers are designed to compensate for a certain length of cable. Correct installation of the system will ensure that a consistent signal level is maintained throughout the network, hence throughout the mine.
Leaky Feeder technology is a combination of Leaky Feeder cable and Amplifiers. Other components can be added, but the backbone of the system comprises only these two elements.

Haulage Control Systems

Illawarra Communications RF Technicians have installed over 40 Underground Haulage Control Systems throughout Australia and New Zealand, with our team recently embarking on Design and Installation of our New LCM10 Controller for Dolly Car Control at Cook Colliery in Blackwater, Queensland. This project was undertaken to replace the original LCM10 Controller that was commissioned at the mine over 20 years ago. The outcome was a great success with a seamless installation involving the replacement of the Main PCB in the Controller without any complicated connection issues that arise in a mine environment. Our Team of Engineers and Service Technicians are very happy with the results of this project and the team at Illawarra Communications are looking forward to replacing the rest of the LCM10 Fleet in the near future.

Fibre Optics Systems

Designed specifically for the Customers Requirements, whether it be Voice, Data, Video, Illawarra Communications has installed a large number of Fibre Optic Communication Systems for Mines through Australia, giving the Customers a high speed Data Transfer System for monitoring many aspects of the mine, or a high speed Video Link with Voice available between the Miners underground and the Mines Main Control Room.

Our latest Fibre Optics Project was carried between Tahmoor Colliery and the Township of Tahmoor along the Rail Corridor. This was undertaken to provide vital Data on the movement of the rail track which passes directly over the mines underground operations. The System is made up of a 10 Switching Modules and a web of Fibre Optic cable running between the Switching Modules, specifically designed to allow for Full Redundancy in the case of a Switching Module Failure.