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Videotronics takes Wi-Fi to Queensland mine

Videotronics takes Wi-Fi to Queensland mine

Mackay-based reseller, Videotronics, has rolled out a wireless mesh network for the Ensham Resources mine in Queensland.

The Wi-Fi network runs across a mixture of 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz spectrum and employs both 802.11a and 802.11g products from wireless vendor, Strix Systems.

Engineer and radio technician, Ko Lane, said the rollout involved 12 hotspots around the 26km site, as well as antenna and receivers. It had also provided a new dragline. The mesh network would be used by the mine to relay information, monitor site systems and update programs remotely.

"It's not 100 per cent coverage but, depending on the receivers we use, we can get access anywhere with line of sight," he said. The mesh network offered throughput speeds of up to 30Mbps.

The network cost more than $300,000 to install. Videotronics has also rolled out security camera systems and solar power systems at the mine.

The Ensham deal was one of six Wi-Fi network rollouts the reseller had won across various mining sites, Lane said. While some of its customers had previously maintained point-to-point solutions, mesh technology was becoming popular because it provided more durable coverage.

"Before, it was possible for the whole network failed if one point failed," he said. "Mesh re-routes the data and allows the network to stay live while maintenance and repairs take place."

Another factor driving mesh uptake was the international standardisation of 802.11g technology, Lane said. This had seen all manner of mining equipment - from haul trucks to tyre level monitor systems - use 802.11g-compatible products.


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