Part 2 Issue with deploying enterprise wireless in the mining industry


This is continuing on form Part 1 which can be found in the below link

Issue of deploying Enterprise wireless in the Mining environment Part 1


The aim of this blog is to highlight some of the common issues that I have faced when designing and installing enterprise wireless network in the mining industry.

Wireless technology deployed on sites is Cisco.

A picture paints a thousand words, so I am going use them as part of my explanations.

AP Placement:


Picture: one CAT795F dump truck in a 8 bay garage

Picture above, highlights many issues I face with Antenna selection and AP placement.

  • Overhead mobile cranes systems, can dislodge APs or cause shadow zones
  • Heavy vehicles (massive tonka trucks)
  •  Insulation on walls and roofs. Antenna selection and AP placement consideration need to be taken into account to avoid excess reflections

Part 3 will doing into the specific of AP placement.




Picture: CAT797B dump truck (RF Killer)



Picture 2: Cable trays

Running data and power cabling can be a very costly exercise given the size and structural design of the locations most installation required specialised equipment to be hired such as scaffolding, mobile elevated work platforms and at time cranes. All  equipment needs to be mine rated and requires  permits and license to operate.

Existing cable trays are often used for LV and HV cabling so alternate paths are need for data.



Picture: Coal wash plant

Certain locations where client devices may operate are extremely problematic for RF propagation and AP installation, sometimes the customer may need to be educated and shown an alternate solution as ubiquitous coverage is not always  possible in certain environments as well considering the cost.


Picture: Water plant

  • AP’s require maintenance, due to getting covered in material$$$
  • AP’s require specialised  engineered mounting brackets due to excessive vibration
  • AP life span is reduce due chemicals and material in area.

Some site contain locations that  are rather old and contain asbestos which can be a headache for the installation of cabling and AP’s


Locations can be remote with no connection back to the main site, so a P2P link sometimes is required, but over time the link stops working and you discover that the mine has decided to put a massive stock of ore which once use to be road that now blocks the link.

Rogue Networks

Mine site use wireless mesh network for there production networks and mobile fleets, technologies suchs as Rajant and TropOS are the most common I have seen, which can operate up 4watts.


Picture: Rajant Breacrumbs Antennas installing workshop

Apart form the ACI and CCI issue they can cause, some locations  have business SSID being broadcast over the mesh network. When a fleet vehicle enters a non-production are it can cause client connectivity issues given the EIRP and client behaviour. A simple solution would be to remove it from SSID form the meshed network but nothing is simple.

Contracting company’s  install there on wireless networks, most of the time its with the default 80MHz wide channels.


Mice eating newly installed fibres, this occurs often over the winter period. To install mice traps etc. requires approval which can be difficult depending on sitemice eat fibre.PNG

Picture: Mice have chewed fibre( notice the paw prints and mice shit).


Part 3 will address AP placement and considerations  to provide wireless coverage based

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