MineAx® MultiHop Mesh Tracking RFID Reader

Introducing the new MSHA-Approved MultiHop Mesh adaptation for MineAx RFID Tracking System. This new feature makes it possible to have a completely wireless deployment of personnel and asset tracking where you need it most.

Any MineAx tracking RFID reader can be configured to form a true wireless mesh network using the new MultiHop radio technology. These readers will work as a team to relay tracking information back through the Ultracomm® distributed antenna system, where it travels to the surface for processing and display. This design is particularly useful for areas that are distant from the distributed antenna system or areas that are rapidly changing. In certain applications, the MultiHop Readers may be deployed throughout the operation, creating an independent wireless communications system, apart from the distributed antenna communications system.



tracking reader


  • Compatible with any existing UHF / VHF distributed antenna system
  • Compatible with 900 Mhz frequency.
  • MultiHop Mesh Gateway readers
  • High power RFID tag units
  • Powered by rechargeable internal 6VDC battery; easily removed for charging


  • Ideal in locations where moves occur on a regular basis
  • Provides minimum amount of infrastructure re-deployment
  • MSHA approved and currently installed in over 40 mines
  • Easily rearrange and extended as needed
  • No cords, wires, fiber optics or other connections
  • Non line-of-sight ranges of 400+ feet in a 42″ seam


How does the MultiHop system work (installation protocols)?

The MultiHop system works in conjunction with any existing Tunnel Radio UHF / VHF System, or any other manufacturer’s distributed antenna system, and existing MineAx Tracking Systems. You may choose to install the MultiHop system independently of any distributed antenna system backbone as well. Either way, in areas where being ‘all wireless’ is critical, the MultiHop option is now available.

Installation is simple:

  1. Replace the standard MineAx Tracking Reader with a MultiHop ‘Gateway’ reader. This unit is typically AC powered, and should be installed close to the radio communications network, for surface connectivity.
  2. Next, the remote MultiHop readers are installed within wireless range of the ‘Gateway’ reader unit—typically, up to 400 feet away. Thereafter, the readers may be deployed as long as they are within range of each other, or the ‘Gateway’ reader.
  3. The ‘Gateway’ unit then gathers tracking information from each of the MultiHop readers and relays that information to the surface. For speed in processing incoming tag data, a maximum of four MultiHop readers per ‘Gateway’ reader is recommended.
What range can I expect?

Tunnel Radio RFID tags can be seen up to 400 feet away (line-of-sight) from a reader. Notwithstanding, typical range for solid communications between readers is at least 300 feet.

How can it be truly wireless?

The MineAx battery-powered MultiHop reader requires no cords, wires, fiber optics or other connections outside the mine. RFID tag data are passed by radio signals between readers to create a complete pathway back to the distributed antenna system backbone. Typical deployment is one reader per zone.

Can readers be re-located?

Yes, and moving the readers requires little downtime and labor. Workers simply remove the tag readers and reattach them in their new locations. Connectivity is displayed on the reader LEDs and also on the surface computer. In currently operating installations, crews have successfully advanced the wireless MultiHop readers numerous times without additional technical assistance.

Has this been tested?

The Tunnel Radio (MSHA Approved) MineAx Tracking System is tested and tough, with hundreds of miles of proven installations.

What about battery life?

Our MultiHop reader uses an internal 6VDC rechargeable battery. The battery is easily removed for recharging. Operational life is approximately 5 to 8 days. Unit is equipped with low battery indicators.