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Interstellar Communications
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Ning Leihrec
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revisiting this post with a lot of interest. Here's the breakdown of communication systems I use in my game. The degree of lag depends on the distance of the transmission and the quality of the device.

Comlink: Instant planetside communication / surface to orbit lag (instant-seconds) / in-system lag (seconds-minutes-hours)

Subspace Radio: Instant in-system communication / in-sector lag (minutes-hours-days) / trans-galactic lag (days-weeks)

Hyperspace Radio: Instant in-sector communication / trans-galactic lag (minutes-hours-days)

Holonet Transceiver: Instant trans-galactic communication

Courier Hyper-Droid: Slowest, most secure method of communication
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ning Leihrec wrote:
Revisiting this post with a lot of interest. Here's the breakdown of communication systems I use in my game. The degree of lag depends on the distance of the transmission and the quality of the device.

Comlink: Instant planetside communication / surface to orbit lag (instant-seconds) / in-system lag (seconds-minutes-hours)

Subspace Radio: Instant in-system communication / in-sector lag (minutes-hours-days) / trans-galactic lag (days-weeks)

Hyperspace Radio: Instant in-sector communication / trans-galactic lag (minutes-hours-days)

Holonet Transceiver: Instant trans-galactic communication

Courier Hyper-Droid: Slowest, most secure method of communication


I like this, but I'm still wondering if Rogue One makes a hash of this as Cassian on the U-wing traveling from Jedha to Eadu communicates with Yavin 4/Base One in realtime despite them being in separate sectors.

And this is to say nothing about the Death Star at Jedha and Base One at Yavin 4, both of which are at least halfway across the galaxy from Scarif, fiinding out about Rogue One's attack on the Citadel in realtime also. But then again, that can be explained by the Death Star finding out via the Holonet (damn straight that the Death Star would have its own Holotransceiver) and Base One likely pirated their way onto the Holonet to listen in on Imperial communications.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
I like this, but I'm still wondering if Rogue One makes a hash of this as Cassian on the U-wing traveling from Jedha to Eadu communicates with Yavin 4/Base One in realtime despite them being in separate sectors.


Is it real time? I'll have to go back and watch.

The scene could be interpreted as hours later and Cassian responding to a one-sided message.

Again, not sure about this. I'll have to watch it again.



He does seem to talk in real time to Yavin IV when he's on Eadu, though. That U-Wing must have a hopped up, military spec comm system.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't under the impression it was real-time comms; IIRC, most transmissions between Cassian and Yavin simply showed one or the other receiving a transmission, not an instantaneous back-and-forth conversation.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I wasn't under the impression it was real-time comms; IIRC, most transmissions between Cassian and Yavin simply showed one or the other receiving a transmission, not an instantaneous back-and-forth conversation.


There's one point while the U-wing is traveling to Eadu while Cassian is wearing the earphones where you hear the faint voice transmissions from Yavin 4, then the voice stops and Cassian immediately replies "Understood." and takes the headphones off. That certainly implies realtime communication, even if it doesn't outright confirm it.

But yeah, it looked like a realtime conversation to me, but since we don't see both sides conversing directly, it can't be confirmed.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or maybe "Understood" was him sending an acknowledgement transmission in return.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Or maybe "Understood" was him sending an acknowledgement transmission in return.


Quite true, now that I think about it. Rogue One doesn't show us everything that happened from Cassian arriving at the Ring of Kafrene to the Tantive IV jumping into hyperspace.

For example, we don't see how Cassian got back to Yavin 4 after getting the hell out of Kafrene.

Hell, the Battlefront X-wing VR game Youtube video shows how the U-Wing carrying Jyn Erso from Wobani to Yavin broke down in transit and you have to fly an X-wing to rescue it. You even get to hear K-2SO on the radio requesting assistance. And that happened between K-2SO saying to Jyn, "Congratualtions. You are being rescued. Please do not resist." and the next scene where we see the U-wing approaching Yavin. Alot happened between those two scenes.

One shot I really would have liked to see was the Death Star entering/exiting hyperspace. Oh sure, we saw the Death Star above Scarif when the Mon Cal Profundity officer said "Sir, something massive is emerging from hyperspace," but it had already completely reverted by the time the camera shifted to it. Sad
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one thing it does do is clarify that transmissions can be sent and received by ships in hyperspace. In book 2 of the Black Fleet Crisis, it was asserted that ships in HS were blind and deaf, so obviously that's out the window. However, the actual mechanics of the communication are never clarified, so the degree of communication is open to interpretation.

For something like this, I picture something like a simplistic, Morse Code-like message that comes through as a sentence or two, maybe even code words that only have meaning to the sender and receiver. Which would be appropriate for a ship like a U-Wing on an Intel mission.
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S-Foil
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always run hyperspace comms like repeaters/digipeters, it's in my ham nature. A sub space radio has an effective transmission range, 25-100ly. Transmissions are digitally encoded and can be further encrypted by any radio within the radio's range can pick up its signals.

Most sectors, especially along trade routes, maintain sub space repeaters. They pick up transmissions and retransmit them, marking the message as having been retransmitted. Because the relays are stationary and likely powered by capital scale power plants they have 100ly range.

In populous sectors and along major hyperspace routes anyone that can hit a repeater can make a circuit with another radio so they can have real-time comms. They can also leave messages in dropboxes for the recipient. BOSS for instance runs dropboxes for spacers, officially to notify them of dues, that most use for general purpose messages.

Besides some common best practices there's no governing body for sub space comms. Anyone can set up a sub space repeater so it's largely unregulated even during the Empire. The ISB and Imperial Intelligence in fact put a lot of effort into recording and decoding sub space radio traffic.

The HoloNet is a superset of that functionality. Instead of repeaters broadcasting in the blind HoloNet transceivers connect via S-tunnels to other transceivers and actively route messages through the network. Connecting to HoloNet a transceiver negotiates a up and downlink frequency which is why there's a lot more bandwidth available for things like realtime holographic communication.

The Alliance maintains a poor man's HoloNet with normal sub space relays. For major missions the Alliance will task ships to build a chain of repeaters to allow communications and then tear it all down at the end of the mission. There's no permanent infrastructure for the Empire to target or for the Alliance to maintain.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting thoughts here. I'm disinclined to allow subspace radios to access repeaters without some pretty severe drop off in efficiency as range increases, if only because having subspace be that effective would undercut the need for a Holo-Net. However, having subspace relays set up along known hyperspace routes makes good sense.
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S-Foil
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Some interesting thoughts here. I'm disinclined to allow subspace radios to access repeaters without some pretty severe drop off in efficiency as range increases, if only because having subspace be that effective would undercut the need for a Holo-Net. However, having subspace relays set up along known hyperspace routes makes good sense.


Sub space relays are automatically a thing if subspace radios can send and receive on separate channels simultaneously. Anyone can park in a system and set themselves up as a relay. They can also drop a GONK with a subspace radio strapped to their head in deep space to be a relay.

The main difference between subspace relays and full blown HoloNet is the repeaters are dumb. They just retransmit the incoming signal in the blind. All the users share the repeated channels so there's not enough bandwidth for full holographic messages and there's no guarantee of reception. They also need to avoid traffic on general purpose subspace bands.

The Alliance's poor man's HoloNet is fragile and tricky to coordinate, a single repeater offline breaks the hole net. It's also something that requires tasking a lot of resources so they aren't permanent.

It's the difference between WiFi and ham repeaters. A repeater lets your small handheld radio get longer range by retransmitting its signal from a higher altitude and likely with more power. Anyone within range of the repeater can use it. However it's not reliable for a bunch of people to watch YouTube or use Skype. For that they'll use WiFi for the last mile and let the internet infrastructure get their messages around the world.

Just the way I've been running comms in my games. Very Happy
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strictly speaking, there is no film evidence that subspace comms exist at all. No in-universe dialogue actually uses the term "subspace", or even "radio." Everything we see on-screen uses either local area comms or non-specific FTL communication. Trek was the first universe to use subspace, and IMO, the whole system would be a lot simpler if it were done away with entirely, folding the capability of subspace into low-end hyper-comms.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, an idea I proposed here and here is the creation of a new measurement of distance, the Hyperminute, which is the distance traveled by a x2 hyperdrive in one minute.

The idea is to create a usable measurement of distance for both FTL comm ranges and hyperspace travel. In game terms, for conversion purposes only, any subspace or hypercomm ranges automatically convert over at a rate of 1 lightyear to 1 hyperminute. This applies particularly to subspace comms, in that a subspace comm with a 25 lightyear range can now overlay a 25 hyperminute range onto a sector map and have some indicator of whether or not it can reach a nearby system.

This, in turn, opens up the possibility of being able to apply a hyperspace modifier of sorts to communication speed. In line with what Ning posted above, if Subspace Comms have a lag over distance, a range in hyperminutes can be used to generate a time delay.

The ImpSB implies that the normal method of communication within a sector is not much faster than the ships themselves, so what if Subspace Comms have a hyperdrive multiplier equivalent of x1/2 or x1/4, in addition to their range limitation? So a subspace comm signal would travel at a rate of 4-8 hyperminutes per minute (depending on which modifier you use).

Building in that sort of delay would allow for both FTL communication and the use of relay networks to transmit messages within a sector, but the delay involved would greatly limit the utility over large distances, which is where hypercomm and the Holonet would come into play.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny, the little tidbits you find tucked into some of the WEG books...

I'm thumbing through Han Solo & The Corporate Sector right now. A lot of the chapters begin with Han Solo monologuing to an Alliance interviewer about aspects of life in the Corporate Sector. On the lead-in to Chapter Four: Security Division (page 42), I found the following:
    "On the other hand, I figure the Empire could function without big rallies, purges or the Execution Channel, but somehow it just wouldn't be fun for them anymore and they know it."

Execution Channel?

Shocked

Earlier, we talked about holo-news segments being transmitted around the galaxy for informative purposes. This is something completely new. Considering how obsessed people here on Earth get with gory entertainment like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine beings across the galaxy settling down for an evening of watching a firing squad at work, or getting worked up for Disintegration Week on the Execution Channel.

Just wanted to put that out there.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

Execution Channel?

Shocked

Earlier, we talked about holo-news segments being transmitted around the galaxy for informative purposes. This is something completely new. Considering how obsessed people here on Earth get with gory entertainment like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine beings across the galaxy settling down for an evening of watching a firing squad at work, or getting worked up for Disintegration Week on the Execution Channel.

Just wanted to put that out there.


Well, seeing how they televised executions in Starship troopers, its not beyond reason to see there being an execution channel in the empire..
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