The Galaxy Cup

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 1, 2012 - 12:56pm
Well the World Cup is being decided and a coworker is whining that he cant warch it. Immediately my mind goes to SF. After the world series for sport X is decided on a number of worlds the Galaxy Cup is held and fans wait nervously by their subspace radio for word of the victor. Can you transmit video via subspace? Probably, I would guess.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 9, 2012 - 5:58pm
Quote:
 Can you transmit video via subspace?

Sure, it works with the videocom system in ships. IIRC the rules state it takes longer to transmit video versus standard subspace communiques, but it ceratinly works.

Call it the futuristic equivilent of delayed broadcast. Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 9, 2012 - 6:42pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
Quote:
 Can you transmit video via subspace?

Sure, it works with the videocom system in ships. IIRC the rules state it takes longer to transmit video versus standard subspace communiques, but it ceratinly works.

Call it the futuristic equivilent of delayed broadcast. Wink


I would guess that there are no video chats by subspace then.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 9, 2012 - 9:12pm
The videocom is a video chat per se, a signal with both video and audio.

I just looked it up, the subspace radio transmission travels at 1LY per hour as explained on p48 of the AD book, the videocom signal travels at 300,000km per second on p15 of the KH book.


I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

iggy's picture
iggy
July 9, 2012 - 9:34pm
OK, the rules are not consistent here.  The videocom signal is travelling at the speed of light.  The subspace radio transmission is traveling at 8,759.75 times faster than the speed of light.  Why is videocom slower?  Can it not go through subspace?  As an electrical engineer I know there is no reason for the videocom signal to be different.  I see this as a time when the effort to write Knight Hawks tried to use more science fact and failed.  A videocom signal traveling at the speed of light is going to take 8,759.75 hours to travel one light year, 438 galactic standard days.  No one is going to wait that long for a videocom signal.

Go with video just being more data and traveling through subspace as well.  Use the 1LY per hour rule and let that gauge the lag in conversations between worlds.  The extra data for the video over audio is not going to amount to much and would likely be solved with a wider band signal anyway.
-iggy

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 9, 2012 - 10:27pm
I can grasp what you're saying. Seeing them side by side (for the first time) one truly is significantly slower than the other. One possibility is the time lag between rulebooks and not sourcing one before writing the other. Or it's a total pooch screw. Pick one ;)

Still, it's a far cry better than the Traveller system where you encode a message onto a computer storage device and...pay some "space pony express boat" captain to transport it.Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 10, 2012 - 3:49am
I remember watching a documentary on quantum physics and they were talking about these two particals that are pair and that if you change the charge of one the other one automatically changes it charge no matter the distance between them. The mystery of it had the science types all agaga. Don't get me wrong but I like science mysteries but in this case what excites me is possible applications:

leave one particle on Earth and send one with a colony expedition to another planet. each particle is encased in equipment that will allow an operatior to change its charge- tape a copy of the morse code to the wall and you have a sub space morse code device. With enough of these particles you actually begin to have bandwidth and could encode voice or video.

Of course there are a lot of questions to resolve before this is done: do these particles decay? does interstellar distance break the bond? lots of engineering issues as well I'm sure.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
July 10, 2012 - 5:21am
Videocom just uses standard radio wave transmission like television and radio today, it's cheap and it travels at lightspeed. It only costs 1000 cr for the base system on a ship and 100 cr for the one on your wrist (chronocom) with less range.  It's for use in short range commuincations, on planets, between ships, around planets and stations, and short intrasystem (Between planets) communications when needed.  It suffers the normal light speed lag that we are used to today.

Subspace radios are expensive and power hungry.  The radio itself costs 20,000 cr and requires a type I parabattery to run.  The full description is:
"AD Rules" wrote:
A subspace radio is used for  sending messages between distant planets and star systems.  Subspace communicatiors send coded tachyon beams that must be broadcast from very carefully aimed dish antennas to hit their target planet or system.  A subspace message crosses one light-year per hour.  The radio uses a type 1 parabattery.  Sending a message uses 100 SEU

Now they don't define what a message is but let's say that it consists of no more than say 10 minutes of compressed audio or 2 minutes of video, or some fixed amount of data.  It's a burst transmission, not a continuous transmission like videocom radio.  However, there is nothing to stop you from sending multiple bursts if you have the power and need to transmit more data.  That of course is being generous.  You could always say it is even less data per burst.  In fact, I like to keep costs high in my Frontier so I'd say a burst is 1 minute of audio or 12 seconds of video. (factor of 10 more expensive).

Plus the dish has to be carefully aimed.  Which means that at least, it can't be used from a ship that is maneuvering radically (i.e. in combat) as you would not be able to maintain the correct pointing.  It could also mean there is some sort of skill check invovled that has to be made to get the thing lined up in the first place.  This would be more of an issue for "portable" units (It weighs 100 kg) and ones on ships.  A permanent ground based installation would be much easier to point at the target system since the positions would be much better calibrated and aligned.  To line up a subspace radio, I'd require some sort of Astrogator skill check.  Probably something along the lines of 100%+10%/skill level-5%/lightyear to get it ligned up.  For PC's without the Astrogator skill, substitute their LOG score for 100% and technician skill for Astrogation skill to represent the missing detailed astronomy knowledge needed.  I'd also say it takes one minute per light year to line up the dish.  (I'd actually use 1/2 * ly^2 in minutes more accurately reflect that more distant targets are progressively harder to line up but 1min/ly is easier math Smile)

Plus a subspace radio only works if the target is visible.  In truth you proabaly could send tachyons through the planet you're sitting on, I don't remember the exact phyics (yes they are a real theoretical particle, we just can't actually do anything with them), but for game purposes, I've always said that subspace, like videocom is line of sight.  This isn't an issue for ships unless they are close to planets but for ground based installations, some receivers aren't always visible.

So you could transmit the Galaxy Cup via subspace radio.  Assuming the broadcast was 3 hours long and you used full video, that would be 90 transmissions at 100 SEU apiece or 9000 SEU to transmit which costs 45,000 cr (if you use the more generous data amounts per burst).  And that is per receiver.  Since it has to be transmitted to each receiver independently, that cost is multiplied by the number of receivers.  Ignoring the Rim and Zebulon, there are 17 systems in the Frontier.  That means you have to make 16 different transmissions from 16 different subspace radios.  You're looking at 320,000 cr for the radios, plus 720,000 cr for the transmission power.  And that's just to get the signal to one point in each destination system.  If you are sending it to each world in each system the cost goes up even more.  Plus then you have to broadcast it out, via videocom to the general population, once it has arrived at the destination receiver.

So this is definitely a big business item, you're only going to do it for major events since you're talking about over a million cr to broadcast a 3 hour event to the Frontier.  It can be done, it is just expensive.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 10, 2012 - 5:35am
At least the cost is high enought that spammers are not likely to pester us through sub space messages.Kiss

I would assume that transmission of an event like a coronation or sports event would be sent to a few of the high population worlds in this manner and light and medium population worlds would wait for the slow boat to bring the video footage. Once such a sub space transmission is made to a system its rebroadcast over video com to the whole system.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 10, 2012 - 11:00am
At least the numerous populated worlds still makes pay per view profitable ;)
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

iggy's picture
iggy
July 10, 2012 - 6:38pm
Talk about stereotyping.  I got caught with the word radio and thought audio only.  I like TerlObar's clarification that one is in-system and the other is interstellar.  Now for the prices to transmit to all 17 worlds.  I'm betting that it doesn't get price competitive to send the encoded main signal to each system then decode and rebroadcast to all the worlds which may rebroadcast again for their satellite and cable distributions systems.  The subspace signal is the one to limit and control with encoding so as to make the locals pay for it and distribute.

Also I am not sure that it is not limited to one transmitter to one receiver.  Can subspace signals be broad enough at the destination that many receivers could monitor the signals?  If they were laser like then hitting the target receiver at interstellar distances would be a practical impossibility.
-iggy

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
July 10, 2012 - 7:49pm
Yes, you kind of have to assume that they spread out at the destination or as you say, it would be nearly impossible to make a transmission.  I always assumed that:

1) anyone in the receiving system could theoretically receive the message if they had a subspace radio

2) but the beam is directional so you have to have your subspace radio lined up and pointed back at the transmitting system.  If you are out of alignment, you don't detect the signal.

3) and messages are (or can be) encoded for the receiver.  If you don't have the proper code, the message doesn't register.  Uncoded messages (i.e. SOS signals, general UPF broadcasts, etc) can be received by anyone.  The code is arbitrary and entered by the radio user.  i.e. they tell the radio what signals to listen for and they can include "wildcards" to receive any signal or group of signals.  These codes can be registered in a central Subspace Registry if desired.

4) There are multiple "subspace frequencies" that the messages can be sent on.  Any given subspace radio can only transmit or recive on one "frequency" at a time but multiple radios in the same systems can send/receive messages simultaneously on different "frequencies" without interfering.  A radio that is not actively transmitting or receiving a message can monitor all the frequencies for incoming messages that are coded to it.  When one is received, they lock onto that frequency and receive the message.  So if two messages from the same system (i.e. the direction it is pointed) come in at the same time, it will only hear one and miss the other.

5) Transmissions can be encrypted.  If encrypted, then even if you receive the message with the correct code or wildcard code (item 3), you need the decryption key to actually read the message.  If you don't, it's just a bunch of noise useful only as a random number generator.

Example:  My favorite mini-corp, Obar Enterprises, has offices on Pale and Triad and facilites on New Pale and Rupert's Hole (among others).  The Pale and Triad offices are connected via subspace radio (with the 5 hour delay) and are keyed to only listen to messages coded with OE registered transmission codes. The receiver in Triad can detect any signal originating in the Truane Star system whether it is from the Pale office, the New Pale facilites, or one of OE's ships in that system.  The same is true for the Rupert's Hole facility.  However, the Rupert's Hole facility doesn't care about general business transmissions so it only listens for the messages coded directly to it.  The Triad office, on the other hand, is set to receive any OE coded transmission whether directed specifically to the Triad office or to the Rupert's Hole facility or to any of the OE ships currently in the Cassidine system.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 11, 2012 - 7:01am
Based on the above Space fleet must have a listening post with subspace radios pointed in as many different directions as possible. as well as a few extra radios they can attune to a fleet or special mission craft not in a standard system.

It also begs the issue of Command and Control- allows for political micro management of military operations like Jimmy Carter had with the Iranian Hostage Rescue operation where the on site general couldn't fart without first vetting the decision to do so with the President.

It also seems that an admiral will detail at least one asset to go stealth and be his link back to naval command during fleet manuevers and battles, sure I know that the damage table in KHs doesn't have an entry that will take out the sub space radio but in reality the sub space radio could suffer battle damage and an admiral will want to protect his lines of communication so this seems like a reasonable precaution.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!