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> Electronic Device Modification - Conflicts in RAW, etc.
Arashi
post Oct 6 2008, 07:58 AM
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I have both Arsenal and Unwired, and was making some gear mods for my Adept after he purchased the Diving skill and a bunch of underwater gear/etc.

I began by looking in Arsenal, page 58: "Electronics and Sensor Options" says "The following modifications are available to all electronics devices and sensor systems."

Environmental Resistance is 100 nuyen, Hardening 6 is 150 nuyen... nice and easy, 250 nuyen and my devices are set for funnin' and runnin' in any storm, wet or electronic. No muss, no fuss, no slots required (in a book that uses mod slots galore for vehicles, armor, weapons, etc.).

(Side note - list of extreme conditions lists high pressure and underwater seperately... how exactly does that work
for the deep sea underwater aquacology example? Since you have to specify a condition it is resistant
to. IMHO they should have said Heat, Cold, Water/Pressure Seal, pay 100 for first, triple each
additional or something like that. Do Heat and Waterproofing, and you have your Desert Seal.)

Well... Until I read pages 196-199 of Unwired. "Commlinks are considered to have 4 available modification slots." Also says that the weapon mod options in Arsenal p148-153 (including Extreme Environment, Skinlink, Hardening) can be applied to electronics and have slot costs.

According to page 151 of Arsenal (which really is talking about weapons, but we're going RAW here..) it takes 4 slots and a major overhaul to make something underwater proof. And now Skinlink and Hardening both cost a mod slot...

So...

I can understand why guns - with moving parts, expelled gasses/shells/bullets, etc. would need 4 slots to function underwater... but an optical commlink? Just put it in a pressure-proof sealed case, right? I thought these things were so simple you could weave them into clothing, but putting the electronics into a waterproof case is just WAY too hard... especially since during the crash they must have lost the technology to make a damn diving watch.

::chuckles and ends ranting::

Other questions about electronics that have come up:

If you buy a micro-tranceiver (to have radio communications that are non-matrix based) can you buy an "encryption chip" for it in the same way as you can add encryption costs to other electronics? examples: Datalock Module (p199-200 Unwired) or cyberware Data Lock (p331 BBB)

If a Fetch Module (Unwired p196) only has a Response rating of 2, doesn't that limit the amount/rating of programs the Agent can run unreasonably? Seems like for the higher-than-building-a-custom-commlink-price of the module, you'd get something that wouldn't limit your new pet Agent.


I am sure more will pop up, but that is it for now...
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2008, 08:41 AM
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The modification rules (or rather, slot cots) are FUBAR - no matter if it's weapons, armor, vehicles or general gear.

Sure you can overmodify stuff... but that still doesn't mean the costs add up.
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BullZeye
post Oct 6 2008, 08:47 AM
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The thing comes apparent on your post already if you read it again: You wanted your commlink to be water/pressure/etc proof with MODIFICATIONS. I don't think an external case that can do it all is a mod but just a casing. But, if you want to make your phone to be all that and still look like a commlink, not just a sealed box, it's gonna be difficult. Go ahead and seal your commlink into a box and modify the box having a skinlink to your commlink (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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GreyBrother
post Oct 6 2008, 10:34 AM
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How about a cable that links the Box and the Link, Bullz? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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BullZeye
post Oct 6 2008, 12:26 PM
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I meant a skinlink to the user from the box. A cable or whatever link from the box to commlink (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Ryu
post Oct 6 2008, 01:30 PM
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Should a water-proof modification for comlinks be cheaper? Yes. I would even give you watertight for free, and high-pressure for buying armor on top of that.

There is no encryption chip, but you are free to buy the Encryption program and run it on the micro-tranceiver.

Fetch module: What other programs?
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GreyBrother
post Oct 6 2008, 01:40 PM
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Ah! My bad, Buzz
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Aaron
post Oct 6 2008, 02:44 PM
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Don't forget that commlinks aren't entirely optical. You can't do an optical RF signal, so there's got to be some actual electronic systems in there.
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Arashi
post Oct 6 2008, 03:25 PM
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BullZeye <<<The thing comes apparent on your post already if you read it again: You wanted your commlink to be water/pressure/etc proof with MODIFICATIONS. I don't think an external case that can do it all is a mod but just a casing.>>>

Per page 197 & table on page 199 - Armor Case IS a Modification. AND takes 1 slot.



Aaron <<<Don't forget that commlinks aren't entirely optical. You can't do an optical RF signal, so there's got to be some actual electronic systems in there.>>>

Yes, agreed... But if they can seal electronic diving computers and watches today... 60 years from now?
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Ryu
post Oct 6 2008, 03:26 PM
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Build a duroplast case, breakable into two parts, with an elastomer seal fixed into one of the halves, and the insides should be safe. Without costing space for other mods. It would make sense to assume that is a standard practice in cities like Seattle. (Unless of course there is a rule about basic comlinks not being water-proof to some degree.)

The extreme environment mod level 2 would come with full comlink capabilities under water (lets still halve signal ratings, or is there a rule on underwater signal ranges that I miss?).
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Arashi
post Oct 6 2008, 10:48 PM
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Ryu - re: signal in water... it seems per RAW that commlinks are useless to use underwater, get this:

Per page 62 of Unwired:

Water also causes rapid attenuation, especially salt water.
Every 10 cm of fresh water and every 1 cm of salt water reduces
the effective Signal of a device by 1.

Ok, now why did I want to have my commlink underwater again?

Ugh.
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Aaron
post Oct 6 2008, 11:30 PM
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QUOTE (Arashi @ Oct 6 2008, 10:25 AM) *
Yes, agreed... But if they can seal electronic diving computers and watches today... 60 years from now?

Yes, but those are devices that are designed to be used underwater. You're talking about modifying an existing device, ne?

QUOTE
Ryu - re: signal in water... it seems per RAW that commlinks are useless to use underwater, get this:

It ain't just by RAW. Put your cell phone on speaker and call somewhere that will talk to you at length, like a movie theater info line or something. Put it in an air-tight plastic baggie (like a Ziploc) and lower it into a pitcher of water. You'll see what I mean.

Player 1: "Once I'm underwater, I call my fixer on my commlink."
Player 2: "Objection: physics!"
Gamemaster: "Sustained."


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Ryu
post Oct 6 2008, 11:39 PM
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Well, you tend to get it underwater on seaborne missions. It should at least work again after being brought above sea level.

Ah, I was not thinking about using the standard wireless module, but about an alternative system that actually works underwater. The only rules on underwater communications I could find was this "doesn´t work" bit (that is physically true, and therefore fine), and a mention of "underwater radio" from the breathing helmet (also Arsenal).


For the record: I wrote this post before Aarons post was up.
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Arashi
post Oct 7 2008, 07:58 AM
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Oct 6 2008, 06:39 PM) *
Well, you tend to get it underwater on seaborne missions. It should at least work again after being brought above sea level.

Ah, I was not thinking about using the standard wireless module, but about an alternative system that actually works underwater. The only rules on underwater communications I could find was this "doesn´t work" bit (that is physically true, and therefore fine), and a mention of "underwater radio" from the breathing helmet (also Arsenal).


This got me thinking (thanks for finding the mention of the underwater radio, I missed that) so I googled "underwater communication".

www.divelink.net has wireless ultrasound underwater radios and surface links that work from 300m-3km depending on how many watts you use from 1W-10W.

www.dspcomm.com has underwater modem systems, including ones with higher data transfer and one in development with a projected 10km range.

www.oceantechnologysystems.com has military underwater comms with secure modes and listed with ranges like <<Channel A: 6,000m in calm sea, 1,000m in sea state 6>>


Looks like underwater radios = low to high signal devices (50m to several km), with encryption available, working at depths of 30m-100m or more, range affected by calmness or roughness of the seawater, etc.

Since a Mid-range publicly available transceiver is $1000 USD, the surface station is $1500, if you go military or datacomm modem I'm sure the prices would jump. I'm guessing that if you use a "non-standard wireless link" module from Unwired p196, halve ranges, and rule that since it's wireless ultrasound it only works underwater - you have yourself an in-game, price-appropriate way to get commlinks working underwater if you ever wanted to run the adventure.

For me, now I have a way to buy a waterproof comm, put another one floating on the surface (in a small scuba marker buoy or some such) that can relay to a standard surface comm to teammates working the op from above water and coordinate.

Guess this is what they call brainstorming.... Thanks forum buddies. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

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Ryu
post Oct 7 2008, 08:45 AM
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The key limitation for running purposes is stealth. Underwater Ops have the problem that "any unknown signal at all" is often a sign of trouble for the target site. But the question is how much underwater traffic a facility sees, not the technological possibility.

My suggestion:
- water-proof is free
- Environment Mod 1 works at advertised (sand is a completely different problem from water, abrasion is the suck, as is sand in your ports)
- Environment Mod 2 grants full underwater operation / some redundancy / extended battery capacity (for those jungle ops)
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 7 2008, 10:15 AM
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Keep in mind that there is no such thing as signal range underwater.
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Ryu
post Oct 7 2008, 10:41 AM
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Is, too. See SK Neptune fluff, Enclosed Breathing Helmet fluff.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 7 2008, 10:54 AM
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That's not the point - one doesn't have to worry about leaking signals, because they aren't going anywhere, anyway:
QUOTE (Unwired, p. 62, Landscaping for Signal Attentuation)
Water also causes rapid attenuation, especially salt water. Every 10 cm of fresh water and every 1 cm of salt water reduces the effective Signal of a device by 1.

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Aaron
post Oct 7 2008, 11:48 AM
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Also remember that while sonic "radios" do work well underwater (and practically not at all in air), the bandwidth is nowhere near RF is by orders of magnitude. While one would be able to communicate via speech and possibly send text messages, there's no way ultrasound can deliver a VR experience, and probably not an AR one either.
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Ryu
post Oct 7 2008, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron @ Oct 7 2008, 01:48 PM) *
Also remember that while sonic "radios" do work well underwater (and practically not at all in air), the bandwidth is nowhere near RF is by orders of magnitude. While one would be able to communicate via speech and possibly send text messages, there's no way ultrasound can deliver a VR experience, and probably not an AR one either.


Consequentially all underwater drones operate with long cables attached to them? I´m not telling the rigger of my group without some official backup, I´d rather assume that it just works.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 7 2008, 02:54 PM
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Well, otherwise, they got a very small operation radius.
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Aaron
post Oct 7 2008, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Oct 7 2008, 07:26 AM) *
Consequentially all underwater drones operate with long cables attached to them? I´m not telling the rigger of my group without some official backup, I´d rather assume that it just works.

It doesn't really need a cable, it just needs a mast tall enough to poke out of the water a bit. That can be done with a conductive monowire, a reactive spool, and a small buoy.

I guess that's kind of a cable, but one that only needs to be equal to the depth of the drone, rather than the range of the drone.
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Ryu
post Oct 7 2008, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron @ Oct 7 2008, 05:11 PM) *
It doesn't really need a cable, it just needs a mast tall enough to poke out of the water a bit. That can be done with a conductive monowire, a reactive spool, and a small buoy.

I guess that's kind of a cable, but one that only needs to be equal to the depth of the drone, rather than the range of the drone.


Cable length is only one advantage of your approach, having one buoyant body "on top" of a short cable is way better than dragging a long cable using a smallish drone. I see.

I assume that one could use a cable with adjustable density buoyancy devices. With some calculating power behind that, you should be able to exactly control the height of the cable under-water, and remove most of the weight concern.

Both variants are toyish enough that I might be able to sell them, but I´d first like to know to which extend underwater radio is useable. We are used to our wireless comforts now, and my group is (with one exception) able to go underwater on short notice.

(I totally get lower bandwith, but that is not really useful info, because base bandwith is considered "excessive" for all purposes. I´d prefer to model that with a (significant for VR) negative DP mod.).
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Aaron
post Oct 7 2008, 05:14 PM
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If it was me behind the BBS, and my players' characters were using ultrasound for networking, I'd rule that you could do anything that you can do with a data request, but nothing involving subscriptions (including opening one).

Does that make sense?
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Arashi
post Oct 7 2008, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron @ Oct 7 2008, 12:14 PM) *
If it was me behind the BBS, and my players' characters were using ultrasound for networking, I'd rule that you could do anything that you can do with a data request, but nothing involving subscriptions (including opening one).

Does that make sense?



I agree. Basically with the current limitations of physics, we might have something like the following:

Wireless Ultrasound Multichannel Encrypted Voice Communications? Well, it's A-OK and in current use now, so definitely no prob 60+ years in future.

Data Requests from linked devices/drones:
GPS location, script/mission checkpoint/completion status indicators = 1 init pass or updated each pass if auto.
High-res pics or video/sonar area maps/file requests = 1 combat turn to 1 minute or more, GM Makes the Call

BUT...

With the following article, one could assume that future developments would make an underwater subscription network possible (if with DP/init penalties or limits). Distances are far shorter than the voice comm listed at the previous sites I found, but at least we are talking real-time video *now* 62+ years before SR current day. Adjust prices as you see fit, but if you like an underwater element to your game, I see no problem with allowing groups access to underwater tech that maintains their high-tech advantage.

CODE
Amir Ben-Artzi
EE Times Europe
(01/24/2008 8:40 AM EST)

NETANYA, Israel — Sea-Eye Underwater Ltd. (Ashkelon, Israel) is developing an acoustic modem
that it claims could transmit video images in real time wirelessly for underwater communication.
The technology is based on ultrasound and is intended to for the transmission of real-time data,
video or sonar images via a modem attached to video cameras or sonar, to be used by both divers
and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The company is aiming to offer wireless real-time
communication over a distance of 100 to 200 meters initially and then plans to optimize the
technology for communications over 300 to 500 meters.

Sea-Eye Underwater, a startup formed in April 2004, has said it uses frequencies and bandwidths
beyond those currently used for underwater and sonar communication, allowing a data transmission
rate of up to 200-kbits per second on carrier frequency between 500-KHz and 1-MHz. The company
said it has also developed algorithms to cope with underwater noise problems such as multi-path
reflection and Doppler effects.

Target markets for the underwater modem are ports and harbor inspection and monitoring,
oceanographic surveys, ecological inspection and recording, aqua-culture and fishing,
recreational diving, private yacht inspection and homeland security. Sea-Eye Underwater was
formed under the framework of the Israeli incubator program of the Office of the Chief Scientist
and under the auspices of Ashkelon Technological Industries.


I guess that if, by the power of fluff, we can power cyberarms and legs without recharging externally, we can assume the same human progress that built many aquacologies could have developed the underwater data transmission tech to coordinate human/drone construction crews, etc.
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