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Ok scan for a wireless signal is a simple electronic warfare+scan check or extended check. I'm not sure why it will be harder to scan for a specific signal instead for scanning for all hidden signals, but no matter.

The problem is the details: What information do you receive? Can you scan all directions at once? Can you scan only a certain direction and at a certain signal strenght? Can something other than wifi paint and jamming block the scan/signal (such as tons of earth?)

Do you know exactly where the signal is, which direction it is (could be done by limiting scan to a smaller area?), how far away it is (scanning at different signal strenghts until you can find it?), WHAT kind of device it is (a commlink, a computer terminal or an old shortwave radio?) If you can't, how can you tell the difference between a nearby drone and your friend's commlink?

Can you hack etc. the signal once found or do you need to search the matrix for it? Even if you can't see it at all?

K enough questions for now.
In a game I played, I located a riggers commlink and scanned for what devices he was connected to, then had the sam shoot the one that had the most bandwidth (IE he was jumped into)

To address some of your questions.

You should be able to scan all directions at once, though I'd house rule a bonus to reducing the area of search.
You search as far as your comlink has signal.
Wifi paint and earth will block searching as well.

As for the first, what info you recieve.. At minimum, you can tell presence (it exists). You could easily tell location with some triangulation between a 3rd commlink. If it's hidden, it probably wouldn't tell you what device it is (thats what active mode would do) but you could send out a request for information to the device, but that would kind of give you away.

I may be incorrect about some of this, it's friday and I can't think anymore this week, my quota is filled.
Ok, lots of questions in rapid fire there.

First thing to keep in perspective is that a Scan check is something that happens in the physical world around you, not in the Matrix. Scanning is the process of locating the physical EM waves that are being emitted from an antenna. In my games I have allowed players to either scan in all directions or in a specific direction. It is also very believable that the radius of this scan could be tailored as the user desires, with a maximum limit of the scanner's Signal rating. However this is a two-way wireless communication situation. Meaning the communication is limited by the lowest Signal rating involved, so even though a Wireless node may be within the scanner's signal range, if the scanner is not within the target's range, it cannot be detected. At least, that's how I play it.

WiFi inhibiting paint and jamming can block scans, but for different reasons. WiFi paint will actually "conduct" the EM waves away along its surface, thereby no signal is returned (it appears that nothing it there), but Jamming simply overwhelms the scan. So the scanner will know that something is "over there somewhere" but can't tell what, or how many, or anything else. Other environmental factors (heavy weather, high metal density, large amounts of heavy material, dense trees) may also block the transmission of a wireless signal, but this is a GM call.

Scanning within a physical area should be able to tell you approximately (with a few meters) where is signal is originating from, and how far away it is from you. As for telling what kind of device it is, that is a GM call because it really depends on the user of the device and how they have it configured. My default Commlinks will broadcast their presence and identity, whereas devices that are trying to be hidden (running a Stealth program) probably do not broadcast any information about them. Most of the time, it is these Hidden nodes that a player is looking for. In which case I generally rule that one cannot tell what they are, and I simply state "You found a wireless node."

As mentioned above, as long as the node is in range for 2-way Wireless communication, it can then be Hacked "directly," without need to find it on the Matrix. Visibility of the node doesn't come into play at all, in this case, only the Range of the lowest Signal rating involved in the communication.

(Can anyone tell I'm an Electronic Engineer?)
There's two basic options, scanning for a signal and scanning for nodes. I think you might be mixing them up.

Scanning for signals is similar to tuning through all the channels on a radio until you find the one you're looking for. You have to be in range of the senders signal for this and your own signal does only come into play if you want change parts of it via an edit action. Plus it uses Sniffer, not Scan. Without further analysis needed this gives you the type of signal and - barring encryption - you're good to listen in for as long as you want with no chance of detection.

Detecting wireless nodes on the other hand uses Scan. As soon as you detect a node you can access all the info in it's public profile, which most of the time includes positional data (e-dating just doesn't work if the other party cannot find you, same goes for AR since it'd be rather stupid if your commlink wouldn't know where exactly to draw those ARO's). If Positional data is not broadcast you'll need to run a trace using the Track program.

The same goes for all the other kinds of data you are looking for. 99% percent of the time the targeted node will give you all the information you want and more, but if the owner decided that its noone's business where he was last holiday you'll have to hack it. No need to go looking about in the Matrix anymore though. You can jump right in as soon as you located the node.

For all interaction between Nodes both parties have to be within each others signal range. so if you have a real crappy signal rating you might be able to listen in on the the spam that the advertising blimp is sending out, but will be unable to do something about it, since it's outside your range.

Regarding things blocking wifi, yeah lots of earth or concrete should work. You'll have to wing it though since there's no rules for that.

Hope that clarifies it a tad.
duh, me slow.
Opps, wrong thread
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