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Private antennae

Discussion in 'Survival' started by Zenethian, Sep 11, 2014.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Zenethian Trainee Engineer

    I find it really frustrating on most public survival servers that antennas broadcast out and anyone can see them. I feel like there's very little difference between beacons and antennas because of this. When I first saw that antennas had been implemented I came back to try them out. I turned several on and immediately people were like "LOL I SEE YOU TIME TO DIE." Can we please make antenna signals visible only to those who have permissions on them?
  2. Flock Of Panthers Trainee Engineer

    It's been discussed a bit, but it's basically not how signals work. You can't make such a massive energy source that exists only to pump out a controlled form of radiation in seemingly every direction, without it being a visible blip to anything that looks for it.

    Some mention has been made of a deliberate cone or beam of the signal, but I would not want that easy a fix. What makes your directed signal magically know to direct itself anywhere without any input or manual adjustment. Just seems to remove an interesting consideration of engineering, imo.

    For gameplay though, I guess it can suck. The preferred method of having your cake and eating it too seems to be engineering a network of overlapping antenna, so that you get all the control of using antenna, but so that no one can see your actual base.
    Basically you want a Radar Signals of Gondor.

    Another one I like is a SR Normandy approach, which is really just having two antenna, one for 2km and one for 200m, and having a Stealth Systems action group to switch between them.

    I don't fully get what Beacons are doing in the game after the antenna was implemented. Is it just something cheaper for a homing signal without the control/display options?
  3. Zenethian Trainee Engineer

    Yeah, I get that it wouldn't be "realistic" but it would make multiplayer PVP survival significantly more fun.
  4. Gentry Senior Engineer

    Completely disagree.

    Making things super easy doesn't make things fun.

    You're supposed to be smart and work around problems and realize things have drawbacks.
  5. Gentry Senior Engineer

    Yup its a fraction of the energy requirement.
  6. Zenethian Trainee Engineer

    I agree that making things easy doesn't always make them fun, but in this case, antennas aren't used at all. I don't use them. I don't see anyone else using them. It's pretty worthless. There is so much potential with using them that is wasted.
  7. Flock Of Panthers Trainee Engineer

    Ah, cheers. I hadn't looked at power consumption.

    Antennas are part of my standard build for small ships, if only for the diagnostic use of Show on HUD.

    Also, holy hell all of the new features.

  8. DarkRubberNeck Trainee Engineer

    If the antenna's signal was encrypted so only those 'authorized' with the decryption key could receive the location of the antenna, then that would be a logical way to make antennas visible to only authorized users right??
  9. delabu Apprentice Engineer

    Uhm no. Just because they don't match your use case, does not make them worthless.

    I have antennas on all my ships set to around 300m. That way, I can control the ship (switch on grinders, welders, etc) without having to get into the seat. I have caught, and stopped a runaway ship by firing thrusters and overriding the gyro. There are SO many uses for them as is, and even more now with cameras and remote control.

    Yes, they can make tweaks (I believe the antenna should only show vaguely which direction it's in, not how far it's from you, if you are not part of it's faction).
  10. Runningwithhamster Trainee Engineer

    Actually antennae showing to everyone it's location is not realistic at all. You need to use some kind of triangulation method & special equipment to locate source of RF signal. Also, if signal uses encryption - you can not spot the difference: is it data, or white noise.
  11. Haunty Apprentice Engineer

    You don't need triangulation to find the general direction of the source, just a directional antenna, it's how radio collars work when they track wildlife. You just wouldn't know how far away it is unless you knew the transmitting power of the source, but in the game it just gives you that info.

    Encryption wouldn't matter either for locating, a signal is a signal. For example you can see how many bars are on a password-protected wifi connection before you connect to it.
  12. Runningwithhamster Trainee Engineer

    You can not connect to wireless network if it not broadcasting SSID. And in Wi-Fi Networks not all transmitted data is encrypted (Management Frames).
  13. tachyon Trainee Engineer

    To transmit information you need energy. Without energy no information. The energy of the signal containing the information has to be high enough to let it be distinguishable from the background noise. Otherwise also the authorised recipient of the signal would be unable to receive it.
    Any signal distinguishable from the background noise however is visible for everyone who listens. The basic technique for detecting the direction of signals is called beam forming and is already used nowadays for example in military electronic warfare equipment.

    PS: Hi forum, this is my first post here.

    PPS: Sorry for my bad English.
  14. Memphis Apprentice Engineer

    For those that are having trouble thinking of a solution for this, here you go. It's very simple, create a "relay station" that has an extremely large scan radius and then set your ship or station to link with that. That way you are not advertising yourself but a decoy. Seriously, you guys need to figure out solutions for these things before coming on the forums and being like "change the game to solve my problem." It is crazy to think of creating a private antenna......then everyone would have private antennas, and then the antenna would be worthless. Thus this suggestion to improve the game, actually takes away from it.
  15. Zenethian Trainee Engineer

    I mean if we want to "keep it real" instead of "keep it fun and playable" then the mass of the contents of cargo containers should be factored into ship mass.

    This game is a balance between realism and fun. I think it would be more fun if Antenna could be set Private/Faction-Only, regardless of the realism.
  16. Zenethian Trainee Engineer


    Dude, in my game, everyone would find that relay station in 10 minutes and blow the crap out of it. It just DOESN'T work that way in PVP multiplayer survival. I wish it did.

    Lets take your idea and work with it for a second.

    My base is hidden. I want to keep it that way. Lets say I setup a relay antenna, or even a network of them, so that each one can only see the next. All someone would have to do is see the first one, then follow the rest all the way to my hidden base. That isn't a "creative solution" to a problem. That's a poorly thought out solution that will end in disaster.

    To me, the primary reason to have an Antenna is for remote control. It's not meant to be a broadcast beacon: that's ideologically what the Beacon is for. Having the Antenna function as a Beacon makes the Antenna either extremely hard to use or extremely dangerous to use in survival PVP multiplayer.
  17. extraammo Senior Engineer

    Directional transmission would be fine in my opinion. Private signals makes no sense. We can't just tweak the game so that nothing bad can happen to you.
    As for antenna detection. I think knowing the exact location is a bit much. I would rather in range antennas show up on a list with a signal strength. The hud pinpoint locating when in range does make the usage of antennas a bit of a high risk.
  18. aRottenKomquat Apprentice Engineer

    I think what may work, once programming is in and assuming antennas can handle a conical broadcast, is you'd set something up to where you can broadcast a signal from your location that is received by your home base, causing it to briefly power up its broadcast but only in your general direction. You'll be able to see its position for a few seconds, and hopefully other players are either not paying attention or don't see it long enough to fixate on it.
  19. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    Well, no. You can specify the SSID and connect to the associated wireless network without it broadcasting its SSID. Any decent wifi client will let you do that...

    Indeed. With a properly encrypted network, you should not even know what faction the network belongs to if you do not have access to it. In the future, considering how network security is evolving these days (think NSA vs Snowden), it would be unthinkable to deploy unencrypted networks.

    This is where you are wrong. Well, with most everyday radio communication systems you are right.
    But then there are military people who were really annoyed by this limitation and after a lot of work (read: much money poured into academic research) they ended up with very stealthy network techs.

    One of the basic ideas is to use a very redundant coding, fully encrypted of course, so you can reconstruct it by correlation even if the signal is below the background noise (and you make sure it is, beyond a given distance to the emitter). Without knowledge about the coding and the encryption keys used you can not distinguish, nor even detect, the encrypted signal from the noise. If you can not detect it, then you can not locate it either.

    This kind of tech will be quite common in 70 years even in civilian applications since it's actually quite well-known and lower signal power => lower energy consumption. The tech is no magic though: the issue here is the bandwidth, which is quite the problem with those Camera Block hd video feeds. But even this is not an insolvable problem: with proper, selectively redundant coding, it is relatively easy to make a video stream mostly tolerant to packet loss without increasing bandwidth usage (I saw it with my own eyes in a lab 4 years ago, this is present-day tech).

    So... Yes, the antennas and networks need a serious overhaul and there are realistic solutions (though imperfect) to this griefing problem.
  20. tachyon Trainee Engineer

    Yes, that's possible but only viable in far field communications. As soon as you get close to the sender or are able to have a magnified view on it (beam forming again) you will get the necessary wavelets for the correlation as well. As this is a "security by obscurity" mean of protection you have no means of protection from this. There are several ways of gathering the necessary information. The approach you mentioned is still academically and not practically viable.
    Redundancy is not helping either as there are means like entropy detection to find patterns in artificial noise.
  21. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    Indeed, it only works with long enough distances. Well, put your super relay-station 30km away and voila!
    Then, what I mentioned is not "still academically and not practically viable". This is working tech, and for quite some time actually.
    Finally, entropy detection works only when you have already enough insight into what kind of pattern you are looking for. Without knowing enough and with a good enough (no stupid conception mistakes making patterns appear) encrypted coding, at best you could determine there is XX% likelihood of a hidden signal being there (given a specific definition* (approximate estimator, algorithm) of what is or isnt entropy) but nothing more - there is almost no use for this piece of information.

    * definition generally based on what commonly used signals look like, which is heavily biased towards badly designed encryptions since you cant do much for the good ones. Good encryption is indistinguishable from noise, it will have high entropy according to your estimator, even in the case of redundancy (just encrypt it the right way). Objective entropy estimation is an impossible problem.
    Then, you could argue that such encryption doesnt exist, seeing how any encryption ever designed has a fault somewhere, but that is a very different point.
  22. gi_ty Apprentice Engineer

    I feel there is more to be gained game play wise by making broadcasts encrypt-able. Especially if there is a way to hack signals. That would add a lot of depth to the game. Signals intelligence would be a fun and necessary part of faction warfare. If they plan on adding ways to navigate like a 3D map then this would be unnecessary. You don't need long signal ranges for most remote control aspects. If you piloting a drone ship then you are exposed due to your broadcasting.
  23. Cyber Cheese Apprentice Engineer

    It seems like the system Nilat and tachyon are describing would be way more fun. Have antennas be visible to all within 10% of bomroadcast distance, and then with location info only up to 20%, and then with only a vague hot/cold system of detecting direction beyond that which you see by toggling an option on your own antenna, and which gets progressively less sensitive, until at 60% range when the signal is only visible to friendlies.
  24. venor Trainee Engineer

    Realistic or not,

    the antennas are atm not usefull in PVP MP and they are not fun either.
    Because of this, remote controll is very very limited.

    In addition i also find it very annoying to see alllll signals always on my hud, even when i dont look for them.

    Even with a seperate satalite (infi range) and a remote drone ( infi range ) ppl will see both, and bringing back minerals from asteroids is not possible.
  25. Zephram Apprentice Engineer

    There are several creative ways how to make yourself more stealthy even with current antenna functionality. It should not be too easy. Private antenna would be too easy and not fun. And unrealistic. You can for example make a net of relay stations (not a line, one sees only the next and previous. this is of course easy to follow and backtrack).
    If you have control ship A with antenna range 3 km and mining station B with antenna range 100 m then station B can see the distant ship, but it is not visible until someone closes 100 m (in that case he cover is probably blown anyway). But the ship A can use its influence (long antenna rage) to switch secondary long-range antenna on station B, do its remote-control operation and switch it off again. ... There are many possibilities. I recommend repeating from 3:50 this:http://youtu.be/LmkMqpOEajw

    Also - stations and antennas should be defended if you play war-like. However, even peaceful PvP game can be fun.

    However, antenna giving away its exact position to everyone is unrealistic. It should only be visible as strength of signal (strength should decrease quadratically for omnidirectional antenna). You will have to move a little to find good direction towards enemy antenna or combine information from several places to triangulate its position.
    Also strength of the enemy signal should be accompanied with the information about which of your antennas detected that strength (because this detection can be indirect).
  26. Mad Mike Apprentice Engineer

    Do as this guy.
    Keep your range down to the minimum. Use relays more often.
    When I play MP I see lots of players but they never see me.

    forgot to add.
    keep your antenna at max range but turned off, then micro burst (on then off )
    you get a couple of seconds to spot peeps. Chances are they will not even notice you.
  27. kristakis Junior Engineer

    Yeah you can, it's called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. How it works is instead of pumping 1 MW of power into one frequency, you spread the power out over a whole lot of them, but you do it in a specific sequence. To receive the signal you need to know which frequencies to be listening in on and in what order/timing to check each one.

    The power output for any 1 frequency can even be the same level as the background radiation so scanning for any one frequency isn't going to show up as a signal. And even if you knew all the frequencies, you still don't have any info about what order to listen to them in or a starting point for that order. It's an awesome system and would be much more useful to this game than the WWI AM radios we are using now.

    All you'd have to do is add to the antenna block an ID field that takes a string of say up to 20 chars. Now you have a "secure" network that only you and the people that know the ID can use. Until the programming block comes along and allows for a program to scan frequencies by brute force it should deter all but the most dedicated player.

    Additionally I reckon directional antennas would be a good idea. Either broadcast in all directions for a shorter distance or focus the antenna to get more range and less spread. Perhaps the directional antenna could be mounted to a pair of rotors and set to scan for a signal. Once it finds one it can "lock on" to it and track it with the help of the rotors. Perhaps a "gymbal rotor" block could be created for this purpose.
  28. Kuu Lightwing Senior Engineer

    ...and there's also DSSS
    And both technologies are currently used to control RC planes, helicopters and other RC stuff
  29. MegaMiner Junior Engineer

    At distances of 20 Km triangulation is trivial, and encryption doesnt trn it into white noise, the signal is still obviously a signal. You cant transmitt a signal without mucking up the statistical average envelope energy. There are tight beam technologies that can maintain a more or less undetectable signal, but yo still have to broadcast the location of one of the parties in order to establish the connection. Once I know where yo are once it becomes very easy to keep track of you.
  30. Kuu Lightwing Senior Engineer

    There are noise-like signals, like those that use DSSS technology (I linked above)

    Anyways, Gameplay > Realism
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