Communications And You

Communications And You

Communication is absolutely essential to the successful operation of any group of people be they carpenters, ninjas or runners. One of the first and most important bits of gear every runner should have is a decent comm unit. In a pinch you can use a cellphone, true. But do you honestly want your Jetblack "What I do in Private" ringtone going off when you're trying to sneak up on that security guard? Nothing can really top BattleTactm, but not everyone can afford that sort of hardware especially when they're just starting out. So below we'll give you a bit of a low-down on the basic comm gear options and what they do.

Electronic Countermeasures

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Electronic Counter-Countermeasures

All communications transmitted is subject to interference and jamming, known as ECM or Electronic Countermeasures. ECM is in turn countered ECCM Electronic Counter Countermeasures such as noise filtering and signal amplification.

Unless otherwise noted each communications unit has an ECCM rating of 1. ECCM modifies a unit's Flux rating by half of the ECCM rating.

Civilian Communications
Unit Sourcebook Notes
Micro-transceiver Shadowrun Core Rules p 289 An earpiece and a small box the size of a deck of cards containing a transmitter/receiver unit. Also features a tape-on throat mic, which allows for subvocalization1. Most models include wireless versions of the mic and earpiece an transceiver2 on pre-selected frequencies that can be programmed in. Each unit can accept Rating x 2 preset frequencies
Transceiver Shadowrun Core Rules p 289 A standard transceiver, commonly called a Walkie-Talkie. It consists of a box containing the electronics, and some controls and an antenna. They do not come with encryption or ECCM as standard features but come equipped with headsets, handsets or earphones. Frequencies are programmable and each unit can maintain it's Rating x 2 in pre-programmed frequencies in it's memory at a time.
Cellphone Shadowrun Core Rules p. 287 These portable phones come in many styles, colors and sizes ranging from audio-only earplug models to handset units with flipout screens to wrist models. They work essentially like cellphones do today - as long as they are powered on they are in contact with the nearby cellphone towers which means as long as they are on your location can be triangulated to within 5 meters. Cellphones typically hold phone numbers, have basic address books and so forth but do not have multiple channels and do not come standard with encryption, decryption, ECM or ECCM.
Pocket Secretary Shadowrun Core Rules p. 288 A pocket secretary is essentially a specialized pocket sized computer device designed to help businessmen and women conduct business. It contains a cellular phone, a 100mp computer, a digital camera and filing system. It has standard software that performs call screening and voice mail functions and can get automatic confirmation of credit transaction and do word processing as well. Pocket secretaries do not have multiple channels, and do not come standard with encryption, decryption, ECM and ECCM. While these are useful devices precautions such as data encryption3 to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands.
Military Communications
Tactical Master Unit Canon Companion p. 54 This is a military grade communications system designed for flexibility and security even under battlefield conditions. Users can mix and match transceiver units to build customized communications solutions. The master unit is the core of a communications network and a sophisticated radio transceiver. It can hold up to it's Rating x 10 in pre-programmed frequencies and can function as a Scanner and a Jammer equal to it's rating. The master unit can also support a number of ports equal to it's rating to link it to nearly any computer, telecommunications system, Matrix land line, cellular phone, fax, satellite uplink, dedicated laser-link, microwave relay or other signal source. A master unit is generally carried in a vehicle taking up two CF of space. A backpack version is available though at a much higher cost. The master unit has a Flux rating, ECCM and Encryption equal to it's rating as well.
Tactical Personal Unit Canon Companion p. 54 This is the remote unit companion to the Master unit, although they do not require the Master unit to function. Each one is built of sturdy materials and comes standard with either a pocket sized clip fastened or wrist worn unit and is equipped with voice activated wireless headset for hands free operation. Units also have built in DNI control for datajack users. Personal units can handle up to their Rating x 2 in programmed frequencies at any time and each one features a datajack port for linking to computers or telecommunication systems just like the master unit. Each unit has a Flux rating equal to half it's device rating (rounded down) which limits the distance from the master unit that it can transmit. It has ECCM and Encryption equal to it's device rating.
BattleTactm Master Unit Canon Companion p. 54 The Battletac system is a tactical solution that combines data from a number of linked sources - such as a unit of soldiers or sensors and drones. The data is transmitted to the master component which analyzes it and builds a comprehensive picture of the situation. This includes terrain mapping, enemy identification and tracking, tactical requests, commands, video feeds and other information. This information is continuously updated and can be sent out to any component that is part of the Battletac network.4
Battletac Personal Unit Canon Companion p. 54 The receiver component for a Battletac system is used to transmit information to the master component. it also receives tactical data and analysis sent back by the master unit, providing the user with a multimedia display of the situation.
Battletac Remote Trigger Canon Companion p. 54 This weapon accessory allows a stationary weapon to be remotely activated, and fired by anyone who is part of the Battletac network. The weapon must be stationed in a fixed position and must be linked to a transceiver to communicate with the network. It cannot be directly targeted because it cannot be remotely moved.
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