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Old 04-01-2016, 05:43 AM
canucksaram canucksaram is offline
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Default What would the radio sound like?

A century and a half after the end, what would the radio sound like? Assuming you were in and around the Great Lakes region of North America and you used your Morrow equipment to tune into the AM and FM radio bands, what would you hear?

Some of the surviving groups in the 4th edition game would have radio technology and perhaps have even scavenged old music from the Time Before. How far could radio towers or broadcasters throw a signal in the AM/FM bands? Would they even use these bands or would they use something else, because of power requirements?

I'm also not clear on what Morrow teams would hear on their own Project equipment when tuning in to Morrow channels. How far can their equipment broadcast? Would there be any sort of automated "stand by and continue monitoring" signal from regional or divisional Morrow Project bases?

In the game I've just started to run the PCs are members of a Medical & Civil Recovery team. They have awoken to find that of the 12 members on the team only 5 have survived. Their hibersleep containers started the wake-up process automatically because their bolt-hole's power levels fell into critical, so they have not been contacted by any Morrow base. Their computer is mostly fried, too, having been sabotaged with a virus.

After scouting the region around their bolt-hole they've found themselves some survivors: descendants of the Mennonite and Amish of southwestern Ontario, Canada, near Waterloo. Trade exists between these farmers and a more technologically advanced group known as the Kingdom of Gwellip. The survivors of the Six Nations natives (Iroquois, etc.) have a territory and there was mention by the Amish of a group called Bateliers, or Lakers, who ply the "big waters" and live in the Republic of Arcadia, far away to the north.

Last edited by canucksaram; 04-01-2016 at 05:44 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:50 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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The first thing you would likely see is much lower power and range. It's hard justify 25-50KW of electricity for AM broadcasts, even on a part-time basis. But even at lower power, you should be able to detect the signal at a fair distance, say 200 km as the signal can bounce off the atmosphere. At those distance, you probably will not be able to make out much of any of the content from spoken words or music over the static, though Morse code can still be deciphered through the static. It is also likely that AM would be chosen over FM as a very simple AM receiver can be built with essentially a pile of junk. You can see some examples of foxhole and POW radios here:

http://bizarrelabs.com/foxhole.htm


As for ranges for the AN/PRC-68, the 4th edition is right; 300m for the short antenna supplied with the radio and 1.6 km using the longer antenna from a PRC-70. They are line of sight, so you can't be blocked by buildings or terrain. Vegetation is does not block the signal much.

The AN/PRC-70 is a bit more complicated. You can pretty much count on 40 km for FM voice communications and 2400 km for Morse code (CW) and single side band (SSB) voice if the operator knew the best operating frequency for the day. If the PRC-70 was connected to the vehicle and using it's antenna and amplifier, knowing the maximum usable frequency (MUF) is less important. One possible scenario here is that Prime Base or other major installation can send out the predicted MUF weekly or daily via CW to enable long range voice on SSB.

The from range from a PRC-68 to a PRC-70 using the standard PRC-68 antenna is about 1 km, because of the better sensitivity of the long PRC-70 antenna. The range from a PRC-70 to a PRC-68 is about 40 km. This means it is possible to send messages to a squad on foot, but they may not be able to reply.

If you have two PRC-70s, you can do some interesting things. The PRC-70s can be connected to retransmit everything it receives. This lets you have two nets of PRC-68 set up and able to communicate at greater range and even over a hill if the PRC-70s are at the top has line of sight to all the PRC-68s.

As to the kinds of Project radio traffic to expect, it's your game. Just remember there are factions that have Project equipment. This kind of makes the automated broadcasts questionable, since the sources would have been checked out by Krell or KFS at some point. One thing that happened in one of my games is the team sent out a repeating CW message and got a reply back from "Morrow Eastern Command." The Command requested the team's location and offered to send them aid. The team didn't bite, but doesn't mean that the KFS Secret Police would not try that trick again to locate newly awakened teams.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:30 AM
Matt W Matt W is offline
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Initial thoughts/suggestions for radio traffic near the Great Lakes. Hopefully, each of them can inspire an adventure "hook"

Lakers/Shipmen:

The Weather

Every midnight there would be some LOUD spark-gap morse transmissions from about 10 or 20 stations. Note: The limitations of spark-gap radio means that this takes up a lot of bandwidth. These transmissions would be "in clear" and consist of a list of weather measurements (temperature, rainfall, barometric pressure, wind velocity, etcetera). This would continue for about an hour and then go quiet. At 5 AM there would be a single station (again in spark-gap mode) which broadcasts a weather forecast for the next 24 hours. This is acknowledged and re-broadcast by each of the original stations

Maxwell's Militia:

SW Talk Radio (all "in-clear")

Farmers' Almanack. General advice for farmers, including a weather forecast (obviously influenced by the Shipmen program)
Market reports - daily report on average prices paid for crops, fish, services etcetera in towns controlled by the Militia
Security notices - warnings of any bandit activities, quarantine orders, and so on
News - reports of "interesting" events, interviews with celebrity Militia Commanders, etcetera
Roving Reporter - a mobile radio transmitter, interviewing locals. This is pro-Militia propaganda, but - sometimes- real journalism creeps in
Radio Theater - soap operas, plays and comedies
Ask Doctor Sally - a show hosted by a qualified EmDee, responding to letters sent in by listeners

FM Music

A few low-power stations. In towns and urban areas only. These broadcast a mix of music from old CDs, records and a few "modern" musicians. Some of these stations are officially sanctioned, but others are created by hobbyist-technicians and are allowed to exist only if they don't get critical about the Militia


Frozen Chosen

Mainly a mix of Gospel Music (performed live) and inspirational messages, but news and weather forecasts are a regular feature

Kentucky Free State
There might be areas where you can pick up transmissions from the KFS.

But that gives me an idea for 'Operation Fallback"...

Station VOK is "the Voice of Kentucky". Cheerful music, propaganda about the KFS liberating villages and warnings about the crazy Morrow Project

Last edited by Matt W; 04-01-2016 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:51 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Originally Posted by Matt W View Post
Kentucky Free State
There might be areas where you can pick up transmissions from the KFS.

But that gives me an idea for 'Operation Fallback"...

Station VOK is "the Voice of Kentucky". Cheerful music, propaganda about the KFS liberating villages and warnings about the crazy Morrow Project
VOK is in a very good position. They could broadcast at 50KW or more and be possibly heard nationwide if they were to go 100KW. KFS has fusion, so power is cheapish.
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:03 PM
canucksaram canucksaram is offline
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Default Many thanks

Thank you for your responses so far, gentlemen.

Is there any way for someone to broadcast a jamming signal over radio frequencies so that a region would be denied access to outside signals if you had a Morrow Project fusion trailer, for example, as the power source?
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by canucksaram View Post
Thank you for your responses so far, gentlemen.

Is there any way for someone to broadcast a jamming signal over radio frequencies so that a region would be denied access to outside signals if you had a Morrow Project fusion trailer, for example, as the power source?
Jamming can be done but seeing what the Soviets did, they had huge antennas for a jamming stations so I'm sure one can be made but it is not too transportable. A fusion unit should suffice as power. Even so, it isn't perfect, AM and shortwave signals depend on groundwaves and skywaves. Groundwaves follow the Earth while skywaves bounce off the ionosphere and the latter can be hard to jam because the ionosphere changes and the signals may bounce differently and there are times jamming may not work. During the Cold War, there were times Soviet citizens took portable SW radios to the countryside to listen to Western radio and many times they were outside the jammer's range or the ionosphere was cooperating.

Would be interesting to say the least, that's who I'd park a few portable radios and police scanners into my personal kit.

I'm an amateur radio operator, I once talked to Canada from across Lake Erie on my HT putting out 1 watt into a rubber duckie antenna, so given the right conditions, the PRC-68 can talk far. The PRC-70, in theory, can talk worldwide on HF. Not only power is needed but you also need a good antenna, the ionosphere working in your favor and/or flat land where your signal can go far (or a tall mountain/hill/tower).

Most societies might not have the resources for a 50 Kw blowtorch AM station, well maybe one or two, depending on how affluent they are, but I can see stations in the 500 watt to 5000 watt range. I think after the war or collapse in the MP world, the radio bands will be much less crowded so even a 500 watt to 5000 watt signal would go far, even less than that.
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:42 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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The fusion trailer generates 100KW. This should be able to drive a sufficiently powerful jammer for most low power broadcast stations. All that is needed is to broadcast you noise a the same frequency, but with more power, as the signal you are jamming. Parking the broadcast tower and trailer a km or so from Whitman's Creek would completely squelch their 5000W station. But 15km from the transmitter of Voice of Kentucky operating at 50KW would only disrupt the area around the jammer and not the entire signal. If you got closer, you might. But then you have to explain to the nice men with guns and planes why you are erecting a radio tower so close to them with that nifty power trailer.
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:52 PM
canucksaram canucksaram is offline
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To elaborate a bit about my interest in radio signal jamming:

One of the regional powers that I'm using in my game is a group of folks descended from a mix of university students and faculty and Renaissance Faire enthusiasts. In my part of Canada we have three universities clustered close together: the University of Waterloo, the University of Guelph, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. A century and half after the Pockyclypse (hat tip to Mad Max) they are now a fascist state run by a hereditary philosopher king and are known as the Kingdom of Gwellip. Since knowledge is power, the ruling elite of the Kingdom try to control news and information.

The Kingdom bullies the Amish, treat with the Six Nations, and have a cool relationship towards the Regiment, a remnant of the pre-apocalypse Canadian government that claims to be the legitimate government of the nation. The toxic ruins of the Golden Horseshoe (the urban sprawl that hugs the western shores of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to far east of Toronto) are a buffer zone of Badges and salvage clans that lie between Gwellip and the Regiment.

For the other parts of the Great Lakes region I'm using setting material from here: http://asmrb.pbworks.com/w/page/1025...0Great%20Lakes

Last edited by canucksaram; 04-02-2016 at 03:55 AM. Reason: mixed up east/west
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:08 PM
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If you want to jam a signal the easy way, you need to produce more power than the signal, at the same frequency, at the receiver. If you are both using standard dipole antennas then the power drops off with 1/r^2 and you just need to find the line where the received power from the jammer and transmitter are equal - on one side of that line the signal gets through, on the other it does not.

For example:

Transmitter, 50 kW
Jammer, 100kW, 5km away

On the line joining the two, the Transmitter wins up to 12.07km away ( on the transmitter's side) and 2.07km away ( on the jammer's side) so as you walked that line, you would be able to hear the transmitter for 12km, then you would hit the transmitter, then 2km later the signal would be gone (still 3km from the jammer).
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:54 PM
canucksaram canucksaram is offline
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Would this be a feasible radio jamming setup?

Central tower, powered by electricity generated by steam turbine, with a solar panel backup.

Repeaters hidden in trees, weatherproofed to some degree, with their own solar panel power supplies. Perhaps one repeater every five kilometres, in a radial or spiderweb pattern?

Better yet, since the regime in mind has a semi-feudal organization, there are fortifications that can host towers. At a protected hard site like that a tethered balloon could be sent up to then send interfering signals. Hmmm....

Last edited by canucksaram; 04-02-2016 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:10 PM
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Since it is actively transmitting the jamming can be traced back to the source.

The KFS would simply bomb the jamming transmitter out of existence.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:57 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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A jamming network would probably work, depending on the power and dispersion of the jammers relative to the receivers. But as ArmySGT. notes, the KFS is not going to ignore the jamming - how are you planning on protecting the jammers?
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:22 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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The another consideration in the jamming network is the large amount of power being used to block a narrow band of radio. I am sure some scavengers would start tearing apart the edges of the network just for the working electronics and solar panels. It is also very expensive for the community creating the network. This kind of setup needs the community to be on the scale of KFS or Republic of Texas.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:11 AM
canucksaram canucksaram is offline
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I suppose it would be easier for the Bad Guy Nation to send agents out to kill any folks broadcasting "nearby" (triangulation would work to source transmission points, yes?) and then offer bribes and favorable treatment to snitches who dob in folks who use radios to listen to shortwave and other broadcasts from afar.

The Bad Guy Nation is a University faction turned dictatorship, in the vein of Plato's utopia ruled by a philosopher king. They have annexed nearby settlements and beyond their borders proper they dominate proximate neighbors whom they plan to annex, as well. They are far from KFS, being located in southern Ontario, Canada. To their northwest are the Lakers/Shippers, to their immediate south are the Six Nations of the Grand River Amerind faction, to their east and north-east are Badges and Scavenger factions, and soon to encroach are a Snake Eater faction of the prewar Canadian government.

South of the U.S.-Canada border are the ruins of Detroit and the Great Lakes hugging territories of Maxwell's Militia ("the Republic," "Maxwell," "the Republic of Maxwell") and beyond them the Warriors of Krell.
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Old 04-10-2016, 02:23 PM
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They could kill people off, or they could use fear, intimidation, or bribery to get them to transmit material favorable to the regime. To co-opt such for their own uses makes sense in the resource poor post apocalyptic future.

Have the radio station "lose" a favorite announcer to a tragic and sudden illness. The radio can then run ads for the Uni, explaining all their great work.

There is more role play in the dirty tricks and underhanded dealing then the just combat driven blow up or take over the station scenarios.

Depends upon the age and play style of your group though. Younger players are going to want shoot'em up action driven games with lots of NPCs to mow down.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:53 PM
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Who manufactures the radio sets? Can they be tuned to other stations?

It might be fun to teach people how to make crystal radios - and then set up a station to compete with the "bad guy" radio

"GOOD MORNING NORTH AMERICA! Hey, this is not a test. This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from Toronto to the Big Nickel!"
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:24 PM
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"Fwishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" Squeal, Squeek. "Fwissssssssssssssssssssssssssssss"
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:09 PM
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ISTR a discussion with a truck driver whose CB was rigged to send and receive over huge distances. He did this by not connecting to his standard CB antenna, but ran the connection to his large metal trailer, which boosted the performance massively. OF course it was quite against FCC regulations....
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:39 PM
Rodgrr Rodgrr is offline
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Default Is there any interest in making some radio sound bites?

I am looking for something that will let me make some radio stuff for my players to hear. I'd be happy to swap with others for more stations if anyone is interested. Does anyone know of a good free program?
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:27 PM
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Hmmmm........ there are various audio recorders....... you can record to MP3 for play back........... voice actors though....... hmmm write some scripts and visit other gaming groups?
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:14 PM
Rodgrr Rodgrr is offline
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Default Is there any interest in making some radio sound bites?

I'd be happy to write some scripts. Heck I'll do some some of them myself. I was wondering if, like the NPC's, other people might be interested in compiling some. I think we could have some fun with weather forecasts, crop reports, "local" and "classic" music. Maybe some baseball scores. I'm betting that a fairly recognizable game of baseball survived. Add in some government announcements and a few "messages from our sponsors" like "Come on down to Jepson's Diner! Roasted animal fresh, guaranteed 93% pure or better! Vegetables like you great grandma used to make. While you are there, use the handy mail service by the paddle wheeler "Fevre Dream". Fastest run up the Mississippi to KFS of any service."
What do you think?
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:18 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Get some sounds from here to loop under the voice actors and we have something.

https://www.freesound.org/search/?q=static
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:32 AM
Rodgrr Rodgrr is offline
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Default That is great!

I think that is a great find! Thanks. Anyone know where I can find a cheap "mixer" program to overlay that with me talking?
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:07 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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http://www.audacityteam.org
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:10 AM
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i like the idea of having a "numbers station" broadcasting pseudo random strings. it could just be flavor or you could use it as an adventure hook.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:47 PM
Rodgrr Rodgrr is offline
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Default How do we share the MP3s?

Is there a file section I'm missing? I started by recording the first "sponsor message" to give it a try. I'm no broadcaster, but I'm thinking there won't be too many pros left to criticize either. I was going to put it up here and start what I hoped might be a library.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgrr View Post
Is there a file section I'm missing? I started by recording the first "sponsor message" to give it a try. I'm no broadcaster, but I'm thinking there won't be too many pros left to criticize either. I was going to put it up here and start what I hoped might be a library.
Probably best to set up an independent Google drive for sharing.
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