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Old December 22nd, 2019, 04:25 PM
Amatiste Amatiste is offline
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Default Transponders

Many adventures seem to allude to ships having some kind of ship transponder signature. Does anyone know if this is true?
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Old December 22nd, 2019, 08:13 PM
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Yes, at least Imperial ships must have tamper-proof ID transponders.

https://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Ship_Transponder

References are sprinkled all over Traveller canon, perhaps the most explicit is MT Starship Operator's Manual. See also "When Empires Fall", Challenger 64 and TNE Survival Margin. Mongoose Traveller Core mentions transponders in passing p144.

It is used in CT The Traveller Adventure as a plot device.


Basically all ships have transponders with a unique id. The transponder can't be changed, but can be turned off in emergencies.

Military ships (and criminals with very good connections) have transponders with variable ids, to deceive the enemy.
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Old December 23rd, 2019, 05:52 AM
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See that without transponers all the virus script makes even less sense...
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Old December 27th, 2019, 01:25 AM
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Thank you for response!
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Old January 21st, 2020, 01:15 PM
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The Mongoose Traveller Companion book has detailed info on them, "Transponders, registry and morgages", P158-159, detailing various settings (Active, Passive, IFF and Covert) and the difference between those, and which are (generally) available for military and civilian ships.

There's also some info on mortgage and mortgage status, and a section on transponder modifications.
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 11:06 AM
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I found the info in the MgT2 Companion very helpful and will use it for my next campaign, as the characters will be pirates.
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 12:54 PM
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Not specific to MgT but something to consider for transponder play in general.

IMTU transponders are usually par for the course and required especially in civilization.


However in frontier areas especially unpatrolled D and E starports, there is a custom of turning off constantly emitting transponders and only doing IFF query from government ships. This reduces the 'here is fresh meat' signaling that helps pirates, they are going to have to detect and then decide whether to risk that contact being dinner, or a Q-ship out to end them.

Probably illegal, but when you are weeks away from help you do what you have to for survival.


Deciding how to play IFF is that much bigger in MgT since you have relatively shorter range identification, just a bunch of IR dots really. IFF is huge in determining pirate and defender action.


The other item that any navy/LE is going to look at is course plot- if a ship is on an intercept with another and there isn't a declared emergency, shenanigans are likely happening.

Another more subtle one is course headings that track for several 1000 kms on a speed and course of a previous craft that would allow pick up of any cold-dumped cargo for smuggling purposes.
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 12:39 AM
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Interesting topic.

Recently skimmed the new transponder rules in MgT2e Companion but havenít fully grokked them yet. I guess weíve always done Passive/IFF without realizing it.

IMTU (MgT 2e) we use Power to affect detection and tracking. More power output, harder to hide. Iíve broken out some of the basic power reqs to allow for turning off inertial comp, lighting, etc, so would-be pirates can ďrun darkĒ or look like a smaller ship. Flip side is, once the shenanigans start, sensor lock is a bit easier IMTU than RAW.

But yeah, a long slow converging vector is where itís at. If you put your crew in vacc suits and acceleration couches you just might could fool that free trader into thinking your 300 ton Corsair is just another Beowulf. Question is, how long to wait til you strike?...
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Old September 30th, 2020, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fovean View Post

IMTU (MgT 2e) we use Power to affect detection and tracking. More power output, harder to hide.
IMTU basic physics is unchanged from the real world when it comes EM radiation, optics, radar, et al. So, if you are a ship that is powered with life-support running for humans you will be detected pretty much as soon a your IR emission reaches another ship. Where ever you are in a system.
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Old April 22nd, 2021, 12:49 PM
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IIRC they're also mentioned in GT
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