A communicator is defined as a radio transmitter/receiver combination capable of operating off an internal power source; it is portable in the sense that it need not be connected to a power supply. It may transmit and receive voice, video, and data. Communicators 0.2 liters and under can be worn as earpieces, which are unnoticeable to the casual observer.
Communicators can be either broadcast or tight beam. Radio is the principal form of broadcast communications. Tight beam communicators are much more difficult to intercept or jam but are also somewhat more complex and require that the transmitter know the precise location of the receiver. Tight beam radio communicators require an antenna designed for focusing the transmission which adds both weight and cost.
The power of a radio communicator determines its effective broadcast range – the distance to which a clear signal will carry before it is sufficiently degraded to be indistinguishable from natural background noise and static.
All spacecraft, and many vehicles, are automatically equipped with radio receivers integral to their hulls. These allow reception of radio broadcasts. There are hand-held versions of these same receiver radio systems for personal use. In the event of these receivers being destroyed, the receiver arrays of many other types of electromagnetic sensors will function adequately as radio receivers.
- Marc Miller. Imperial Encyclopedia (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 55.
- Marc Miller. Referee's Manual (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 68.
- Frank Chadwick, Dave Nilsen. Fire, Fusion, & Steel (Game Designers Workshop, 1994), 49.
- Marc Miller, Robert Eaglestone, Don McKinney. Starships (Far Future Enterprises, 2019), 144.
- Marc Miller, Robert Eaglestone, Don McKinney. Worlds and Adventures (Far Future Enterprises, 2019), 174.
- Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master Scout Emeritus Adie Alegoric Stewart of the IISS
- Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science