DX-11 Group Comm

The DX-11 Group Comm is intended as a roleplay comm for Second Life groups. It works in a single sim or (with the optional bridging pack) in a group of adjacent sims. It offers a number of advantages to roleplay factions and other groups:

  • secure encrypted messaging designed to defeat channel snooping devices
  • easy to use comm unit that works out of the box with minimal configuration
  • completely configurable appearance
  • no need for your members to buy comms: you are free to hand out as many comm units as you like to members
  • supports multiple services
  • simple sim bridge (optional extra) allows one controller to control multiple adjacent sims

Manual

  1. Getting started
  2. Customisation
  3. The controller
  4. The sim bridging kit
  5. Using the comm
  6. Change log

1. Getting started

Keyless mode

The simplest way to operate the comm is to use it in keyless mode. This works if you are able to rez a controller (and sim bridges if necessary) whose group is the group for which you need the comm. In some parcels, objects not set to the owning group are automatically returned. In that case you need to use key mode, described below.

  1. Rezz the controller, making sure you have the group that will use the comm active.
  2. Rezz the comm on the ground.
  3. Make a notecard called service containing just the word sample. The notecard *must* be created by the owner of the controller - this is a precaution to avoid impersonation. Edit the comm, select the contents tab and drag the card from your inventory into the comm.
  4. Take the comm back into inventory.
  5. Wear the comm. You should see the welcome message.
  6. Give a comm to someone else telling them to activate the group tag. Activate the gesture and have them do the same. You should now be able to talk to one another using the gesture. For example type /gc Hello world

Now your comm system is ready and all you have to do is give comm units to your members. Before doing that read the next section to see if there are changes you want to make.

Key mode

Rezz the controller and set it to the land group so it won't be returned.

To use key mode you must edit the notecard config in the controller. First you need to find your group key. Rezz the enclosed Group Key Detector, make sure it is set to the group using the comm and then touch it. It will chat a key. For example the key of Delta Test Pilots is

ffef3a04-5cf9-223c-ce14-c0ae0a1e0c18
Now open the communications window so you can copy this to the clipboard (details of how you do this may differ from OS to OS and even viewer to viewer). Open the config card and at the bottom add the line
gk=ffef3a04-5cf9-223c-ce14-c0ae0a1e0c18
but instead of using the Delta Pilot key paste in your own. Save the card and the controller will reset. Now you can go on with the instructions above starting at the second item.

You can add several gk lines if you want to allow several groups to use the same comm system.

Key mode differs in one slight respect from keyless mode: it tests the group the resident had active when the comm was attached, not the group active now. This means that in key mode a user can attach the comm and then change groups. This has the unfortunate consequence that if you expel someone from your group you cannot stop them using the comm until they detach it.

2. Customisation

Service name

In the setup we called our service sample. If you only intend to operate one service then it doesn't much matter what it is called. By using a different name you may run several independent comm services. Simply

  • Rez a new controller and edit its config card changing the service setting to some new name.
  • Make a notecard called service with this same name and put it in a comm unit
  • Hand round the new comm

Appearance

You can put the contents of the comm unit into an object of your own. Some roleplay sims require that comm units should be clearly visible so check before putting them into a HUD.

Permissions

Even if your members give away copies of their comms to outsiders the outsiders will not be able to use them unless they have the right group tag active. However, you may wish to make the comm units you hand out no trans so you have better control over who has one. You may also make them no mod if you want all users to wear a similar comm unit.

Protecting your secrets

Two mechanisms protect your comm from intrusion: the channel on which comm units talk to one another can be varied at will, and communication can be encrypted using a cypher. Together these settings make possible reasonably good security. However you should change both the channel and the cypher occasionally to deter users of channel snoopers. The channel is set by the ts setting in the controller config file. Using a negative value ensures that it will not interfere with spoken chat on any channel. The cypher is set by the crypt parameter: if this is omitted communications will be unencrypted.

You can make s quick change to either or both parameter by editing the card and then clicking the controller and selecting Reset. All users will be logged off and their comm units will then try to log on again using the new settings. This is also useful if you have removed someone from your group and you want to disconnect them from the comm at once.

Connect message

The welcome parameter sets the message users receive when they connect to the controller.

Failure message

The unwelcome parameter sets the message users receive when they try to connect to the controller with the wrong group set.

Feedback

Many roleplay sims require that feedback should be given in chat every time the comm is used. You can supply a suitable feedback message using the fb parameter. The string %n will be replaced by the user's name.

The user channel

The user channel is the one users speak into the comm on. You may change this by setting the uc parameter in the config card but remember that you must then make the same change in the channel used by the speak gesture.

Remember that the user's chat to the comm cannot be encrypted. Change the user channel occasionally and encourage users to whisper into the comm.

3. The Controller

The controller controls access to the system. Unless you intend to deploy the sim bridge, you need to rez a controller in each sim where the comm will be used.

The various settings in the controller are set by the notecard called config in its inventory. These settings were discussed above. To edit the config card

  • edit the controller
  • right click on the notecard called confog and select open
  • find the setting you want to change and enter its new value
  • save the notecard and close it. The controller will automatically be reset.

If you add a texture to the inventory of the controller it will be valueed as the screen image.

4. The sim bridging kit

Some roleplay sims do not permit intersim comms. It is your responsibility to ensure that any use you make of the DX-11 comm conforms to local rules.

Before you start you must deploy a controller in one of the sims as already described. We shall call this the home sim.

Find a place on the border between the home sim and the sim you want to bridge to where you can rezz the bridge. The upstream bridge (red) goes in the home sim and the downstream (blue) in the other sim. They must be within chat range (20m).

Make sure you have the right group tag active and rez each bridge component, Add to the upstream bridge the same service card that you added to the comm.

Now touch first the downstream and then the upstream bridge, If all is well the text above them will turn yellow then green. When it is yellow the two parts are paired but the controller has not been contacted. When it is green the comm service is active through the bridge. A few seconds later each will become invisible.

The bridges are paired; if you replace one you must reset them both. The upstream bridge is also keyed to the controller. If you replace the controller you must reset the bridge. This is always done by touching forst the downstream and then the upstream bridge.

You can extend the network by adding a new sim either to the home sim or to the other sim. Follow just the same procedure, always remembering that the upstream bridge belongs in the sim that is already connected.

The network command on the controller causes each component of your system to send you a message saying its role and location. Although the bridge components are normally invisible, when the owner clicks them they become visible and reset.

Avoid building very long chains of sims linked by bridges; communication becomes very slow. Also avoid creating loops with (at its simplest) a bridge from sim A to B and another backk from B to A. This will create a great deal of unwanted traffic. If you need to connect a lot of sims or sims that have no common boundary the DX-15 comm is more suitable.

5. Using the comm

This section is a very brief user guide for users of the comm. You may like to use this as a basis for a notecard to give to your comm users.

The DX-11 comm allows you to speak securely to other members of your group. Remember that you must have the group tag active to use the comm.

Attach the comm - it attaches to the left ear. If you have the correct group set and you are in a sim where the comm is active you will see a greeting message. If you see a message telling you that you are not authorised, check that your group is right and then reattach.

Now activate the supplied gesture called speak. This allows you to use the gesture /gc to speak. For example if you now type

/gc Hello world
all the other users who are connected will see the message Hello world. Your comm will also whisper to users nearby to show that it has been used.

You can also enter the special command /ping to see who else is using the comm. Just type

/gc /ping
and you will see a list of users.

Remember to hand users the speak gesture too.

6. Change log

v1.0
  • Release

The images used in the advertisements for this product are by the Russian surrealist artist Konstantin Prozorovsky. His work can be seen at http://www.prozorovsky.com/