DX-13 Team Comm
The DX-13 comm is designed with away team missions in mind and does not require a controller to be rezzed. It does not require membership of any second life group. It allows secure short range (region local) messaging between team members that can be set up very simply.
The DX-13 comm comes in two versions: these are called the commander and the user. The commander comm can be used to set up new services and edit existing ones. The standard comm can receive and use DX-13 services but cannot set them up. The standard comm is free to copy. This means a single DX-13 system can be used for a large group without group members needing to purchase their own units.
- Secure in-sim comms
- User list support
- Optional password protection
- Optional group restriction
- Multiple services allowed
- Distribute notecards and images to your team
- Support for roleplay comm feedback requirements
- Unlimited users supported by a single purchase
- Free updates for life
Quick start instructions
Quick start instructions
- Rezz the box, open it and copy the contents to inventory.
- Find the folder called '[Delta] DX-13 comm v1.0'
- Activate the 'Speak' gesture in the folder.
- Wear the object called 'DX-13 public comm'
- Give a DX-13 public comm to someone else and have them wear it and activate the gesture
- Type /ats Hello! in chat. The other user will see what you say and can reply.
The public comm is set up to use a service defined by Delta. Naturally, as everyone that buys a DX-13 set gets one of these free it isn't terribly secure! Using the commander comm you can set up your own secure service.
Don't try attaching the user comm at this stage! It will simply detach again. This is because as yet it isn't associated with any service. We'll explain how to set it up later on.
- What's in the box
- DX-13 comms explained
- Using the comm
- Menu options
- Setting up a user comm in detail
- Hints and tips
1. What's in the box
In the folder you have unpacked you will find
- the DX-13 commander comm (red)
- the DX-13 public user comm (blue)
- a full perms DX-13 user comm that you can set up and give out to users of your service (white)
- the Speak gesture to simplify operation of the comm
- a notecard with a briefer version of this page
- a template help card for you to edit and give to your users
The colors refer to the prim just in front of the ear on the included comm. You may of course color texture and otherwise mod the comms as you like.
2. DX-13 comms explained
The DX-13 protocol is an encrypted comms protocol that allows multiple secure services to coexist within a sim without the use of rezzed controllers. It uses HTTP to access settings but uses in-world chat for communications. The design is intended for use in situations where high quality security is needed for a brief period. If the same channel/encryption settings are used for a long time, they become prone to fairly simple cracking techniques; but the design makes it very hard for a cracker to intercept the settings (using a technique called a one time pad).
To use the comm, you speak in chat on a private channel of your own choice; by default this is 55. You must change this; there is no point at all in using secure communications if your speech into the communicator can be overheard. This means editing a gesture for your users.
To set up a secure service, proceed as follows:
- attach the commander comm (do this somewhere private as it needs to be given data in chat);
- from the menu, select New service;
- enter the name of the service when prompted;
- enter a suitable password (you can leave this blank but we don't advise it)
- note down the security string safely
That's all! Now when the menu appears you'll see the name of your service. By selecting it you can configure it in various ways, or connect to it, but as at the moment nobody else can connect to it there isn't much point in doing this. So the next thing is to make a comm for your users.
Probably you want to use your own suitable comm object, but if you just want to get started fast you can use the one supplied. That means editing it. You can't attach it to edit it until it has a service card, so you will have to edit it on the ground, but remember it's small and fiddly so put it out in edit mode. Create a notecard called service (all lower case!) and set its content to the security string you were given. Make it no mod no trans. Drop the notecard into the comm and rename the comm to something more useful, then make it too no mod no trans. Now you can hand it out to your users.
Now some tips about making the system more secure.
- It's already quite secure! Your service is identified not just by its name but from your identity as creator of the notecard. Anyone who wants to spoof the service will need to get a notecard created by you and discover the security string you used on the service card.
- Make the comm object no mod before you hand it out to stop people trying to break it by putting their own notecards in. Make it no trans so your users can't pass it on (if you do this make the notecard no trans too).
- Set a password. Users will have to enter this when they attach the comm.
- Lock the comm to your second life group: only users of that group will then be able to use it
- Set a user channel other than the default, edit the ats gesture to use that
- Set a timed reset so the comm settings change occasionally.
3. Using the comm
The comm is a very simple device. Your users just need to attach and use the ats gesture to speak. So to say hello you would type
A number of commands can be entered, using the special character /. Any string that starts with a / is taken as a command. Commands are
- /users Show a list of users in the sim
- /help Get the help card (if you made one)
The commander comm recognises an extra command /menu that allows its owmer to manipulate the dx13 services that user owns. The menu is described in the next section. It also differs in that:
- it doesn't ask for a user password even if one is set
- it doesn't take any notice of group lock
- instead of needing a notecard defining the service it uses, it offers you a menu of your services
- it can send items to users: add an item xxx to its inventory, type /transmit xxx and the item will be distributed to all users in the sim.
The commander comm remembers the system password for the last service you connected to. If you change service you'll be asked to enter the password.
4. Service menu options
The service menu
|Edit||Show the edit menu for changing service settings|
|Settings||List the settings for this service|
|Delete||Delete this service|
|Reset||Reset the service encryption settings. This will also reset all comms in the sim you are in so that they pick up the new settings.|
|Services||Switch to a different service|
|Reconnect||Reconnect to the service|
The edit menu
|Password||Set a service password. This is a password for your users, and is not the same as the one you use to edit settings|
|Group lock||Lock the service to a group: this will be the group you had active when the comm was attached. If you can't remember edit the comm and look at its group or activate the group you want to use and reattach the comm.|
|Grp unlock||Remove group lock|
|User channel||Set the channel for users to use when they speak into the comm|
|Timed reset||Causes the service to reset the parameters (channel and encryption key) automatically at intervals.|
|Region reset||Causes users moving between sims to reconnect. If you have this set and you need to reset the parameters during a mission then anyone arriving in sim after the change will automatically get the new settings|
5. Setting up a user comm in detail
- Create a new named service. Attach the commander comm, get the service menu and select New service. Enter the name and password and you will be given a security string. Keep a note of it but keep it secret.
- Create a notecard called service and paste in the security string. Set next user permissions to no mod no transfer.
- [Optional] Set a password and/or group lock the comm if you want.
- Pick a channel for your users to use when speaking into the comm. It has to be positive. Use the User channel menu option to set the channel up.
- Open the gesture act and change the channel in it (55) to the one you chose. Rename the gesture if you want and save it.
- Make a comm or use the one we supply. If you make your own copy the script DX-13 comm into it. Either way copy the service notecard into it. Remember that many rolaeplay sims require that a comm should be clearly visible and identifiable.
- [Optional] Provide for your comm to supply feeback in chat on use if you want or if sim rules require (as they do in most CCS sims for example). The simplest way to do this is to copy the DX-13 feedback script into your comm; the script is full perms so you can edit it to change the message whispered or to make some more elaborate system if you like.
- [Optional] Make a help card telling your users about your service and how the comm works. It must be called help; you can use the one in the box as a template if you like. Drop the card in the comm too. If a user types the /help command they will get a copy of your card.
- [Optional but recommended] Make your comm no mod no transfer
- Put the comm and the gesture in a box and hand them out to your users.
If you are a scripter, you can add extra commands to your comm. Don't read this paragraph unless you understand what a linked message is! When the comm script encounters a command (that is, a string that starts with the character /) that is doesn't recognise it sends a link message whose parameters are as follows:
- the command (including the initial / character) cast to a key
6. Hints and tips
Would be eavesdroppers will have a hard time breaking the encryption; the two most likely sources of security lapses are users speech into the comm being snooped, and outsiders getting hold of a comm. If you make the comm and the service card no trans it's hard for outsiders to do this, but remember, today's team member may be tomorrow's outsider! If someone leaves your team you have three options:
- set a (new) password and don't tell them;
- if you have group lock set, remove them from the group
- define a new service and hand out a new comm