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Rotating and Switchable Ship Transponder Cards

earwigfleshfactory's picture

Two expressions of the same blackmarket technology with varying sophistication, and therefore cost.

Rotating Transponder Card: The more advanced of the two, rotating transponder cards are essentially a simple smartcard containing a number of different transponder ID codes that can be selected at will. There is a sizable spectrum of sophistication within even the rotating card category, the least being deletable or packaged with an off switch; the more advanced models are indistinguishable from normal transponder cards, and some actually able to "hijack" the codes from ships within short-scan range.

"Switchable" Transponder Card: Not actually a type of transponder, but an override "switch" designed to attach to the blackbox transponder housing. This device uses a simple binary redundancy to spoof the box's broadcast of the ship's transponder code. The simplistic AI of the blackbox is tricked into thinking it's already broadcast in the given cycle, and resets for the next. Most switches, once thrown, will only need to operate for a few cycles to override the transponder indefinitely. The switch can then be removed, and will only need to be replaced when the user wishes the broadcast to resume.

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