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Old 03-16-2019, 05:17 PM   #1
kapuhy
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Default Range of radio stations

Hi guys,

Recently bstanko6 posted a question on general SH5 forum regarding how far the radio waves would propagate in real life, in order to allow for more immersive gameplay. Reading this got me to do a little experiment - forgive me if this is all common knowledge but for whatever reason it is unused (neither in TWOS, Bstanko6's Radio Channels nor Carotio's International Radio Mod). Radio range is modeled in radio.ini for all stations:

[CHANNEL]
Name=Berlin
Folder=Berlin
Freq=200
Antenna=01.01.1930-01.01.2000:52.32,13.42:750
MusicVolumeOnNews=0.01

This is an example of entry in the file. We can set station name, frequency (any between 1 and 999), time range when radio is active, position from which it broadcasts and the last parameter seems to be maximum range in kilometers at which you can hear the station - at first, barely audible over the white noise sound. I tried tweaking this value back and forth for stations in known range from my U-Boat and I'd say one needs to be some 100-300 kilometers inside the radio range to hear it clearly and without noise, for example:

- My boat is 664 km form Berlin. I can hear Berlin station well if I set it's range to 800, barely if I set it to 750, and not at all below 700
- Algiers, 2854 kilometers from by boat: audible when range set above 3000, clearly audible over 3100
- Grossdeuscher Rundfunk: 1291 km from my boat, audible very weak when range set to 1300, and clearly when set to 1550

I was thinking that these parameters (antenna's time, position and range) could be used to have a bit more immersion in game - let's say if we use semi-realistic ranges and have more radio stations all over the world, player would have different music/news available during various patrols, depending on his boat position.

One could also use the same radio folder for several antennas - this would not inflate the radio folder size but could have interesting uses, for example German radio could broadcast not just from Germany, but also from capitals of occupied countries at the time when they are conquered by Germany.

Ok, I'm rambling a bit here so I'll shut up for now Just wanted to know if anyone has been putting this range parameter to use.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hi kapuhy,

I think radio Antenna values are fully functional and yes, I agree with you that - so far - they have been largely overlooked by modders. Unfortunately directional antennas can't be simulated, so for instance we can't get Radio London to broadcast their propaganda programs in German over Germany, in Italian over Italy, etc.

Other than that, there are other cool things that can be made with radio stations. There used to be some interesting threads on the topic posted in the SHIV-modding subsorum. When I find them I will drop their link here
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:35 AM   #3
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Seems like a fun project to start

As for directional antennas for specific areas - this can be somewhat solved by simply adding frequencies for propaganda in various languages, having like "BBC_Italy", "BBC_Germany" etc. and making sure target area is covered by station range. I'd be more worried about the disk space it would take to have enough multi-language news to make listening to the channel worth it.

That, and one would need people fluent in languages used, to search for and understand the content of broadcasts in order to put them in correct time.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Seems like a fun project to start

As for directional antennas for specific areas - this can be somewhat solved by simply adding frequencies for propaganda in various languages, having like "BBC_Italy", "BBC_Germany" etc. and making sure target area is covered by station range. I'd be more worried about the disk space it would take to have enough multi-language news to make listening to the channel worth it.

That, and one would need people fluent in languages used, to search for and understand the content of broadcasts in order to put them in correct time.
yes, my point is that if you use real antenna coordinates, most shortwave (= long range) radio programs will be audible outside their historical reception ranges.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:36 PM   #5
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Well, the range "border" works really nice, just checked it by sailing out of station's range - radio gradually is replaced by white noise as you get close to the border, it feels very natural.

Bad news is we apparently can't have several transmitters sharing one audio folder - I made two "copies" of a radio station with the same folder but different names and antenna coords, and the game simply ignored the second one. So there goes my idea of having for example several time-limited transmitters for Grossdeustcher Rundfunk from occupied countries.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Well, the range "border" works really nice, just checked it by sailing out of station's range - radio gradually is replaced by white noise as you get close to the border, it feels very natural.
From your answer I understand that I didn't make myself clear enough. I will try with another example. During WWII, EIAR (the national radio broadcaster of the time) had in its schedule programs of Japanese music and news which were intended for the Far East. If I made those programs into a radio station with its antenna located in Rome and a range factor big enough to reach Japan, the same station would be audible not only in Japan but in the Western hemisphere as well, as far the East Coast of the States. This is obviously wrong: if I wanted the said programs to be only audible over Asia and maybe Eastern Europe, I should place its antenna in an arbitrary location somewhere between Italy and Japan, and reduce its range accordingly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Bad news is we apparently can't have several transmitters sharing one audio folder - I made two "copies" of a radio station with the same folder but different names and antenna coords, and the game simply ignored the second one. So there goes my idea of having for example several time-limited transmitters for Grossdeustcher Rundfunk from occupied countries.
Good news for you: what you want to do has been achieved for SHIV, using a little trick:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedhealy View Post
In order to get new stations to feed off of the same folder, you seem to have to add a backslash to the front of the folder name for every new station.

So you end up with

[GENERAL]
RadioRealism=Yes
StartCh=1

[CHANNEL]
Name=Washington
Folder=Washington
Freq=22
Antenna=01.01.1930-01.01.2000:21.36,-157.96:6000

[CHANNEL]
Name=Washington-Midway
Folder=\Washington
Freq=42
Antenna=01.01.1930-01.01.2000:28.00,179.00:2800

[CHANNEL]
Name=Washington-Manila
Folder=\\Washington
Freq=52
Antenna=01.01.1930-02.01.1942:14.40,120.35:1600
My recommendation for you is to read carefully the following threads, as they contain information and ideas that you might find useful

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/show...720#post461720

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/show...630#post465630
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gap View Post
From your answer I understand that I didn't make myself clear enough.
No no, I got it This wasn't answer re directional transmitters, I was happy to see exiting radio range won't cause strange effects like audio suddenly popping in and out.

As for directional transmitters, if we can make several radio stations use the same folder and very close frequencies, theoretically you could make a directional transmitter by stacking "fake" transmitters along the common axis, like this (of course, since this is sea game we'd skip ones that only cover land):



Thanks for the links, reading these threads now!
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
No no, I got it This wasn't answer re directional transmitters, I was happy to see exiting radio range won't cause strange effects like audio suddenly popping in and out.

Okay


Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
As for directional transmitters, if we can make several radio stations use the same folder and very close frequencies, theoretically you could make a directional transmitter by stacking "fake" transmitters along the common axis, like this (of course, since this is sea game we'd skip ones that only cover land):

That's a nice idea, but I am afraid it has some shortcomings. The programs of two or more radio stations broadcasting on very close frequencies are mixed together where their respective ranges overlap with each other. That wouldn't be a big problem if those stations broadcast the same programs at the same time, but I think that even if two stations shared the same music folder, they will never play the same music at the same time, due to that game shuffling the music for us

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Thanks for the links, reading these threads now!
My pleasure kapuhy. Let us know if they help
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gap View Post
That's a nice idea, but I am afraid it has some shortcomings. The programs of two or more radio stations broadcasting on very close frequencies are mixed together where their respective ranges overlap with each other. That wouldn't be a big problem if those stations broadcast the same programs at the same time, but I think that even if two stations shared the same music folder, they will never play the same music at the same time, due to that game shuffling the music for us
Just tried this and you're right, I was hearing two different songs from the playlist at the same time. Perhaps if one could arrange the transmitters in such a way that their range circles overlap mostly over land...
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Just tried this and you're right, I was hearing two different songs from the playlist at the same time. Perhaps if one could arrange the transmitters in such a way that their range circles overlap mostly over land...
I don't think that's going to be practically feasible, but maybe you could make the "fake" transmitter ranges not to overlap with each other, or to overlap only with their "poor signal" external circles. Of course there would be some gaps between a transmitter and the other where we could only hear static noise or nothing at all, but with some fantasy we could pretend that this is caused by atmospheric disturbances, radio interference, etc.

An alternative solution could be making two overlapping stations to have frequencies close enough that when the signal of one of them is getting poor, the player can immediately tune their receiver on the next station, but not so close that you can hear them at the same time...
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:13 AM   #11
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Yet another solution that could work: we could synchronize "clone" stations by replacing the contents of their music folder with one long audio track. This way all clone stations will start playing the same track at the same time, hopefully blending into one.

The downside would be that "directional" stations would have static playlist - songs would always play in the same order.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapuhy View Post
Yet another solution that could work: we could synchronize "clone" stations by replacing the contents of their music folder with one long audio track. This way all clone stations will start playing the same track at the same time, hopefully blending into one.

The downside would be that "directional" stations would have static playlist - songs would always play in the same order.
Merging all the audio tracks of one station into one big track has many cons: it is time-consuming, we don't know how well the game is going to handle such a big file, as you said there would be only a static playlist and, last but non least, even though there is only one track to be played, there is no guarantee that the game will start playing all the "big tracks" composing a "directional" station at the same time so that, when you go from one station to the next one, their content will be synchronized
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:54 PM   #13
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Just tried it and unfortunately it doesn't work. I hoped the game starts all radio stations on loading game regardless of whether they are in range or not, but it seems it only starts the stations that are in range and loads new ones as you approach their respective range circles.

As a result, music was ideally synchronized when I loaded game in overlapping area of two clone stations, but as I left one of range circles and later returned to overlapping area, music from this station got reset to start of the track while the one that has been in range all the time kept playing other part.

So, yet another dead end.
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:25 PM   #14
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I'll have to test it further but I do have a somewhat functioning directional transmitter in game. As a test, I made a fictional radio in Narvik transmitting towards Baltic States. Here's how it works:

 


First transmitter uses frequency 200, next 206,201,207, and so on - this way overlapping transmitters have frequencies far enough away that one doesn't interrupt the other, and ones that might be heard together do not overlap.

From user perspective, instead of having "Radio Narvik" on any specific frequency, you have "Radio Narvik A" at 200 and "Radio Narvik B" at 207, either one or both will allow you to listen to the music as long as you are within the cone. You can also manually fine-tune frequency inbetween 200 and 207 to get best signal at various positions.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:10 PM   #15
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i installed the Bstanko radio mod over 10 times but i have only the default radio stations...how i increase the transmitter range ?
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