What is an antenna relay network?
An antenna relay network is a system of antenna placement and configuration I came up with. It involves some math and tidy excel spreadsheets to do it properly. This network is built on survival server using X,Y,Z beacon system. I do have to warn you you won’t be able to set the beacons properly because the whole XYZ beacon system is distorted, you can only get approximate values, varying 150-200 m.
How I got the idea?
The idea came to my mind as I was thinking of how to remote control our drones safely on a pvp public server. It required our base to remain hidden in deep space while still being able to reach the center where the asteroids are.
Uses for this network
This network is useful mostly on pvp servers, as a warning for incoming hostile ships. The fact that we use so many antenna relays makes back tracking almost impossible, as opposed to using just a few large antennas with huge broadcast radius. The best way to use this would be to have the small antennas scattered at the “centre” of the server, and that use large antennas on the outskirts.
Another important use is remote control. As all small ships have limited range on antennas you will be able to control your small ships in this grid. It is important thing to know that in order for remote control to work, both antennas have to be in range, thus overlapping each other. If you were using the large antennas, you would be covering the same area with only 1 antenna but in order to control the small ship it would have to be in the 5000 m range of the large antenna.
The maths and planning the network the right way
In order to place roughly 48 small relay nodes correctly I had to use some system. On the picture above you can see my ideas, and how they expanded. I used the system and went through all 8 combinations for 2 numbers, basically 110 km, and 115 km. After I have taught it out, I went ahead and did a spreadsheet, covering everything, from placement, to relay status and building components needed. It has a useful sector system, and you can enter your desired number of relays in the component calculator! You can download the spreadsheet here (Relay Drones Positioning).
Building them in survival
So as you may have already noticed this relay drones are quite inexpensive and their power lasts forever. It is important to say that you need only solar panel, antenna, and a small control panel. After you have built those, extend your antenna range to 5 km and name your antenna and ship according to the coordinates and the spreadsheet.
Always build them in the way that the solar panel has 100% exposure to sun. Failing in doing so might give you trouble as antennas need 20kW at 5 km range.
Remember to use relays to your advantage and set them to your ownership. Also enemies will only be able to see the relays in their range, they can’t see the whole network as you can.
Have fun remote controlling!