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About two years ago, a team of seven ponies which included the Royal Guard's best scientists began developing a technology that would allow two-way communication between Royal Guards at any point within the city of Canterlot. Soon, they broke ground making a "simple" connections between two synced radios operating on a one channel input/output system. However, this technology only worked when units where within a few meters of each other. The group hypothesized that with a bigger "ground" unit that could produce a strong enough signal could produce the result of a connected Canterlot. Work began on the Base Tower immediately, progress was quick, and the Base Tower was operational within months.
Not long after the Tower's construction, the group discovered by running their repeaters on a "Duplex" channel system (input on one channel/output on the other), they could use Base Tower to create a signal strong enough to cover all of Equestria. Soon after, Base Tower was expanded to Base Station, running various links that criss-cross all over Equestria.
Originally, Radio Base Station was seen as a much needed technology within the Guard. However, interest in the new technology has waned. The tower that used to operate at all times, is now only running 12 to 16 hours a day, very rarely does a Guard Officer carry a repeater with them, and of the seven ponies that constructed the tower, and developed the technology, only one pony (Cpl. Roseate Light) remains in active duty today.
How It All Works
The tower is Base Stations most important structure, without it communication is impossible. The tower has two main parts, a receiver (input) and a transmitter (output). Since the station works with a duplex channel system, the input and output channels run on different frequencies in order to avoid interference. The tower is not a directional antenna. Meaning, it can receive and transmit from any point within signal range. The tower operates on the VHF (Very High Frequency) spectrum of signals. This way, incoming signals do not interfere with simple one-way commercial radio systems in nearby areas.
Base Station is the main control center of all radio communications within Equestria. Base Station takes signals received from the tower, and changes current by way of a voltage converter so they my be interpreted by whomever is working the switches at the control panel. Base Station's output signal is usually a steady 451.175MHz (VHF). Any other output signal by Base Station is to be used for AN EMERGENCY ONLY! This is because Base Station's signal is so strong that it and interfere with commercial one-way radios nearby. Input signals to Base Station however, vary. At Base Station there is no "off" switch. The tower is always giving a constant signal even when unattended. Signals can come from both mobile and non-mobile repeaters. Repeaters have each have their own transmit signals. Whomever is working Base Station must be aware of where all the non-mobile units are and what signal they transmit. They must also know which signal correlates to which mobile repeater and whom it belongs to. Incoming signals to Base Station come to the control panel as a busy signal. The pony then must tune the input channel to the appropriate setting before communication can happen. Once a signal is sustained, Base Station operators speak through a transceiver, and sound is omitted through the systems loud speaker. Direct two-way signals only happen with one unit at a time. However, Base Station can deliver important information by crossing signals and using a temporary one-way signal to all units. Base Station is also hooked up to Canterlot Castle's PA System. Lastly, Base Station is also a control station, this means that in the event of another station being built Base Station will be able to conduct direct two-way communications with it as well.
Repeaters are box shaped units that can communicate with Base Tower. They come in both mobile and non-mobile units. Mobile repeaters are often referred to as the "dispatch fleet" or simply "dispatch". Dispatch units are usually held by Royal Guard Officers and other important officials. This guarantees that this member can always be contacted in case of emergency. Non-mobile units are really no different than Dispatch except that non-mobile units are never to leave a certain area or building. This ensures that this room, building, town or city can always be contacted. Non-mobile repeaters are sometimes referred to as "temporary base units" because they sometime fulfill the role as base stations to cities that do not have an official base station. During communications, non-mobile units are called by location (e.g: Cloudsdale, Crystal Castle, etc.). Unlike Base Stations, repeaters do have an off switch, and their signal can be shut down.
The future of radio-telecommunications is extremely uncertain. As of now, only one pony currently staffs the Radio Base Tower in Canterlot. Interest in using the technology by the Royal Guard has decreased dramatically. Lately, there have been talks by the Royal Guard Office in Canterlot to disband the use of the technology for military purposes completely.