Weite - Breaking the Shackles
All ships have a transponder which broadcasts basic identifying information concerning the ship (name, model, dtonnage, Port of Registration, etc..) In “civilized” space it is expected that all civilian ships will have their transponders =on= and may be fired upon, without warning, by system defense ships if not on. Ship’s captains should note in their logs when and why a transponder has been turned off in a non-frontier setting. Transponders may also be programmed to broadcast or “squawk” a designated number assigned by traffic control for traffic control purposes.
Certain “squawk” codes can identify a problem on board ship. These codes are reserved through most of known space:
7500 – Hijacking, mutiny or similar unlawful interference
7600 – Lost communications
7700 – General emergency
A 7700 is to be treated as a Signal GK by any vessel who is in range and can render aid.
Code 7777 is generally reserved for military ships, which only tend to use transponders when they are in high traffic areas. Many military ships have transponders which can give =false= information. This does not bear up once visual contact is made, but until then a 20,000 dton destroyer could broadcast that it is a 200 dton Free Trader.