The signal room or communications center is the hub of all communication for the ship. The signal room itself has several switching boards for routing the communications to the appropriate location. A large console contains the directional controls for the signal emitters and receivers. A cipher engine is located at the encryption station for encoding and decoding messages. A special console controls a memory buffer for sending and receiving data. There are two main types of ship to ship communications available. The hyper-heliograph is a high speed radiant emitter that can flash audio, video and data from emitter to receiver at the speed of light. Although the hyper-heliograph has a large bandwidth for point to point communications it's range is limited by the receives eloptical sensors.
Recently sub-æther astrographs have been installed in all Ukp ætherships. The astrograph is limited in bandwidth, similar to the early telegraph but the range is nigh infinite. Another downfall of the sub-æther astrograph is that anyone monitoring the same sub-ætheric medium can listen in on the message. It is therefore an absolute necessity to encode any confidential message with an appropriate encryption. The sub-ether communications interface looks like a largish hammer piston at the rear of the signal room. The face of the piston actually strikes a phenolicly charged plate. The vibrations of the plate ring through the sub- Æther instantaneously in all directions to an unimaginable range. The piston is linked to a simple telegraphic key for sending messages.