- "Use the comlink? Oh, my! I forgot. I turned it off."
A comlink or communicator was a portable device that transferred voice signals from one location to another.
Comlinks came in numerous varieties, though most had the same central systems: a receiver, a transmitter, and a power source. Comlinks were typically small, palm-sized devices for easy transportation and concealment. They often weighed as little as 0.1kg. More advanced models featured encryption routines, frequency search controls, sound reproduction matrices, silence projectors, and built-in ports for data transmission. Some comlinks, such as those used by the Jedi, were equipped with complex security devices that prevented unauthorized use. Comlinks were often integrated into helmets, such as those that clone troopers and later stormtroopers wore. Even droids could have integrated comlinks.
Without satellite amplification, a standard comlink had a range of about 50 kilometers. This range was decreased drastically in dense urban zones due to the presence of high levels of electromagnetic interference, though this could be circumvented by the use of wired transmission networks. Range and signal strength against interference was primarily dependent upon the power source; correspondingly, comlinks with higher levels of available energy (such as military and vehicle-mounted models) had much longer ranges and less interruption than hand-held civilian models. Between 32 BBY to 8 ABY, comlinks with standard security enhancements cost 200 credits.
Comlinks were also used aboard starships, mainly for short-range communications such as landing/departure clearances and formation commands. For longer-range communications, many starships utilized subspace radios, which necessitated an even larger power supply.
Certain comlinks also had the ability to track other comlinks, presumably by following a transmission feed between them.
While the typical comlink was handheld, it was also not uncommon for them to be worn in a variety of ways to increase portability, usability, or stealth depending on the situation. In this fashion, comlinks were often worn on the wrist, on the head, directly on the ear, in the ear, or even implanted under the skin. Police officers from the Coruscant Security Force used such a handsfree comlink to communicate. It was round and covered the wearer's ear. Lieutenant Tan Divo and Captain Jaller Obrim were both known to have used one.
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