Ed Okin’s supervisor wants the signal-to-noise ratio on the downlink.
“Signal to noise?” repeats a suddenly awake Ed. “Right — um, right, I’ve got it here. It’s just, uhh,” continues Ed, flipping pages of greenbar paper. “Signal to noise, signal to noise… Ah, signal to noise, five point three dB.”
“Five point three?” asks another engineer. “What modulation scheme?”
“Uh, BPSK,” replies Ed.
“BPSK?” asks yet another engineer.
Ed looks at the engineer, puzzled. “Isn’t that correct?”
Herb mouths the word, “No.”
“We switched to QPSK,” says the team supervisor, “two weeks ago.”
Ed looks back, dumbfounded. “QPSK?”
Later, in the lunchroom, Herb is eating with the other engineers.
“It was incredible,” says an engineer. “I couldn’t tell you. The whole place was excited about it.”
“I couldn’t talk my wife out of going to the orchid show,” says another engineer.
“Everyone was there!” says the first engineer. “There was Annie, and Bonnie…”
“Yeah, I read about it,” says the second engineer. “It was murder. I mean, it was fantastic, Bob!”
“If you missed it, you can see it on cable,” says Herb.
Ed waves at Herb from across the lunchroom. Herb waves back.
“His family was there,” continues the first engineer.
Ed arrives at the engineering lunch table.