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Broadcast transmission mode in ad hoc networks is critical to manage multihop routing or providing medium access control (MAC)-layer fairness. In this paper, it is shown that a higher capacity to exchange information among neighbors may be obtained through a physical-MAC cross-layer design of the broadcast protocol exploiting signal separation principles. Coherent detection and separation of contending nodes is possible through training sequences which are selected at random from a reduced set. Guidelines for the design of this set are derived for a low impact on the network performance and the receiver complexity.