People really need to read the Forewords in the FJ Tech Manual. They provide a backstory explanation for all the discrepancies between the manual and the series, the use of 20th century equivalents, etc. ....
I keep bringing this up, but no one responds.
Some people also do not read my posts. Obviously, the circuit diagram had to be "20th century equivalent," but there is no reason the tricorder interior
could not have been faked up with something more streamlined and futuristic-looking. The engineering deck in the series had massive blocks of machinery, but no moving parts, which revealed absolutely nothing about how it worked.
No one would have been able to fault it. If Franz Joseph had wanted to, he could even have faked up some futuristic circuit diagram symbols for non-existent components (like the "transtator" from "A Piece of the Action," or Spock's duodynetic field core made from a block of platinum from "The City on the Edge of Forever"). However, just a more streamlined interior would have been sufficient. LCDs existed at the time of first printing, as did SMDs (noted previously). It would not take any great stretch of the imagination to put in a flat screen technology, instead of the depicted CRT. The drawings don't even show any power source—a 1975 equivalent would have taken up about a third of the interior.
My use of the term "steam punk" meant an impossible technology. For example, a steam punk robot might clunk around like animated medieval armor, but the "tyranny of numbers
" would make it impossible. The mechanisms to make it move might be designed, but control would be impossible. (I always laugh when I see the massive relays clicking in Robbie's face in FORBIDDEN PLANET.)
So in essence, the given communicator circuit would just barely fit in the space provided, and the tricorder would be completely impossible. Consumer audiocassette players in 1975 were bigger than the tricorder. Throw in computer logic and all the other features? No way.