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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old October 18 2008, 06:51 AM   #1
CuttingEdge100
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TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

If you watch TMP/TWOK/TUC and TNG the ships always seem to have only one reactor (the main intermix section), but the TOS Enterprise seems to have at least 3 reactors...

URL: http://trekplace.com/article07.html (About 75% to 80% down the page)
A part mentions a line from "Day of the Dove" in which Spock says...
SPOCK: Alien detected in the engineering section, near reactor number three.

Has anybody noticed this before?


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Old October 18 2008, 07:51 AM   #2
ElScoob
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

No. I have never noticed this at any time.

<ducks into bomb shelter>

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Old October 18 2008, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

Yeah, it's been noticed.


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Old October 18 2008, 03:54 PM   #4
FalTorPan
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

As the guy who wrote that article, yeah, I noticed.

I think of the NCC-1701 -- both TOS and TMP-era configurations -- as a sort of puzzle. It's fun to try to piece together the innards of a beloved sci-fi spacecraft. Part of the fun is that the shows and films leave enough wiggle room for a variety of ideas to be valid.
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Old October 18 2008, 08:36 PM   #5
CuttingEdge100
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

FalTorPan,

I think of the NCC-1701 -- both TOS and TMP-era configurations -- as a sort of puzzle. It's fun to try to piece together the innards of a beloved sci-fi spacecraft. Part of the fun is that the shows and films leave enough wiggle room for a variety of ideas to be valid.
I suppose that's true, but I think having multiple-reactors (at least two) is drastically superior to having only one.


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Old October 18 2008, 09:00 PM   #6
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

One main reactor energizing the warp core, and two small fusion reactors to energize the impulse drive, and spare fusion reactor for swapping out the impulse engine reactors as needed.

Just an idea...
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Old October 18 2008, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
One main reactor energizing the warp core, and two small fusion reactors to energize the impulse drive, and spare fusion reactor for swapping out the impulse engine reactors as needed.

Just an idea...
This I think sounds the most in tune with what I think the TOS 1701 would be.
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Old October 18 2008, 10:01 PM   #8
MarianLH
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
I think having multiple-reactors (at least two) is drastically superior to having only one.

It certainly seems like a good idea to have more than one point of failure. But there are nuclear submarines that have only one reactor, so the TNG+ single warp core model is not implausible.


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Old October 19 2008, 04:22 AM   #9
CuttingEdge100
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

MarianLH,

It can be done, I'm sure, but for a large vessel (which unlike a submarine, is by no means, stealthy, and can't, unlike a submarine, avoid combat and detection with little difficulty if desired) with a crew of several hundred men and women, and designed to operate for prolonged periods of time in outer space light years, if not dozens of light-years from help on a routine-basis, and even do battle periodically, redundancy is a highly important characteristic!


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Old October 19 2008, 07:08 AM   #10
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

We're mainly talking about auxiliary power generators, apart from the matter/antimatter reactor, which primarily powers the warp drive, and the fusion reactors that power the impulse engines.

In my version of things, I've got, I think, six backup fusion reactors, under the forward engine room, and, just to satisfy the occasional reference to power generation from the nacelles, small M/ARCs between the Bussard collectors and the warp coil plasma injectors (no dilithium crystal systems up there; these are strictly emergency backup systems for when the main engines go out and the ship is in deeeeeeep kimshi -- enough for a short burst of warp speed, say, Warp 3.5, to get out of a tight spot, but not much more).
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Old October 19 2008, 03:12 PM   #11
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

I can accept that. Makes sense given the long-range nature of the E's mission. A backup power plant in each nacelle is a logical development given the imagined state of technology.

Smaller backup reactors make sense as well, they don't have to be that big, maybe foot-locker sized... just for generating power to the ships systems and providing that needed "kick" to get the matter-antimatter system up and running.


Now that I think of it, the cold-start issues could stem from waking up the nacelle reactors, you'd have to arm the system, boot the computers, establish a handshake and begin making plasma, prepare the antimatter and establish an intermix ratio and balance the injection sequence before applying power to the coils. Attempting to bypass all that leads to all sorts of freaky shit happening like short time hops and whatnot.
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Old October 19 2008, 04:41 PM   #12
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

Just for the record I did NOT destroy my former workplace with a huge hypersonic amplification cannon powered by Swedish pop-music.
More like German techno....
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Old October 19 2008, 07:11 PM   #13
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Just for the record I did NOT destroy my former workplace with a huge hypersonic amplification cannon powered by Swedish pop-music.
More like German techno....

Norwegian Death-Metal actually. You'd be surprised what you can get away with in New York if you have the proper permits.


COP: HEY HEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

ME: Destroying my former employer with a hypersound cannon.

COP: Yes I can see that... you got a permit?

ME: Yes. *hands over papers*

COP: Oh! Oh! Ok. I see... yes carry on then. You need me to direct traffic?

ME: No thanks, we're good.
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Old October 21 2008, 01:00 PM   #14
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
FalTorPan,

I think of the NCC-1701 -- both TOS and TMP-era configurations -- as a sort of puzzle. It's fun to try to piece together the innards of a beloved sci-fi spacecraft. Part of the fun is that the shows and films leave enough wiggle room for a variety of ideas to be valid.
I suppose that's true, but I think having multiple-reactors (at least two) is drastically superior to having only one.


CuttingEdge100
Not if the one is bigger and more powerful than the three.

The aircraft carrier Enteprise (CVN-65) as launched had eight nuclear reactors. At some point those were replaced by four more powerful ones that do the same job.
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Old October 21 2008, 01:32 PM   #15
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Re: TOS Enterprise: Multiple Reactors?

(Two, I think.)

The big issue with reactor numbers would be simplicity of maintenance vs. redundancy in case of catastrophic damage. A single reactor would be a single failure point, which is actually good when you don't want to worry about eight points that might fail at any time, or even at the same time. However, if you can trust your eight reactors not to fail too often, you might appreciate the fact that any four of them might go down and you'd still have half your power left; with a single reactor, you'd have either all or nothing.

Of course, if you can really trust your eight reactors, you might wish to build a fourfold-uprated model so that you could have just two things to worry about, and still enjoy redundancy. And three powerplants, each of which alone would be able to move the ship at a crawling pace at least, would indeed sound appealing for the TOS ship.

Then again, we do know that the TOS ship tended to fail at a single point. The dilithium focus was the weak point, almost completely disabling the ship in "Elaan of Troyius" when sabotaged. From this we might deduce that the man-tended parts in the engineering hull are the important bits, and whatever may lie in the nacelles can't get the job done in case of catastrophic failures, so it might just as well not be there at all.

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