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

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Old September 23 2011, 02:09 PM   #1
Patrickivan
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TOS Nacelles

I was watching By Any Other Name today and noted an interesting line by Scotty.

"I have opened the control valves to the matter/antimatter nacelles"...

I relistened to it 6 times, because the subtitles say "cells". But he is specifically saying "nacelles".

Now we've heard that the nacelles were supposed to be the actual engines for the ship, and the power source. Though it has never been substantiated fully in cannon.

I recall an episode were someone suggested jettisoning the power pods. Now this may not have been referring to the warp nacelles, but if it was, there's more evidence to suggest that the nacelles of this time period (or at least on This type of ship) housed the matter antimatter reactors.

And this makes sense since The nacelles were so far away from the ship due to how dangerous they were supposed to be.

Engineering in the secondary and primary hulls are obviously places to control were this energy goes/ stored, but it's not where it's created.

So what I'm wondering, is who here is in the camp where the nacelles are not only part of the warp drive, but contain the volitile matter/antimatter reactors to power this huge and powerful ship? And what other lines from TOS substantiate this possibility?
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Old September 23 2011, 02:42 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Hmm. I'm in the camp for accepting that there probably are dozens of ways to skin the warp propulsion cat, and that ENT, TOS, TMP and TNG might all have utilized engines that were subtly or grossly dissimilar, despite looking more or less the same to the outside.

OTOH, nothing about warp nacelle placement changed when antimatter reactors explicitly became internal to the secondary hull. And ejectable pods other than the nacelles seem to have been a feature of all the warp power and propulsion systems in all the shows and eras. "That Which Survives" especially seems to show Scotty toiling on a single matter-antimatter reaction chamber that involves an ejectable magnetic bottle arrangement.

Doesn't mean there wasn't antimatter flowing in the nacelles, too. But the reference to a single reaction chamber makes it a bit unlikely that there would have been much mixing going on up there. Unless we speculate that Losira was only able to sabotage one reaction chamber out of many, and was kind enough to sabotage the one in the engineering hull (so that Scotty could save the day) - or perhaps cruel enough to sabotage that one, instead of the more easily jettisonable nacelle ones?

It doesn't sound as if Losira actually sabotaged the m/am intermix system, tho. Spock just suggested this as a practical location for cutting the fuel flow to the engines which couldn't otherwise be shut down, thanks to Losira's sabotage. Perhaps the m/am chamber mixes the fuel but then has it delivered to the nacelles for the actual power generation? Doesn't make much sense to mix (or, as Scotty says, "integrate") matter and antimatter unless for power generation, tho. And a system that delivers energy from the integration unit to the nacelles is essentially what we have in TNG.

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Old September 23 2011, 03:19 PM   #3
judexavier
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I've always gone with what Jefferies thought, that the nacelles contained powerful, dangerous
energies that needed kept away from the rest of the ship.
My own opinion is that the anti-matter containment tanks/modules would be THE dangerous things
to eject in event of emergency. The reactor itself, without antimatter involvement, would just be a inert hunk of metal.
I always envisioned the layout like this: A/M tank adjacent to the reactor, followed by some sort of
feed/distribution/modulation assembly, which then fed plasma to the coils, and to the rest of the ship.

With all the later "warp cores" and "warp plasma?", dialog, tech manual descriptions, etc, my opinion goes completely out the window.
Visually, the glowing exotic cool warp core sets look better than, well, tanks inside nacelles.
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Old September 23 2011, 06:29 PM   #4
malchya
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Re: TOS Nacelles

My personal take on it, supported by considerable research into technical sources as well as multiple discussions on this same topic on several boards and with about 6 million other trekkies is: The old cylindrical warp drive nacelles contained the reactors as well as the engines. Breakthroughs in safety and containment led to the "warp core" being installed in the engineering hull and the considerable "slimming" of the nacelles.
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Old September 23 2011, 11:21 PM   #5
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I go with the official line, that the main reactor is in the secondary hull, a.k.a. the engineering hull, which feeds power out to the nacelles, which contain the warp coils and other doohickeys, which generates and regulates the warp field.

The thing to keep in mind is that whenever the threat to the ship was largely external, like some mad supercomputer has grabbed the ship and will blow her up unless Kirk does something down on the planet, like talk the computer into blowing itself up, the technobabble is all over the place, and oftentimes focuses on the obvious trait of the ship's power, those big nacelles.

HOWEVER, when the ship itself is threatening to blow up and Scotty actually has to do something to prevent this, we are almost always presented with an internal m/a reactor.
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Old September 24 2011, 02:38 AM   #6
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
So what I'm wondering, is who here is in the camp where the nacelles are not only part of the warp drive, but contain the volitile matter/antimatter reactors to power this huge and powerful ship? And what other lines from TOS substantiate this possibility?
I ended up in the "there are 3 m/am reactor cores that comprise of the m/am system (complex)." 1 reactor in each nacelle and 1 in the engineering hull.

That way you could refer to a single reactor or multiple reactors and still be "correct" since anyone of them could be the cause of a catastrophe

I detailed out a bunch of dialogue from the series with my notes in an earlier post:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=229
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Old September 24 2011, 04:18 AM   #7
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I worked up a system with a small M/A reactor in each nacelle (emergency backups for when the main reactor is offline, giving the ship capability of around warp two to get out of whatever mess they've gotten into), simply to take the occasional oddball reference into account with a minimum of hassle.
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Old September 24 2011, 04:23 AM   #8
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
So what I'm wondering, is who here is in the camp where the nacelles are not only part of the warp drive, but contain the volitile matter/antimatter reactors to power this huge and powerful ship? And what other lines from TOS substantiate this possibility?
Well, I think that everyone who's read anything I've written on here knows that I'm firmly in the "airplane design philosophy" for the TOS 1701.

Matt Jefferies was an aerospace guy, and he was thinking in terms of aircraft when he came up with the concepts for the Enterprise. In aircraft, engines are generally mounted remotely from the main fuselage, in external nacelles, typically suspended from the wings.

The engine burns fuel, and and this turns the turbines in the engines... which gives both propulsive energy and also allows mechanical energy to be tapped from the gearbox. The gearbox drives an AC generator which provides unprocessed electrical power as well as drives the hydraulic system's primary elements.

The electrical power as provided is unusable, however. It is sent to a complex array of rectifiers and inverters which provide a range of different forms of electrical power to various subsystems on the aircraft.

The Enterprise, as designed by Matt Jefferies, was intended to follow this model. Main Engineering, as designed by Matt Jefferies, was not intended to represent the main power generation system, but rather the location where the raw energy from the engines is transformed into a useable form.

It is true that in Elaan of Troius, comments were made which could be interpreted to mean that power generation occurred at Main Engineering. I'm not aware of any other place in the series where anything of this nature was said, however, and most of the series (and in particular, the items you mentioned) tend to agree with Jefferies' original intent.

So, I'm 100% in the "power generated in the engine nacelles, but converted into useable form in the secondary hull" camp.

No surprise there to anyone who's followed my work on the Enterprise, of course, huh?
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Old September 24 2011, 04:29 AM   #9
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

malchya wrote: View Post
Breakthroughs in safety and containment led to the "warp core" being installed in the engineering hull and the considerable "slimming" of the nacelles.
Actually, while this is not directly supported by anything we see in the show, I PERSONALLY treat the radical redesign of the power generation system seen in TMP as an outgrowth of the interaction with the First Federation (Balok's people).

I also see the redesigned nacelles to be an outgrowth of the modifications made to the engines of the Enterprise by the Kelvins.

Just like we were explicitly told by Gene Roddenberry in the ST-TMP novelization he wrote (or partially wrote, anyway) that most of the sickbay modifications and advances were brought back by McCoy after his sebatical among the Fabrini.

It makes sense, really... radical changes in technology may not necessarily reflect evolutionary changes as much as radical, revolutionary changes based upon new discoveries. And we KNOW that there were multiple new discoveries during the time of TOS, don't we?
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Old September 24 2011, 04:34 AM   #10
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
I go with the official line, that the main reactor is in the secondary hull, a.k.a. the engineering hull, which feeds power out to the nacelles, which contain the warp coils and other doohickeys, which generates and regulates the warp field.
Except, of course, that this was never "the official line" for TOS... you are substituting personal opinion and "post-TOS trek" ideas for "TOS ideas," I'm afraid.

It's not "the official line." It's just not. Until TMP, it was pretty much universally accepted that the engines generated the power. A few people might have thought otherwise, but nothing official ever stated anything to that effect, no line in the series ever stated that overtly (only one episode really even HINTING at that) and a number of other references clearly infer otherwise... and that's not considering "original design intent."

It's one thing to say "this is what I think" but it's another, entirely, to say "this is the REAL story, and thus you're all wrong." Your take is your take... and you're welcome to believe it. But it's no more "official" than any other opinion any of the rest of us may hold.
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Old September 24 2011, 06:35 AM   #11
ngc7293
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I just had the impression that the nacelles had the warp coils and that the m/am was carried in the engineering hull. There are several ships where the pylons are different lengths or none at all. Miranda has a short pylon. Oberth has the Nacelle directly connected to the hull. That is just two examples.
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Old September 24 2011, 06:42 AM   #12
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: TOS Nacelles

From TOS? Where nary a coil been mentioned?
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Old September 24 2011, 07:05 AM   #13
ngc7293
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
From TOS? Where nary a coil been mentioned?
So basically since nothing has been said, those two big cylinders are empty? Or does M/AM some how get put in there and run the ship?

I don't know about you, but I like my idea better.
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Old September 24 2011, 07:14 AM   #14
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I see it having coils too, but I'm just playing devil's advocate.

It's applying TNG's approach to TOS.

It's roughly like seeing a jet-powered aircraft and using its principles to try and figure out the Wright Flyer.
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Old September 24 2011, 10:18 AM   #15
MacLeod
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Re: TOS Nacelles

What you mean sufficent forward thrust to generate lift?
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