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

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Old October 2 2011, 02:06 PM   #91
Patrickivan
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
What waters?

What mud?

This metaphor is confusing.
The waters and mud that are in the nacelles and are powered by lithium batteries..

Christ, can't you follow this???

I'm certainly in agreement of reactors being in the main hull of the ship, but nothing powerful enough to enable warp speed. Enough for all other ship functions. I would think just the one main reactor in the secondary hull engineering were we would have the batteries too.

Now failing the power from the nacelles, and then the backup reactor in engineering, the batteries would be good for limited functions. Maybe some very temporary defences. limited impulse. Very limited power hungry transporter activites. Maintaining stable planetary orbit for lengthy periods. Though long term life support and food replication.
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Old October 2 2011, 04:21 PM   #92
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

The water is positive and the mud is negative. Intermix them cold and you get time travel

One thing though is that the reactor in the secondary hull must have some influence on the actual use of the warp engines in the nacelles. The sabotage of the secondary hull one in "That Which Survives" and the modification of it in "The Changeling" pushed the warp engines to higher speeds.
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Old October 2 2011, 06:21 PM   #93
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Well, let's face it. If we're going to try to incorporate all (or as much as possible) of the TOS onscreen references into one "grand unified theory" then it aint gonna be simple. After all, there's a lot of trivia to account for isn't there.

What I consider "muddying up the waters" is when someone tries to add something to the mix that is totally new and uncalled for by the onscreen "evidence". An example would be the idea that Dilithium exists partially in this universe and partially in another universe or subspace or whatever, etc.

Or, when those involved in later Trek productions arbitrarily retcon something without doing their homework first, such as saying that Dilithium somehow "magically" is not reactive with antimatter, or that the A-M "pods" are not the nacelles themselves (or at least inside them), but just small tanks for said fuel at the bottom of the M/ARC etc. etc.

But what blssdwlf, others, and myself have tried to do is simplify things, as much as is possible, by bringing everything (in TOS) together under one, logical, self consistent explanation.

And while this naturally involves extrapolating from known treknical "facts" and throwing a bit of real world physics into the mix on occasion, at least we're not pulling stuff out of our arses, and making up total BS as we go along.

And speaking just for myself, trying to retcon or “retrocon” TNG + techno-babble into TOS muddies the water far more than just dealing with TOS tech alone. While I think it can be fun to try to bridge the gap in some cases, if possible, ultimately, more often than not, it just causes more headaches than it solves.

IMHO it makes far more sense to treat TOS as a special case unto itself, and ignore the later stuff that was done after Jefferies and Roddenberry etc. were no longer involved, than it does to ignore or “explain away” clear TOS references just for the sake of consistency with the spinoffs made by people who had no connection with the original. Or rather, let’s rethink post TOS Treks’ techno-babble to make it more compatible with that which is the source of its existence in the first place.

Last edited by TIN_MAN; October 2 2011 at 08:31 PM.
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Old October 2 2011, 07:21 PM   #94
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

One thing we need to address, before we do anything else, is just to determine what we think terms actually used on-screen in TOS mean to us.

One term that is used regularly throughout TOS, but which seems to be getting neglected here, is "auxiliary power."

We know that auxiliary power is not "the batteries" because these are discussed separately at various times (and, also, because real-world use of this terminology precludes it, but no need to get into that unless someone really thinks "auxiliary power" refers to the batteries, is there?)

We also know that "auxiliary power" provides some substantial additional power source... sufficient to make a significant impact during combat operations and the like.

What we need to decide, if we're going to try to work through all this, is "what is auxiliary power?"

To me, the ship's auxiliary power is provided by a series of fusion reactors located in the main hull of the ship. (six in the primary hull, adjacent to impulse engineering, accessible from outside the ship by the "L" panels above impulse engineering, and four in the secondary hull, below main engineering, accessible from outside the ship by the "T" panel on the underside of that hull). While not capable of producting WARP DRIVE, these can be used to energize the subspace field sufficiently to permit my personally--preferred concept for "FTL subspace-assisted impulse" and can be used to power most ship's systems.

But, you could argue, I suppose, that auxiliary power" is an additional m/am reactor, if you wish. There's nothing in TOS that states what "auxiliary power" really is, is there?

It's worth looking at the "aerospace model" when you think about this. Most large jet aircraft, today, have an "auxiliary power unit," typically in the tailcone. This is a small gas turbine, similar in concept to the aircraft's main engines but different in implementation.

The APU is not designed to product thrust (although it actually does produce a small amount of thrust, it's not sufficient to actually keep the aircraft in the air, much less sufficient to let the aircraft take off!). The APU does, however, directly connect to an internal generator.

When at the airport, the aircraft is generally mostly shut down. It may be running off of electrical power provided by umbilicals, or it may be running on battery power. But neither the umbilicals nor the batteries can produce sufficient power to support starting of the main engines, generally speaking.

The APU, on the other hand, is quite a bit smaller than those propulsive gas turbines. It can be started using power from the batteries, or supplied through an umbilical.

The APU can produce sufficient power to permit the main engines to be started.

The APU can also be turned on, in-flight, to provide supplementary power to the aircraft. This is rare, but is less rare than it has been in the past, now that many more aircraft systems are being driven electrically (fuel pumps, actuator systems, etc, etc) which were previously primarily hydraulically-driven. If the electrical load on the aircraft systems exceeds the capacity generated by the main propulsive engines, the APU can be started to provide supplementary electrical power to keep the aircraft systems operating properly.

So... for me, the Enterprise's "auxiliary power" system consists of fusion reactors, not m/am reactors. But those who think that there is a third reactor in the secondary hull may be treating that as the ship's auxiliary power system.
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Old October 2 2011, 08:42 PM   #95
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I pretty much always thought of the impulse fusion reactors as the "APU's" when they are called upon to power other systems besides the impulse engines, although they can do both at the same time, and there may be, of course, additional fusion reactors dedicated as "APU's".
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Old October 2 2011, 08:57 PM   #96
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
I pretty much always thought of the impulse fusion reactors as the "APU's" when they are called upon to power other systems besides the impulse engines, although they can do both at the same time, and there may be, of course, additional fusion reactors dedicated as "APU's".
Well, in my own version of this ship, the impulse drive isn't actually a "fusion rocket," as much as it's an outgrowth of the VASIMIR concept (which is, basically, an electrically-driven rocket), and the fusion reactors are not inherently part of a propulsion mechanism per-se. That's not demonstrated in canon in any way, mind you, it's just my personal perspective.

I don't think you were here when I was developing my own Enterprise, were you? If not... here's what my impulse deck looks like (notice two "engineering set" spaces, one to either side, which have spaces for"energizer cathedrals" as well... which are in addition to main engineering in the secondary hull) You can see my six fusion reactors, which are separate from the propulsive (VASIMIR-like) system.That's how I, personally see it. And we have a total of ten of those reactors throughout the hull.

That's one thing I've noticed... people tend to hear "reactor" in TOS and automatically assume that this means "matter/antimatter reactor," even in cases when there's no reason to draw that conclusion. If we hear "reactor number three," who's to say that this doesn't mean "fusion reactor number three" rather than "matter/antimatter reactor number three?"
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Old October 2 2011, 09:18 PM   #97
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Yeah, I remember that, good stuff there.

If the impulse engines are indeed advanced rocket engines (by definition "impulse" = rockets) then it probably is something like you've got there.

But I've also been toying around with the Idea that the impulse engines may use a perfected version of the Biefeld-Brown effect, which uses a sharp high voltage "impulse" to produce thrust, which seems to tie into the mysteries of the unified field, as it can produce anti-gravitational effects as well.

P.S. Occam's razor would suggest that the 3 reactors mentioned twice in TOS are three M/A-M reactors, but I agree, they could refer to other types. It just seems to segue into the other references to multiple "M/A-M reactor(s)" and helps to reconcile everything.

Last edited by TIN_MAN; October 3 2011 at 03:32 AM.
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Old October 2 2011, 09:22 PM   #98
Patrickivan
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
That's one thing I've noticed... people tend to hear "reactor" in TOS and automatically assume that this means "matter/antimatter reactor," even in cases when there's no reason to draw that conclusion. If we hear "reactor number three," who's to say that this doesn't mean "fusion reactor number three" rather than "matter/antimatter reactor number three?"
Agreed- And I've been guilty of not explaining that when I've said reactor, if it wasn't prefaced with m/am, then I wasn't talking about a m/am reactor.
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Old October 2 2011, 09:24 PM   #99
Patrickivan
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Re: TOS Nacelles

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The water is positive and the mud is negative. Intermix them cold and you get time travel

One thing though is that the reactor in the secondary hull must have some influence on the actual use of the warp engines in the nacelles. The sabotage of the secondary hull one in "That Which Survives" and the modification of it in "The Changeling" pushed the warp engines to higher speeds.
I guess the systems must be tied in on so many levels to allow for such drama.
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Old October 2 2011, 10:27 PM   #100
BK613
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Just coming off of cataract surgery so not much I can add at this point but in the interest of levity this seems obligatory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raP9uVHgfcA&ob=av2n

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Old October 3 2011, 05:02 AM   #101
DrBashir
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Tossing in my bit of the mud to the waters. Perhaps batteries refers not to chemical batteries (or a futuristic equivalent) but to a battery (i.e. a colelction) of small fusion reactors. Or pergium or whatever.
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Old October 3 2011, 09:20 AM   #102
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

DrBashir,

You're correct about the proper definition of a "battery" (and it's nice to see someone use the term in that sense), but contextually, I think it was fairly clear that the batteries referred to were intended to represent some form of storage system, not a generation system.

FYI, for those who don't follow what he meant... if you've ever thought you held a "AA battery" in your hand, you were mistaken. You held a "AA cell" in your hand. cluster six of those cells, and you have a battery.

The only device most of us ever deal with which is an actual pre-packaged battery for consumer (non-vehicular) use is the 9-volt battery, which actually is a cluster of six 1.5V cells inside of a rectangular cannister.

So, DrBashir is technically correct, but I just think that those who wrote the bits talking about the batteries on the Enterprise intended for this to be understood in the most familiar sense.
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Old October 3 2011, 10:01 AM   #103
DrBashir
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Well, maybe we can bend their intentions just a bit. Perhaps it goes something like this:

Primary power - Matter/Anti-matter
Auxilary power - Fusion reactor (powers primary hull when seperated)
Batteries - Produces small amounts of power when activated and cannot be refuelled while in operation.

Primary & Secondary power feed the main power distribution system as well as their respective drives (M/AM - warp, Fusion - Impulse)

Power from the batteries is primarily for maintaining life support and minimal operational system (sick bay, bridge). You can tie the batteries into the main system but they're not designed to handle large load or demands. They're a stop gap until you get you main system back online.

So, fusion may not be the way to go with that but some sort of reactor, perhaps pergeium or something similar. When activated, they offer relativly low power but for a relativly long period of time. Replacing the power elements isn't something that's anticipated in an emergency. They may even be sealed units that don't require a charge but do have a limited lifespan. In an emergency you activte the battery and it runs until the fuel is exausted. You can't switch it off or back on. However, since it's not a storage system there's no danger of overload or energy leakage.
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Old October 3 2011, 12:17 PM   #104
Timo
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Re: TOS Nacelles

We could argue that "Doomsday Machine" gives us the most complete picture of what a starship has available and how it might cross-connect.

In that episode, power on the Constellation was lost, and it was said specifically that

1) "all power plants dead" (supposedly these are facilities that generate useable power from fuel that would not release its power without the intervention of a power plant)

and

2) "reserve energy banks operative at a very low power level" (supposedly these are facilities that store energy in a readily accessible form, and are currently releasing just a trickle of power but potentially still storing lots of energy)

This is surprisingly consistent and physically sound terminology. Later on we learn that the drive systems are damaged: "warp drive is a pile of junk" but "impulse engines are not too badly off". This time, the terminology applies to drives, rather than power sources.

Then we hear that "As far as we can tell, something crashed through the deflectors and knocked out the generators. Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated." Beyond this point, the Constellation supposedly doesn't have antimatter (especially not in the warp drive pods, which could be located under Kirk's seat for all we know since no connection is made with any of the ship's structures - merely with one of the ship's functions!) and never regains main power or warp drive.

When Kirk later calls for maneuvering power, Scotty tells him about the status of the two drives, without specifying where the power to run them comes from. But both starships are soon forced to operate on "impulse power" or "emergency impulse power", at a time when the "warp drives" of both are out of commission. Spock worries that this will exhaust their "fuel" in seven hours - an unprecedented occurrence in Star Trek, and possibly indicating the emergency nature of the power source in use. But it's "fuel" specifically, so probably something going through the "power plants" rather than being taken from the "power banks".

We thus have a three-tier structure within one episode: main power lost, auxiliary power available for various applications (perhaps including warp drive, but since that drive is lost the question becomes academic), and batteries that store energy and release power but do not convert fuel into further power. We also have the intriguing reference to antimatter deactivation, coupled with the failure of our heroes to use their photon torpedoes (supposed antimatter weapons) or their warp drives (supposed antimatter-propelled systems).

Other episodes tend to feature one or two out of the three tiers. But "DDM" could be the benchmark that establishes those other eps as describing only parts of the total setup. Furthermore, the explicit use of the term "fusion explosion" to describe a user-commanded malfunction of the impulse engine gives us our best hint at the nature of impulse power, auxiliary power, and the connection between the two.

Where everything goes, physically, is a separate question. But the "DDM" framework would seem to neatly accommodate everything described elsewhere.

"Antimatter in the warp drive pods" and "the energy generated by our power nacelles" are two pieces of "DDM" dialogue that might tell us where everything lies. But "warp drive [antimatter] pods" could be located anywhere - either next to the photon torpedo launcher antimatter pods or then far away from those. Perhaps close to the "main energizers" which are on Deck 7 in this episode (although of course the ship may have dozens or hundreds of main energizers, even if Palmer here only worries specifically about the Deck 7 ones, or the ones controlled through Deck 7)? Or close to the (photon torpedo launcher?) antimatter tanks on Deck 11 in "Errand of Mercy"? Or then in the nacelles...

That part remains muddled. It's just the basic power structure that gets clarified in the episode, in a fairly straightforward manner.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 3 2011, 08:53 PM   #105
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Nicely summarized, Timo.

I've always tried to make my own stuff conform to in-universe dialog and imagery. That's part of why I have my "saucer engineering section" laid out as it is. My version has three energizers (which is what I call the cathedrals of tubes)... only one in the secondary hull, and two in the primary hull.

I did that for two main reasons... one, the primary hull actually has more significant energy requirements than the secondary hull, overall (phasers, photorps, main sensors, impulse propulsion, etc, etc), while the secondary hull only has one major system (the main sensor/deflector dish). And secondly, because of the dialogue which, at different places in the series, tells us different locations for the set we know as "engineering" which can only be resolved if we assume that there are multiple compartments with the same general configuration.

This would not make much sense if these were the places where main power is generated, of course, but it makes perfect sense if these are the places where some high-energy reaction products (regardless of whether those come from a fusion reaction or a matter/antimatter reaction) are converted into useable energy to operate ship's systems. And we also know that the Roddenberry-driven idea about where engineering is (at the aft centerline of the saucer) which is where FJ was forced to place it as well, really makes no sense (and pretty much precludes having a lift tube going between the hulls!)

Your summary pretty much covers power generation. I will accept occam's razor insofar as what "pods" meant in this episode... the audience would be assumed to see this as the engine nacelles, so that's how I see it. The nacelles have antimatter stores (and it's not hard to see how this might be "deactivated" if you hit them with a beam of "pure antiprotons.") The nacelles are also (possibly directly related, possibly not) the propulsion system.

We know that the impulse system works, and we know that while the impulse system is working, the "cathedral of tubes" is lit up... which pretty much conclusively proves that this is not the matter/antimatter reactor, doesn't it? But at other times in the series, when the ship's matter/antimatter system is malfunctioning, this same "cathedral of tubes" is what we see acting oddly... so it's clearly not the "impulse power" system either, right?

And we know, unambiguously, the the impulse subsystem derives its power and its propulsive energy from a fusion system of some sort. Whether this is a direct "fusion rocket" system, or something like I like (VASIMR and separate but related fusion power generation), or whether it's some other non-Newtonian system (ignoring the fact that "impulse" is a classical Newtonian term) driven by power generated from fusion power.

It's very clear that there is a power storage subsystem, and that this is called "the batteries" or, in this case, "reserve energy banks." Both terms are, as far as I'm concerned, interchangeable (one being more informal than the other, of course).

The three tiers makes sense. The "cathedrals of tubes" are not where power is generated, but where useable power is "harvested" from whatever reactor you're tapping at the time.

Once we accept that the "cathedral of tubes" isn't the reactor, or part of the reactor... the rationale behind requiring power generation to be in the main hull falls off dramatically, doesn't it?

We COULD have it there (though this seems excessively dangerous and risky, from my perspective). But there's no real advantage to having the matter/antimatter reactor in the main hull. (For that matter, if I were designing the ship from scratch, I'd have the fusion reactors external and easily ejected.. but by putting them behind those grey-outlined-with-grey panels, at least I'm making it easier to toss 'em out in an emergency, so that's better than having the most dangerous element of the ship deep in the core of the ship.

At least in TNG-and-later times, they'd come up with the idea of ejecting the warp core (something Voyager did waaaaay too often!) to deal with this. But they never mentioned anything of that sort in TOS. All they ever mentioned was the line repeated a few times here, about "escaping in the main section" (paraphrasing, I can't recall the exact words used).

For those who want the main matter/antimatter reactor, or the fusion reactors (which we KNOW were there, by DDM) to be deep within the hull... how do you deal with the idea of a problem of that nature?
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