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

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Old January 26 2013, 03:04 AM   #16
Metryq
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
It's also ironic, that the lack of a visible ship having landed, makes the Iotians suspicious whether Kirk and officers are truly from outer space
I never thought about that—what a great point!

KIRK: There are over four hundred guys there.
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Old January 26 2013, 04:39 AM   #17
throwback
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

The writer for "Court Martial" was using a term that was in common use in the 1960's. I illustrated what this term meant, for it's possible that this is what the writer envisioned when he wrote that episode.

Per Balance of Terror, both sides in the Earth-Romulan War employed atomic weapons. The ships of the Romulan navy in the 2260s retained the warheads of these weapons for self-destruction. And, it is demonstrated in the episode, that a single warhead could threaten a Federation starship. The Enterprise destroyed the warhead, resulting in minor radiation burns for crew members who were working in the ship's outer areas. According to McCoy, the injuries could have been far worse if the warhead hit the ship.
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Old January 26 2013, 12:41 PM   #18
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Timo wrote: View Post
As for "lithium cracking", this need not refer to lithium being cracked (a process never really called by such a name in reality, as "cracking" is already reserved for a specific petrochemistry process). It might just as well refer to cracking taking place with the help of lithium. Remember that the place was visited by ore transports - and it would make very little sense to haul ore to this remote location from more central ones, but a lot to haul it to that location for refining and the eventual hauling of the end product to the distant civilization. Why haul in lithium ore for cracking, when lithium is actually fairly abundant everywhere (as long as we accept the ubiquity of Earth-like worlds)?
Since this is the 23rd Century with little need for petrochemistry I don't see why "cracking" shouldn't apply. Of course, "tritium breeding station" couldn't have been an alternate choice but then most viewers would have asked
a) What is tritium?
b) What is it good for?

By going for "lithium cracking station" that skipped the first question and just left "What is it good for?".
Furthermore people familiar with nuclear fission would have pointed out that tritium is a waste product of nuclear fission reactors so why even go through the hazzle of devoting a whole planet to the production of this waste product?
Somebody familar with nuclear fusion would have understood that this planet produces nuclear fusion fuel and that dirty nuclear fission is rather outdated by that time (although other TOS screenwriters apparently felt differently, unfortunately).
I see no contradiction that the "ore ships" transport the (rather rare) lithium to Delta Vega where it is converted to fill the "fuel bins" of Delta Vega.

My whole point: Here we have the proof that nuclear fusion (at the good riddance of nuclear fission) is in widespread use during the beginning (!) of TOS. Why deprive ourselves of that opportunity and instead deal with these unconstructive hints towards nuclear fission? If you can master controlled matter-annihilation then controlled nuclear fusion would have been a discovery on that path of a believable technological evolution.

Alternately, of course, we can assume that Delta Vega actually produced antimatter and that "lithium cracking station" was a cover to avoid unnecessary attention.

Timo wrote: View Post
Also, if impulse drive combines power from fusion and propellant from fusion exhausts, it is likely to consume onboard resources faster than warp drive - a curious fact indicated in "The Doomsday Machine" where sustained impulse maneuvering is a pressing problem for fuel reserves whereas warp maneuvering never ever was. Impulse movement might involve shooting out both waste helium and unfused deuterium, as the latter would be not just an available energy source but also the one available source for propellant mass (unless the ship carries a separate substance for propellant, which would be a bit silly - or unless impulse drive involves no Newtonian propellant exhaustion, which actually sounds rather likely).
Yes, we've seen that "power failure in the main energizers" leads to loss of deflector shields, instant phaser power and warp power.

DECKER: Mister Spock, status report.
SPOCK: Warp drive and deflectors will be out for a solar day. Repairs proceeding on transporter and communications.
SULU: It's closing with us again, sir.
DECKER: Maintain speed and distance.
SULU: It's sucking in space rubble from those destroyed planets. Refueling itself.
SPOCK: We can maintain this speed for only seven hours before we exhaust our fuel, but it can refuel itself indefinitely.

It would indeed appear they had to rely on "battery power" (i.e. pure nuclear fusion energy) for impulse drive where the use of the main energizers might have enabled them to turn that pure nuclear fusion energy into an "exotic" one providing greater thrust.

Interesting: No reported (permanent) damage to the dilithium crystals but merely a temporary failure of the "main energizers" that seem to require one day to cool off and/or to be repaired. I can't help but feel that it looks a lot like what happened in ST II.
However a clear indication that you need the "main energizers" to work with the dilithium crystals to produce warp power!

Timo wrote: View Post
As for the deeper meaning of "energizer", I'd go for the invigoration aspect.
I concur and there is another hint that "the energizer" (i.e. one energizer!) in "The Alternative Factor" only supplied the crystal regeneration drawers with energy.

Lt. Palmer clearly refers to "main energizers" (i.e. more than one) that are probably those "power plants" Spock mentioned earlier in that episode.

By the time of ST II they have apparently been able to reduce main (and secondary) energizers down to one.

Nevertheless, I concur with blssdwlf's conclusion that dilithium crystals are able to release enormous burst of energy (mabe that's their amplification or oscillating effect?).

In ST II the energizer is "out", yet when Spock removes the casing we see an obvious burst of energy, suggesting that was the energy stored by the crystals.

Bob
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Old January 26 2013, 01:20 PM   #19
Timo
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

why are they in the machinery for the entire episode when the process was complete 1/3rd way into the episode?
Because the first Lazarus steals the re-energized ones, and the second one sabotages the machinery while stealing the next batch?

It's not as if the thefts would be limited by the ability of the Lazari to carry just two crystal paddles; four could just as easily be pilfered. That just two are taken could easily mean that just two were done...

Do you think they had time to properly energize or amplify the crystal necklace used in "Elaan of Troyius"?
Probably not a factor if it's "fresh"... And even if they aren't at peak efficiency, they are still better than no crystals or drained crystals.

The need to use an energizer would be an extremely rare occurrence, as it would be almost unheard of for crystals to be drained. Normal operations might result in gradual drain; time travel would result in more rapid degradation; but only an entire universe hiccuping would create a crisis so severe that four or more dilithium paddles would need to be energized "from ground up".

In TOS, you can bypass the crystals and still have some warp power. But in ENT and TNG you cannot.
Quite so. Doesn't mean there would be any fundamental difference in the setup. The TNG one is simply more streamlined and reliant on things working smoothly - a common feature in the evolution of technology.

He knows how the Horizon (or a sister ship) conducted First Contact business a century earlier
He doesn't appear to know much about the Romulan War, though. Are we giving him too much credit?

The argument about the Iotians being unconvinced about the size of Kirk's crew or starship is the more convincing one. But in contrast, we have the Archon from the same era, "pulled down from the skies" only after her crew had interacted with the people on the surface and sealed their fate - suggesting that landing an entire starship or a major section thereof was not a technological necessity for that era, merely an available option.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old January 26 2013, 08:42 PM   #20
blssdwlf
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Timo wrote: View Post
why are they in the machinery for the entire episode when the process was complete 1/3rd way into the episode?
Because the first Lazarus steals the re-energized ones, and the second one sabotages the machinery while stealing the next batch?

It's not as if the thefts would be limited by the ability of the Lazari to carry just two crystal paddles; four could just as easily be pilfered. That just two are taken could easily mean that just two were done...
It's not how many they took but the status of the crystals and where they were taken from. The crystals were fully re-amped before Lazarus 1 stole the first pair. They were not indicated to be needing a re-amp again when the last pair were stolen. Why were they still in that energizer for almost the entire episode if all it can do according to you is re-amp when they should have been moved back to their normal power-providing location as soon as they were re-amped?

Timo wrote: View Post
Do you think they had time to properly energize or amplify the crystal necklace used in "Elaan of Troyius"?
Probably not a factor if it's "fresh"... And even if they aren't at peak efficiency, they are still better than no crystals or drained crystals.
I can agree with "no crystals" but I don't see any difference between "drained crystals" and these never been used before crystals. They still would be starting at a zero or low charge. If you mean that properly energize them to a minimum level so they can start to discharge like a lithium ion battery in a laptop then that would make sense.

Timo wrote: View Post
The need to use an energizer would be an extremely rare occurrence, as it would be almost unheard of for crystals to be drained. Normal operations might result in gradual drain; time travel would result in more rapid degradation; but only an entire universe hiccuping would create a crisis so severe that four or more dilithium paddles would need to be energized "from ground up".
But in your description the crystals are *always* being drained. Small amount or large amount, it still means they are constantly being drained and requiring a "re-amp". But if we believe that the energizer in "The Alternative Factor" is the only way to "re-amp" the crystals then the crystals would be constantly carried back and forth between rooms on the slightest drain leaving them vulnerable during critical moments.

Why can they not have the ability to re-amp/re-charge crystals in place rather than carry it to a dedicated machine?

Timo wrote: View Post
In TOS, you can bypass the crystals and still have some warp power. But in ENT and TNG you cannot.
Quite so. Doesn't mean there would be any fundamental difference in the setup. The TNG one is simply more streamlined and reliant on things working smoothly - a common feature in the evolution of technology.
I disagree as they are fundamentally different.

In TOS, the crystals are not necessary for the operation of the ship's engines as long as they have working bypass circuits.

In ENT and TNG they are critical to the operation of the ship's engines as they regulate the matter-antimatter reaction.

From "Bound"
KELBY: The injectors feed into the dilithium chamber.
D'NESH: That's where the matter and antimatter mix.
KELBY: That's right.
D'NESH: The crystals let you control the reaction.



But that kind of gets back to the OP's topic.

In TOS, crystals are not necessary for matter-antimatter reaction.
In ENT and TNG, crystals are necessary for matter-antimatter reaction.

So, do ALL the warp-capable shuttlecraft use dilithium crystals in them?

Did the shuttle in "The Menagerie" that chased the Enterprise have crystals?

Did "First Contact"'s Zephram Cochrane warp ship have dilithium crystals? Did it even use a matter-antimatter engine or was a fusion reactor it's power source enough to achieve warp speed?
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Old January 26 2013, 08:51 PM   #21
Albertese
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

This thread has a lot of really long posts! I keep wanting to read it but never have that kind of time... but, this morning I took the time and read the whole thing!

Some fascinating arguments on both sides of this one. Over all, the idea of "batteries" being fusion reactors make a good deal of sense. Really, the word "battery" actually means a group of similar things working together for a common purpose. Before the widespread use of electricity, the word "battery" was most commonly used to refer to a line of cannon deployed on a battlefield. In fact, even the modern parlance of "battery" being used to describe, say, a D cell, is a misnomer: a single "battery" is in fact technically a "power cell" and a bunch of them together equals a battery. In fact, the only common battery that is actually a "battery" is a 9 volt, which is actually six AAAA size power cells (yes: that's 4 A's) that are soldered together and in a common casing. The idea of the Enterprise's batteries being, in fact, a row of small fusion plants, perfectly fits the definition of the word.


But I did notice this little oddity:

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Part II

...

However, back in July 1969 the inhabitants of Omaha state would have witnessed the crash of a rather large UFO.

...
Robert Comsol, where are you from? Most Americans would know that Omaha is a city in the state of Nebraska, not a state by itself...

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Old January 26 2013, 09:40 PM   #22
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Metryq wrote: View Post
Never expect techno-babble to make much sense, such as a line in STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME where a starship having lost all power will try deploying "solar sails" to generate enough power to maintain life support.
You are mean! Especially ST IV and some of its ideas (please not another time paradox debate) isn't excactly "science" but has a lot of fiction downright to nonsense. They can't re-crystallize dilithium in the 23rd Century because they don't have gamma radiation?!? When you have nuclear fusion or matter-antimatter annihilation the one thing these crystals are most definitely exposed to is - gamma radiation!!!!

However, I dare to say that ST IV is an exception. And in this particular (TOS) thread thus far, I do believe to see more convergence and continuity than the opposite, which may suggest that the producers of TOS paid more attention to these trivial issues, than (sorry to say) the producers of ST IV.

Bob
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Old January 26 2013, 10:33 PM   #23
blssdwlf
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

The thing is that gamma radiation can be found from many different sources. They could've collected gamma radiation from the sky. Or from their own M-AM reactor!

So, is it that these special photons must originate from a nuclear fission reactor/reaction? Are dilithium crystals picky about the source of the photon?
SPOCK: If memory serves, there was a dubious flirtation with nuclear fission reactors resulting in toxic side effects. By the beginning of the fusion era, these reactors had been replaced, but at this time, we may be able to find some.
KIRK: I thought you said they were toxic.
SPOCK: We could construct a device to collect their high-energy photons safely. These photons could then be injected into the dilithium chamber, causing crystalline restructure. ...Theoretically.
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Old January 26 2013, 10:50 PM   #24
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
In TOS, the crystals are not necessary for the operation of the ship's engines as long as they have working bypass circuits.
You're talking about the impulse engines? Other than that I do not recall a specific line or event that established that warp power in TOS was possible without the use of dilithium crystals somewhere in the "chain" of energy creation.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
In ENT and TNG they are critical to the operation of the ship's engines as they regulate the matter-antimatter reaction.
For the future of TNG that has been established.

ENT is a retroactive continuity attempt that tries to tell us that that's the way it always had been but essentially a result of poor TOS research which I consider to be the biggest problem in "Treknology" still today.

Just for the fun of it, I'd really like to see a poll which provides your research data (TOS Enterprise also has two matter-antimatter reactors and antimatter pods in the nacelles) and then let the fanbase vote.

To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from "Chicago": Do you believe what you heard in TOS or do you believe what you are being told (by ST "experts" et cetera).

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Did the shuttle in "The Menagerie" that chased the Enterprise have crystals?

Did "First Contact"'s Zephram Cochrane warp ship have dilithium crystals? Did it even use a matter-antimatter engine or was a fusion reactor it's power source enough to achieve warp speed?
Actually, I'd prefer to take the "First Contact" findings with a grain of salt from a strict TOS or "Metamorphosis" point of view so to speak. According to the 1970's fan explanations dilithium crystals were (or will be ) discovered on one of Saturn's moons in the 2050's. I do, however, like your heading.

What about Lazarus tiny one-man time- and spacecraft from "The Alternative Factor"? It used two standardized 23rd Century dilithium crystal pads (apparently he didn't come from the TNG future) but what was its power source? Nuclear Fusion or matter-antimatter?

@ Albertese

Oops...sorry about that error, Nebraska it is. Do I presume correctly it was supposedly Offutt Air Force Base we saw in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday"?

The funny thing is that last night my wife showed me a test with stereotypes: Where I live the superiors usually expect that their employees do their work as efficiently as possible without expecting words of gratitude in exchange. US citizens also feel that we have an obsession while researching issues to go back to prehistoric events (I can't exclude the possibility that this tread may be a graphic visualization of that ). Naturally, I'd be inclined to say I'm from Vulcan, but I'm not aware that Berlin is the capitol of Vulcan.

Bob
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Old January 26 2013, 11:00 PM   #25
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Are dilithium crystals picky about the source of the photon?
Maybe Spock performed a Vulcan brain wash...pardon me...mind meld on the crystals.

Sorry, if there's something you can't change, let's at least have some fun with it.

Bob

P.S.

Where do / did you find transcripts of the films?
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Old January 27 2013, 12:26 AM   #26
Mytran
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Transcripts are here:
http://www.chakoteya.net/movies/index.htm
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Old January 27 2013, 01:36 AM   #27
Albertese
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
...

@ Albertese

Oops...sorry about that error, Nebraska it is. Do I presume correctly it was supposedly Offutt Air Force Base we saw in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday"?

The funny thing is that last night my wife showed me a test with stereotypes: Where I live the superiors usually expect that their employees do their work as efficiently as possible without expecting words of gratitude in exchange. US citizens also feel that we have an obsession while researching issues to go back to prehistoric events (I can't exclude the possibility that this tread may be a graphic visualization of that ). Naturally, I'd be inclined to say I'm from Vulcan, but I'm not aware that Berlin is the capitol of Vulcan.

Bob

Hmm... I think I can guess with that many clues. No worries, knowing one's own county's geography is probably good enough. Until recently, I wasn't that sure what exactly Bavaria was...



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Old January 27 2013, 05:29 AM   #28
blssdwlf
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
In TOS, the crystals are not necessary for the operation of the ship's engines as long as they have working bypass circuits.
You're talking about the impulse engines? Other than that I do not recall a specific line or event that established that warp power in TOS was possible without the use of dilithium crystals somewhere in the "chain" of energy creation.
Actually talking about the warp engines or more specifically, "the entire ship's power". In "Mudd's Women" we see that prior to losing the last crystal their standard operating procedure is to just to bypass the crystals. And that would have worked if it were not for the blown crystal converter assembly. This again comes up in "Elaan of Troyius" where the assembly is sabotaged, robbing the ship of main power.
SCOTT: We've got trouble, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: I'm well aware of that, Mister Scott.
SCOTT: One lithium crystal left, and that with a hairline split at the base.
SPOCK: Better rig a bypass circuit.
SCOTT: Can't. We blew the whole converter assembly.
KIRK: Kirk here.
SPOCK: Needed on the bridge, Captain.
...
SPOCK: The entire ship's power is feeding through one lithium crystal.
KIRK: Well, switch to bypass circuits.
SCOTT: We burned them all out when we super-heated. That jackass Walsh not only wrecked his vessel, but in saving his skin
KIRK: If it makes you feel better, Engineer, that's one jackass we're going to see skinned.
SCOTT: But it's frustrating. Almost a million gross tons of vessel depending on a hunk of crystal the size of my fist.
SPOCK: And that crystal won't hold up, not pulling all our power through it.
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Just for the fun of it, I'd really like to see a poll which provides your research data (TOS Enterprise also has two matter-antimatter reactors and antimatter pods in the nacelles) and then let the fanbase vote.
It's more complicated than that, IMO. Years ago, I would've quoted one or more of the tech manuals along with the episodes. As the years went by and the more I started to watch the original aired material the more I noticed that the tech manuals were not even close to what was depicted on screen so I stopped referring to the manuals. And if you played FASA's Star Trek or Amarillo's Star Fleet Battles you'd have a different take on how things work on top of that. And then add on each fan's personal vision of how things work and you've got a recipe for herding cats
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Old January 27 2013, 06:55 PM   #29
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

@ Albertese

Just make sure to know that most Germans do not wear traditional Bavarian clothing (short leather pants) which is limited to the federal state of Bavaria.

Bavaria is also the name of a film production company (south of Munich) which made "Das Boot" (the WW II submarine film) and - at the very same time as TOS - an ambitioned, very trekish science fiction television series called "Space Patrol". The patrol cruiser Orion was saucer-shaped and also used a kind of warp drive (too bad it had never been translated to English).

@ blssdwlf

I can't help but feel that the dialogue in "Mudd's Women" is somewhat inconclusive.

During Kirk's presence, Scotty says he can't "rig a bypass unit" because they "blew the whole converter assembly".

(impressive continuity here: In "Elaan of Troyius" Scotty reports "The entire dilithium crystal converter assembly is fused. No chance of repair.")

A few moments later Kirk orders "switch to bypass circuits". Scotty could have told Kirk that he just told him why that's not possible and goes for another explanation: We burned all (bypass circuits) out when we super-heated.

It's like "we can't use bypass circuits because we blew the whole (one?) dilithium crystal converter assembly and those bypass circuits we had are useless anyway because we already used them up when we super-heated."

Earlier, Delta-Vega was two light days away (it takes the speed of light / c two days to travel there), after they burned out the last crystal and had to rely entirely on battery power, they had already advanced to cut their traveling time (on sublight) down to 14 hours.

This suggests they had warp drive energy provided with the help of the last crystal until this one failed, too.

Could it be that "bypass circuits" are units that draw energy from the m-am plasma stream to feed other systems like the deflector shields? After all, it would appear it was the stress of using both the deflector shields and the transporter system that "super-heated" these circuits.

Bob

P.S. " And then add on each fan's personal vision of how things work and you've got a recipe for herding cats"
But then on-screen information is "canon" making "personal vision" rather irrelevant (i.e. if you believe canon comes first, something I insist upon).
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Old January 27 2013, 10:20 PM   #30
blssdwlf
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

P.S. " And then add on each fan's personal vision of how things work and you've got a recipe for herding cats"
But then on-screen information is "canon" making "personal vision" rather irrelevant (i.e. if you believe canon comes first, something I insist upon).
Actually, you're proof that it's herding cats. We both see the same on-screen information but we come to different conclusions

As to "Mudd's Women", the way I see it is that the bypass circuits are part of the converter assembly.

In both cases Scotty was asked to rig a bypass and Scotty explained it to the level of the person who requested it.
1. Scotty didn't have to explain it beyond the converter assembly to Spock since they're on the same level of technical expertise.
2. But Kirk isn't and Scotty explained it for him. It could have easily went like this:

KIRK: Well, switch to bypass circuits.
SCOTT: Can't. We blew the whole converter assembly.
KIRK: So?
SCOTT: The bypass circuits are part of the WHOLE converter assembly and we burned out the whole converter assembly when we superheated...
KIRK: Ohhh....


Another one is "The Wrath Of Khan". The energizer this time was somewhat successfully bypassed (I guess Khan wasn't able to destroy the entire converter assembly ) and the Enterprise is operating on partial main power and no auxiliary power. The crystals are off to the side on top of the energizer that happens to be bypassed and therefore not part of the matter-antimatter chain at all.
KIRK: What is working around here?
SPOCK: Not much, Admiral. We have partial main power.
KIRK: That's it?
SPOCK: Best we could do in two hours.
...
SULU: Admiral on the bridge.
KIRK: Battle stations. ...Tactical. ...Uh oh.
SPOCK: She can out-run us and out-gun us. But there is the Mutara Nebula at one five three mark four.
KIRK: Scotty, can we make it inside?
SCOTT: The energiser's bypassed like a Christmas tree, ...so don't give me too many bumps.
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