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Old February 4 2014, 07:01 PM   #16
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
Location: North America
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
The three barrels could be to do with beam width rather than power settings.
Thing is, in Cage one crewman fires at the door to the elevator, seemingly unsatisfied with the results he twists the barrel and fires again.

Why would he initially fire on stun or kill if he is firing at a door? So he switched from what setting to what setting?

The weapons barrel adjustments may have done more than rotate between the three muzzles. There did seem to be multiple rings on the barrel.

One ring changes muzzles, another ring power levels and perhaps a third ring adjusts the beam from narrow, to medium, to wide.

Just a thought.

That's pretty good.

My way of reading that scene in The Cage was this:

At first, everyone had their pistols on some setting below max, so as not to drain them too fast. When that didn't work, José basically volunteered to empty his out at max, to see what it would do.

Before José tried the max setting, they had tried two beams together fired on the same spot. For all we know, even just a "kill" beam could have at least melted rock, especially with two or more combined under extended exposure.

Also, they might have been trained not to just go around blasting rocks on max for no good reason, especially when there are people known to be under them who they want to rescue, lest it cause the formation to come crashing down.
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Old February 5 2014, 11:20 AM   #17
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Location: England
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Laser pistol settings:

1. Burn

2. BURN!

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Old February 6 2014, 11:23 PM   #18
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Laser pistol settings:

1. Burn

2. BURN!

The real reason why the laser pistol use discontinued - it kept triggering the censor beep when it was drawn.
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Old March 11 2014, 09:30 PM   #19
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

My take on the elevator-blasting scene in "The Cage":

Pike is kidnapped; sidekicks rush to the site, their weapons at whichever setting. Those who have the stun phaser barrel in place do a quick offscreen adjustment (or then nobody has his gun on stun). Those who have the kill phaser barrel or the laser barrel try their luck with the door. Some are not satisfied with the result and up the ante, either by switching from the general-purpose vaporizing phaser to the dedicated cutting laser (a logical move) or vice versa (a pure frustration move).

And lasers are generally known to be better cutters than phasers, so Tyler mentions the former rather than the latter when telling his superior about the failure... Number One would know that if the laser barrel failed, then the phaser barrels obviously wouldn't have been any good, either.

Two separate barrels for stun and kill in phasers is good, solid canon from STXI. OTOH, multiple barrels of completely different functionality is good, solid canon from ENT, with those plasma rifles that have a separate phase gun overbarrel (as well as from the real world, where assault rifles have separate grenade launcher barrels, or other scifi realms where they have, say, flamethrower barrels!). A three-barrel carousel with two separate phaser barrels and a third barrel for completely different machinery makes good sense, then. Things like power settings or beam width settings are handled by other controls, although the same controls may well apply to all the barrels.

Think of an assault rifle with a grenade launcher and laser sight: three "weapons" that all need triggers (which can be combined, even if today's simple and rugged weapons never try for such a thing) and might be adjusted in things like range (by adjusting a common sighting screw) but definitely need three separate "barrels".

For the actual "The Cage" visuals, the red beams come from the uppermost barrel of a given sidearm. For Spock, that's the longest, stockiest barrel; for Tyler, the carousel is rotated ninety degrees (counterclockwise when viewed from rear) compared to Spock's, so he fires with the slightly shorter and thinner one. Garrison then also fires with the long, thick barrel; and Tyler then twists his gun to bring the long, thick barrel to bear for a second shot, while Spock sees no need to adjust anything. Tyler may also adjust some other knob for his third and final shot, but that'd be offscreen; all we can see is that his barrels have not been rotated a second time.

This could well mean that the shortest, thinnest barrel (the one that Number One has in the firing position when setting her gun to self-destruct) is dedicated to stun. Pike also threatens the Talosian with that one, though - both on the surface, where his training for nonviolence might have taken over, and down in the cave, where he'd have been feeling both the logical need and the self-fanned flames of murderous urge to use a kill barrel. And of course there are cases where no single barrel is in the topmost "firing position"; Pike's carousel often rotates to the two-up, one-down position.

But never mind that level of detail: two phaser barrels and one laser barrel would preserve continuity nicely enough.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old March 11 2014, 10:41 PM   #20
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Lord Manitou wrote: View Post
Lasers are just light focused through a crystal that is meant to burn through any contact material.
The Star Trek handgun was a disruptor which is more than a laser. The disruptor would blow a rough hole through a person and not leave much of anything else. One couldn't show that in the eps.

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Also, how is it that the kill setting in Voyager is able to do its work without leaving a visible outward trace, as when Kes gets hers in Fury, whereas even in TOS time when one would occasionally see a sign of blood signifying a wound and certainly as that weapon signature was recreated in In A Mirror, Darkly?
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Old March 11 2014, 10:57 PM   #21
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

We know that Stun can kill - it's just a matter of exposure (STVI:TUC). Or a matter of victim's physical condition ("Conscience of the King" has Lenore grab a phaser and kill his frail father with it, even though the phaser was grabbed from a random guard who'd have his on stun, and she does not adjust anything). Yet Kill is always spoken of as a separate, somehow fundamentally different function.

OTOH, Kill is a setting that also encompasses burn effects, hole effects and outright vaporization, while lethal Stun creates some bruising.

So, separate phenomena, or just a matter of separate power levels...?

One might argue that Kill involves maiming that typically amounts to burning holes - but sometimes the burning holes are completely inside the body, and only on occasion (an occasion of needless overkill by an untrained or reckless user) does the damage extend all the way to the outside. That is, the phaser effect goes "through" some things without visibly harming them and does the biggest damage deep inside the victim. If Kill is just very heavy Stun, then it's sort of confirmed that the effect can go "through" outer layers without visible effect, because Stun almost always does just that.

Personally, I prefer to think that Stun is a completely different phenomenon from Kill, and that Kill is simply the same as Disintegrate - but a skilful killer can take a life with such minimal disintegration that we don't notice any marks. Humans are vulnerable like that: a bit of wrinkling on a shirt doesn't kill the shirt, but if the same sort of wrinkling is taking place at the heart and in the nerves surrounding it, the victim is a goner.

It's not a precise science, though, and sometimes the disintegration of internal organs does create visible external damage.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old March 12 2014, 11:22 PM   #22
Egger's Avatar
Location: Germany
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

My explaination for the different phaser effects is that the stun settings and low kill setting have an effect on the target similar to an electric shock. Fired on a human being, the result is an overload of the central nervous system. This effect can range from a mild stunning effect to a literal frying of the nervous system, killing the person.

The burn effect increases with the settings and when decreasing the distance to the target, explaining the burning on the crewman's forehead in ST6.

On the highest settings, the burning (or heating) effect is more and more replaced by the disintegrating effect.
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Old March 16 2014, 08:45 PM   #23
Rear Admiral
Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Darkwing wrote: View Post
A lot of SF RPGs feature electrostunner lasers - a low-power laser ionizes a path through the air to conduct an electrical shock to stun the target and/or electrocute them. This is my explanation for stun setting on lasers in Space:1999 and TOS.
That's a real thing--but not quite as good as we see on screen yet

When the beam gets close to metal, it jumps, looking like the DC Comics Excelsior's tracing phasers
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