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Old July 16 2014, 05:18 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: How the Romulans did it

I don't see any reason to infer that Spock's speculation was outright wrong. The Cloak was an entirely new technology. Spock's speculation would've been based on his best guess of what the most likely basis for the technology could be, and he could very well have been absolutely correct.
But it isn't. Spock makes a categorical statement about invisibility being power-hungry by definition, and he is proven absolutely wrong whenever a low-power cloak is featured in an episode or a movie.

That Spock by the luck of chance might have been correct about the particular cloak in "Errand of Mercy" doesn't win him any points. Nothing about the correct cloaking theory says invisibility consumes a lot of power, or else there couldn't be low-power cloaks.

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Old July 16 2014, 05:19 PM   #32
CorporalCaptain
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Timo wrote: View Post
What's there to respect?
If you take BoT at face value, Kirk and Spock had never heard of invisibility before, outside of theory. That's just not believable, given what was shown to have transpired in ENT. ENT clearly retconned that aspect of BoT. That's what I'm saying.
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Old July 16 2014, 05:22 PM   #33
Timo
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Agreed. But it's not a matter of the episode aging or getting dated or trampled over, it's a matter of the episode being bad from the start (in this particular respect).

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Old July 16 2014, 05:30 PM   #34
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Timo wrote: View Post
Agreed. But it's not a matter of the episode aging or getting dated or trampled over, it's a matter of the episode being bad from the start (in this particular respect).

Timo Saloniemi
That's what I more or less was getting at the first place, with respect to FTL. Same applies to invisibility, too. Schneider et al probably thought they were helping us accept invisibility in a "non-fantansy" science fiction setting (in order to tell a submarine story in space) by having it be new to Kirk and Spock, by implication requiring technical advancement because only power-hungry methods are known, and having them cope with its newness, just as it was "new" to us. But in fairness to Schneider et al, I don't think they can be faulted for not anticipating that ENT would want to make prequels using Romulan cloaks.
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Old July 16 2014, 05:41 PM   #35
Robert Comsol
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Re: How the Romulans did it

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
In hindsight, what it should have been wrote:
SCOTT: No question. When cloaked, their power is simple impulse.
That is a really cool rationalization, if you feel FTL capability should be mandatory.

Fact is, at that point they were chasing a cloaked ship, so it might not have been that necessary for Scotty to spell it out.

But here is another detail I'm not sure if we did consider it previously:

KIRK: Outpost 2 was the first to go silent, Lieutenant?
UHURA: Yes, Captain, then Outpost 3 an hour later.

Apparently it took the Romulan Bird of Prey one full hour to travel from Outpost 2 to Outpost 3.

In contrast, the Enterprise, travelling at warp speed, just needs minutes to arrive near the outposts.

Bob

P.S. We are all aware that we have changed the intentions and meaning of the OP?
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Old July 16 2014, 05:45 PM   #36
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Fact is, at that point they were chasing a cloaked ship, so it might not have been that necessary for Scotty to spell it out.
True, perhaps. As for the differences in travel time, perhaps the Romulan's warp drive on their BOP wasn't as good as the Enterprise's.
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Old July 16 2014, 06:32 PM   #37
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Well, since in the episode, Spock is able to detect the Bird of Prey when it moves, that would suggest that if it moves faster, it can be detected much easier. Thus not going at high warp speeds, regardless of power source.

The theory would be that the older style cloaks from the Enterprise era had been defeated at some point by Starfleet sensors, and rendered more or less useless. They would be visible for all practice purposes on an Earth ship's sensor array. This new Romulan cloaking device take a lot more power but renders the ship totally invisible when not moving. Federation senors can detect its movement, and eventually track it during the first encounter. Thus showing there is a flaw in this cloaks design. Add to this the weakening with range of the plasma torpedoes and you have a reason the Romulans don't go to war with the Federation. Their new toys were found and bested by a 20 year old Federation starship.

This also gives a good reason for Starfleet to attempt to steal a reportedly new cloaking device two years later off a Romulan owned D7 battlecruiser. This cloak seemed to not be detectable while moving, like the previous model. It still took a lot of power it seems, but not so much as to restrict the movement of USS Enterprise (using the alien device directly into their warp drive).


Question related to the power system. What Cochrane's first warp engine powered by a matter-antimatter reactor? Or was it fusion powered?
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Old July 16 2014, 08:25 PM   #38
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Re: How the Romulans did it

We get a dialogue reference to "intermix" as regards Cochrane's flight, but none to things like "antimatter" or "dilithium" or "energizers" or other familiar warp reactor terminology. The bit about intermix could refer to the mixing of any two (or more) reactants, chemical, nuclear, subatomic, whatever. IIRC, the novelization has Cochrane use an old nuclear warhead as the power source, hence presumably either fusion or fission, but that's not evident from the movie.

Canonically, we never learn of Earth using antimatter prior to the 22nd century, for any application. But we never learn the opposite, either.

As for earlier invisibility techniques having been rendered ineffective, this wouldn't account for Spock saying that optical invisibility as a concept is only theoretical. Let's also not forget that the people assigned to the Outposts guarding the RNZ would certainly have familiarized themselves with whatever was known of the Romulans. Yet Commander Hansen never refers to Romulan cloaks, a technology he must have been familiar with as per ENT - he refers to the mystery of the enemy's sudden disappearance. So that's another tidbit that cannot be readily reconciled; Hansen ought to have tried to communicate his plight using terminology he was familiar with, and ENT would have us believe that Starfleet had familiarity with, and therefore also terminology to describe, invisibility devices.

If we want to accept the dialogue and delivery as is, it's really difficult to assert that our heroes and sidekicks are merely amazed by a new type of invisibility, rather than by the very concept. We'd probably be better off formulating conspiracy theories about how Starfleet has mindwiped everybody, including its own line officers, into forgetting about the 22nd century Romulan invisibility techniques. But even that wouldn't cover the fact that our TOS heroes had themselves already witnessed at least one starship that could appear and disappear at will, in "Charlie X".

This invisibility thing is really an annoyance because so much is said about it in the episodes, all in contradiction. The Vulcan-Romulan schism, the emotionality problem and coping with it, pon farr, Romulan history... All that is easy because basically nothing much is stated on screen.

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Old July 17 2014, 12:01 AM   #39
Robert Comsol
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Ithekro wrote: View Post
This also gives a good reason for Starfleet to attempt to steal a reportedly new cloaking device two years later off a Romulan owned D7 battlecruiser. This cloak seemed to not be detectable while moving, like the previous model. It still took a lot of power it seems, but not so much as to restrict the movement of USS Enterprise (using the alien device directly into their warp drive).
No question, their cloaking device in "Balance of Terror" consumed a lot of fuel (= energy for propulsion).

That was the outspoken dilemma of the Romulan Commander, use the fuel either for the cloak and have not enough energy for propulsion or don't use the cloak and get home but remain visible and therefore vulnerable.

The Romulan Birds of Prey in "The Deadly Years" apparently never needed to use a cloak because they outnumbered the Enterprise.

Indeed, the Klingon-Romulan Alliance (and the exchange cloaking technology for D7 battlecruisers) may have provided the Romulans with what they needed: A ship with superior power output to achieve warp capability while being cloaked.

Bob

P.S.

Thanks again to CorporalCaptain for his suggestion, it put matters into a completely different perspective and the more I think about it, the more I think that's the best rationalization I've seen. And one that has potential for general consensus.
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Old July 17 2014, 04:02 AM   #40
Brutal Strudel
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Re: How the Romulans did it

I'm cool with thre change of focus.
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Old July 17 2014, 05:15 AM   #41
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Re: How the Romulans did it

There's a thread in Trek Tech that's been cross-linked with this thread, and I've given credit there where I believe credit is due for the ideas regarding the BoP's power envelope.
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Old July 17 2014, 04:58 PM   #42
Marsden
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Re: How the Romulans did it

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Maybe that's how they actually do come to call each other "friend."
That's what I thought, too.
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