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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

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

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Old June 23 2014, 12:19 PM   #16
Robert Comsol
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
As long as the Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly was undamaged then in an emergency, you can fly around at some warp with emergency circuits that bypass the lithium/dilithium (that means that ships in TOS could warp without lithium/dilithium and it was not used to regulate the matter/antimatter reaction.) This also allowed the lithium/dilithium crystals to be pulled out and examined in "The Paradise Syndrome" without shutting down the matter/antimatter system and having to do a long cold restart.
Didn't we have this same discussion a year ago? The DCCA Scotty pulled out in "The Paradise Syndrome" only contained one dilithium pad.
In "The Alternative Factor" we saw at least 4 dilithium pads being regenereated or re-amplified or recharged (while the drawers apparently could hold up to 12 of such pads).

So I think multiple of those pads are in operation during M/AM reaction, but it's not a problem to pull one out for inspection (possibly a spare one takes over, then).

IIRC, TNG presented in a couple of episodes the amplifying characteristics of the crystals.

It's worth noting that the predecessor TAS did the same in "The Pirates of Orion".
The Orion ship notices that the asteroids can't be detonated by their phasers, but a powerful explosive device right on the surface could. Lt. Arex notices that the Orion captain has dilithium crystals with him, but Scotty makes sure these are beamed up to the Enterprise and thus foils the Orions' suicide plan (to take the Enterprise with them).

IIRC, a major debate point in the earlier discussion had been whether the crystals just store a powerful energy charge or amplify input energy or both.

I can live with either of these, the only thing I can't live with is this suggestion that they are somewhat impervious to antimatter.

That's just along the same scientific nonsense presented in ST IV:TVH when Spock "discovered" that dilithium crystals could be re-crystallized by exposing these to gamma radiation - because you get plenty of gamma radiation during nuclear fusion or M/AM annihilation in the reactor chamber.

And dilithium crystals are still made up of matter on the atomic level, so any physical contact with antimatter atoms would annihilate the corresponding amount of matter atoms in these crystals.

Bob
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Old June 23 2014, 03:54 PM   #17
blssdwlf
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

Timo wrote: View Post
If you look just at "Mudd's Women" they work with 4 circuits. Lose 4 circuits and you'll need to cutover to the bypass circuits to retain main power.
That's one interpretation - but it's actually a somewhat convoluted one.
Actually less convoluted than off-screen or parallel active-passive bypass circuits since it doesn't require re-interpreting or ignoring dialogue.

Timo wrote: View Post
Think about it: the dialogue confirms loss of three dilithium circuits, leaving one, and then Scotty says all the bypass circuits were blown. We never heard that happen! Not unless the dilithium circuit is the very same thing as the bypass circuit.
Follow the dialogue: After the 3 lithium circuits are blown, they are already concerned about the operation of the ship and have to supplement with battery power to maintain full shields on them and Mudd's ship and to operate the transporter.
SULU: Another lithium circuit. Now supplementing with battery power, sir.
KIRK: Scotty, how many of them did you get aboard?
SCOTT: Only one, sir, but we've locked onto three more.
SPOCK: What's wrong?
SCOTT: I don't know, sir. With those three lithium crystals gone
SPOCK: It'll take longer on battery power.
And second, the bypass circuits were never in operation when the 3 lithium circuits were blown therefore they could not have been lithium circuits (otherwise they'd have spare crystals):
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.
The destruction of the converter assembly took the bypass circuit but they are not counted towards the three lost crystal circuits since Spock didn't associate the two.

Timo wrote: View Post
it wouldn't be difficult to argue that TOS, TNG and ENT systems are basically identical save for minor engineering details, such as whether single or multiple parallel "circuits" of antimatter feed are in use.
Sure it would be difficult. TOS engines you can pull all the dilithium and the matter-antimatter system doesn't have to be shutdown. You can bypass the dilithium with a working converter assembly. You can not do either one of these things with the TNG-style setup. For a TNG-style setup you would have to have a M-AM reaction chamber for each one of the dilithium crystal circuits AND have to be able to pull each and up to all circuits without having to shutdown the M-AM system. That simply isn't possible in the TNG setup (and therefore not a "minor engineering detail", IMHO.)
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Last edited by blssdwlf; June 23 2014 at 04:07 PM.
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Old June 23 2014, 05:56 PM   #18
Ronald Held
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

Is dilithium a m-a reaction mediator/catalyst versus lithium crystal having an EPS role?
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Old June 23 2014, 06:41 PM   #19
Timo
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

Actually less convoluted than off-screen or parallel active-passive bypass circuits since it doesn't require re-interpreting or ignoring dialogue.
It's not a matter of re-anything, as the technobabble has no inherent meaning.

What your version does require of us is to believe that a great number of bypass circuits blew after all the excitement was already over.

Follow the dialogue: After the 3 lithium circuits are blown, they are already concerned about the operation of the ship and have to supplement with battery power to maintain full shields on them and Mudd's ship and to operate the transporter.
Yes, that's when the bypass circuits, aka lithium circuits, were gone. After this, there was no further loss of hardware mentioned.

And second, the bypass circuits were never in operation when the 3 lithium circuits were blown therefore they could not have been lithium circuits (otherwise they'd have spare crystals):
Doesn't follow. If there's only one type of circuit, with examples of it typically run in parallel for heavy-load situations (and considered bypasses when applicable), then losing three out of four as described would meet all the dialogue criteria.

The destruction of the converter assembly took the bypass circuit but they are not counted towards the three lost crystal circuits since Spock didn't associate the two.
That's not a necessary (re-)interpretation, either. Kirk thinks there are many bypass circuits already extant ("Switch to bypass circuits"), and Scotty agrees, even if Spock speaks of rigging just one.

So it's valid to interpret the following as follows:

Spock: "The entire ship's power is feeding through one lithium crystal." = the remaining circuit out of, say, five or six
Kirk: "Well, switch to bypass circuits." = one of the other lithium circuits that Kirk believes still exists, as he has only heard of the loss of three, and perhaps doesn't believe those were permanent losses, either
Scotty: "We burned them all out when we superheated."= all the lithium circuits are gone, all the crystals are dust, and thus it's not possible to either select a circuit or to "rig" one

TOS engines you can pull all the dilithium and the matter-antimatter system doesn't have to be shutdown.
This never happens in TOS. In "Alternative Factor", the antimatter system is not explicated to remain online with all the crystals drained; in other episodes, only individual crystals or possible microcrystal paddles are extracted when the earlier episodes already established the existence of multiple crystals or paddles in the system.

You can bypass the dilithium with a working converter assembly.
This never happens in TOS, either - bypassing categorically fails in "Mudd's Women". We can't tell what could have been achieved had not everything failed.

For a TNG-style setup you would have to have a M-AM reaction chamber for each one of the dilithium crystal circuits AND have to be able to pull each and up to all circuits without having to shutdown the M-AM system.
Since the condition of being able to pull out everything does not actually apply, a system with multiple dilithium foci can simply be seen as multiple TNG systems side by side, with shared tanks for each type of fuel. A good idea when your dilithium is unreliable, but you can pare it down to a single crystal when you learn to keep your dilithium healthy in situ.

In this interpretation, dilithium is essential even in bypassing and you can't do warp without it. Doesn't mean other types of drives couldn't do entirely without dilithium. But the entire plot of "Mudd's Women" depends on the drive being incapable of being run without dilithium, come hell or high water - if dilithium-free travel were possible, then the repairs or modifications necessary for that would have been done and Mudd and Childress would have been left to stew in their own juices.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 24 2014, 09:36 AM   #20
Mytran
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

Time was of the essence in MW however. With the ship running entirely on battery power, it may have taken more hours than they had to rebuild the damaged converter assembly (whether or not such a machine needed crystals). Based on the information the crew had available, the solution of seeking out new crystals was the most sensible one, they just reckoned without the shenanigans of Harry Mudd!
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Old June 24 2014, 03:46 PM   #21
blssdwlf
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Re: Warp drive and dilithium

Timo wrote: View Post
Actually less convoluted than off-screen or parallel active-passive bypass circuits since it doesn't require re-interpreting or ignoring dialogue.
It's not a matter of re-anything, as the technobabble has no inherent meaning.
Cute, but wouldn't that apply to your re-interpreted theory as well?

Timo wrote: View Post
What your version does require of us is to believe that a great number of bypass circuits blew after all the excitement was already over.
Nope, my version only requires us to accept that the bypass circuits were damaged when they "blew the whole converter assembly" as said in dialogue.



Timo wrote: View Post
This never happens in TOS. In "Alternative Factor", the antimatter system is not explicated to remain online with all the crystals drained; in other episodes, only individual crystals or possible microcrystal paddles are extracted when the earlier episodes already established the existence of multiple crystals or paddles in the system.
In "Elaan of Troyius" the matter-antimatter system is still online despite the dilithium crystals going completely offline due to sabotage. There is no 20 minute shutdown-startup sequence as necessary (see "Skin of Evil").


Timo wrote: View Post
You can bypass the dilithium with a working converter assembly.
This never happens in TOS, either - bypassing categorically fails in "Mudd's Women". We can't tell what could have been achieved had not everything failed.
This never happened successfully in TOS because both times ("Mudd's Women", "Elaan of Troyius") the converter assembly was damaged/destroyed. We can tell it would have worked because that's how they designed it or otherwise they wouldn't have bypass circuits in the first place
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