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

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Old September 25 2011, 07:21 AM   #31
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

They were firing phasers, y'know. How mild an explosion would you expect?
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Old September 25 2011, 08:14 AM   #32
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I dunno. The damage inflicted with the brief phaser hit on the middle of the nacelle exploded presumably the warp plasma. It still left a fairly intact nacelle. But the torpedo hit right afterwards completely vaporized the back third of the nacelle. Yet a torpedo that hit the Reliant's torpedo pod (a much smaller volume of material) left it intact (and that had torpedoes in it).
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Old September 25 2011, 01:12 PM   #33
Judy Waxhorn
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Torpedoes may not be stored armed. In fact this is good evidence that they are NOT stored armed... they are prepped and launched.

We could be seeing several distinct evolutions of warp drive here.

1) Enterprise NX-01 has a very simple matter-antimatter mix chamber that feeds a simple exotic-matter coil drive. The pod between the nacelles is where the field manipulation and control along with other plot-driven handwavem occurs. Fuel was stored in magnetic bottles and cryo-tanks in the main hull.

A refit would have moved the mix chamber and tankage to a small secondary hull.

2) The TOS engines actually generated antimatter via a zero-point chamber and particle-accelerator arrangement. Antimatter was generated in large quantities and piped down to a "matter antimatter integrator" down in the secondary hull... with the reaction products delivered to the nacelles... This is where the magic happens that drives the ship.

When we speak of the the antimatter being "deactivated" we are speaking of the antimatter generation system. The "day-bin" or "surge tank" that stores a working volume of antimatter for operation is depleted and the zero-point chamber/particle accelerator is shut down cold.

This type of engine due to the frequency and density of the field it generated was prone to flinging objects through time... especially during start-up. Attempting to jump-start the zero-point from a cold-shutdown would 9/10 times result in a small time hiccup.

3) In TMP we see a bulk intermix reaction chamber providing massive amounts of plasma to the drive nacelles and the impulse engine. Fuel is stored in tankage in the secondary hull. The nacelles are JUST for field generation and manipulation. This design has the plasma manufactured in bulk with a portion "tuned" by interaction with the dilitihum in a stand-off chamber.

The main advantage of this design was its simple operation compared to the TOS engines. The other huge advantage is it was nearly impossible to cause a catastrophic warp-drive explosion as the bulk of the plasma was "untuned" and less likely to undergo a catastrophic "plasma ignition reaction."

The huge disadvantage and the number one reason the Post TMP Connies were refit then quickly retired... The stand-off plasma tuning system proved very easy to disable in combat. Spock wasn't the only officer to have to risk life and soul to restart the plasma tuning system.

4) Next we see the vertical injection/reaction chamber system favored by End Of Life Connies, Inter-Generation ships (Hathaway) and TNG ships.

Matter is conditioned and injected down a linear injection system... This interacts with a similar stream of antimatter delivered from below. Both streams intersect at the tuning crystal and the resulting energy is directed to ships systems and the nacelles.

This system is very simple... harkening back to the days of Archer and his merry band. It delivers massive amounts of power and is very easy to maintain.

HOWEVER this system got a bad rap in the Galaxy Class ships due to a series of design flaws. The Galaxy Class warp-cores were prone to catastrophic cooling system failures due to the novel "super-sonic flow/ultra-high pressure" design.

It should be noted that this design issue plagued ONLY the first block of Galaxy class starships.

This design was scaled for the Defiant class using multiple injection ports. An even larger version was designed and installed in the Sovereign class.

5) Voyager and her Intrepid sisters used a new design that pre-fused matter and antimatter in separate halves of the reaction chamber... then mixed both plasmas in a "dilithium matrix" between the two sections. This allowed for rapid load shifting, excellent acceleration and tremendous operational flexibility. The design proved to be very successful once the Intrepid Class was cleared for production.
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Old September 25 2011, 01:19 PM   #34
CorporalCaptain
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Re: TOS Nacelles

That's pretty interesting, but there's no evidence of zero-point technology in TOS, except through retcon.
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Old September 25 2011, 05:21 PM   #35
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That's pretty interesting, but there's no evidence of zero-point technology in TOS, except through retcon.
No direct reference to ZPE tech, not surprisingly, but as has been discussed in other threads of late, the collective weight of all TOS tech trivia, taken together, compels one to such a logical conclusion.

Here's the most recent example, for starters...
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=144769&page=2

Last edited by TIN_MAN; September 25 2011 at 05:31 PM.
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Old September 25 2011, 05:54 PM   #36
Patrickivan
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Re: TOS Nacelles

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
Besides, I have a serious issue with putting the main power source in a location that is not only inaccessible in an emergency, but only missing a big cartoon sign, saying, "MAIN POWER - SHOOT HERE!"
But one could say the same about the propulsion nacelles themselves, the same accessibility problems exist whether the main power source is in there or not, and blast those suckers off and you've crippled the ship regardless. So one might as well put the M/A-M power source there where at least it's a relatively safe distance away from the habitable portions of the ship, and can be safely jettisoned if need be?
I wonder sometimes whether the "new" design for the movie Enterprise and Reliant is fully a single reactor or was it still a 3 reactor design. When Reliant's nacelle was blown off, it took very little effort (a tiny phaser burst and photon torpedo set to minimum power) to cause it to explode violently. If it were just a set of propulsion coils wouldn't it have been a more "milder" explosion instead of the back half of it just vaporizing?
Keep in mind that the Reliant's shields were down at that point. But I wouldn't say that the Miranda Class had 3 reactors. The main one for warp now contained in the engineering hull, and maybe some smaller reactors for emergencies, but not for powering the warp engines.

It just makes it too convenient and powerful to have those kind of redundancies. Maybe in real life, but we need to add some suspension of belief to make Star Trek acceptable and fun.
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Old September 25 2011, 07:22 PM   #37
Judy Waxhorn
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Re: TOS Nacelles

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That's pretty interesting, but there's no evidence of zero-point technology in TOS, except through retcon.
No direct reference to ZPE tech, not surprisingly, but as has been discussed in other threads of late, the collective weight of all TOS tech trivia, taken together, compels one to such a logical conclusion.

Here's the most recent example, for starters...
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=144769&page=2

Yeah that's where I got the idea from.

Prehaps... the ZPE/accelerator system was used because it offered this select handful of ships the chance to really roll back the frontier. Ships like the NX-1 were limited by the amount of fuel they could carry.... the Connies made it as they went along.

Later... quantum leaps in engine efficiency rendered such a complex and troublesome system obsolete.
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Old September 25 2011, 08:16 PM   #38
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
But one could say the same about the propulsion nacelles themselves, the same accessibility problems exist whether the main power source is in there or not, and blast those suckers off and you've crippled the ship regardless. So one might as well put the M/A-M power source there where at least it's a relatively safe distance away from the habitable portions of the ship, and can be safely jettisoned if need be?
I wonder sometimes whether the "new" design for the movie Enterprise and Reliant is fully a single reactor or was it still a 3 reactor design. When Reliant's nacelle was blown off, it took very little effort (a tiny phaser burst and photon torpedo set to minimum power) to cause it to explode violently. If it were just a set of propulsion coils wouldn't it have been a more "milder" explosion instead of the back half of it just vaporizing?
Keep in mind that the Reliant's shields were down at that point. But I wouldn't say that the Miranda Class had 3 reactors. The main one for warp now contained in the engineering hull, and maybe some smaller reactors for emergencies, but not for powering the warp engines.

It just makes it too convenient and powerful to have those kind of redundancies. Maybe in real life, but we need to add some suspension of belief to make Star Trek acceptable and fun.
Which is why I'm not exactly married to the idea of having backup reactors in the nacelles.

Besides, it's not that hard to finesse the references that point to the nacelles as the power source into something more kosher to the overall tech picture of an internal M/ARC feeding power to the nacelles.
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Old September 25 2011, 08:53 PM   #39
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
But one could say the same about the propulsion nacelles themselves, the same accessibility problems exist whether the main power source is in there or not, and blast those suckers off and you've crippled the ship regardless. So one might as well put the M/A-M power source there where at least it's a relatively safe distance away from the habitable portions of the ship, and can be safely jettisoned if need be?
I wonder sometimes whether the "new" design for the movie Enterprise and Reliant is fully a single reactor or was it still a 3 reactor design. When Reliant's nacelle was blown off, it took very little effort (a tiny phaser burst and photon torpedo set to minimum power) to cause it to explode violently. If it were just a set of propulsion coils wouldn't it have been a more "milder" explosion instead of the back half of it just vaporizing?
Keep in mind that the Reliant's shields were down at that
point.
Yes. That's why I was pointing two separate torpedo hits that did wildly different amounts of damage with the shields down on the Reliant. If the nacelle didn't have anything volatile in it, then it'd still be intact like the torpedo pod. But since it vaporized, it would suggest something volatile back there... perhaps an antimatter pod or antimatter pod+reactor or a huge storage tank of warp plasma...

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
But I wouldn't say that the Miranda Class had 3 reactors. The main one for warp now contained in the engineering hull, and maybe some smaller reactors for emergencies, but not for powering the warp engines.
I think it could still go either way. Perhaps not three equal reactors but a multi-stage setup like Tin_Man was thinking. The dilithium system and energizers at this point was still not TNG-style where it was located in the M/ARC which would indicate a single reactor.

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
It just makes it too convenient and powerful to have those kind of redundancies. Maybe in real life, but we need to add some suspension of belief to make Star Trek acceptable and fun.
TOS showed that these redundancies doesn't equal convenient and powerful so I don't see how that would apply to acceptable Star Trek. And if we look at TNG, they just went around all the "redundancies" and had the "port power coupling fail leading to a coolant leak that threatened a warp core breach."


Judy Waxhorn wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That's pretty interesting, but there's no evidence of zero-point technology in TOS, except through retcon.
No direct reference to ZPE tech, not surprisingly, but as has been discussed in other threads of late, the collective weight of all TOS tech trivia, taken together, compels one to such a logical conclusion.

Here's the most recent example, for starters...
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=144769&page=2

Yeah that's where I got the idea from.

Prehaps... the ZPE/accelerator system was used because it offered this select handful of ships the chance to really roll back the frontier. Ships like the NX-1 were limited by the amount of fuel they could carry.... the Connies made it as they went along.

Later... quantum leaps in engine efficiency rendered such a complex and troublesome system obsolete.
Another good thing about the idea that the TOS Enterprise generated her own antimatter supply (aka "regenerate") is that it explains the lack of fuel capacity for the ship yet her large power output and near infinite range. When TPTB locked down the technology in TNG, it made the ship's capability kind of out of whack as the antimatter and matter fuel capacity suddenly becomes a real issue, IMHO.
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Old September 26 2011, 12:24 AM   #40
CorporalCaptain
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Judy Waxhorn wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That's pretty interesting, but there's no evidence of zero-point technology in TOS, except through retcon.
No direct reference to ZPE tech, not surprisingly, but as has been discussed in other threads of late, the collective weight of all TOS tech trivia, taken together, compels one to such a logical conclusion.

Here's the most recent example, for starters...
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=144769&page=2

Yeah that's where I got the idea from.

Prehaps... the ZPE/accelerator system was used because it offered this select handful of ships the chance to really roll back the frontier. Ships like the NX-1 were limited by the amount of fuel they could carry.... the Connies made it as they went along.

Later... quantum leaps in engine efficiency rendered such a complex and troublesome system obsolete.
There is nothing logically compelled here. There is no need for ZPE to factor into TOS engine Treknology. Every incarnation of Trek has waved its hands at some point. Why should there be a logical need for one particular kind of fictional technology, when describing another kind of fictional technology using made-up words? The whole engine design is fictitious to begin with so there is nothing logical about it. There is only what makes you feel like it seems reasonably realistic. Since harnessing ZPE is only theoretical anyway, I am not compelled to believe it must somehow factor in.
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Old September 26 2011, 01:20 AM   #41
Judy Waxhorn
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Re: TOS Nacelles

wut...

So you are calling bullshit... on my bullshit?

Not going to get dragged into a debate. If you don't like my explanation then come up with one of your own... or declare it "handwavum" and move on.



CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Judy Waxhorn wrote: View Post
TIN_MAN wrote: View Post

No direct reference to ZPE tech, not surprisingly, but as has been discussed in other threads of late, the collective weight of all TOS tech trivia, taken together, compels one to such a logical conclusion.

Here's the most recent example, for starters...
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=144769&page=2

Yeah that's where I got the idea from.

Prehaps... the ZPE/accelerator system was used because it offered this select handful of ships the chance to really roll back the frontier. Ships like the NX-1 were limited by the amount of fuel they could carry.... the Connies made it as they went along.

Later... quantum leaps in engine efficiency rendered such a complex and troublesome system obsolete.
There is nothing logically compelled here. There is no need for ZPE to factor into TOS engine Treknology. Every incarnation of Trek has waved its hands at some point. Why should there be a logical need for one particular kind of fictional technology, when describing another kind of fictional technology using made-up words? The whole engine design is fictitious to begin with so there is nothing logical about it. There is only what makes you feel like it seems reasonably realistic. Since harnessing ZPE is only theoretical anyway, I am not compelled to believe it must somehow factor in.
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Old September 26 2011, 01:25 AM   #42
CorporalCaptain
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Re: TOS Nacelles

No seriously, you did an excellent job of weaving a lot of disparate stuff together from elements established on screen. Right up until you mentioned ZPE, which is pure fan wankary. No it's not worth debating. I just merely take objection to the idea that TOS technology must use ZPE, as if no other principle could be discovered in the next 200 years that's even more uber.

The writers picked antimatter because it was the most powerful thing they could think of. Fans resort specifically to ZPE because it's the most powerful thing they can think of. Same problem, different decade. Except the fans are only fans, whereas the writers actually put the stuff on screen.

Anything that's from way out like that, that's not on screen, yeah that should just be handwavium, or however you spell that.

The reason I feel this way pretty strongly in this case is because it fundamentally alters the character of the technobabble. It would make it seem like we were watching an entirely different show, like the offspring of Star Trek and SG-1.

My two cents. Otherwise, great job there!
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Old September 26 2011, 02:00 AM   #43
Judy Waxhorn
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Re: TOS Nacelles

That's why I mentioned ZP slash accelerator. If you can't stomach a ZP system then it's a fancy particle accelerator. Something similar to what we use now except it's "wired" to produce mass amounts of anti-protons and positrons.

Frankly I lean twords a particle accelerator myself.

In fact let me re-write my musings a bit!

** The TOS engines actually generated antimatter via particle-accelerator arrangement. This was a specialized LINAC that used special subspace fields to flip the charges of whatever particles it was fed. Antimatter was generated in large quantities and piped down to a "matter antimatter integrator" down in the secondary hull... with the reaction products delivered to the nacelles... This is where the magic happens that drives the ship (crystal-tuned plasma interacting with a set of handwavum coils.)

When we speak of the the antimatter being "deactivated" we are speaking of the antimatter generation system. The "day-bin" or "surge tank" that stores a working volume of antimatter for operation is depleted and the particle accelerator is shut down cold.

This type of engine due to the nature of the antimatter-generator was prone to flinging the attached ships through time... especially during start-up.

Attempting to start the particle accelerators from a cold-shutdown would 9/10 times result in a small time hiccup. This was later found to be due to the formation of ultra-small micro-singularites. As they evaporated in the presence of the subspace field they would create large amounts of what were later designated "chrontons."
These "chronometric particles" would interact with the warp-field and result in a time-slip.

Procedures were developed to reduce this tendency to a few percentage points but the Federation Science Advisory Committee was wary of the design. This was the primary reason for the removal of onboard antimatter generation for at least two design generations.

It wasn't until much later (Post TUC) that an improved antimatter generator was developed... but this is a story for another time.
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Old September 26 2011, 03:00 AM   #44
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
The writers picked antimatter because it was the most powerful thing they could think of. Fans resort specifically to ZPE because it's the most powerful thing they can think of. Same problem, different decade. Except the fans are only fans, whereas the writers actually put the stuff on screen.
Not exactly. The writers picked antimatter AND lithium/dilithium as the most powerful thing they could think of.

"Mirror, Mirror"
THARN: We accept that your Federation is benevolent at present, but the future is always in question. Our dilithium crystals represent awesome power.
"The Alternative Factor"
KIRK: Out of the question. Those crystals are the very heart of the power of my ship.
The concept of ZPE was on a bit of decline when antimatter took off in the 1960s' although the writers of that day appeared to have sneaked in the "idea" of magic power regeneration into TOS. Having dilithium be the key to opening up a corridor to the antimatter universe is just icing on the cake
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Old September 26 2011, 03:12 AM   #45
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Fair nuff.
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