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Old September 26 2011, 04:36 AM   #46
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

I'm a little late to the party but here's my two quatloos worth on all this.

I for one never said ZPE must be used or that it was the only possible explanation for explaining some of the mysteries of TOS warp drive tech.

In fact I'm currently juggling three different models of how TOS engines might be plausibly and consistently explained, and only one of them uses ZPE.

But when you say "There is no need for ZPE to factor into TOS engine Treknology" you miss the point entirely. It was precisely because something like ZPE nicely fit the bill for ironing out some of the wrinkles in on screen references that it was brought up in prior threads in the first place.

And on a related note, fiction and logic are not mutually exclusive. Just because were dealing with a fictional universe and technology doesn’t mean we can’t analyze it logically, especially when warped space, anti-matter drives and ZPE are real phenomena, albeit theoretical in their application.

And that’s all were doing here, theorizing about how this stuff might be explained as plausibly and consistently as possible, that is what the trek tech forum is for, is it not.

If ZPE isn’t your cup of tea CorporalCaptain that’s fine, but let’s see you come up with something just as good or better and we’ll consider that as well. But first you might want to use the search function and do your homework on all the references to ZPE in various threads, so you’ll be properly informed as to why it was considered a useful and necessary concept, and what other things were considered and/or rejected, that way you wont be duplicating others efforts and you will know of that which you speak (or write of).
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Old September 26 2011, 05:14 AM   #47
Creepy Critter
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Tell you what, get an article on Memory Alpha about how ZPE figures into the TOS warp drive, and get it to stay up, and then I'll listen. How about that?

Until and unless someone can actually build a real working warp drive, trying to decide whose explanations are better or worse is irrelevant.

Furthermore, how a real warp drive might or might not work is irrelevant to what was shown on TOS.

That's why I prefer to draw a sharp line between what was shown on screen and what is fan speculation, since no amount of fan speculation, with the aim of explaining the fictional technology on a TV show, can possibly be sufficient.

That's also why it's unnecessary, TIN_MAN, to chose any one of your three explanations over the others. After all, one author can write stories set in three mutually exclusive universes.

If you want to design an actual FTL drive, constraining it to agree with Star Trek in any way except maybe in the broadest strokes is really foolish.

I have no idea what you mean by an explanation or design that's "good" or "better" than another. It just doesn't exist. Furthermore, "good" or "better" explanations have nothing to do with what's on Star Trek. To believe otherwise is to take Star Trek way too seriously.
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Old September 26 2011, 08:09 AM   #48
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Ah, it seems I missed an eventful weekend.

(a) Yes, I do "3D" but in an engineering sense, not in a "movie-making" sense.

I always try to figure out how a ship would really work... how (given a few "magic generators" to do things we have no other way around) we could actually build the thing, and make it work.

In other words... if there's something we know, today, that could be used, or could be the basis (with many generations of technical evolution, obviously)... and no "magic" is required... that's what I do. So far, in terms of Star Trek, we really only have three technologies which require "magic." That would be, warp drive, artificial gravity, and tractor beams (all of which COULD be related, in one fashion or another, to gravity, I suppose, so maybe it's really only one technology we lack?)

Other folks like to start off with the "assume it's magic" argument, but that just doesn't work for me.

That leads me into the second item:

(b) Why zero-point energy?

Well, I personally reject any form of zero-point energy used by the Federation or any of the races we know about. Why? Well, because if anyone had this capability, everything we've seen on-screen would be immediately obsolete. The theoretical potential for zero-point energy generation is as far beyond matter-antimatter as matter-antimatter is above, say, the solar cell in an early 1980s digital watch.

I reject them having it because it would be too great of a technology, with too much impact, for it to ever play a role in the stories we were told, without erasing and utterly changing every last one of those stories.

We actually know a lot about the ship's power in TOS. We know that the ship is powered by a matter/antimatter reaction, but we also know that the impulse subsystem uses some form of fission based "points." (Presumably this is the fission initiator for a fusion reaction, but we don't KNOW that impulse involves fusion, only that it involves fission-based "points.") We know that the ship has no useable energy without the presence of dilithium crystals. We know that there are SOME FORM of reactors in various locations on the ship (though there is no indication that this refers to m/am reactors... and I've always interpreted those references as being references to the ship's fusion reactor subsystem... aka "auxiliary power"). Oh, and we know that the system makes extensive use of electrical power (we see plenty of arcs and sparking, don't we?).

To me... the matter/antimatter reaction occurs in the nacelles. This produces raw power in the same sense that a jet engine produces power... with that power needing to be "fixed" to become useable for any purpose other than pure propulsion, again just like on a jetliner today. So, the energy not used for propulsion is directed to the "cathedral of tubes" (which I refer to as the main energizer subsystem for the TOS ship), which converts the raw reaction product into a form useable (some high-energy form of electrical power) for the running of ship's systems. This then goes through big, free-standing transformers in the main engineering bay for subconversion into the various forms of electrical power needed by various ship's systems... I wouldn't be surprised if the things put out 12V and 5V DC and 220AC, really, as well as other configurations we're not so accustomed to.

People like to pretend that there's going to be more "magic" there than there really has to be. But the ship, as seen in TOS, was really not all that dramatically beyond our current engineering capabilities... with enough resources, and a bit of development time, we could build almost everything in the ship except for the artificial gravity and warp propulsion systems today, with no major technological revolutions.

Even with TNG-era stuff, while they moved further into the "technobabble" stage, they still were working from the general concept of practical engineering design... so the ship had an internal trusswork structure, stringers, and modular internal compartments, for example.

So... there's really no NEED to bring zero-point-energy into this, because it's not needed to solve any problems. And, if you did bring that it, it would raise a lot more problems than it could possibly solve. If you have that... you no longer have any need for fission-related "impulse points" to "decay to lead." If you have that, you no longer have a need for a matter/antimatter reactor to provide main power. And if you have that, you no longer have any need for matter/antimatter warheads...

FYI, there is one reference to ZPE in Treknology. The "quantum torpedos" introduced in "First Contact" were intended to be crude zero-point energy devices. The idea was that they'd learned how to do this, but that they could not CONTROL it... sort of like with us and fusion today.

Go forward to the "Timeships" and so forth... the 26th century, 30th century, etc... and I'd be surprised if those "even further future" times didn't make use of ZPE as their primary power source.

Of course... ZPE is not "free energy." In theory, every time you use it, you're damaging the fabric of space/time. So... that's something to consider, isn't it?
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Old September 26 2011, 09:58 AM   #49
Timo
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Re: TOS Nacelles

One thing we might take into account when looking for "clues" that would fit the retroactively created ZPE theory is that big antimatter explosions were connected with opening a hole into a different realm in "Yesterday's Enterprise". Similarly, a big antimatter explosion closed a hole into a different realm in ST:INS.

It's well established that TOS antimatter (and in some ways all Trek antimatter) is insanely powerful. But possibly only in destructive and explosive applications where a lot of it (from an ounce upwards) is used? We could then argue, based on the above, that foreign realms release extra energy whenever a large antimatter detonation occurs in our realm.

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Old September 26 2011, 04:17 PM   #50
Mister_Atoz
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Having the power generated in the nacelles during the TOS Era, and gradually moving into the secondary hull in later designs might suggest an evolution in design which, in my opinion Star Trek badly needs in order for the technology to not seem so stagnant.

I could also explain why nacelles on 24th Century designs are proportionately smaller.
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Old September 26 2011, 10:04 PM   #51
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Tell you what, get an article on Memory Alpha about how ZPE figures into the TOS warp drive, and get it to stay up, and then I'll listen. How about that?
The problem with onscreen "cann" in discussions here on the Trek tech forum is that it doesn't explain everything. As with all fiction, there are gaps and contradictions in Trek's use of its techno-babble so restricting ourselves to "just what’s onscreen" reduces discussion to little more than a trivia contest.

While there's nothing wrong with memorizing trivia, (or worshiping canon for that matter) for some of us, the fun is in the intellectual challenge of filling in the blanks and reconciling the contradictions, and this will inevitably require “thinking outside the box” to bridge the gaps using (by necessity) non-canon concepts.

And while we treknologists use quite a bit of Trek tech trivia, we really couldn’t care less whether it’s “official canon” or not. So I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

Until and unless someone can actually build a real working warp drive, trying to decide whose explanations are better or worse is irrelevant.

Furthermore, how a real warp drive might or might not work is irrelevant to what was shown on TOS.
Agreed, none of the above has any bearing on the discussion at hand.

That's why I prefer to draw a sharp line between what was shown on screen and what is fan speculation, since no amount of fan speculation, with the aim of explaining the fictional technology on a TV show, can possibly be sufficient.

Sufficient for what, or whom? As for the “what” I’d suggest it’s sufficient for the purpose for which it was intended, as long as our “fan speculation” fleshes out the bare bones we’ve been given “onscreen” (especially in TOS) what’s the harm?

And as to the Whom, I for one am not interested in winning over canonistas, that’s not the purpose of discussions like these on the trek tech forum.

That's also why it's unnecessary, TIN_MAN, to chose any one of your three explanations over the others. After all, one author can write stories set in three mutually exclusive universes.
I haven't even chosen between any of them myself, much less expecting anyone else to, why would you assume otherwise?

And as for "mutually exclusive universes" go that's pretty much where your "onscreen canon" leaves you I'm afraid. Much of later trek is inconsistent and contradictory to TOS which is why I’m not overly concerned about maintaining continuity with post trek tech.

If you want to design an actual FTL drive, constraining it to agree with Star Trek in any way except maybe in the broadest strokes is really foolish.
Foolish indeed, what gave you the idea that I (or anyone else) would want to do anything of the sort?

I have no idea what you mean by an explanation or design that's "good" or "better" than another. It just doesn't exist.
It's pretty simple actually, "good" or "better" would be the theory or theories (there could conceivably be more than one) that link all (or at least the most) disparate TOS tech trivia into one self consistent and plausible explanation, and (for me at least) the more real world tech incorporated, the better. Essentially, an “Occam’s razor” approach.

Furthermore, "good" or "better" explanations have nothing to do with what's on Star Trek. To believe otherwise is to take Star Trek way too seriously.
It seems you are the one taking Star Trek way too seriously, with your canon worship an all? So the pot calls the kettle black eh.
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Old September 27 2011, 02:11 AM   #52
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Re: TOS Nacelles

malchya wrote: View Post
My personal take on it, supported by considerable research into technical sources as well as multiple discussions on this same topic on several boards and with about 6 million other trekkies is: The old cylindrical warp drive nacelles contained the reactors as well as the engines. Breakthroughs in safety and containment led to the "warp core" being installed in the engineering hull and the considerable "slimming" of the nacelles.
I agree completely. And I must say that the "cylindrical nacelle" system seemed to work much better. When did we ever cut them loose? Never. But the #$& internal warp cores were ejected at least once a season.

Well, that's hyperbole, but you know what I mean.
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Old September 27 2011, 02:42 AM   #53
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

This is another issue I blame on FJ, since it was with the publication of those blueprints that the "power generated in the nacelles" somehow became gospel. Before that, not that many really cared, and the only consensus was with whoever you were talking to at the moment.

Going strictly be the onscreen references, there is no clear picture. The tech was kept vague on purprose, to keep the focus on the characters and not have the show turn into a gadgetfest.
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Old September 27 2011, 03:54 AM   #54
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
This is another issue I blame on FJ, since it was with the publication of those blueprints that the "power generated in the nacelles" somehow became gospel. Before that, not that many really cared, and the only consensus was with whoever you were talking to at the moment.

I dunno about that, it's impossible to know how many people cared or what the consensus might have been back then since no one was doing surveys on such things. I didn't even know about FJ's work until the early eighties, and I always thought before then that the power was generated in the nacelles going all the way back to the original run of the show.

Going strictly be the onscreen references, there is no clear picture.
This is incorrect. Spock specifically refers to "power nacelles", why call them this if they aren’t exactly that? No need to appeal to FJ here.

Then there are tons of references throughout the series to "antimatter nacelles" "warp drive pods" etc. etc. and in TOS “pods” were used interchangeably with “nacelles” so it’s pretty explicit what they are.
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Old September 27 2011, 05:32 AM   #55
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

In 1973, I first read "The Making of Star Trek," and read the quotes in there about the design of the ship. Ever since then, I knew that the nacelles contained the power generation system, in true aerospace fashion. I was only seven years old at the time, of course, so there were lots of tidbits in there which I barely comprehended at the time (such as references to Bill Theiss' women's clothing design rules!). But long before I "got" anything re: fission, fusion, antimatter, etc, I knew that the stuff that made the ship work was out in those nacelles. By 1977, when Star Wars came out, I'd done my first effort at a hand-drawn cross-section of the ship (ignoring the FJ stuff, which I knew was wildly inaccurate, and mainly referencing TMOST and the AMT kit I had prominently displayed in my bedroom, and the frequent afternoon syndicated episode showings of course!

There was never a time, from the time I was a toddler, honestly, that the idea of the power generation being in the inhabited portion of the hull was ever a possibility to me. I always assumed that Scotty crawled up the "slanted tubes" into the engines (OK, granted, I didn't realize just how much of a crawl that would have been 'til I was a few years older!)

I remember how JARRING it was when, in 1979, they had radiation suites and what was supposed to be the reactor in the main hull. I was thirteen at that point, and I knew it was just totally different than what had been there before.

I never had a problem, though, with the idea of technology evolving and changing. ON THE OTHER HAND, I've ALWAYS had a massive issue with people "retroactively changing" things from earlier shows to conform to later shows.

It is clear that the TMP ship, and most ships later on, rely on power generation in the main inhabited portions of the ship. (Then again, we never see any indication that the ship in TMP has remotely the same degree of scientific capabilities that the TOS ship did, do we? It seems that they went back to the pre-TOS "non-explorer" role for the "refit" ship, and we didn't see the "explorer" design concept back on-screen again until TNG came along.

One thing people tend not to grasp is that, as "big" as the TOS ship is, it's not THAT big. In order to fit 430 or so people in, even if you assume most cabins are not private cabins, you're still using up a major portion of the ship's internal volume.

Now, realize that most of these people are not there "just for the ride" but need actual work to do (otherwise, why have that many people aboard?). That's 143 crewmen per shift, plus the captain. At a yellow-alert condition, you'll have 286 people on duty, manning "unnecessary" stations as well as the "full time" stations, and on red-alert condition, the whole crew will be on duty (with many of them assigned to damage-control duties and the like) But for normal "condition green" status, 143 crew on duty.

So, these crew would not be there if there was nothing for them to do, would they? They need work spaces of various types. We know engineering, medical, the bridge, etc. But there have to be a lot more. My point? The ship needs a LOT of free internal volume to have sufficient housing space and working space. And, having laid out the entire interior of the ship, trust me when I say that 430 is actually a pretty high number. I did a lot of "four to a cabin" quarters, mostly "two to a cabin" quarters, and only put senior officers and a few people required to work from their cabins into private quarters. I put in working spaces, cargo spaces, etc, etc. And honestly, it was pretty damned tight.. WITHOUT big "fuel storage" and "main reactor" spaces in the inhabited regions of the ship.

I really can't even imagine what the TMP ship needs with 500 personnel, can you? But I DO know that they have to be in "bunkrooms" (of the sort seen on Excelsior on Voyager's "Flashback") rather than in private cabins to have a chance of making that happen with the TMP ship, unless the ship is a pure "cruiseliner" with no real working spaces whatsoever.

Look at any modern naval vessel, and consider how much of the ship is devoted to billeting versus how much is devoted to working spaces.

Basically, the TMP ship must have given up the "enbarked full complement of a science vessel" which the TOS, and eleven other heavy cruisers, had been given.

A LOT of things changed between TOS and TMP. Not the least of which was a totally different power generation system and a totally different propulsion system.
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Old September 27 2011, 08:08 AM   #56
Timo
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Re: TOS Nacelles

...Of course, it's quite possible that the secondary hull would "always" have been completely devoted to engineering spaces. Plus, of course, the shuttlebay. And perhaps the vast cargo hangar, too. For all we know, the TMP ship actually had more compact power arrangements, which allowed for the (supposed) arboretum to be installed!

http://ent.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...arkly2_260.jpg

The spaces first seen in TMP could always have been part of the TOS ship as well - but since visiting them requires one to don those clumsy coveralls, Scotty would have preferred controlling things from the nice shirtsleeves facilities with all the big switchboards. It would only be on the rare occasion (maiden voyage, training cruise) that people would actually be crawling between the greasy machinery and adjusting plasma flows hands on.

Whatever the layout problems of using the saucer to accommodate 430 people, especially considering that some Ensigns have private staterooms, we know that Sisko and friends considered ships of that era jam-packed with personnel. Lack of space thus is good and consistent!

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Old September 27 2011, 02:10 PM   #57
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Well we do see guys in the "space/environmental" suits in TOS wandering around. It's quite possible that the big engine stuff in the secondary hull is behind the wall on the cathedral equipment side...
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Old September 27 2011, 04:18 PM   #58
Patrickivan
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Re: TOS Nacelles

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
This is another issue I blame on FJ, since it was with the publication of those blueprints that the "power generated in the nacelles" somehow became gospel. Before that, not that many really cared, and the only consensus was with whoever you were talking to at the moment.

I dunno about that, it's impossible to know how many people cared or what the consensus might have been back then since no one was doing surveys on such things. I didn't even know about FJ's work until the early eighties, and I always thought before then that the power was generated in the nacelles going all the way back to the original run of the show.

Going strictly be the onscreen references, there is no clear picture.
This is incorrect. Spock specifically refers to "power nacelles", why call them this if they aren’t exactly that? No need to appeal to FJ here.

Then there are tons of references throughout the series to "antimatter nacelles" "warp drive pods" etc. etc. and in TOS “pods” were used interchangeably with “nacelles” so it’s pretty explicit what they are.
I agree completely. And this is the reason why I started the thread. To look for those on screen instances that support the nacelles being the power generating units. Like the quote I provided in my opening post.

Timo wrote: View Post
...Of course, it's quite possible that the secondary hull would "always" have been completely devoted to engineering spaces. Plus, of course, the shuttlebay. And perhaps the vast cargo hangar, too. For all we know, the TMP ship actually had more compact power arrangements, which allowed for the (supposed) arboretum to be installed!

http://ent.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...arkly2_260.jpg

The spaces first seen in TMP could always have been part of the TOS ship as well - but since visiting them requires one to don those clumsy coveralls, Scotty would have preferred controlling things from the nice shirtsleeves facilities with all the big switchboards. It would only be on the rare occasion (maiden voyage, training cruise) that people would actually be crawling between the greasy machinery and adjusting plasma flows hands on.

Whatever the layout problems of using the saucer to accommodate 430 people, especially considering that some Ensigns have private staterooms, we know that Sisko and friends considered ships of that era jam-packed with personnel. Lack of space thus is good and consistent!

Timo Saloniemi
Compared to a Galaxy Class it would be insanely small...

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
One thing people tend not to grasp is that, as "big" as the TOS ship is, it's not THAT big. In order to fit 430 or so people in, even if you assume most cabins are not private cabins, you're still using up a major portion of the ship's internal volume.

Now, realize that most of these people are not there "just for the ride" but need actual work to do (otherwise, why have that many people aboard?). That's 143 crewmen per shift, plus the captain. At a yellow-alert condition, you'll have 286 people on duty, manning "unnecessary" stations as well as the "full time" stations, and on red-alert condition, the whole crew will be on duty (with many of them assigned to damage-control duties and the like) But for normal "condition green" status, 143 crew on duty.

So, these crew would not be there if there was nothing for them to do, would they? They need work spaces of various types. We know engineering, medical, the bridge, etc. But there have to be a lot more. My point? The ship needs a LOT of free internal volume to have sufficient housing space and working space. And, having laid out the entire interior of the ship, trust me when I say that 430 is actually a pretty high number. I did a lot of "four to a cabin" quarters, mostly "two to a cabin" quarters, and only put senior officers and a few people required to work from their cabins into private quarters. I put in working spaces, cargo spaces, etc, etc. And honestly, it was pretty damned tight.. WITHOUT big "fuel storage" and "main reactor" spaces in the inhabited regions of the ship.

I really can't even imagine what the TMP ship needs with 500 personnel, can you? But I DO know that they have to be in "bunkrooms" (of the sort seen on Excelsior on Voyager's "Flashback") rather than in private cabins to have a chance of making that happen with the TMP ship, unless the ship is a pure "cruiseliner" with no real working spaces whatsoever.

Look at any modern naval vessel, and consider how much of the ship is devoted to billeting versus how much is devoted to working spaces.

Basically, the TMP ship must have given up the "enbarked full complement of a science vessel" which the TOS, and eleven other heavy cruisers, had been given.

A LOT of things changed between TOS and TMP. Not the least of which was a totally different power generation system and a totally different propulsion system.
I disagree with you on the size. I posted a one deck top view of the saucer with 200 people in it. There is a rediculous amount of space on this ship for 400 people, the equipment, supplies, et c.
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Old September 27 2011, 05:46 PM   #59
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Here's what "The Making of Star Trek" says:

Page 191:

The two long nacelles, atop the ship and attached to the engineering hull by slender pylons, house the main starship engines. The engines are each 504 feet long, 60 feet in diameter, operate via controlled fusion of matter and anti-matter, creating the fantastic power required to run the Enterprise and drive it at faster-than-light speeds.
Now, take a good look at that quote and note what it really says, not what forty-odd years of fannish interpretation says it says.

The warp engines are in the nacelles, and they need a matter/antimatter reaction to operate.

It doesn't say that the reaction takes place in the nacelles.

I urge folks to go back and take a look at the various references. The ones that point to the nacelles are fairly vague and usually contradictory of other nacelle-oriented references, while the internal reactor references are much more specific and work pretty well with other M/ARC references.

In my book, specific trumps vague.
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Old September 27 2011, 06:19 PM   #60
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Here's what "The Making of Star Trek" says:

Page 191:

The two long nacelles, atop the ship and attached to the engineering hull by slender pylons, house the main starship engines. The engines are each 504 feet long, 60 feet in diameter, operate via controlled fusion of matter and anti-matter, creating the fantastic power required to run the Enterprise and drive it at faster-than-light speeds.
Now, take a good look at that quote and note what it really says, not what forty-odd years of fannish interpretation says it says.

The warp engines are in the nacelles, and they need a matter/antimatter reaction to operate.

It doesn't say that the reaction takes place in the nacelles.
It says that "the nacelles operate operate through the controlled fusion of matter and antimatter."

It does not say that "the nacelles operate through the supply of power created elsewhere in the ship," nor does it say "the ship generates power through the controlled fusion of matter and antimatter."

It specifically says that the nacelles operate this way.

You're really, really stretching to try to incorporate post-TOS ideas into TOS.

You're welcome to believe whatever you wish, of course, but you're not being very convincing. Your logic fails you.
I urge folks to go back and take a look at the various references. The ones that point to the nacelles are fairly vague and usually contradictory of other nacelle-oriented references, while the internal reactor references are much more specific and work pretty well with other M/ARC references.

In my book, specific trumps vague.
In your book, that's fine. But you have such an inflexible set of personal preconceptions that I've never seen you bend at all. You fly through some pretty wild mental gymnastics to explain why what was clearly intended to be a lift tube at the back of the bridge isn't a lift tube, because you have a hard time accepting that a computer monitor may not necessarily face directly forward. And you ignore clear language from TOS, in the majority of cases in dialog, in the writer's guide, and so forth, in order to conform to materials created decades later.

I get it that you have your own preconceptions, and that's perfectly cool. But rather than telling us that "we're stupid and wrong" for not accepting the perspective you hold, why not try to convince us of why it makes more sense to do it your way?

There is very little evidence... only two episodes, really, and only one that is remotely "clear." And NEITHER of those shows us, on a ship's diagram, where the main power generation takes place. In other words... your "specifics" are remarkably non-specific, except for your own preference for them.

You want to make TOS conform to "everything else." I want everything else to conform to TOS. Because TOS came first.
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