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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 8 2012, 06:59 PM   #16
Captain Shatner
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
I've been nitpicking all over the webz today cos I'm cranky, so let me just contribute:

1) It's "Troyius" not "Troiyus";
2) Dohlman is a title, not a name.
You're right! Sorry mate.
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Old September 8 2012, 07:07 PM   #17
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

I think the main problem is going to be that dilithium just can't be replicated. It's a magic rock with magical properties, and replicating it is going to require too much something or other. The ability to replicate dilithium from scratch would ruin too many Star Trek stories.

If dilithium is transuranic, then perhaps the in-universe explanation is a result of some issues from replicating the nucleus, and perhaps the problem is in common with many or all transuranics, including latinum (assuming latinum is transuranic, too).
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Old September 8 2012, 07:14 PM   #18
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

A) Surely a "food synthesizer" can make more than food...
You mean like "ice cream maker" can make more than ice cream, or "potato peeler" can do more than peel potatoes?

B) Even if it couldn't, the dilithium pattern buffer could be stored on the transporter, and then Scotty could beam up a rock from a planet's surface. Since the matter is converted into energy and then reconverted back into matter, why not reconvert the rock into dilithium?
Or into another Scotty? That way, they both could beam up rocks, and turn them into two lumps of dilithium. Which they could then beam down and back up again and turn them into starships. And now the Klingons would be facing two functional starships (plus the crippled original one), and would have to beam up rocks of their own that they could turn into Death Stars. Which would be dishonorable, so they'd just go home.

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Old September 8 2012, 08:51 PM   #19
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
Several people have pointed out that "replicators" did not exist in TOS. "Food synthesizer," if you will.
According to TMOST:
The enormous sophistication of computers aboard the Enterprise makes possible the producing of the thousand best menus of the thousand best restaurants in all the alien planets of the Federation. Crew members can select an infinite variety of food -- they simply press the button. From the central food preparation area, the selection is transferred via a small turbo lift that connects the several dining and recreation areas scattered throughout the ship.

. . . In order to support this food preparation capability, the Enterprise has extensive food storage areas with preservation techniques that maintain food in "garden-fresh condition" over extended periods of time. Hydroponic food growing is not necessary and would use a disproportionate amount of manpower . . . There is also a section where crew members can prepare individual dishes if they wish -- an activity that comes under the heading of "recreation."
So starships in the TOS era don't have replicators or even "food synthesizers" -- just enormous food storage pantries and walk-in refrigerators and a dumbwaiter system. Rather primitive thinking, really.

And in "Tomorrow is Yesterday," why did the transporter room have a food slot in the wall?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I think the main problem is going to be that dilithium just can't be replicated. It's a magic rock with magical properties, and replicating it is going to require too much something or other. The ability to replicate dilithium from scratch would ruin too many Star Trek stories.
This. Dilithium crystals are a valuable and easily portable item that can be bought, sold, bargained for, smuggled or stolen. They're Star Trek's McGuffin.
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Old September 9 2012, 04:18 AM   #20
Gary7
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

Speaking of dilithium crystals, the technology as depicted always annoyed me.

memory alpha wrote:
Dilithium, also known as radan, is an element, a member of the hypersonic series, mostly occurring as crystalline mineral. It was used to power the warp drive systems of many starships. Dilithium regulated the matter/antimatter reaction in a ship's warp core because of its ability to be rendered porous to light-element antimatter when exposed to high temperatures and electro-magnetic pressures. It controls the amount of power generated in the reaction chamber, channeling the energy released by mutual annihilation into a stream of electro-plasma.
So, it's described as a power source and yet also a regulator of matter/antimatter reaction in the ship's warp core. This seems ambiguous to me. As I see it, one thing serves as a power source and another regulates the power consumption/reaction; never both with one thing. But in TOS, the concept doesn't ever seem to be very clearly defined, or ends up being contradicted by later episodes.

I always felt it should be that the dilithium crystals amplify and control the matter/antimatter reaction and that some radioactive material is used as the fuel. In fact, several episodes have quotes referring to "fuel". For instance in "The Doomsday Machine", Spock says "We can maintain this speed for only seven hours before we exhaust our fuel, but it can refuel itself indefinitely." Fuel implies a consumable substance, so where crystals are concerned I'd expect him to say "before we exhaust our power."


Anyway... I'll bet the crystals are too complex to replicate, which is why they couldn't be "manufactured" at will.
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Old September 9 2012, 05:03 AM   #21
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

I was always under the impression that the dilithium crystals acted as a transformer or converter (it was referred to as the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" several times), somehow channeling or altering the raw energy from the matter-antimatter reaction to produce the warp field.

Gary7 wrote: View Post
. . . As I see it, one thing serves as a power source and another regulates the power consumption/reaction; never both with one thing. But in TOS, the concept doesn't ever seem to be very clearly defined . . .
It wasn't.

BTW, apparently you can buy the stuff at Wal-Mart!

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Old September 9 2012, 04:16 PM   #22
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

nightwind1 wrote: View Post
"Fascinating..."

"...What are these 'replicators' of which you speak?"

"Why, Spock, surely you remember these?"
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Old September 9 2012, 08:49 PM   #23
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

^ That merely suggests that replicator technology became available years after TOS.
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Old September 10 2012, 09:12 AM   #24
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

...Although the very scene showing that replicator-looking shelf comes from an adventure that Janeway specifically declared replicator-free, when said adventure was flashbacked in, well, "Flashback".

So, clearly, when those clever engineers of the 24th century invented the replicator technology, they decided to install it in those classic 23rd century Boringian-style cabinets designed by the famous Dall Grey O'Tility himself, knowing it would sell best when attractively packaged.

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Old September 10 2012, 10:20 AM   #25
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

scotpens wrote: View Post
And in "Tomorrow is Yesterday," why did the transporter room have a food slot in the wall?
If the ship has one set of machines to prepare food, and another set to fabricate parts and supplies, then all of these various products could be delivered to their ultimate destinations using the same turbo-dumbwaiter system. If they're not too large. The "food slots" in the transporter room's primary purpose could be high speed delivery of small repair components to the transporter operator.

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Old September 10 2012, 10:49 AM   #26
Timo
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

On the other hand, since we see this device produce food the one time it is used, it would be pretty natural to assume it's there in order to provide food. Quite regardless of whether it's a cart-based dumbwaiter, a transporter-based dumbwaiter, an in situ synthesizer or a full replicator. Why not provide duty stations with this utility?

...Except in the case of cart-based dumbwaiters, that is. Those take up massive amounts of space. The ship must already be incredibly cramped from all the turboshafts and corridors that block each other and, unless very carefully laid out, hinder rather than facilitate access. Adding a third set of large cross section trunks (or fourth, if breathing air is still being moved around the old-fashioned way) would be a poor move.

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Old September 10 2012, 04:52 PM   #27
Doug Otte
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

It does seem kind of dangerous to have the food dispenser in the transporter room. Suppose a transporter tech dripped soy sauce on the control panel just before a critical transport was required?
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Old September 10 2012, 05:04 PM   #28
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
WHY CAN'T THE CREW USE THE REPLICATOR TO MAKE DILITHIUM CRYSTALS
They didn't exist until 2364.

It's been stated several times that Dilithium cannot be replicated, only mined, as of the 2380's novelverse this is still the case.

Replicating something so complex would take hours, even one or two days.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:25 PM   #29
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

I wouldn't get too hung up on terminology. The important thing is what seems possible or what does a particular device appear to be doing rather than what it's called.

The TOS E did have some form of replication tech aboard even if it wasn't called that. I envisioned the food processors working quite similarly as the TNG era ones only the slots are closed while in operation as opposed to always open as they are in TNG. For TOS it certainly would be cheaper f/x wise.

Indeed a lot of TOS' tech can be rationalized by more familiar science even if the terminology is different. I've long thought nanotech has to have been part of TOS' as well as TNG's science even it was called something else or even just not specifically referred to. TNG didn't introduce nanotech to Trek, but rather intelligent nanotech (the nanites). That suggests nanotech has been around for awhile even if called something else.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:30 PM   #30
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Re: Gaping Hole of Troiyus

I always went by Kirk's line in Squire of Gothos, that the ship could "manufacture" whatever they wanted, sounding a little more mechanical and physical in it's operation. The original E had high speed food preparation and movement, machine rooms that could build or create things at what we would consider incredible rates.

But the replicator of matter-energy transporter based operation seemed to awe and be new to everyone in TNG.

For some reason though neither were ever able to make Dilithium, one of those Trek "rules" that stuck.

I wrote a short 'evolution of warp technology' article a couple of years ago taking the "Lithium" line literally to mean nano-tube lithium "crystals" manufactured on the atomic level as an experimental subsitute to Dilithium that could also be machined on-ship if necessary but never worked out.
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