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

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Old October 8 2012, 02:25 PM   #1
mos6507
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Miranda photon torpedo crews

This may have been asked before, but in in Khan we see that photon torpedoes need to be physically loaded into the breach which is a detail that Nick Meyer probably wanted to cite from Hornblower canon crews loading up for broadsides. However, the torpedo area on the Reliant is physically detached from the main hull. This would mean that the torpedo crew would be isolated from the rest of the ship and not able to go to and fro save for transporters or pods. I never thought about this back in the day, but for whatever reason it's bugging me now. We never see crews loading torpedoes on the Reliant so it's possible that it's a newer torpedo delivery system that doesn't need crews. This would jive with the fact Khan is running the Reliant on a skeleton crew of pirates. Has this been rationalized over the years?
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Old October 8 2012, 02:54 PM   #2
Albertese
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

I've heard it suggested that it was actually Enterprise that was the odd duck on that one. All the "do it manually" stuff was possibly in place because it was a a cadet training ship at the time and it couldn't be converted to full auto very quickly. In the next movie, we see that Scotty does manage to rig up some automation, but it doesn't go so well against Commander Kruge's ship, even though the Enterprise nominally outgunned the BoP.

So that's one idea...

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Old October 8 2012, 02:57 PM   #3
Timo
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

It would be easy to argue that the Enterprise was unique in employing manual labor in torpedo loading. She was a training vessel, after all - giving hands-on work for the trainees and cadets by bypassing the standard automation would be a natural thing to do.

On the other hand, the system on the Enterprise may be completely automated as well: the only manual thing necessary for activating the automation might be the removal of those grilles that obstructed the torpedo loading track...

It should also be considered that crews could access the Reliant torpedo pod easily enough by using turbolifts; such lifts would just have to be of a different shape than the regular ones, and run at a different orientation. Various other methods of rapid movement such as slides (going both ways, thanks to gravity manipulation) could also be postulated. However, I'd rather think that all torpedo launchers in Starfleet are highly automated in the movie era, and in TOS already, considering their rapid reaction times in all episodes and movies as well as the ability of the Enterprise to auto-fire torpedoes in ST3 without any sort of a torpedo crew.

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Old October 8 2012, 05:18 PM   #4
Tau Ceti III
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

I always assumed both ships, Reliant and Enterprise, had automatic torpedo loading systems. The system on Enterprise was disabled by Khan's first attack. She was hit by phaser fire on the port torpedo launcher if I remember correctly.
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Old October 8 2012, 08:36 PM   #5
Timo
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

The movie doesn't make any reference to the torpedo system or its automation being disabled. All we see is that Khan indeed blasts the port side of the general torpedo area, resulting in external scarring and internal explosions on the set (and never mind that this area of the ship could not really accommodate two side-by-side sets of this size, we still clearly are expected to think that Spock's burial later on takes place in the undamaged "starboard half" of the torpedo area). But Kirk's ship keeps on firing from the starboard tube, and the only "manual" thing involved in that firing is the removal of the floor gratings and the lowering of one torpedo to the launch rail. Subsequent ones might have been loaded much faster by that robotic arm we saw.

If something about the system indeed was damaged, it would be a bit odd that it would again be working on automation in ST3. I doubt Scotty's trainees would have been capable of restoring the functionality while the ship limped back home, and she received no repairs after that.

Interestingly, it was Khan's ship that was said to have lost "photon control" in the first fight...

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Old October 8 2012, 11:29 PM   #6
SchwEnt
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

I think Reliant's torps pod had to be an automatic system.
If it was a man-tended system, there's no way the crew could get up into the pod (okay yeah, with some service crawlspaces or such, but why design it like that?)

Plus, that pod featured four torp tubes. I don't believe the pod had enough space for four tubes plus habitable workspace for the loading/maintenance crew. Must have been an automated system, I says to myself.

So maybe Reliant had a different system than the Enterprise. Maybe the Enterprise had some kind of Mark VI photorps and Reliant had Mark III torps.
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Old October 9 2012, 05:48 AM   #7
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

Normally, Enterprise's torpedo systems ARE automatic. It's implied as much in TMP, when Chekov is able to quickly load and arm a photon torpedo to destroy the asteroid in front of them (does anyone seriously think the loading crews were going to be able to load a torpedo under those timey-whimey-wibbly-wobbly conditions?). More importantly, the buttons on the fire control panel are configured in such a way that the loading and arming of a torpedo is controlled DIRECTLY from the weapons console, and the weapons officer even selects how strong of a charge to load. In TMP this is done so quickly that it cannot be anything other than an automated system.

Of course, even in Wrath of Khan Enterprise manages to fire two torpedoes from the same launcher, which suggests an internal magazine is loaded behind the tube, not one torpedo at a time (again, from the fire control console, probably four torpedoes per tube). Otherwise, the mechanism for loading those magazines would otherwise be fully automated (as it was in TUC), but Enterprise has had an extensive refit to function almost exclusively as a training vessel. Which, by the way, would explain what the ship was doing in dry dock when Kirk came aboard.
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Old October 10 2012, 12:06 AM   #8
Ian Keldon
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

^newtype, the two-torpedo shot was in ST III, not II.
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Old October 11 2012, 07:55 PM   #9
Savious
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

I always imagined it was like a magazine on a gun. That each photon tube launcher would have X number of photon torpedoes loaded and ready to fire. That the weapons officer could then fire away, time and time again, until the supply of torpedoes in the launcher was exhausted.

Once exhausted, the crew would have to reload the tube magazine with fresh torpedoes, to allow the weapons officer to fire once more.

If that is the case; then the Reliant being a lighter ship, could possibly have had only the one magazine; or, perhaps the magazine was loaded from the main section and then feed up the rails like a belt fed weapon.

BTW, talking about the separation of it and crawlspaces between the launcher and the main section; I always wondered how people would move from the upper section to the lower section and vice versa on an Oberth class starship.
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Old October 11 2012, 09:40 PM   #10
EmperorTiberius
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

Savious wrote: View Post
I always imagined it was like a magazine on a gun. That each photon tube launcher would have X number of photon torpedoes loaded and ready to fire. That the weapons officer could then fire away, time and time again, until the supply of torpedoes in the launcher was exhausted.

Once exhausted, the crew would have to reload the tube magazine with fresh torpedoes, to allow the weapons officer to fire once more.

If that is the case; then the Reliant being a lighter ship, could possibly have had only the one magazine; or, perhaps the magazine was loaded from the main section and then feed up the rails like a belt fed weapon.

BTW, talking about the separation of it and crawlspaces between the launcher and the main section; I always wondered how people would move from the upper section to the lower section and vice versa on an Oberth class starship.
noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
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Old October 12 2012, 02:04 AM   #11
Savious
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

No?
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Old October 12 2012, 07:15 AM   #12
Albertese
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

He's just saying that the Oberth question is even more of a beaten dead horse then the torpedo pod question.

That's all.

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Old October 12 2012, 12:23 PM   #13
EmperorTiberius
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

Savious wrote: View Post
No?
Albertese is right. This was discussed all around the net. Try searching this board too. I remember there were diagrams and other stuff that'll answer your question.
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Old October 12 2012, 12:40 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

Narrow connectors between various hull components seem to be something of a Starfleet standard. We never really learn why that would be, why the Constitution saucer would need to be attached to the engineering hull by an almost impossibly thin neck, or why the Oberth lower hull or the Miranda torpedo pod dangles on thin and curved supports. Or why the engine nacelles are at the ends of long stalks which don't even point away from the rest of the ship, but rather back towards it, thereby negating any argument about the long pylons being there to "protect the crew".

Apparently, the ability to easily break a starship into smaller pieces is considered advantageous somehow... Or then the reverse process is the decisive factor, and shipbuilders prefer to build small components which they then join together with flimsy-looking connectors.

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Old October 12 2012, 04:02 PM   #15
Savious
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Re: Miranda photon torpedo crews

OK; understood; and please accept this newbie’s apology for posting a question which was answered elsewhere. But; I also ask that you give me a little slack, in being ignorant of prior discussions.

I’ll give it a search and look for the threads.
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