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Old May 24 2015, 09:18 PM   #1
konitzlee
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Location: Milan, Italy
Lights underneath view screen

Hi everybody.

I've always wondered, what do you think those lights converging in the center of the main view screen are for?

Voyager had one on the lower part, on on the upper part. Was it simply part of scenography or was it suppose to serve a function in the ship?

Thanks
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Old May 24 2015, 09:54 PM   #2
nightwind1
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

I've always thought of them as lights to show that the sensors were functioning. But I don't think it's ever been explained on-screen.
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Old May 24 2015, 10:32 PM   #3
T'Girl
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

The modem that connects my cable to my computer has blinking lights indicating that different aspects of the device are functioning. My interpretation is that the lights under the screen serve a similar purpose.

From a production point of view however, they're just more cool blinking lights.

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Old May 24 2015, 11:47 PM   #4
Go-Captain
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

It's too bad they never change frequency or sequence. They must be status lights for something so basic it never fails, but which is if it did fail it would be catastrophic. After all, it's right there in everyone's face on the bridge. Or, it's a mind altering device which forces officers to focus more deeply on their tasks, like opposite of how in Vegas casinos carpets are designed to discourage people from looking down.

My fave screen is the one in First Contact, where it is just an upholstered wall until the screen is made to look at something other than streaking space dust.
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Old May 25 2015, 01:06 AM   #5
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

I've never read or seen anything definitive or authoritative describing what they're for, but I always imagined that they indicated the pattern of the sensor sweep cycle. There were basically two patterns that I recall: one is an in-order sweep from left to right, the other was a kind of alternating pattern. The in-order sweep pattern makes sense, if you think of a rotating radar antenna, although a starship would need a two-dimensional pattern instead of just the one-dimensional pattern of an antenna rotating on a single axis, assuming the sensor beam is relatively narrow. (Recall that the term "sensor beam" was used onscreen, in "Where No Man Has Gone Before.") The alternating pattern makes sense for keeping a more even distribution of sensors around the ship.

It would make an interesting webpage to see all the patterns cataloged.
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Old May 25 2015, 08:39 AM   #6
konitzlee
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

Interesting explanations, thank you all.

If those lights do represent sensors, it shouldn't be hard to find an episode where sensors are offline (albeit temporarily) and see if they had the shrewdness of turning them off.
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Old May 26 2015, 02:21 AM   #7
Saturn0660
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

Thats what I always thought they were..
Simply "sensor" lights.
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Old May 26 2015, 02:42 PM   #8
Richard Baker
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

I also think they were intended to show a standard sensor sweep at the beginning, being 60's television I doubt they would have altered them much to follow a particular story line.
They are iconic however and something that designers tried to include on every starship since.
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Old May 26 2015, 04:04 PM   #9
B.J.
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

In First Contact, those lights on the Phoenix slowed down when they came out of warp.
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Old May 26 2015, 04:28 PM   #10
Richard Baker
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

B.J. wrote: View Post
In First Contact, those lights on the Phoenix slowed down when they came out of warp.
Nice touch!
I missed that, going to have to watch for that next time
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Old May 28 2015, 06:34 AM   #11
wildstar
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

In the Mcmaster bridge blueprints, they're marked as "sensor scan display".
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Old May 28 2015, 01:04 PM   #12
konitzlee
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

wildstar wrote: View Post
In the Mcmaster bridge blueprints, they're marked as "sensor scan display".
Thanks Wildstar!
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Old May 28 2015, 01:40 PM   #13
bbjeg
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

I always assumed it was a way to process time passing. For example, if an opposing force used some kind of mind altering weapon and people noticed the lights jump or speed up or slow down, they'll know that they were effected.
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Old May 30 2015, 09:35 PM   #14
publiusr
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

I thought it was showing where a scanning beam way. You don't really need to see the line on your weather radar showing the beam refresh--but it is nice to have.
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Old May 31 2015, 07:17 PM   #15
Nebusj
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Re: Lights underneath view screen

Go-Captain wrote: View Post
It's too bad they never change frequency or sequence.
... except in the original series or the cartoon, when they sometimes blink in a curious alternating left-side/ride-side pattern.
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