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

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Old January 16 2013, 06:39 AM   #61
Albertese
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

I'm comfortable chalking up the extra super fast turbolift replacement in LTBYLB to be a production goof. It doesn't really happen that fast.

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Old January 16 2013, 01:35 PM   #62
Mytran
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

I would think that the Bridge gets special treatment from the turbolift system - it is a priority area, after all!

As for waiting for a turbolift, what about Uhura or Rand in Man Trap? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't instant then either.

Or Kirk and Spock in WNMHGB? There was definitely a gap between pressing the button and opening the doors.
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Old January 16 2013, 02:39 PM   #63
Robert Comsol
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
"Anyway, maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see how avoiding cab depots saves any space, really. If you don't have "spurs" or garages or some other dedicated space that's not needed for actual cab routing, then the alternative would seem to be the idea that all shafts are double- or triple-wide to allow cabs to "pass" each other — and that seems massively more space-wasteful to me than a few depots sprinkled here and there."
Good point, I really appreciate your input (depots vs. extra turbo shafts).

Actually, in my first TOS Enterprise deck plan drafts I had individual turbo lift access points next to the main turbo shafts. So in most cases, there's a cab waiting and just makes a quick turn to move into the main turbo shaft.

It's only when another turbo lift cab arrives that the standby cab has to move out of the way.

If the passenger tells the computer where he wants to go, the computer will coordinate re-arranging the location of other turbo lift cabs. If he doesn't, the passenger will risk that it takes a little longer.

At least, this way there wouldn't be the need for extra depots and inevitable waiting times, IMHO.

Bob
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Old January 16 2013, 08:01 PM   #64
Just a Bill
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Just a Bill wrote: View Post
The fact that we never see anybody waiting for a cab
Not so. There is at least one time that I can remember and it is from "The Naked Time".
Well, I did qualify that "never" with a 99.9% ... but yes, I should have said "almost never." (I wanted to say "rarely," but that seemed to understate the near-perfect availability we consistently see.) Maybe it's only 99% or 98.5%, but rather than quibble about the decimals, can we agree that we almost always see immediate cab availability?

And the few cases where we do not see this usually seem to have something unusual going on. The "clear the tube" scene from The Naked Time is in a context where the entire ship is screwed up, and the WHMHGB scene is from a pilot episode in which many details are different, and in some cases of debatable canonicity.

Regardless, my point was not to make an absolute statement that nobody ever has to wait. My point was, based on the observation that folks almost never have to wait, the system must be designed to replace cabs almost immediately. The fact that there are sometimes cases where the system cannot provide 100% on-demand service is to be expected no matter how the system is engineered.

Or Kirk and Spock in WNMHGB? There was definitely a gap between pressing the button and opening the doors.
I'm not entirely convinced Kirk is really "pressing a button." Those don't look at all like buttons; they look like indicator lights. And the shoulder- or head-height placement is impractical: children, folks in wheelchairs, diminutive aliens — heck, even just short people — wouldn't be able to reach them. They present much more like a red-alert claxon (at the same height) or maybe "cab ready" lights than like any kind of control element.

Maybe Kirk is just leaning on the wall, or maybe Shatner or Goldstone decided on the fly to add some "action" to the scene by pretending he was slapping a giant, vertical button-that-looks-like-a-lamp ... but I highly doubt the set designer intended those to be buttons: it would be a pretty stupid ergonomic design, we never see it again, and we don't even see the light change color or make a sound as a result of being pressed/leaned on.

I don't think we can conclude from this anomalous half-second of footage (which never occurs again) that turbolift cabs are waiting to be "called."

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Actually, in my first TOS Enterprise deck plan drafts I had individual turbo lift access points next to the main turbo shafts. So in most cases, there's a cab waiting and just makes a quick turn to move into the main turbo shaft.

It's only when another turbo lift cab arrives that the standby cab has to move out of the way.
So basically you have depots, but they are decentralized and very small; essentially a one-cab depot at every terminus. I don't know whether that's more or less efficient than shared, localized multi-cab depots, but it's an interesting thought. Let's take it one step further:

In computer programming, the concept of "stacks" comes from the stacks of dishes one sometimes sees in diners and buffets, held in place by vertical guides and supported underneath by springs. You can remove a plate from the stack for use, or drop new clean plates onto the stack, and the stack self-adjusts its height so the (new) topmost plate is always at the same height, the "delivery point."

We could minimize delays from cab deficits/surpluses by "stacking" them in much the same way. Suppose each lift terminus has a two-cab stack; something like this in the abstract:



Again, this is abstract. Maybe the cabs are stacked vertically, or maybe one is stacked on either side, or maybe the stacking is not immediately adjacent to the access point; but I think this visualization will suffice for the moment.

Base scenario, let's say everyone's asleep and no cabs are moving. Every terminus has two cabs: one ready and one standby. The overflow position is empty.

Use Case 1: Departing occupants. Ready cab leaves with occupants; Standby cab immediately moves to Ready position (this answers the redshirt/Lazarus question). An empty replacement cab is dispatched (from "somewhere") to restore this terminus to its two-cab state, automatically queueing up a pending Use Case 1a.

Use Case 1a: Empty replacement cab arrives. Ready cab moves back to Standby; replacement cab becomes new Ready cab. Default terminus state (two cabs) now restored.

Use Case 2: Arriving occupants. Ready and Standby cabs simultaneously shift to Standby and Overflow positions, respectively. New cab arrives and occupants disembark. Doors close and new cab, whether occupied or not, is immediately sent away (to "somewhere"); Standby and Overflow cabs simultaneously shift back to Ready and Standby positions, restoring terminus to its default two-cab state.

Use Case 3: Extra cab to/from "somewhere." Presumably there is still a depot or spur or twin-track area where extra cabs can be sent to and retrieved from; although in this scenario it's okay for such areas to be both few and distant (since each terminus has its own mini-depot, it can usually afford to wait a bit for a replacement). Or, perhaps there is not depot at all, and each terminus with a cab deficit simply waits for the nearest surplus to occur. (With twice the number of cabs on board as termini, this might work out fine under most circumstances.)

Use Case 4: Routing efficiencies. In some cases, some occupants will leave a terminus while other occupants are en route to that same terminus; in this case, no surplus or deficit need be corrected as the arriving cab will restore the terminus to its two-cab state. The routing algorithm of course gives high priority to these situations. In many other cases, when a replacement cab is needed or an extra empty one must be sent away, there will be another terminus not too far away that is in the opposite state. The routing algorithm will optimize these to pair one terminus' surplus with another's deficit as efficiently as possible. There is usually plenty of time for these adjustments to take the "slow route" (letting occupied cabs have right-of-way priority in the network) since, again, each terminus has its own mini-depot that allows two successive departures or two successive arrivals before a delay will occur.

Use Case 5: High- and low-priority termini. A high-priority terminus such as on the bridge may have more than one Overflow position. (Perhaps they are wrapped around the bridge in the dashed-line space surrounding the studio set, or stacked below the bridge.) A low-priority terminus such as near a seldom-use storage area may omit the Standby and/or Overflow positions (and in fact may not even maintain a Ready cab if the anticipated use is infrequent enough: having to wait 30 seconds for a cab once every month or two is certainly no hardship).

Greater routing efficiency could be achieved by hooking up more shafts to the "overflow" pipes so that extra cabs can be added/deleted without getting in the way of arrivals and departures (a service entrance, so to speak), and there's also the idea of "continuous loop" routing a la blood circulation, but both of those require a lot more shafts and may make it impossible to produce a believable blueprint.

Anyway, if space-efficiency is the highest goal, then this scheme may or may not be optimal; but if minimizing arrival/departure delays is the goal, then I think this design has a good chance to win the contract.

My apologies if this has already been discussed to death before I came along.

-Bill

Last edited by Just a Bill; January 16 2013 at 10:36 PM.
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Old January 16 2013, 08:28 PM   #65
Just a Bill
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Now, the layout above explains things analogously to a plate-stack, but actually that layout isn't the most efficient one, since it (a) wastes twice as much corridor-facing space as it needs to and (b) requires the Ready cab to move when a replacement Standby cab arrives or an Overflow cab needs to leave. A better default layout would be this:



With this improvement, a Standby or Overflow cab can slide in or out even when passengers are entering/exiting the Ready cab, hesitating while thinking about their destination, holding the door for a straggler, etc., and the configuration only chews up one additional cab-width of potential corridor access instead of two.

With this setup, you can even handle a fourth cab arriving when your Overflow is already full, by having all four cabs simultaneously rotate one space counter-clockwise so the occupants can exit (this would require the tube outline to be more circular than I have depicted it). Conversely, if the hypothetical predictive traffic-optimization algorithm anticipates lots of departures from a particular terminus, it can pre-stage a third cab in the Overflow and even a fourth in the tube (adjacent to both Overflow and Ready) and then do the little rotation-shuffle as the first of the four cabs leaves.

Quite a bit of flexibility there, in a small space, I think.

Last edited by Just a Bill; January 16 2013 at 11:58 PM.
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Old January 17 2013, 06:47 AM   #66
Just a Bill
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

And now, just for fun, a little quick & dirty animation (obviously nothing is to scale)...



This illustrates how the two-cab terminus model makes sure a cab is available (almost) at all times. The first engineer takes a cab and two astrophysicists arrive shortly thereafter (getting there a bit before the replacement cab), but they don't have to wait since the former Standby cab is there to serve them immediately. Then after a second replacement restores the terminus to its two-cab waiting mode, a third cab arrives bringing Scotty and the Jumpsuit Twins for a warp coil inspection. Thanks to the Overflow space, they are not delayed one bit.

I did create a very tiny delay for the Bald Botanist, and then contrived a bit of a longer wait for our heroes by throwing three successive departures at the terminus. Even then, Kirk's wait would be just a few seconds at actual cab speeds, and he would probably hear the cab coming rather than wonder what's going on. (Here I decided that only Spock is paying attention with his Vulcan ears ... Kirk just keeps grousing. Must be on his way to Sickbay for his routine physical.)

If you watch for a few cycles, you'll see how the routing system tries to keep the terminus at its equilibrium of two empty cabs at all times, shuttling them in and out as quickly as it can without getting in the way of actual passengers. After Scotty's jumpsuit detail arrives, the router immediately tries to get rid of the extra cab — but after it senses the arrival of Chekov, it realizes that "extra" cab is now needed to fill the new deficit, so it parks it just out of the way (based on the known destinations of the two departing cabs) and brings it back in as soon as possible. And, off camera, it has also located a second nearby replacement cab, which is idling right behind since the terminus is now at a deficit of -2.

Unfortunately, in this rare case of three departures stacked atop each other, the replacements are not quite quick enough to keep the Captain's bad day from getting a little bit worse.

In most browsers you can stop the animation by pressing ESC. To start it again, you have to refresh the page (and it will start at the beginning).

Please don't anyone tell my wife how much time I wasted doing this.

Last edited by Just a Bill; January 17 2013 at 07:46 AM.
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Old January 17 2013, 07:56 AM   #67
Mytran
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

It's a good setup, at least for major stops. Given the prolificacy of turbolift stops in TOS (and indeed many later Starfleet vessels) I can't imagine they'd all justify such a space-intensive setup. Sometimes, you'd just have to wait
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Old January 17 2013, 08:07 AM   #68
Albertese
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

This is kind of brilliant! I just may steal this idea whole cloth for my own Enterprise Deck plans project.

But this does make me wonder something about turbolifts... just how do they move? What mechanism allows for their locomotion?

Maybe the cab has wheels which somehow grip the walls of the tube? But I suppose they'd have to be ball shaped wheels like on the cars and trucks of future Chicago in I, Robot. I have always imagined that for both mechanical and safety reasons, such a set-up would need two sides of a cab to be in contact with walls, which makes me wonder if this wider room for extra lift cabs would allow for that. Maybe the square area has addition track hardware of it's own to handle the cabs and transition them back to the regular tube?

This may all be a stupid and pointless observation as I am very tired right now, and probably not in my right mind... but I'm gonna click "submit" anyway...

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Old January 17 2013, 12:55 PM   #69
Robert Comsol
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

@ Just a Bill

Great essay and visualization! It's basically what I had in mind with my first deck plan drafts, and I think the strange bulb on the circular corridors' ends in Season One suggests that the producers might have had something similar in mind: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...ntraphd418.jpg

Also notice in this screencap that the "call buttons" seemed to carry some function, apparently these did in "WNM" and "Man Trap" but eventually were all removed (to become the overload indicator in the Engineering Control Room in "Space Seed" ).

I think, however, that spare places for turbo lift cabs would mostly be needed near last stops.

@ Albertese

According to The Making of Star Trek the turbo lifts were supposed to be driven by pneumatic tube air and in "Wolf in the Fold" we witnessed a free-fall of the turbo lift cab with Kirk and Spock. It would appear that the cabs are "driven" rather than to have their own motion engines.

Bob
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Old January 17 2013, 02:18 PM   #70
Just a Bill
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Great essay and visualization!
...
Also notice in this screencap that the "call buttons" seemed to carry some function
Thanks for the encouragement!

It would seem that the ridiculous height of that intercom Uhura is reaching up to quickly blows away my bad-ergonomics argument against the 'call buttons.'

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I think, however, that spare places for turbo lift cabs would mostly be needed near last stops.
Not following you here: isn't every terminus a last stop for somebody?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
According to The Making of Star Trek the turbo lifts were supposed to be driven by pneumatic tube air and in "Wolf in the Fold" we witnessed a free-fall of the turbo lift cab with Kirk and Spock. It would appear that the cabs are "driven" rather than to have their own motion engines.
Wow, that would require a ton of tightly-sealing valves throughout the shaft network: at least three at every shaft junction in the ship. Not to mention fans/vacuums installed in just about every segment. Pneumatics basically expect a single vacuum to suck the cargo along a single, enclosed route; they generally don't have junctions (other than merges from multiple entrances to the combined exit, so what I mean is, they generally don't have routing options).

That all seems highly impractical. I always assumed there would have to be some kind of tractor mechanism on each cab ... not necessarily wheels, but more like a set of "grabber gears" that can crawl the cab along any horizontal or vertical face of any tube interior, which would all be lined with non-moving "ports" or "grooves" that the gears grab hold of. Then each cab is independently mobile regardless of other traffic.

Pneumatics seems like a head-idea that falls apart when it hits the paper, but I'm happy to be corrected by a real engineer if I'm wrong.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:01 PM   #71
blssdwlf
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Don't forget guys that they do have portable antigrav units and other exotic devices. Those cabs could have antigrav units to make them easy to move around and their own power and motive system (did they stop working when the ship was deprived of main power in "The Cage" or similar episodes?).
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Old January 17 2013, 03:07 PM   #72
Robert Comsol
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
"Not following you here: isn't every terminus a last stop for somebody?"
I was thinking along the line of a train line where the last stop also has the depot. Let's speculate that in one particular turbo shaft (let's say # 7 just to have some fun ) that runs vertically through the engineering hull you have standby turbo lift cabs on Decks 11 and 13. If necessary these will also and almost instantly service passengers that would like to embark on Decks 10, 12 and 14.

Apparently the problem would be, that a turbo lift arriving in this shaft from the top would push the standby turbo lifts out of the way. Either these would "duck and cover" by swinging into a reserve opening (bulb at corridor end?) or the arriving turbo lift would push these ahead of its path.

If the passenger of the arriving turbo lift were to travel to Deck 15, in this example, there would have to be a depot with space for at least two cabs.

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
"Pneumatics seems like a head-idea that falls apart when it hits the paper, but I'm happy to be corrected by a real engineer if I'm wrong."
I don't think it's a credible idea either. The "free-fall" in "Wolf in the Fold" may have simply been the 'possessed' ship computer accelerating the cab in the opposite direction. However, it looks like the ship's computer has control over the turbo lift cabs.

Bob
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Old January 17 2013, 04:26 PM   #73
Albertese
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Don't forget guys that they do have portable antigrav units and other exotic devices. Those cabs could have antigrav units to make them easy to move around and their own power and motive system (did they stop working when the ship was deprived of main power in "The Cage" or similar episodes?).
Good call! I dunno why that didn't occur to me. If these people have had access to reliable anti-gravity cars for the last 200 years (since c. 2036), why shouldn't a turbolift cab be essentially that? I like that idea a lot. It probably wouldn't have hardly any actual contact with the walls or floor of the actual tube, except possibly to "land" at a stop door or else have some sort of brake pads or clamps to hold it in place if it has to stop in the middle of a vertical tube (especially in an emergency, like in the TNG episode "Disaster" when Picard and the kids have to climb the lift shaft).

What a wonderful idea!

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Old January 17 2013, 05:11 PM   #74
Just a Bill
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I don't think [pneumatics is] a credible idea either.
As I was showering for work this morning, the problems just kept piling up in my head. First, the object driven by air pressure has to travel along its long axis, bullet-style; you can't push a cab from the side, because once it tips just slightly, it jams against the tube interior. So you'd still need some means of registering the cab precisely against the tube, and once you have that then it might as well be your locomotion method as well.

Artificial gravity could theoretically let all the tubes fire bullet-style, but then we would never see the "deck lights" moving horizontally, the gravitational micro-management would be a nightmare, and I hate to think of the effect on everyone's inner ear.

Then, you have to think about acceleration, deceleration, emergency stops, sharp turns, horizontal/vertical switchovers ... we're going to control all that by shooting air down a shaft that 12 other cabs are sharing right now?

The audio cues are a problem, too. They indicate mechanical processes, not pneumatic, and they track with the cab, not the shaft. Surely each cab doesn't have its own blowers and vacuums spread across all surfaces? Might as well make them all little shuttlepods instead (which I guess is another possibility).

TNG's Disaster showed us the inside of a Picard-era tube (yeah, it's not TOS, but I do think it's relevant), and it certainly wasn't an airtight seal. The ladder, lights, control panels, and other in-shaft textures make that impossible. Also, how would you use pneumatics to precisely stop the cab at either of the decks shown in this shot?



And even if you could, the need to close valves at both ends of every section a cab is in means only one cab per section; you could never serve multiple termini per section in the same time frame. That's a lot of doors all waiting their turn, and where are the valves anyway?



Finally, pneumatics completely forbids any possibility of multi-lane tubes or cabs passing each other, unless we build expensive and wasteful parallel tubes, each of which is fully formed with its own valves and blowers in every segment. Essentially, every individual "shaft segment" (by which I mean the smallest stretch that could be isolated by closing valves) becomes the equivalent of a rickety old one-lane country bridge, where cabs have to stop and wait their turn to use it, one at a time regardless of direction. And there would need to be an "airlock" at every juncture between segments, too.

What a mess! Pneumatics really seems like just about the worst possible explanation for turbolift locomotion. Site-to-site beaming and micro-warp tunnels, as ridiculous as those would be, probably offer more feasible options. But I still think it can all be done with wheels or gears on the cabs.

As I thought about that more, I began to think that the main shafts in each section perhaps need to be double-wide, like two-lane highways, with a convention that cabs "travel on the right" or whatever. Like subway tubes. This would eliminate the need to stop and wait for somebody else going the opposite way through the same shaft, and also minimize the need for "passing."

Back to the wheels issue, if (for simplicity) we imagine the cab as an elongated cube with six faces, then it needs swiveling wheels on all six faces (at least two per face, possibly more). For motion, it would engage and align all wheels on the four faces that are parallel to the travel axis. Then, as junctions come along, it doesn't matter where they are; the wheels just continue to grab whatever tube walls are available as other walls temporarily drop out and return.

Under this scheme, cabs could traverse complex intersections and could always move as long as there were at least two opposing faces to get traction against. You could have a four-way or even six-way horizontal intersection, as long as it has a floor and a ceiling. You could have a vertical tube intersect a horizontal one, as long as the third axis has no junctions so there are still two opposing "sides" to grab hold of (as Albertese pointed out).

In my animation, since the side walls have so much variability, most of the time it is primarily the top/bottom wheels that are providing the traction on the cabs you see moving. To intersect a vertical tube into my hypothetical setup, you have to do it at a point where the horizontal situation is less 'busy' (i.e., out in the travel shaft; you can't do it above or below the terminus itself or its standby area). Basically, you can't have a cab in a "corner" — just like Santa climbing a chimney, you need at least two opposing faces at all times to push against. Fortunately, this should be easily doable with prudent deck design.

Now, those TNG images have no visible means of locomotion on the top of the cab, leaving us to wonder exactly how it would travel horizontally in complex tube junctions. Perhaps we chalk it up to TV production, or maybe in that era they use force fields to shove the things around. But I still think wheels are the most practical and cost-effective means. If we have the technology and the energy to use force fields or transporter beams or warp conduits or wormholes or mini impulse engines to move the cabs around, then why not dispense with the cabs altogether and just move people that way, a la Futurama's pedestrian tubes or just simple site-to-site beaming?

The fact that turbolifts need to continue to function when other ship's systems are down (and indeed we do see this in many episodes) suggests that they should use the simplest technology available, not the most complex.

The thing about force fields and antigravity is that they are slow. Dog slow. Think about all the times we've seen an antigrav sled or M-4 or Nomad slogging around at a top speed of 0.7 miles per hour. We can blame TV production again here; but also, when people's lives are at stake and collision avoidance is paramount, you can't really afford high speed or acceleration when there's no friction-based means of slowing things back down. Ever see a hovercraft stop on a dime? Me neither. Turbolifts need to be fast. Cheetah fast. Wheels can do that for us, safely and cost-effectively.

Fanciful, exotic explanations that sound all GR-whiz-bang (like the unseen 'sonic showers' Mr. Roddenberry was so proud of at the convention I attended when I was 12, or the oft-repeated nonsense about there being no money in the future) are fun to think about, but usually fall apart under a bit of real scrutiny. In the end, for believability, relatability, and (don't forget this one) good storytelling, we still see the ship's crew drinking good old-fashioned coffee from cups, washing their faces with water, bribing people, purchasing souvenirs, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, and having conversations about all kinds of mundane things that will still be part of the human condition even if we make it to the year 3,000. Like wheels.

When it comes to engineering a real solution, we'd be foolish not to at least consider the simple one.

Last edited by Just a Bill; January 17 2013 at 08:55 PM.
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Old January 17 2013, 10:10 PM   #75
Robert Comsol
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Re: How many transporter rooms on TOS Enterprise?

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
The fact that turbolifts need to continue to function when other ship's systems are down (and indeed we do see this in many episodes) suggests that they should use the simplest technology available, not the most complex.
If I recall correctly the turbo lifts in ST II were "inoperative below C Deck" (reminder: for the movies they apparently changed the numbers for letters) as a result of the battle with Khan and in TOS "Let That Be" Lokai and Bele equally just could get down to Deck 3 ("C Deck ") and had to continue their pursuit down to the lower decks by means of (unseen) ladders and/or stairways.

Seems to me as if there are only turbo lifts connecting Decks 1, 2 and 3 which in case of an emergency have a separate backup power system.

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
The thing about force fields and antigravity is that they are slow. Dog slow. Think about all the times we've seen an antigrav sled or M-4 or Nomad slogging around at a top speed of 0.7 miles per hour. We can blame TV production again here; but also, when people's lives are at stake and collision avoidance is paramount, you can't really afford high speed or acceleration when there's no friction-based means of slowing things back down. Ever see a hovercraft stop on a dime? Me neither. Turbolifts need to be fast. Cheetah fast. Wheels can do that for us, safely and cost-effectively.
What's wrong with good old magnetism? Back in the 60's the monorail was a big thing and I think a TV series of that era would have depicted futuristic elevators making use of that technology.

Just a Bill wrote: View Post
In the end, for believability, relatability, and (don't forget this one) good storytelling, we still see the ship's crew drinking good old-fashioned coffee from cups, washing their faces with water, bribing people, purchasing souvenirs, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, and having conversations about all kinds of mundane things that will still be part of the human condition even if we make it to the year 3,000. Like wheels.
I share the sentiment, though admittedly with some reluctance.
But instead of wheels I'd favor monorail magnetic tracks.

Bob
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