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

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Old February 8 2015, 07:50 AM   #1
Wingsley
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Auxiliary Control

Regarding the Auxiliary Control Room seen throughout TOS' years 2 and 3...

Can it be assumed, as a basis for discussion, that this facility was a kind of "backup Bridge" for practical use in controlling the ship when the Bridge was not available?

Does anyone know the actual physical layout of this set for TOS? What did the floor plan look like? Even though I've seen it on TV countless times, I'm having trouble envisioning it.

Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's schematics suggested this command center was situated in the lower vortex of the ship's saucer, roughly opposite Deck 1 / Bridge. This would also dovetail quite well with other classes of starships, both in canon (Reliant/Miranda for one) and in FJ's "Tech Manual" worldview (Saladin/Hermes, Ptolemy).

I was under the impression that this facility was, in essence, the TOS analogue to TNG's "Battle Bridge". If the Enterprise's bridge were damaged or otherwise compromised, the ship could be effectively run (and was commandeered by Norman, Gorgan and Dr. Severn) from here. Having said that, it appeared to be an emergency facility, with insufficient equipment and capacity for a full bridge crew. (Could you imagine anything approaching a full bridge compliment working in Auxiliary Control while the Bridge were being repaired, while in-flight?) Could it be that, if the Bridge were taken out of action, the operational assumption would be that the ship is in trouble and its normal operations would be suspended until the Bridge could be restored at a home port?

Was anyone under the impression that this facility was frequently, if not constantly, manned with at least a couple of officers to pilot the ship in the event that something were to suddenly happen to the Bridge and/or staff there? Or could it be that Auxiliary Control was often shut down and "placed offline" for security reasons? Assuming that Auxiliary Control were regularly deactivated, what would that mean? Would the room simply be shut down, lights off, and the door locked?

I suppose FJ made the assumption of the Auxiliary Control's location in the lower saucer based on the similar Forward Phaser Room. If the Auxiliary Control aboard the Enterprise, and starships of somewhat similar saucer design, were indeed to be located in the lower saucer, Does this suggest a Tertiary Control Room somewhere in the Secondary Hull, in the event of catastrophic damage to the saucer?

If we assume that the refit TMP-era Enterprise (and Enterprise-A) possessed a similar Auxiliary Control Room, how would it be different from the one we saw in TOS? Could it look like a shrunken-down version of TNG's early Battle Bridge, or maybe Grissom's Bridge as seen in TMP3?

I know the general assumption is that the slanted control panels on the main table in Auxiliary Control simply have a few buttons, dials and toggles and that's it. But in "The Doomsday Machine", Kirk was obviously reading indicators off of those panels, which strongly implies those panels were "alive" with displays of data. The running assumption that TOS control panels of all kinds rely strictly on buttons, dials, levers and toggles never seemed sound to me. Even before anyone saw the touchscreen interfaces in TMP4 and TNG, I assumed that all that black area on those panels was populated with displays and iPad-like touch-screens. How else could Kirk have piloted the Starship Constellation without ever leaving that table?
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Old February 8 2015, 09:17 AM   #2
Mytran
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Re: Auxiliary Control

This article should answer many of your questions:
http://tosgraphics.yuku.com/topic/41...y-Control-Room

As to TMP style vessels I think there would have to have had something similar on board, even if it was never referred to onscreen. AC was never meant to be a full replica bridge though, so I imagine it would just consist of the "bare bones essentials, just like TOS.

Incidentally, I had the same thought as you regarding the black shiny areas being information displays!
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Old February 8 2015, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Auxiliary Control

As with all sets that change over time, we might assume that we are in fact witnessing immutable rooms, but several of them. As the auxiliary "bridge" has fewer seats and consoles in evidence than the primary one, it would make sense for those to exist elsewhere, presumably right behind the next wall or mesh screen...

Also, if this is a set of rooms, it's easier to see why our heroes would not make a beeline for Decker in "The Doomsday Machine" (despite him obviously sitting at a pretty central and important station) but rather sort of wander past the correct door until one of them takes a look. There might have been a more promising-looking section of the Auxiliary Control Complex farther ahead, perhaps with the lights on or something.

The outside corridor has enough kinks to allow us to argue it's not part of the regular concentric scheme of the saucer, but OTOH we don't have to assume the saucer would be all concentric and regular, either. The plotlines place few demands on AC placement, either.

I assumed that all that black area on those panels was populated with displays and iPad-like touch-screens.
I'd argue as much, although it's also possible that the main display screen itself had some of the vital stats showing (even at those times when the exterior view wasn't working yet). Kirk just toggled those stats off whenever the camera was looking at the main viewer.

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Old February 8 2015, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Timo wrote: View Post
Also, if this is a set of rooms, it's easier to see why our heroes would not make a beeline for Decker in "The Doomsday Machine"
The boarding party "stumbling" upon the aux. control might also be explain by the Constellation having a somewhat different internal layout than the Enterprise, Kirk knew basically where the aux. control would be, but not exactly. Kirk had to look for it.

The outside corridor has enough kinks to allow us to argue it's not part of the regular concentric scheme of the saucer
Or like the battle bridge in TNG, the aux. control room is not in the saucer. The connecting neck would be to narrow, but the engineering hull would be a good placement. Separating the main bridge and aux. control by some distance would make sense.

This might be the location the ship is controlled from if the saucer is separated and discarded.

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Old February 8 2015, 07:43 PM   #5
Albertese
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Re: Auxiliary Control

At least regarding Franz Joseph, I think it's fair to say he left it out entirely. I think the room you are identifying on Deck 11 is supposed to be the phaser control room we saw in "BAlance of Terror" and that, rather than have Auxilliary Control as seen in the show at all, he has a replica of the main bridge in the engineering hull, in the forward end of Deck 19, directly aft of the deflector dish and surrounded by the engineering hull's computers.

Keep in mind that FJ was gently reimagining the Enterprise to better reflect what he, as an actual naval engineer, though made more sense. I've looked all through the Booklet of General Plans trying to find Auxiliary Control, I think it's just not there. If someone has spotted it, let me know, As I'm a bit tired playing Where's Waldo with this one.

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Old February 8 2015, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: Auxiliary Control

I suspect that Franz Joseph simply re-imagined auxiliary control as the emergency bridge.
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Old February 8 2015, 11:08 PM   #7
Wingsley
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Wasn't there also an "emergency bridge" in the middle of FJ's saucer?
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Old February 8 2015, 11:14 PM   #8
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Wingsley wrote: View Post
Wasn't there also an "emergency bridge" in the middle of FJ's saucer?
That's on deck 7. There's also a "bridge" on deck 19.
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Old February 9 2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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Re: Auxiliary Control

So, FJ's schematics equipped Constitution-class starships with three bridges...
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Old February 9 2015, 07:20 PM   #10
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Re: Auxiliary Control

I guess Worf in Where Silence Has Lease was wrong after all...
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Old February 9 2015, 08:47 PM   #11
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Re: Auxiliary Control

"This is impossible! Impossible!"
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Old February 10 2015, 03:32 AM   #12
Ithekro
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Re: Auxiliary Control

One does not put a bridge next to your bridge?
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Old February 10 2015, 05:31 AM   #13
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Nope. Not without irritating your local Klingon.
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Old February 10 2015, 01:52 PM   #14
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Wingsley wrote: View Post
So, FJ's schematics equipped Constitution-class starships with three bridges...
FJ's emergency bridge is indeed a re-imagined auxiliary control. Remember that the plans were drawn before the days of widely leaked set drawings and videos that could be scoured and scrutinized frame by frame. In addition, unlike the actual sets, FJ's rooms are designed to fit with one another inside of the ship.

The bridge in the engineering hull is intended for controlling the engineering hull following primary hull separation.
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Old February 10 2015, 02:51 PM   #15
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Re: Auxiliary Control

Would the auxiliary control room really need to duplicate all the controls on the main bridge? Surely some of those functions could be controlled from other locations such as enviromental from Engineering.
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