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

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Old February 1 2014, 11:39 AM   #1
therritn
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Laser Pistol Settings

I just watched The Cage a little while back and I was wondering what settings the hand lasers during Pike's (and probably April's) time had. I know it had a full power setting as evidenced by the longest emitter of the three emitter barrels and an overload setting. Would there actually be a stun setting (neural disruption) or just a light (burn injury) to full (vaporize) setting?
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Old February 1 2014, 11:49 AM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

The reason they changed "laser" to "phaser" was because lasers couldn't do the kind of things they wanted, like stun someone or vaporize them. I like to think (and Star Trek: Enterprise with their "Phase pistol" weapons, and even Playmates, with their "Captain Pike's Phaser" toy seem to agree) that those lasers in "The Cage" were actually phasers and we're to cough over the "la-" bit
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Old February 1 2014, 01:03 PM   #3
C.E. Evans
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

I have no problem with the idea that Starfleet used lasers during Pike's time, but I also think they were different from the lasers that we know today and that the term had a slightly different meaning. As such, I can see them having stun, blast, and vaporize settings.
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Old February 1 2014, 07:50 PM   #4
Dale Sams
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Have any producers given a reason why over the course of TOS, they sometimes used that "TUIIIiiiiiii" effect for stun on phasers?

Last edited by Dale Sams; February 1 2014 at 08:05 PM.
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Old February 1 2014, 09:36 PM   #5
Ronald Held
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

It may seem strange to go from 22d century phase pistols to mid 23d century lasers and ~10 years later phasers.
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Old February 1 2014, 10:26 PM   #6
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Here's my take:

We know that phase pistols in ENT could stun and kill.

We also know that Andrea's weapon in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" could disintegrate.

Even though it's the definition of a retcon, there are your three barrels.

Whether Crater attacked with the kill or disintegrate setting in "The Man Trap" is anybody's guess.

That said, it would also, on the other hand, be reasonable for Andrea's weapon to have different settings than Crater's and/or the sidearms used in the two pilots; the pistol props were modified for the second pilot, by adding some doohickeys on the back above the grip.
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Old February 2 2014, 04:07 AM   #7
blssdwlf
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

The laser pistol prop used in "The Cage" isn't the same as the phaser pistol prop that was used in "What Are Little Girls Made Of", "The Man Trap" and "WNMHGB". The Laser Pistol lacked the largish perpendicular cylinder on the back, the top sight plate and the 3 round side knobs of the phaser pistol version.

As to the settings available to the laser pistols of Pike's crew, stun might've been possible as a built-in module separate from the laser setting so anything is possible. The phaser pistol version probably could stun, burn/heat, vaporize and overload like later phasers.
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Old February 2 2014, 06:46 AM   #8
Darkwing
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

A lot of SF RPGs feature electrostunner lasers - a low-power laser ionizes a path through the air to conduct an electrical shock to stun the target and/or electrocute them. This is my explanation for stun setting on lasers in Space:1999 and TOS.
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Old February 2 2014, 05:30 PM   #9
Lord Manitou
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Lasers are just light focused through a crystal that is meant to burn through any contact material.
The Star Trek handgun was a disruptor which is more than a laser. The disruptor would blow a rough hole through a person and not leave much of anything else. One couldn't show that in the eps.
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Old February 2 2014, 09:12 PM   #10
C.E. Evans
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
It may seem strange to go from 22d century phase pistols to mid 23d century lasers and ~10 years later phasers.
It could just be a case that phase pistols never saw widespread usage and didn't become general-issue (later improvements in advanced laser technology--which may not be anything like the stuff we know today--may have come about, rendering lasers a more preferred weapon in the end). "Phasers," in turn, really could represent a merging of the technologies for all intents and purposes.
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Old February 2 2014, 09:42 PM   #11
T'Girl
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It could just be a case that phase pistols never saw widespread usage and didn't become general-issue ...
What the MACOs were using did seem better, were their weapons ever referred to by name? And did we ever see them using a stun setting?

They seem more like the PPGs of Babylon Five.


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Old February 3 2014, 08:42 PM   #12
C.E. Evans
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

T'Girl wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It could just be a case that phase pistols never saw widespread usage and didn't become general-issue ...
What the MACOs were using did seem better, were their weapons ever referred to by name?
I don't think so, at least not canonically, but some fans have favored "plasma rifle" or "particle rifle."
And did we ever see them using a stun setting?
Kinda, in "Vox Sola," but it oddly enough fired a phase pistol beam instead of an energy burst, leading some fans to think it was a phase rifle.
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Old February 4 2014, 08:52 AM   #13
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

The three barrels could be to do with beam width rather than power settings.
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Old February 4 2014, 06:38 PM   #14
Lord Manitou
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

This is an older post of mine
----
Since the beginning of Star Trek the phasor has had several settings. The light one just knocks you out, and the medium one drills a hole in you and the heavy one pulverizes or annihilates you. The second and third setting blasted an object because the beam came in contact with matter. The object must be represented by the ceramic site at the top whether it is used or not.
------
This post
All the races seem to carry the same settings that do just about the same. They must have created some form of carrier medium that does that. Could different races have different carrier mediums?
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Old February 4 2014, 07:14 PM   #15
T'Girl
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Re: Laser Pistol Settings

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
The three barrels could be to do with beam width rather than power settings.
Thing is, in Cage one crewman fires at the door to the elevator, seemingly unsatisfied with the results he twists the barrel and fires again.

Why would he initially fire on stun or kill if he is firing at a door? So he switched from what setting to what setting?

The weapons barrel adjustments may have done more than rotate between the three muzzles. There did seem to be multiple rings on the barrel.

One ring changes muzzles, another ring power levels and perhaps a third ring adjusts the beam from narrow, to medium, to wide.

Just a thought.

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