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Voyager There's coffee in this forum!

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Old August 24 2014, 03:17 AM   #1
J. Allen
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"The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

I've been doing a re-rewatch of Voyager on Netflix. Anyway, I'm watching "The Cloud," and something hits me: they're supposedly rationing energy to the point where Janeway can't even replicate a cup of coffee without using one of her available energy rations. Yet later in the episode, Tom Paris creates a holodeck program, and runs it. Is he using all of his rations all at once? Why is Janeway okay with it? I would imagine that if making a cup of coffee is costly, running a highly complex holodeck program (Janeway was impressed) must suck down the juice! To make things worse, they lose somewhere around 18% of their energy reserves after dealing with the cloud, and yet Janeway's showing up at the bar and it's just humming like there's nothing wrong.

Where is all of this extra, available, non-rationed energy coming from?
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Old August 24 2014, 03:48 AM   #2
Gep Malakai
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

There's some technobabble during the season 5 premiere about the holodecks having their own power source that's incompatible with the rest of the ship's systems. (It must also be an unlimited source as well, which I don't think was ever explained.) It's dumb, but there ya go.

I have a recollection that Rick Sternbach was publicly unhappy with that bit of handwaiving, but a quick google search doesn't turn up what I'm thinking of.
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Old August 24 2014, 03:56 AM   #3
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

The replicator uses direct current.

The holodeck uses alternating current.



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Old August 24 2014, 04:00 AM   #4
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

T'Girl wrote: View Post
The replicator uses direct current.

The holodeck uses alternating current.

To paraphrase Kirk in Bread and Circuses, "Edison. And Tesla. They had them both."
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Old August 24 2014, 04:06 AM   #5
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
The replicator uses direct current.

The holodeck uses alternating current.

To paraphrase Kirk in Bread and Circuses, "Edison. And Tesla. They had them both."
Ooooooooo snap
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Old August 24 2014, 04:08 AM   #6
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
There's some technobabble during the season 5 premiere about the holodecks having their own power source that's incompatible with the rest of the ship's systems. (It must also be an unlimited source as well, which I don't think was ever explained.) It's dumb, but there ya go.
Are you sure it wasn't sooner? I could have sworn they trotted out that silly excuse much earlier.

Edit: Found it. Very first episode after the pilot, Parallax (Boy, they really held out for a long time, huh?)

Janeway "What about alternative energy sources? Ensign Kim, have you had any luck getting power from the holodeck reactors?"

Kim "Not yet. We tried hooking them to the power grid and we ended up blowing out half the relays. The holodeck's energy matrix, it just isn't compatible with the other power systems."

Edited again: What LeadHead said.
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Old August 24 2014, 04:11 AM   #7
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

It was in a staff meeting in "Parallax." Kim said something about the Holodeck energy grid being incompatible with the other power systems.
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Old August 24 2014, 04:34 AM   #8
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

Wow, that is really... terrible. I mean, if they're going to cheat, at least try to make it sound legitimate. "I'm sorry, Captain, but holodeck power uses super diamodillium, which is too different from our standard diamondium energy cells."

That's just... that's just a terrible excuse.
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Old August 24 2014, 04:58 AM   #9
Gep Malakai
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

Even then, it makes no freaking sense. Why can't they build a converter or something? Even today, we can convert from A/C to D/C or from one voltage to another.

And anyway, why would Starfleet design and install an entire separate power generation, distribution, and utilization system for one kind of non-critical technology?

It's just lazy writing, done entirely for the staff's benefit so they can have things both ways.

Tosk wrote: View Post
Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
There's some technobabble during the season 5 premiere about the holodecks having their own power source that's incompatible with the rest of the ship's systems. (It must also be an unlimited source as well, which I don't think was ever explained.) It's dumb, but there ya go.
Are you sure it wasn't sooner? I could have sworn they trotted out that silly excuse much earlier.

Edit: Found it. Very first episode after the pilot, Parallax (Boy, they really held out for a long time, huh?)

Janeway "What about alternative energy sources? Ensign Kim, have you had any luck getting power from the holodeck reactors?"

Kim "Not yet. We tried hooking them to the power grid and we ended up blowing out half the relays. The holodeck's energy matrix, it just isn't compatible with the other power systems."

Edited again: What LeadHead said.
Huh. You're right. Well, it's been years since I've seen some of the season 1 episodes.

I recall it was a big deal in "Night," though, because it was actually a plot-point that the holodecks didn't go out after the rest of the ship had had its power drained.
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Old August 24 2014, 06:23 AM   #10
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Wow, that is really... terrible. I mean, if they're going to cheat, at least try to make it sound legitimate. "I'm sorry, Captain, but holodeck power uses super diamodillium, which is too different from our standard diamondium energy cells."
I am quite happy to have less technobabble rather than more
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Old August 24 2014, 03:28 PM   #11
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

In Parallax there was a throwaway line about how the holodeck energy matrix wasn't compatible with the ships other power systems, thereby giving them an excuse to continually run the holodecks and EMH.
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Old August 24 2014, 04:43 PM   #12
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

The idea of energy rationing never really made sense to begin with. Star Trek tech at least in the 24th century was shown to be essentially magic, there was no reason based on what we had seen in TNG and DS9 to believe that Voyager should have any resource issues.
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Old August 24 2014, 05:14 PM   #13
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

BruntFCA wrote: View Post
The idea of energy rationing never really made sense to begin with. Star Trek tech at least in the 24th century was shown to be essentially magic, there was no reason based on what we had seen in TNG and DS9 to believe that Voyager should have any resource issues.
That's part of why I'd wished they had had Voyager be a warp three or four, tops, ship. Giving them the fastest engines possible, regardless of the distance they had to go, really didn't play into the concept very well. Those replicators must have been stupefyingly energy-inefficient to make not making a cup of coffee a worthwhile sacrifice.
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Old August 24 2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

BruntFCA wrote: View Post
... there was no reason based on what we had seen in TNG and DS9 to believe that Voyager should have any resource issues.
I don't agree, we saw occasional power rationing during TNG. In one episode heavy use of the replicator resulted in the ship being incapable of using the warp engines (The Child).

In the (non-canon) ST: tech manual, it said that when the ship is at high warp speeds, replicator use has to be curtailed or stopped completely.

Data usually sits at the operations station on the bridge, one of the jobs of that position is to allocate resources within the ship. If resources were effectively unlimited, then that particular duty would be un-necessary,

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Old August 24 2014, 06:02 PM   #15
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Re: "The Cloud" and Energy Rationing

You don't expect the Voyager writers to work without their favorite crutch, do you?

It does seem, in 2371, they are able to convert matter directly to energy, so unless the replicator and transporters were completely down it seems they could be able to just land on some planet, load up a bunch of rocks and make them into power.
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