1701 warp core?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by kent, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Where is the 1701 warp core? Does it even have a centralized warp core? I've seen some cutaway's of the Constitution class that makes it look like it's behind the impulse engines, is that true? I need a little help here on this one.
     
  2. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    In short there is no definitive answer. Its safe to assume they had some sort of centralized reactor, and part of the "warp drive" process may have actually occurred in the nacelles.

    This question comes up often, turns into a lively discussion.

    For my gaming-reality and "personal canon" I assume that the Constitution class warp-drive just operated on a different principle than the NX and Connie-Refit engines did.
     
  3. JuanBolio

    JuanBolio Admiral Admiral

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    "Warp core" is a somewhat nonsensical term. "Main reactor" or "matter/antimatter reactor" is more accurate.

    Anyway, opinions differ, and the dialog from the show is somewhat contradictory. Some episodes seem to indicate that the nacelles themselves had self-contained reactors. Others seem to indicate that one or more reactors are located in the engineering hull. The latter is what I personally believe. The nacelles are just for warping space - power generation and fuel storage are the job of the secondary hull.

    Ancient drew up the best damn 1701 cutaway I've ever seen. You can see the reactor located under the deck in the main engine room:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do think that the 1701 had its reactor in the engine hull, but I don't think its a TMP-onwards vertical-tube style thing. I actually think the swirly light tube in TMP is a power conduit, with the reactor being a bit downwards.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Wherever and whatever the main source of power of NCC-1701, before and after the refit, I tend to believe it would be carefully hidden out of sight, behind umpteen layers of radiation-stopping, blast-containing armor.

    It would only be 24th century forcefield magic that would allow the construction of engine rooms where the annihilation focus is accessed as easily as a desk drawer, by barehanded people dressed in pajamas. Prior to that, even working close to the power transfer machinery would require protective garments (ST:TMP), and generally the engineers would prefer to stay the hell away from the active parts and only operate them by remote from centralized control rooms (TOS). Except in the early days, when Starfleet couldn't afford all that shielding and waldoing and automation, and would instead go for localized armor over key elements of the machinery (ENT).

    Apart from those considerations, the powerplants of the ENT, TOS, TMP and TNG starships could be radically different in construction and mode of operation, even if all rely on matter/antimatter annihilation regulated by dilithium. There are half a dozen rather dissimilar ways to build a fission reactor today, too...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or, the 'intermix chamber' from the refit 1701 really was the reactor, having it exposed it for regular repairs was a necessary part of the radical redesign, and so radsuits were sometimes necessary wear when it was in operation, as in TMP several engineers don't bother from time to time, whereas in the wrecked TWOK situation I don't recall an engineer without one, I don't believe we saw any radsuit at all in TFF (given what we saw of engineering initially of the A was the redressed Jefferies tube) and by TUC only some engineers wear them.

    By the TNG-era, the technology had been refined to the point where radsuits were no longer necessary at all and you could quite readily walk up and lay your hand on the reactor.

    As for TOS? Obviously, it's reactor was well protected by mesh radiation shielding, so no radsuits there! :)

    I still like my inverted 'V-12' TOS warp reactor. :p
     
  7. Whorfin

    Whorfin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Short on time, as usual, forgive the brevity.

    TOS
    Shirt-sleeve environment in "Main Engineering".
    "Work" on the "warp pods" in Jefferies Tube like arrangement.
    Dilithium crystals are taken by hand out of various "boxes" in various locations, sometimes not in Main Engineering.
    No large room-like sealed off "reactor" in Main Engineering.
    Main Engineering is a relatively small room (in relation to the ship).

    TMP
    Radiation suits are the standard duty uniform in Main Engineering.
    "Work" on the "M/AM core" is done in Main Engineering.
    Dilithium crystals are presumably in Main Engineering (possibly in the 'Spock debraider').
    Main Engineering is now a gigantic room spanning the dorsal of the secondary hull and presumably extending up into the warp engines.
    The "intermix shafts" seen in ST movies are meant to move warp plasma around (to the engines, to the deflection crystal in the new impulse engines, to the phasers) they are not necessarily a TNG type warp core, though they look like one.
    The closest thing to a warp core seems to be a small lucite room with airgaps around its revolving door.

    Proposition:
    Assume for the moment that TOS reactors are in the nacelles (aviation model). In the TMP upgrade they are removed to make room for additional equipment or in resizing the nacelles, moved to the secondary hull (more typical vehicle model), which now becomes a radiation sauna with the upgraded reactor at full capacity or damaged.

    Why would they do this? Possible explanations:

    Nacelle redesign required it (M/AM core effecting warp performance when in the nacelle itself, more warp coils, whatever).
    Moving the reactor into the ship itself better protects the reactor (didn't seem to work out that way though).
    Moving the reactor into the ship itself allows it to be worked on without entering the nacelles or going EVA.
    Radiation suit company bought off a lot of Starfleet's top engineers.
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Excellent. :rommie:

    As always, despite being brief, a very insightful post, Whorfin. I fear the 1701 warp core mystery will be one that haunts us for the rest of time.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Counterproposition to Whorfin: TOS and TMP arrangements were basically identical, but in TOS we saw standard operation and maintenance procedures which could be handled from protected locations. In TMP, we saw engineers working in spaces that were not "main engineering", but rather the "inner sanctum", because the ship was still in the process of being built and tested. The real Main Engineering of that ship was a room not unlike the TOS one, with tidy control consoles far away from the glowy bits, requiring no radsuits or other protective measures. It just wasn't featured in the movie.

    In ST2:TWoK, we again saw the interiors because this was a training cruise where emergencies and nonstandard procedures as well as the deepest inner workings of the ship were the target of training. In normal ops, Scotty would rarely don a radsuit and enter these spaces.

    Possibly the real Main Engineering was seen in ST6:TUC, featuring just a single thickly protected section of the vertical power conduit, or perhaps the actual reactor part. (That is, the barely glimpsed TNG set reuse was the shirtleeves part of the TMP setup.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

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    What's going on in TAS?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Whorfin

    Whorfin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Timo,

    At the moment I'm drawing a blank on engineering in ST6, and considering that's the 1701A not the refit 1701 (and might have a completely different arrangement) for the moment I would prefer to leave it off the table.

    What you say is possible. If true, either the "true" Main Engineering (ME) is not connected to the intermix shafts (which would mean it has nothing to do with warp power, other than control), or the vertical intermix shaft goes down and connects to it at the front of the secondary hull (we do not see a rear vertical intermix shaft going down, AFAIK). The second problem is that the spaces where Secondary Hull ME allegedly was now encompass the ST:TMP rec deck (which is at least two decks high, and watching the other night I was leaning towards 3 or more), and perhaps surrounding compartments (seems wider, but who knows -- we never really see all of TOS ME). What we do see in ST1+2 is the long shaft on the dorsal spine and the shaft going upwards, but I'm not sure (without references) that we see a shaft going downward.

    As a counter-counter point, it occurred to me on the way home that the actual M/AM reactors could still be in the nacelles, warp plasma is being fed by the shafts as a power source, and its the "main energizers" (power converters?? downgrading warp plasma to standard EPS plasma concentration?) and perhaps not the main reactor that's being fooled around with in the movie. But I'm not claiming that's the case. I'm happy to believe something in the secondary hull of the movie 1701 is a M/AM reactor, I'm just not sure what.

    From a personal point of view, in TMP the logical place for the actual "reactor" where the M/AM merge is closest to where it is needed, i.e., the nacelles, which inside the ship would be the junction of intermix shafts that lead up to the nacelle pylons (i.e., the background shot in ST:TMP). But that's just theoretical. Perhaps the added protection of the interconnecting dorsal was a consideration, or they couldn't find short enough engineering candidates to go back there.

    Additionally, if there is a traditional ME in the middle of the Secondary hull, I would have placed the warp intermix shafts there to keep them as far away from enemy fire as possible, until the point they actually have to be routed out to the nacelles. So the shaft would run the deck above or below ME, or in-between decks (giving fans of horizontal Jefferies Tubes hope). Not all the way up to the dorsal and then down its back, as this puts it adjacent to the outer hull for a long distance. Unless its meant to be jettisoned, which I doubt.

    IMHO, of course -- i.e., my best guess.

    ++++++++++++++++++

    I'm voting on it being a distillery. Its hard to get good Scotch whiskey in deep space you know. :devil:

    But in seriousness, whatever this is its been added to (what appears to be) ME some distance from our beloved "tube room", hasn't replaced anything, isn't glowing, and I would need to study it in much more detail before I could say its an intermix shaft let alone a M/AM reactor. I'm not in favor of ignoring TAS, by any means, at least on general principles.
     
  12. USS Jack Riley

    USS Jack Riley Captain Captain

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    Well, it was the 70's.....:devil:
     
  13. Alpha_Geek

    Alpha_Geek Commodore Commodore

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    I've always imagined the angled tubular structures behind the grid in what was usually the "back" wall of main engineering served the same purpose as the later vertical arrangement used by starfleet from the Constitution class refit and onward.

    But I just watch the show. :)
     
  14. Whorfin

    Whorfin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Certainly a possibility. Some days I wish I just watched the show. Other people think that too. :vulcan:

    +++++++++

    Hey gang,

    I got some TMP screen caps last night to help the discussion, though I am concerned that a possible thread-jacking situation may be underway... Kent, are we going way OT here, or is this what you want?

    But, I've been having too much fun lately (darn computers, and they aren't even mine!), so I haven't gotten anything written up to go with them (not to mention it takes forever for Photobucket's interface to get its job done (darn Java, ActiveX, PHP, and all other scripting languages!). I would really rather say something other than darn, BTW.

    In the mean time, there is some stuff in my (sigh, overly long) post here, and other people have made contributions as well.

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=2684953&postcount=172

    Praetor, I didn't meant to ignore your kind remark in my last post, I was just again left with very little time to throw a post together. My kingdom for a 44k connection at home and a secure OS that can use a winmodem.

    Of course, its not really much of a kingdom.

    Timo, I certainly didn't mean to be shutting down your point of view with my blathering. In all honesty, talking about these things with people that have a different viewpoint lets me re-examine my own positions and look at things in new ways. For a lot of TOS we have multiple possibilities for the same "problem". Finding more is half the fun.
     
  15. uniderth

    uniderth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I figure that the thing on the floor in engineering in TOS was the reactor. We've seen it house the dilithium in "Elaan of Troyus." It is located at the rear of the saucer section. the two large round things are the mattar and anti-matter injectors. Tmatter and anti-matter are drawn up fromtheir storage areas inthe secondary hull. They are sent through the intermix chamber and then the drive plasma is sent back down to the engineering hull. The whole thing would occupy the same space as seen in TMP. This explainationjust fits the best for me.

    JNG perhaps that piece in TAS is related to this in TWOK:

    [​IMG]

    It also reminds me of that depth tube on the bridge of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
     
  16. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always thought the tube-y thing in TWOK was the dilithium crystal housing. Would be a pretty good locale for all that radiation (lotsa it from m/am reaction), so the reactor would occupy the space below the engine room thar. I've always thought of the TOS/TMP reactors as being rather large and rather oddly shaped, with lots of sprawling support equipment and what-have you, unlike TNG's lawnmower-motor-sized reactor (by comparison, anyways).
     
  17. Whorfin

    Whorfin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Never noticed this before, but what are those overhead frames (windows?, screens?), and are they part of a larger reactor???
     
  18. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I'm rather fond of this arrangement...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder why? :p

    I like it too overall CRA, but there are a few details in placement here and there that I'm still a little unsure about. Of course when you revisit it, I'll be glad to provide my thoughts. :)
     
  20. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    That is a slightly over version, so some of your concerns may have already been addressed. Besides, fielding questions about this monster helps get me in the mood to dive in, so ask away.

    And if the discussion moves too far away from the topic here, we can always relocate back over to my thread on Trek Art. :D