"Enemy Within" Transporter Question

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Albertese, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I have a question about the transporter from the episode "The Enemy Within" and it's not that question!

    When Spock nerve pinches Evil-Kirk in the engineering set, Evil Kirk misses his shot on Good-Kirk and instead punched a pretty hole in a big column that was never there before and never appears again. (I suppose we're to assume it was always there but the camera just never panned over that far.)

    Scotty evaluates the damage...

    So my question is what's the deal with this column? Does it attach to something above or below (or both)? Scotty seems to identify this gadget as the transporter. So what capacity does it serve? There is clearly more than one transporter station aboard the ship, but, presumably, all transporters utilize this column? Which also contains the abort control circuit for all transporter units?

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thought about this. I've had my ideas before, but I'm working on a project which is making me revisit my earlier musings.

    Thoughts?

    --Alex
     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Transporter mechanics were quite basic in TOS. They layered in the technobabble much later. If I had to guess, I would say that the annular confinement beam is something produced by the ship regardless of which transporter room is being used. This makes sense in story too, as nobody could be beamed up without risking catastrophic loss of data resulting in disability or death.
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    My guess is that the column's transporter main circuits adds or subtracts energy (the ionizer) to the transportee's stream by using the main engines as a buffer/reservoir.

    If there isn't enough power to do so or not enough capacity to absorb the extra energy then the abort control circuit would safely prevent the transporter from accidentally scrambling the transportee on arrival.

    I derived this guess from Scotty's solution to run circuits to the impulse engines to perform the same task. I suppose for whatever reason, it would have taken too long to run the bypass to the main engines (or too dangerous without an abort circuit that can handle the main engines extra power)...

    SCOTT: Mister Scott, sir, on the lower level of the Engineering deck. I've found a new trouble with the transporter. The casing has a wide gap ripped in it. The main circuits have been burned through. The abort control circuit is gone altogether
    ...
    KIRK: That unit, Scotty, status report.
    SCOTT: The transporter unit ionizer. Nothing much left of it, sir.
    KIRK: How bad is it?
    SCOTT: We can't repair it in less than a week.
    ...
    SCOTT: We've found a way to get the transporter working, sir.
    SPOCK: We've attached some bypass and leader circuits to compensate for the difference. Tied directly into the impulse engines, there shouldn't be more than a five point variation in the velocity balance. I suggest we send the animal through.​
     
  4. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The thing that always bugged me is why nobody ever promptly told Scotty that "evil Kirk" blasted a whole in his power conduit, and he needed to discover this on his own, apparently?

    But as for the OP's question, I would say this is a main power trunk running to several high energy systems on board, and not just the transporters?
     
  5. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    I actually laugh a little bit every time I see this scene actually. Evil-Kirk blows a hole in the transporter ionizer, then a little while later, we have Scotty apparently discovering the hole and explaining it to the Captain, and the Captain not even offering, "oh yeah, Evil Kirk blew it up."

    "Hey Spock, we won't tell Scotty that your nerve pinch caused Evil Kirk's muscle to spasm and fire the phaser into the transporter. Maybe he won't notice."
     
  6. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^ Yeah, they were probably afraid He’d have a conniption fit!
     
  7. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Commodore Commodore

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    Mar 9, 2010
    A different question.
    Why didn't they just beam down some good old fashioned blankets? If they get duplicated, the more the better. I don't think that there's such a thing as a evil blanket.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Aug 26, 2003
    Sounds like an issue with the ability to add or subtract transportee momentum all right! I'll buy that rationalization.

    Nothing they could have beamed down would have been of any help. The landing party would die unless beamed up - blankets, hot cocoa and whatnot would just delay the inevitable.

    That was the whole point of the plot. Everything our heroes did was too little, too late: while the split Kirk prevaricated and procrastinated, doubted and delayed, things escalated so that what had looked like a minor inconvenience gradually became more major and ultimately life-threatening. Beaming down blankets during the first few minutes of the adventure might have been nice, but six hours into the adventure the blankets would have done no good. (Indeed, at that point, the landing party did have blankets - they wrapped themselves into the canvas of their tent.)

    It's the tragedy with any escalating plot: when the end credits roll, the audience goes "they were so stupid - doing X and Y in the first place would have saved them all the trouble!". But that's unfair, because the heroes "in the first place" had no way of knowing that doing X or Y would be necessary, let alone urgent. There would have been no logic in beaming down blankets at the point of the plot where the transporter still worked but was known to be unable to send down the more complex things needed for ultimate survival. Not unless the heroes knew in advance that the transporters would utterly fail in a few moments!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    It could also have a 90° angle overhead (unseen) that attaches to the bow or the stern.

    In my recent deck plan drafts for the engineering hull (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=195496) you'll notice that the transporter room location from The Enemy Within is more or less at the same spot a few decks below the warp engine room to roughly allign with this column - in case that column were only responsible for this transporter I wanted to be on the safe side. ;)

    Bob
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    This!!!!
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the "good" Kirk was extremely preoccupied with nobody finding out about his "evil" half, even after giving a shipwide announcement about the existence of an impostor. He would probably have been principally concerned with getting the "evil" Kirk out of sight and to the sickbay unnoticed - and right after that was accomplished, Scotty called him.

    Remember that not only is Kirk failing to give relevant orders, but Spock is also concentrating all his attention on the hunt for the double and on the effort to protect Kirk's authority, just as ordered by the "good" half. Neither of the two would be concerned with transporters or the survival of the landing party at that point. It's a glaring oversight - but one made by the characters, in character.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    From a previous post....

    The main reason why they couldn't beam down blankets is because the transporters weren't working at all (ship-wide) for most of the episode. The Evil Kirk Double shot a big hole in the transporter systems' circuitry casing when Spock nerve pinched him:

    SCOTT

    Mr. Scott, sir, on the lower level of the
    engineering deck. I found the new trouble
    with the transporter. The casing has a
    gap ripped in it. The main circuits have been
    burned through. The abort control circuit
    is gone altogether....The transporter unit
    ionizer--Nothing much left of it, sir....We can't
    repair it in less than a week.


    So although they discovered that the transporters were duplicating people and things in the middle of Act One, by the middle of Act Two, it was a whole new ballgame with the transporters and they weren't working at all.

    Why didn't Kirk beam down a whole bunch of blankets in that short interval after they discovered the duplicating problem but before the transporters stopped working altogether? Well, because the "Good Kirk" was already losing his power of command and wasn't thinking clearly. In fact, even after the transporters circuitry was damaged by the phaser fire, Good Kirk never even thought to mention this new damage to Scotty. Here's some pretty interesting dialog from the actual Final Draft shooting script that didn't make it to the final episode:

    KIRK

    Haven't you checked all the circuits yet, Scotty?

    SCOTT

    Yes, sir, we have. And we'd thought we found
    the trouble. Now something else has gone wrong.

    KIRK

    What?

    SCOTT

    We don't know, sir. We're checking on it now.


    And then after Scotty does finally track down the problem, here's what he has to say in the Final Draft shooting script:

    SCOTT

    Mr. Scott, sir. I'm on the lower level of the
    engineering deck. I've just found the new

    trouble with the Transporter. The Transporter
    Ionizer Unit has been mangled! Looks as if a
    phaser gun's been fired at it.


    So, Kirk hadn't even mentioned the problem to Scotty, even though Kirk saw the whole thing happen and knew about the problem; clearly Kirk was already becoming forgetful, neglectful, and preoccupied. Poor Scotty had to hunt down the cause this new transporter problem even though Kirk saw it happen!

    So, why were no additional blankets beamed down? Because during the very short window of opportunity they had to beam down any blankets, Kirk wasn't thinking straight (and then all the transporters stopped working altogether).

    In looking at the terrain of Alfa 177, it looks pretty rocky with high crosswinds. I don't think there's a place to set a shuttlecraft down within hundreds of miles of Sulu's survey team. It might have been possible, but as I mentioned,the Kirks weren't thinking very clearly that day. Even if using a shuttlecraft were possible, the poor, incapacitated Kirk "slowly losing the power of command" didn't think of it.
     
  13. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I never saw this as Scotty discovering the phaser burns totally on his own, is if no one told him there was a problem there and he stumbled over it. I had always assumed that, off-camera, Spock told him "We've captured the intruder on the Engineering deck and there was some phaser fire. Check out the damage," and it happened that the shot had hit the transporter gizmos, so Scotty reports it.

    In any case, I really like GSchnitzer's appraisal of the whole situation. That makes the most sense to me.

    So it seems as though this column probably has a number of high energy systems attached to it, as TIN_MAN has suggested. I suppose it's reasonable that the transporter draws power from the same circuit as the engines and the regulatory hardware would be there for all transporter stations. It is a single point of failure, true, but I suppose the engineers who designed it never counted on a high-powered phaser shot coming at it. After all, what sort of stresses would that particular room be subject to, normally? If there was an explosion, there might be risk of shrapnel, but then the materials of the column may be rated to withstand that sort of thing. If there's a a big, bad explosion, like one of the anti-matter reactors going up, then who cares if the transporter still works, since basically your whole ship is done.

    I'm working on my own Enterprise deckplans and I've been trying to reckon where this column ought to go. So far, I've placed it so it's actually a long structure running from the doohicky on top of the back of the saucer over the impulse deck and running down the neck and into the engineering hull to the main power generation areas.

    What I'm still vascilating on is what deck this particular length of this column lies on. Part of me thinks the creator's were still thinking of the engineering room set being on the aft end of the saucer, but there was dialogue that established that Evil-Kirk was going to the lower levels. This column as I have it passes through a bunch of decks, there could be the required Engineering room anywhere...

    --Alex
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Aug 26, 2003
    In TOS, perhaps - but the other shows suggest the transporter actually consumes relatively little power (it's once powered by a single hand phaser, whereas a shuttlecraft needs to drain several of those to lift off) and can keep on working when many principal systems are down.

    Since Scotty speaks of velocity balance variation, and probably isn't referring to the velocity of the ship (since they aren't going anywhere) but to transporters (because his report is all about repairing those), blssdwlf's idea that these wires transfer excess momentum between the transporter and the engines is a pretty fitting one.

    Still, it's a bit of cabling. Scotty could bypass it in a heartbeat, tearing out matching wiring from the nearest piece of less vital machinery. So I'd argue that the damage to the wiring was more or less irrelevant, and so thus is its placement, too. What matters is that firing a phaser at those cables fried the ionizer (by sending a spike, or by cutting vital power that kept the ionizer from being fried), a machine that is located somewhere else altogether.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Run this by me again. I don't understand the whole "transfer excess momentum" business. How would this be done? Why would this be important?

    Also, the ship indeed is moving as it's orbiting the planet. So the position of the landing party and the Enterprise would be a constant variable. However, I guess now I have to ask what this whole "velocity balance" business is about. Mr. Scott mentions it as a factor when they are reintegrating the poodle-slug. I don't get the impression that they are beaming it to someplace and then bringing it back, but, rather, simply dematerializing it and rematerializing it, hopefully in one body. So, given that the only thing involved here is the one transporter pad, what velocity are we even talking about?

    --Alex
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is it unreasonable to set the ship's phasers to heat the area periodically?
     
  17. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Using the poodle example, my guess is that the transporter:
    1. Dematerializes the poodle from matter into energy (or phased matter, depending on your series). The momentum of the poodle is preserved.
    2. The poodle is now in the transporter buffer.
    3. The process is reversed and the poodle is re-materialized.

    During the time between step 1 and 3, the ship is in orbit over the planet and could've had a miniscule fluctuation. So, even though you're beaming back to the exact same pad, the ship might've accelerated or decelerated by a tiny amount. That amount could mean the difference between putting the matter back together slightly out of alignment or bumping off the pad or even ending up at a slightly different orbital velocity relative to the planet. On a larger scale, like beaming down to a planet or another ship, the transporter would need to ensure that the materialized person or object will have the same velocity as the environment they are beaming into. This would be fiddling with potential and kinetic energy values while in energy state to probably avoid ripping a person apart if being applied in the matter state. At least that's how I see it :)
     
  18. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Good thing they have Heisenburg compensators. :D
     
  19. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    ^^ hehehe

    It's unfortunate that being such an early mission, the shuttlecraft were not to be delivered until Tuesday :(
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    This is a fascinating discussion. It's one of few episodes I have, so it's a favorite. I failed first year college physics, and will now prove it:

    Could the "velocity balance" Scott refers to concern something other than the engines? Perhaps the vb has something to do with controlling the speed of the molecules/atoms energized in the transportation process.
     

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