how many people on a transporter

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by RB_Kandy, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    There's also questionable validity to arguing that the TNG Tech Manual is canon, since the molecular-level assertion is never backed up by on-screen dialogue to that effect.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, it's more or less directly contradicted by "Datalore", even if only in retrospect.

    That is, Lore goes to a cargo bay equipped with a cargo transporter, with the make-believe intent of "initializing transport" from there, but with the real goal of merely getting the shields down so that the Crystalline Entity can attack. He has zero motivation to readjust the settings of that transporter at any point. At the climax, Data throws him into the transporter, and Wesley activates the transporter with a simple keypress, again with zero motivation of making the system android-friendly.

    Now, at the putative "molecular resolution", this should kill Lore, as we know the Soongian androids are sensitive to pretty much the same things humans are. Yet we later learn (probably against original writer intent) that Lore survives - forcing us to believe not only that the cargo transporter default setting was android-friendly, but also that Wesley dropped the shields (perhaps unwittingly, as Lore supposedly had rigged the console to do that - what else would he have been doing fiddling with the controls, when he clearly had no intention of beaming out a tree as he had claimed he'd do?).

    Another interesting datapoint: in "Peak Performance" it appears that Wesley smuggles antimatter into the transporting process, since the Hathaway is originally said to be crippled specifically because of lack of antimatter whereas Wesley's trick somehow uncripples her. The transporter operator does not know of the presence of the antimatter, so he cannot be using any special trick to enable its safe transport. So, personnel transporters can move antimatter by default...

    Various TNG and DS9 episodes dealing with cargo transport mention substances that are sensitive to transport and indeed require special settings or modern (as opposed to outdated) transporter models. This suggests that transporting of cargo is every bit as demanding as transporting of personnel, and probably more so. The idea of "molecular resolution" is further undermined, then. Who knows what precious cargo would be lost if the resolution was wantonly dialed down from humanoid-friendly levels in "Dagger of the Mind"?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course. There was only the one transporter room set.

    This is what a cargo transporter looks like according to the Franz Joseph plans.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...And the question thus goes, did this set sometimes portray the supposed special cargo transporter or not?

    Since there's so little evidence for cargo transporters being special in their technology, I'd think they would be special in their layout (as suggested by FJ and others): the awkward steps replaced by ramps or a flush installation, more room, associated handling gear, etc.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    At least during TNG the cargo transporters were usually represented by these two props: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cargo_transporter
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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  7. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    In "Our Man Bashir", Rom doesn't quite come out and say it explicitly, but he does make a distinction with regard to the storage of neural energy vs. physical patterns in that neural energy has to be "stored at the quantum level" as opposed to however the physical patterns are being stored in the holosuite.

    As far as the cargo transporter in "Datalore" are concerned, if we do concede to cargo transporters "defaulting" to a so-called "molecular resolution", surely we can also assume that the system has safeguards in place to either stop a transport of a lifeform without transporter adjustment, or automatically "up the bit rate" of the transporter mode to make it safe for travel.

    In fact, the whole idea of a transporter "defaulting" to an either/or mode in this manner makes no sense at all and I would expect a computer system and associated transporter equipment to be set up in such a way that it uses whatever "resolution" is necessary automatically, whether the pad is in a transporter room or a cargo hold. While it makes sense for a holodeck matter/energy converter system to default to a lower resolution, a transporter would likely be a bit more sophisticated and have, as necessity, a service level requirement of accurate reconstruction, whether it's transporting cargo or people .. as has been previously stated, some cargo is as sensitive as neural patterns.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We don't generally have a reason to believe in the transporter being an actively safe device. It beamed the two guards into vacuum in "And the Children Shall Lead", did not ask for permission or leave a log about the split/duplicate thing in "The Enemy Within", and failed to inform anybody of van Gelder being in one of the boxes in "Dagger of the Mind", or of the Salt Vampire beaming aboard in "Man Trap" or the Scalosians in "Wink of an Eye". So there are plenty of examples of both lack of alert and lack of independent protective action.

    In theory, the device being able/allowed to select its mode of operation sounds nice. But in practice, there are too many instances of our heroes having no real idea of what is really being transported. The device knowing and not telling is not particularly plausible.

    The idea of neural patterns being different from other patterns is an unfortunate one, but I guess we have to accept Rom's technobabble from "Our Man Bashir" one way or another. Then again, we could say Rom is mainly discussing the fundamental differences between how transporters work and how holodecks (and, possibly, their associated replicators, which might be the devices safekeeping the bodies of the victims) work.

    What do we make of Odo's initial statement?

    Why would this be more complicated than an ordinary transporter pattern? It's just five people in the pattern buffer, isn't it? What could be more ordinary than that?

    By far the most problematic idea here is Odo and Eddigton's (informed, at least in the latter case) insistence that transporter patterns are data that can be stored on a computer. But perhaps only those neural patterns are data, and the rest is phased matter? Or even, perhaps data is only involved in keeping the five neural patterns intact and/or separated from each other, as the original accident might otherwise result in them getting scrambled?

    Timo Saloniemi