Laser Pistol Settings

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by therritn, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. therritn

    therritn Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    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:)
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Have any producers given a reason why over the course of TOS, they sometimes used that "TUIIIiiiiiii" effect for stun on phasers?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It may seem strange to go from 22d century phase pistols to mid 23d century lasers and ~10 years later phasers.
     
  6. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  8. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  9. Lord Manitou

    Lord Manitou Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.


    :)
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think so, at least not canonically, but some fans have favored "plasma rifle" or "particle rifle."
    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.
     
  13. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The three barrels could be to do with beam width rather than power settings.
     
  14. Lord Manitou

    Lord Manitou Commander Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    :)
     
  16. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    That's pretty good.

    My way of reading that scene in The Cage was this:

    At first, everyone had their pistols on some setting below max, so as not to drain them too fast. When that didn't work, José basically volunteered to empty his out at max, to see what it would do.

    Before José tried the max setting, they had tried two beams together fired on the same spot. For all we know, even just a "kill" beam could have at least melted rock, especially with two or more combined under extended exposure.

    Also, they might have been trained not to just go around blasting rocks on max for no good reason, especially when there are people known to be under them who they want to rescue, lest it cause the formation to come crashing down.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Laser pistol settings:

    1. Burn

    2. BURN!

    3. MUTHAFUCKING BURN!
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    The real reason why the laser pistol use discontinued - it kept triggering the censor beep when it was drawn. :D
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My take on the elevator-blasting scene in "The Cage":

    Pike is kidnapped; sidekicks rush to the site, their weapons at whichever setting. Those who have the stun phaser barrel in place do a quick offscreen adjustment (or then nobody has his gun on stun). Those who have the kill phaser barrel or the laser barrel try their luck with the door. Some are not satisfied with the result and up the ante, either by switching from the general-purpose vaporizing phaser to the dedicated cutting laser (a logical move) or vice versa (a pure frustration move).

    And lasers are generally known to be better cutters than phasers, so Tyler mentions the former rather than the latter when telling his superior about the failure... Number One would know that if the laser barrel failed, then the phaser barrels obviously wouldn't have been any good, either.

    Two separate barrels for stun and kill in phasers is good, solid canon from STXI. OTOH, multiple barrels of completely different functionality is good, solid canon from ENT, with those plasma rifles that have a separate phase gun overbarrel (as well as from the real world, where assault rifles have separate grenade launcher barrels, or other scifi realms where they have, say, flamethrower barrels!). A three-barrel carousel with two separate phaser barrels and a third barrel for completely different machinery makes good sense, then. Things like power settings or beam width settings are handled by other controls, although the same controls may well apply to all the barrels.

    Think of an assault rifle with a grenade launcher and laser sight: three "weapons" that all need triggers (which can be combined, even if today's simple and rugged weapons never try for such a thing) and might be adjusted in things like range (by adjusting a common sighting screw) but definitely need three separate "barrels".

    For the actual "The Cage" visuals, the red beams come from the uppermost barrel of a given sidearm. For Spock, that's the longest, stockiest barrel; for Tyler, the carousel is rotated ninety degrees (counterclockwise when viewed from rear) compared to Spock's, so he fires with the slightly shorter and thinner one. Garrison then also fires with the long, thick barrel; and Tyler then twists his gun to bring the long, thick barrel to bear for a second shot, while Spock sees no need to adjust anything. Tyler may also adjust some other knob for his third and final shot, but that'd be offscreen; all we can see is that his barrels have not been rotated a second time.

    This could well mean that the shortest, thinnest barrel (the one that Number One has in the firing position when setting her gun to self-destruct) is dedicated to stun. Pike also threatens the Talosian with that one, though - both on the surface, where his training for nonviolence might have taken over, and down in the cave, where he'd have been feeling both the logical need and the self-fanned flames of murderous urge to use a kill barrel. And of course there are cases where no single barrel is in the topmost "firing position"; Pike's carousel often rotates to the two-up, one-down position.

    But never mind that level of detail: two phaser barrels and one laser barrel would preserve continuity nicely enough.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Drone

    Drone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Enterprise: The Augments?


    Also, how is it that the kill setting in Voyager is able to do its work without leaving a visible outward trace, as when Kes gets hers in Fury, whereas even in TOS time when one would occasionally see a sign of blood signifying a wound and certainly as that weapon signature was recreated in In A Mirror, Darkly?