Making Sense of TOS Auxiliary Control

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by mickemoose, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    The subject of TOS auxiliary control has me a bit confused.

    A lot of TOS deck plans I've seen (FJ's blueprints included) show an auxiliary control located in the saucer. I believe FJ labels his an "emergency bridge" and is located at the very heart of his main deck (deck 7). Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I have a hard time accepting the placement of a back-up control center in the saucer.

    Take, for example, "The Doomsday Machine." Spock informs that "the entire bridge is damaged and uninhabitable," but "the rest of the ship seems able to sustain life." Obviously, had the entire saucer been uninhabitable, an aux. control in that hull wouldn't have done Decker any good since he would've been forced to seek survival and control of the ship in the engineering hull. In fact, it's quite possible that the aux. control room where he was found slumped over was in the engineering hull.

    Hull separation would also require a back-up control center in the engineering hull. FJ must've been aware of this and includes another "main bridge-style" aux. control at the front of deck 19. (It looks like a bridge, so this must be a back-up control, right?)

    I suppose if only the main bridge was disabled (as in "Doomsday Machine") and there was minimal damage to the other decks in the saucer (decks still able to maintain life support), an aux. control located somewhere in the middle of that hull (such as where FJ placed his) would make sense. I just can't see having an aux. control in each hull. Seems like overkill.

    I'm not a big fan of FJ's TOS blueprints. There are a lot of things in his plans I don't agree with. I'm merely stating where he placed his aux. control centers.

    Any thoughts or perceptions about this? Would like to read other's ideas for where aux. control should be, and their reasons why.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. AmbassadorKosh

    AmbassadorKosh Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I can actually see a secondary control center in the saucer in TOS Star Trek. Unlike the TNG Enterprise, which was essentially two fully functional ships docked together, the TOS Enterprise was not. If a Constitution class starship had to perform a saucer separation, it was an extreme emergency situation and the engineering hull and warp nacelles were simply discarded. Now if the saucer was that catastrophically damaged then the crew would take to the escape pods, shuttles and/or transporters to find safety. There is additional tactical value in having the secondary bridge in the saucer, if the bridge is rendered unusable or captured by hostile forces, the command staff can retreat to the secondary bridge and take measures to reestablish control of the ship from there. This could be as simple as activating the controls there, in the event the main bridge is destroyed or deactivating the primary bridge controls in the event of hostiles occupying the main bridge.
     
  3. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    mickemoose brings up a couple of ideas in the O.P., which can wind up at odds with each other.

    (1: The notion of saucer-separation, as applied to a Constitution-class starship. We know that Galaxy-class starships were capable of the hulls operating independently of each other, but it was always confusing to me how a Galaxy-class saucer would be much good to its inhabitants if the saucer only offered impulse power (presumably a sublight propulsion technology) and the starship separated while in deep space. It was never made clear if a Constitution-class vessel had this capability as well. (The notion sounds plausible to me, and would make a great deal more sense than packing the hull with lifepods, but the whole notion of propulsion is still there regardless of the era.) It is never made clear in TOS, TMP or the other subsequent movies that saucer-sep would result in the stardrive section somehow being "discarded"; we really don't know what its functionality (or lack thereof) would be.

    (2: The notion of how to control a starship if the main bridge is damaged/captured/destroyed. This is also tricky territory in TOS. In TNG, it was a given that bridge control (security lockouts permitting) could be accomplished from the Battle Bridge atop the stardrive section, or from main engineering; but only while the saucer and stardrive section are united. While the Enterprise was somehow able to take control of the Starship Lantree remotely (prefix codes?), it was never made clear if/how the method could be used between a saucer and stardrive section while separated. But even more interesting, it was never made clear in TNG what would happen if a Galaxy-class saucer separated and the saucer's bridge were either damaged, captured or destroyed. How would a saucer's crew control the saucer without the bridge, particularly if the stardrive section were away on a mission?

    TOS is really sketchy on all of this. Since there are strong similarities between the weapons control room ("Balance of Terror") and auxiliary control ("The Doomsday Machine", "The Changeling", "The Way to Eden"), and since the corridor sets outside of both seem to loosely suggest a saucer layout, and since ship's weapons have often been seen firing from the saucer's lower vortex, there seems to be an accumulation of circumstantial evidence that at least one auxiliary control room is positioned there with the weapons control room.

    Of course, if a Connie saucer did separate, there would have to be some kind of controller rig in the engineering hull. TNG made transfer of ship's control look relatively easy; just given the command and you could transfer control to any facility in the ship with ample control panels and displays. (That's the impression I got from Riker's commands in "Power Play") Those pesky knobs, buttons, switches and proprietary displays make that TNG-style contingency problematic in TOS. (NOTE: Khan apparently seized control of the Enterprise from Engineering.)

    The only thing that makes sense to me would be if there would be two control centers at opposing polar decks of the Connie saucer (main bridge is topside, auxiliary control is underside) and at least one other room in the engineering hull (engine room and/or another unseen room similar to auxiliary control; possibly called tertiary control) in case the saucer separated.

    This works for me, FWIW, YMMV.
     
  4. AmbassadorKosh

    AmbassadorKosh Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Excellent points Wingsley. allow me to explain my ideas point by point with yours.

    1: My notion of the discarded secondary hull comes from a TOS episode, shamefully I don't remember the title, where the Enterprise was held by a tractor beam from planet side and Kirk told Scotty to jettison the warp nacelles and secondary hull and crack out of orbit with the main section. This also leads me to consider that the impulse engines are a good deal more powerful than they appear or the reduction in ships mass would give them an edge, the latter more likely than the former. This also leads me to believe that everything that is considered important is in the primary hull on the Connie class and the secondary hull is just additional storage/fuel/lab space and mounting for the warp nacelles. Given my line of thought, it would be unlikely that a secondary control room would be installed there.

    2: As applied to TOS, it just makes sense to be able to overide the main bridge controls in an emergency situation. In TWK, kirk entered the Reliant's console prefix and dropped her shields, so it would be relatively simple to cut the main bridge console from a secondary location, given that you have the correct security codes to use in accomplishing this.

    As far as an independently controllable secondary hull in TOS goes, I can't see it. Given that the Galaxy class is supposed to be the first ships in Starfleet service that can separate and rejoin the saucer and secondary hull and this is some 80 years after Kirks time, I just don't see the tech being there or even needed during the TOS era. Now during the movie era we did see the warp sled for Spock's shuttle and when the shuttle detached it appeared to turn and head back to, I assume, Vulcan. Taking this into account, there may have been a control room in the secondary hull of the Connies in the movie era, but the Connies were designed to only separate in an emergency situation, so to me this still seems a bit unlikely and very unlikely in the TOS era. Hope to hear from you and others again about this subject, this is an interesting topic.
     
  5. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    I think the reason you can't remember the title is nothing like that ever happened in a TOS episode.
     
  6. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Kirk mentions it in "The Apple" when the ship is being held by Vaal, with no propulsion, and slowly being pulled into the planet's atmosphere. He tells Scotty that if there's no other option, then they can try a saucer separation to break free.
     
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    AmbassadorKosh is referring to "The Apple":

    KIRK: Then use your imagination. Tie every ounce of power the ship has into the impulse engines. Discard the warp drive nacelles if you have to, and crack out of there with the main section, but get that ship out of there!
    The reason Kirk tells him this is because at that point the antimatter pods were rendered inert meaning no warp drive and only the impulse engines (in the primary hull) resisting the tractor beam. It seemed logical to dump the massive engineering section and pods to lessen the mass to escape.

    That doesn't mean you couldn't fly the ship from the Engineering hull though. We've seen "Is There In Truth No Beauty" and "I, Mudd" that the ship can be flown from Engineering if the appropriate settings are changed.
     
  8. AmbassadorKosh

    AmbassadorKosh Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    True on all counts, but, was that engineering section in the primary or secondary hull? The location of "Engineering", AFAIK, is still open to debate.
     
  9. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well I'd guess that there is an engineering control room for the primary hull. It is to all intents and purposes an independent spacecraft, so it would have its own main engineering section.

    On a ship as vast as the Enterprise-D, there are probably plenty of auxiliary control rooms that can be brought online in the event of a catastrophe afflicting the main bridge, battle bridge and engineering sections.
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    As far as I can tell in TOS, there were at least two engine rooms.

    In "Naked Time", Scott calls to "engine rooms" and in "Omega Glory" we see two engine rooms (one occupied and one empty) on the sister ship, Exeter.

    In "The Ultimate Computer", we see the crew walk down the length of a circular corridor to an engine room (the only time we see this combination) which can only fit in the primary hull.

    In "Day of the Dove", the entity leaves an engine room and departs from the engineering hull. Other instances of the engine room we only see a short corridor that can fit in the engineering hull.

    So, at least two engine rooms, one in the primary hull and one in the engineering hull :)
     
  11. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    I like where Doug Drexler placed his aux. control - in the upper forward area of the engineering hull. He did admit, though, "I’m thinking that there would be more than one auxiliary control. This map doesn’t show them all."

    http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/1701-cutaway/
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There aren't really any "safe" places in a starship's hull if the heart of the saucer doesn't count as one. So one's placement of such a facility would depend on things like

    - what one wants to achieve with it (immediate taking over of all main bridge functions if said primary location takes a deadly hit, or a way to operate auxiliary systems when most of the ship has been wrecked?),
    - how one intends to crew it (top staff rushing off the main bridge to assume new, "fallback" positions, or a "shadow" team sitting and waiting for the main heroes to die so that they can start collecting their own pay?), and
    - what is supposed to happen later, after successful transfer of control from main to auxiliary (the skipper moves his favorite coffee mug to the auxiliary bridge for the remaining three years of the mission, or everybody retreats in a controlled manner to the escape pods and shuttles?).

    In TOS, the existence of a "shadow command crew" seems to be ruled out. Auxiliary control is generally deserted, and for that reason easily taken over by hostile forces.

    In TNG, the main heroes move from main to battle bridge as needed, and have a rapid means of doing so. In TOS, the assumption probably would be that Kirk would never "preemptively" retreat to auxiliary bridge, but would die on the main one with his boots on, so there's no need for an express turbolift or somesuch. When needed, people would be rushing to the auxiliary facility - but from places other than the main bridge, because anybody rushing from that direction would probably succumb to the thing that took the main bridge anyway.

    TOS also features the "emergency manual monitor" facility adjacent to engineering, apparently a facility for controlling just the essential engineering functions if main bridge kicks the bucket, and distinct from the place that would allow continuing overall control of a battle or other mission on such an occasion. Auxiliary control thus sort of bootstraps itself into great significance and a true "second bridge" identity - something the many hostile takeover plots also seem to rely on.

    It would thus seem that the TOS auxiliary control center need not be quickly accessible from the main bridge; need not be placed particularly close to last-ditch functions and resources (since the EMM takes care of those); doesn't see much "peacetime" use; and might indeed be something that usually just keeps on gathering dust but is a vital spare on long missions, only fired up in the aftermath of a crisis rather than during one...

    The center of the saucer sounds fine to me for placing such a spare. The less it differs from the main one in all respects, including placement, the better.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. AmbassadorKosh

    AmbassadorKosh Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    AARRGH! The small details escape me quite often.:lol: You're right, two distinct engine rooms. My question would be then; is there any point in having an independently controllable secondary hull in TOS? The weapons are all on the primary hull, so it would offer no tactical advantage and the primary hull has more than enough room for the entire crew to serve as a lifeboat. So would there be a reason to have a crew there to pilot it after a saucer separation?
     
  14. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    You make a good point, from a defensive point of view. The only real advantage a "skeleton" engineering crew left behind in the engineering hull would have is they could escape at warp speed, whereas the crew left in the saucer would only be able to trudge along on impulse power.

    On page 191 of TMoST, Whitfield describes one of the features of the engineering hull: "Minimal crew quarters are located in this hull, used by duty engineers and by the star-drive crew when the saucer section has detached and is operating separately."

    Perhaps the reasoning behind this would be for the "fastest half of the ship" to reach the nearest star base for help.
     
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I believe that the TMP Enterprise has the same phaser emitter placement as the TOS Enterprise so the Engineering hull should have at least 4 on the bottom and 2 in the aft section, just above the shuttle bay. At the very least, the Engineering hull could shoot at whatever might be chasing it :)

    As to crewing the different hulls - it would depend on the circumstances.

    Example: In "The Apple" they would've abandoned the engineering hull and flew out of their with just the primary hull to try to escape with the lightest mass since the antimatter pods were rendered inert.

    Or the impulse engine could be damaged like the Lexington's in "The Ultimate Computer" and then hypothetically the primary hull damaged and uninhabitable forcing the crew into the engineering hull and maneuver on warp drive alone...

    In anycase, the Bridge, Aux Control Room in the primary hull or the Emergency Manual Monitor and Engine room in the Engineering hull could fly the ship as the circumstances dictate...
     
  16. AmbassadorKosh

    AmbassadorKosh Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Excellent points all around. As far as the weapons go, I was working from a strictly on the small screen point of view, so I didn't take the additional phasers in the secondary hull into consideration. The same goes for the information in TMoST, that the ship has the capability to seperate and reintegrate the two hulls like E-D could. I don't know why, but this thread sparked my interst and ideas behind the workings of the Enterprise more than most.
     
  17. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    Just a thought, but is it possible that aux. control could somehow be tied-in with engineering? It doesn't appear to be physically located within engineering itself because we can see the main corridor just outside the red doors.

    However, in "And The Children Shall Lead," Scotty is doing an inspection round inside aux. control which is occupied by two red-shirted, engineering technicians.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/3x04/thechildrenshall_197.jpg

    Why would the chief engineer be monitoring aux. control if it wasn't associated with his department? Since Scotty spent most of his time in engineering, could this mean that aux. control might be located within close proximity to engineering, thus, suggesting a location within the engineering hull?

    A possible hole in this argument would be "The Way to Eden" where a gold-shirted crewman is sitting at the control monitor in aux. control when Sevrin and one of his hippies enter in and sneak up behind him.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/3x20/waytoeden_289.jpg

    This would suggest that aux. control in nonexclusive to engineering personnel and may be monitored by other crewmembers, also. In this case, aux. control need not be located in the engineering hull.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Also, Scotty's engineering responsibilities do seem to take him around. The existence of multiple engine rooms has already been discussed: if we're to believe that there can be no curved corridors in the secondary hull, then all the episodes showing the connection between the engineering set and the curved corridor set necessarily mean that Scotty spends time in the saucer.

    On the other hand, we already have to rather fundamentally accept that the curvature of the set we see cannot match the curvature of all the corridors it supposedly portrays. If the set only has one curvature, it can only have one radius, making logistics in the saucer rather unbearable.

    On the other hand, curving corridors need not mean circular ones, as later seen in VOY. The ship's outer hull is curved at all locations, including the secondary hull and the connecting neck. So even if we go by Peter's adage of sticking 100% to what we see, and not deviating even ten degrees, we might insert the curved set in places we find advantageous without centering the curve on the saucer axis... Too bad that the engineering set is at such an acute angle wrt the corridor!

    One thing to note is that aux. control doesn't appear to be laid out on the same ergonomic principles as the main bridge (regardless of whether we find those principles sensible or not). We get the general impression of a semicircle, its flat back wall against a corridor; it would be rather reasonable to assume the facility faces forward, then, and sits somewhere forward in the hull (whichever hull that happens to be), rather than, say, at the center axis of the saucer. "Doomsday Machine" also has our heroes almost walking past the room where Decker sits, suggesting auxiliary control might feature a string of rooms along the corridor; the one with Decker and the big control pulpit might hold no special status among these, then.

    So, how about a side-by-side trio of rooms that all have this console, and are basically "mission rooms" that can act as headquarters for a planetside survey or other complicated operation, giving the team leader direct access to key ship systems as needed by that specific mission? This would be their main raison d'etrê, and the characteristics dictated by this role would conveniently allow for an (emergency-only) secondary role as a fallback control center. We'd again be dealing with a maze of sorts, the "center" in the name essentially meaning "cluster" or "concentration" of auxiliary control facilities (and conveniently explaining minor set discrepancies).

    Since the rooms would not exactly be gathering dust during non-emergencies, it would be all the more plausible for villains to wander in alongside the legitimate users and then effect a takeover.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    For the most part, I see no problem with partially curved corridors in the Engineering hull simply because the shape is a tapered, slightly curved cigar. It's the showing of the entire full curved corridor set for one of those walking camera shots that doesn't fit. Thankfully, TOS for the most part showed only sections at a time so it really isn't a factor with the Engine rooms except for in "The Ultimate Computer" :)

    In "The Way to Eden" the U-shaped corridor outside of the Aux Control Room has a very tight turn but it could go almost anywhere on the ship although we're suppose to believe it's on Deck 8 based on "I, Mudd", IIRC although it could be a second Aux Control Room....
     
  20. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    Near the end of "The Way to Eden," Sevrin and his group of hippies are not shown running from aux. control to the hangar bay after they paralyze the crew with the ultrasonic frequency. So, we don't know how long it took them to get from point A to point B.

    Had the group been shown inside the turbolift going through many deck levels until they reach the hangar bay deck, that would've been a clue that aux. control was a considerable distance from the hangar bay - suggesting a location in the saucer.

    Conversely, if the hippies had been shown running through the corridors for a short time (without using the turbolift) until they arrived at the hangar, that might possibly indicate that aux. control was in the engineering hull.