Question About the Ship's Phasers

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by LMFAOschwarz, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Would that really help? With machine guns, the boost to hit rate comes from the fact that each individual gun has deliberately poor accuracy in terms of consistency - the bullets go whichever way. So "spraying and praying" with four barrels adds to the diameter of the cloud of lead, compared with doing it with just one barrel.

    With a phaser, though, there's supposedly zero "spread" or "wobble" as such. And two beams instead of one is utterly insignificant considering the dimensions of space, or those of the usual targets: a thousand beams might be slightly more effective than one, but not remarkably so.

    But multi-barrel machine gun or autocannon systems also increase the density of the lead cloud, delivering more kinetic energy or a greater number of explosive charges or fragments into the volume in question - beyond what is possible with a single barrel, because there are limitations from barrel heating and subsequent deformation, and in the speed of the lock mechanism. With phasers, the analogy would be as suggested previously, with two emitters rapidly alternating so that neither one need run at 100% power all the time - so one gets something like 160% constant power at target, instead of just the 100%-from-single-beam-until-it-fails.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think this is a reasonable theory, I seem to recall the main phaser animation having a pulsating effect on occasion.
     
  3. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, drt, it did. Nice that it fits the theory! :)
     
  4. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually, the guns themselves are accurate; it's when you mount them in turrets on moving aircraft and fire them manually at fast, highly agile targets that their accuracy drops. :lol:
    No. Your one point of possible contact has become two points. And since there is actaully a length component to phasers, we are talking about rectangular area that a target must not be in, instead of a line.
    Got no issue with with this idea; no reason that both can't be so--increased accuracy and increased power.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...So close to zero that the engineers indeed then strive to mount the guns so that they wobble, because things certainly can't get any worse from that.

    Say, the ubiquitous Russian 23mm autocannon is a fairly accurate weapon, and utilized as such on aircraft forward-firing mounts. Yet for anti-aircraft use, it is deliberately mounted so that it can't shoot straight, because that significantly increases its effectiveness, both in the manual twin mounts so often seen in newsreels, and the radar-guided quadruple mounts on the ZSU-23-4 armored platform.

    The .30 machine guns used on various British bombers were also given a boost this way when multi-installed in the early manual turrets. Power turrets changed some rules of the game, but aiming was still a futile exercise, and loose mounts gave a better (bigger!) spread.

    ...That for all practical purposes are one and the same, separated at most by a few feet. We never witness one missing and the other hitting: if the aim is true, both will hit, because everything but NOMAD is bigger than the separation between the points, and if the aim isn't true, fifty beams wouldn't help.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except that the Browning AN/M2s carried by the B17s (I was specific, remember) were fitted with recoil suppressors to prevent them from moving the aircraft around LOL. Many of the gun positions including the turrets also used an automatic gun sight to help the gunner account for the enviromentals in hitting a moving target.
    Ubiquitous? The Browning M2 certainly is; variants are still in service today.
    Could you source this?
    Nice trim. LOL
    The whole idea of the defensive mounts on the B17 was to put a stream of bullets, delivered in short bursts, out where your target hopefully will be. Two streams of bullets increase the chance to hit. Likewise, the beam version of the phaser discharge puts out a stream of energy out where your target hopefully will be. Two streams of energy increase your chance of success.
    We never witness them missing either, even though we know they can miss if the target is fast enough (Journey to Babel.*) We do, however, know that there can be spread to the beams as demonstrated in Doomsday Machine* and Day of the Dove*.

    ----
    You missed the point of my original comment anyway; GR and MJ were B17 veterans and the design of the E is replete with cues to that history. Compare for example, the cowlings on the engines, the superstructure atop the fuselage, the pilot/copilot setup on the bridge, etc. Heck, even the markings and running lights on the hull are aviation-like, not navy-like. In The Ultimate Computer*, we even see what could be interpreted as a wingman or combat box setup in the formation of the four opponent starships.

    So two phaser streams that mimic the defensive armament of the aircraft's twin mounts isn't a stretch, especially when the targeting problem is similar.


    *(Original FX)
     
  7. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    And speaking of ship phaser fire and the typical use of two beams....why were the phasers mere ball-like bursts for Balance of Terror (I am a new convert to this episode) as opposed to the generally used dual streams of ray?
     
  8. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd chalk it up to being early in the production before how they were supposed to work was figured out.

    Only "Corbomite" preceeded it as an episode showing the main phasers being fired, and the phaser effects for each episode were done by different post-production companies.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The actual script called for the phasers to be set to "proximity blasts," basically turning them into depth charges against a Romulan ship the Enterprise couldn't see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The script actually describes the weapons effect thusly:
    So it was planned to be like this, not a VFX error.
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The aforementioned proximity blasts. A way of either quickly fishing out an enemy out of hiding or rapidly bombing an entire area where an enemy might be hiding.
     
  12. cgervasi

    cgervasi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. Also in The Doomsday Machine, when Kirk and Scotty got the trashed ship fixed up a little, it fired one beam. It was a great visual illustrating the fact that the other ship was barely operational.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Explaining the look of the phasers on Arena

    I always thought the phasers and photon torpedoes were related somehow, before the deal with anti-matter came about