TOS Enterprise Question...

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by MadMan1701A, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    Got a question, and I can't seem to find a good answer for it. :)

    On the top of the TOS Enterprise saucer, there are those 4 white glowy rectangles. Does anyone know what they are supposed to be?

    It's driving me nuts, all of a sudden. :)

    -Ricky
     
  2. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Some people think they're sensors, some think they're skylights, some think they're cargo bay doors.

    Those are the most common explanations I've seen, at any rate.
     
  3. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. For my money, I like to suppose they are sensors that act together to form a long range array like a radio telescope array on Earth today.

    But there's no official answer.

    --Alex
     
  4. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    All they "really" are are three lighted pieces of plexiglass and one painted rectangular spot, evidently intended to resemble the backlit pieces.

    Since this is the same technique used for windows, I treat them as windows. Here's how that looks...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    Agreed... I've had the same thoughts.

    Then there are the 3 little windows on the lower aft quarters on the sauce... Probably windows.

    :rolleyes: Really? You didn't know he was talking about in universe when you posted that they were plexi-glass?
     
  6. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting ideas, everybody. :)

    So I guess the official answer is that there isn't an official answer. :)

    I don't know what to think of them being actual windows... they'd be awfully big for that, wouldn't they?

    -Ricky
     
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    The windows see from the interior shots seem big as well ("The Conscience of the King" and "Mark of Gideon"). But, the 4 squares could be anything so you can assign whatever you want to them. I'm leaning to sensors instead of windows for the time being :)
     
  8. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    If you remember TMP, when Kirk, Spock, Decker and Ilia-Probe left the ship, they exited through a hatch relative to one of these rectangles. Perhaps they are service hatches that provide direct access to specific areas that are harder to reach internally (or places that don't normally contain an atomosphere).
     
  9. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I knew that perfectly well, thank you very much. :rofl:

    What I was doing was exercising a process known as deductive reasoning. There are two principle forms of reasoning - inductive and deductive.

    In inductive reasoning, you start with a known idea, and work "backwards" to the explanation.. in this case, for example, we'd be starting with "those are windows" (or whatever you think that they are) and work backwards to support it.

    In deductive reasoning, you go in the other direction... you start with known facts, and derive a conclusion from that.

    In this case, the only "known facts" are "what are these panels on the model made from" and "what else is made from the same technique as these panels on this model."

    We know that windows are made in the model using this technique, and we don't know specifically about anything else in this model made from this technique. Therefore, is is logical to conclude that these are most likely windows.

    The other statements here are inductive reasoning, though... claims that they are sensor elements or whatever else. In these cases, the persons making those claims are starting from "what makes sense to me" and then trying to develop support for those positions.

    Both inductive and deductive reasoning are valid tools. But if you use deductive reasoning, the most likely explanation for these is that they are intended to be large, in-ceiling windows.

    Now... whether they are windows over big lounges, or over rooms filled with scientific hardware which get a view of space through these windows... that's ENTIRELY undefined and undefinable, using either methodology.
     
  10. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    No Cary. You did not employ deductive reasoning. You've made an assumption. In fact, you've made an assumption based on your speculation. You have a conclusion without any evidence.

    What inductive reasoning are you talking about? What fact gave you the ability to reach a general conclusion? That a model maker uses the same product on one part of the ship, and therefore it must be the same on the other part? That makes no sense in how it applies to what that part may be in-universe...

    Do you actually KNOW for a fact that those little lit squares on the top were indeed made from the same material on the rims? What if they used glass? Then your whole theory has to be re-worked to fit your CONCLUSION...

    I'm actually quite disappointed in you. For an intellegent person, you have so many reasoning failings and interpersonal skills issues, that seems almost like your putting us all on at times.

    All you really had to say was that in your opion, they look like windows, so MAYBE they are... But you have to take it to a whole new level of condescension.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  11. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Okay, Patrick... I'm a bit surprised by your tone here.

    I DID use deductive reasoning, and I even went so far as to state, EXPLICITLY, the facts that I used in doing so. If you wish to "disprove" my claim that this is deductive reasoning, you'll need to disprove those facts.

    You're just being argumentative and hostile. I'm surprised by that.

    We do know what the material used was. There's no real mystery there. (We also know that the little white circle on the top leading edge of the saucer is made from the same material.) Basically, when they refurbished the ship miniature for the series, adding lighting, they bought big sheets of plexiglass and cut "plugs" to go into various spots. In the saucer, they did this so that the lit regions are clustered together (ie, saucer rim windows share light sources with the topside rectangles, etc), likely more for practical reasons than for aesthetic ones.

    I did not CRITICIZE the inductive reasoning used by others here, Patrick. I did not say that "deductive reasoning is better than inductive reasoning," either. I merely said that my position is arrived at through deductive means, while most of the other arguments are arrived at through inductive ones.

    And I ONLY said that after your first hostile, mocking response to my very simple, straightforward post a few posts back, explaining (a) what I think they are, (b) why I think that's what they are, and (c) what it looks like if you treat them that way.
    Well, that was inappropriate, and again, pretty hostile. I'm at a loss to explain where this is coming from. There was a time, years ago, when you and I had a brief "dust-up" when you seemed to have inexplicably taken offense at something I said (I never did even know what I'd done to "offend" you at that time) but for several years we've been on good terms. I feel like I might if a woman in my life suddenly brought up something I did twenty years earlier to justify an argument. I get the impression that there's something else at work here, but I'm at a loss as to what.
    No condescension here at all, Patrick. And if you go back and re-read my post, above, you'll find this quote:
    and then this quote
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    If I recall, the major building material for the original model was wood, so we can deduce that either

    A) since the nacelles were wood, then the primary and secondary hulls are just differently shaped nacelles
    B) since the primary hull is wood, then the nacelles and secondary hull are just differently shaped primary hulls.

    Basing the function of the item just on it's material without taking in context and form clearly does not produce clear results.
     
  13. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Well, while that was cute... it's not accurate.

    The main outer surface of the primary hull is made from plastic, not wood, though there's a wooden frame. The nacelle has a wooden front end but the aft portion is rolled sheetmetal. The secondary hull is mainly wood, though.

    And, of course, the deflector dish is a fruit bowl. So the real question, I guess, is where the giant apples and bananas are on the ship?
     
  14. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just my two quatloos worth, but it's generally agreed that the lighted domes at the top and bottom of the saucer are sensor domes, right?

    But in reality, they're just lighted pieces of plastic, just like the lighted rectangles (and windows). And some "windows" are round portholes, not unlike the sensor domes though smaller.

    So from this we could just as easily conclude that the rectangles are sensors as windows, since they're all nothing but lighted pieces of plastic on the model, no?

    Anywho, I like to think that the four rectangles are small craft access doors with a small bay beneath and an “observation gallery” around, similar to the main shuttle bay/hangar, but that’s crazy, I know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  15. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Some sort of maneuvering thruster system, perhaps?

    Personally, I prefer big skylight windows over large common areas, like a mess hall, ship's theatre, rec room, gymnasium...hmm, that covers all four. :techman:
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm with Cary here in that the practical execution of the rectangles could tell us something about their in-universe purpose. Not through the underlying techniques of execution, tho, but through how the techniques end up looking on screen.

    As pointed out, the four things are in fact three plus one. Thanks to the different ways of accomplishing them, three of the four symmetrically placed things are brightly lit while one is essentially unlit, asymmetrically and without in-universe rhyme or reason. This would be odd for a sensor emplacement, as our heroes never comment on a blind spot in their sensor coverage!

    The rectangles are a bit unlikely to be marker lights for the ship's extremities, either - there are plenty of blinkies and beacons for that purpose already (and these tend to be working fine in the shots). However, if a lighted fixture instead indicates a lighted space beyond, it's pretty natural to think that sometimes a space might remain unlit, especially if it serves no crucial function 24/7.

    It's clear that Starfleet maintains no "lighting discipline" and doesn't require shuttering even for instances of stealth (say, "Balance of Terror") - and conversely that shuttering isn't forbidden or subject to the CO's personal supervision. Okay, so we do see Kirk personally open a shutter in "Mark of Gideon", but that's a casual move rather than a command decision...

    Large windows looking directly up are fairly "useless" because TOS features basically zero scenes where something would be located directly above the ship (the scenes in "Catspaw" or "Requiem for Metusaleah" would have been a bit outside the parameters of the starship designers, I think!). However, these might be useful docking aids during starbase layovers. Since those are scheduled events, it would be quite plausible for the crew to redecorate the underlying utility spaces into skylighted discoes, pool rooms and whatnot the moment the ship clears Earth orbit - and pretty natural for them to create four different "deep space entertainment" interiors, one of which permanently has the skylight shuttered or at least dimmed. (Essentially, then, I'm with Tin Man and Admiral M here on the designed nature of those spaces, while raising the possibility that they serve other functions besides the designed one and for this reason are sometimes lit even in deep space.)

    Similar logic (not airtight, only the "better-than-the-nothing-we'd-have-if-we-didn't-have-this" sort) might be applied on the bow roundels of the saucer. Since we see (the middle one of) them blinking rhythmically in the early episodes, during an orbital departure scene, it's a bit unlikely that there would be a habitable space beyond them (save for a space disco having an orbital departure party!). A sensor system could go on and off rhythmically, though.

    However, TOS-R and ENT offer us a "both and" option here. When the Defiant sits idly docked in "In a Mirror, Darkly", somebody or something can be seen moving behind a bow roundel, indicating its transparency and porthole function. But that doesn't mean there wouldn't be sensors there. Quite possibly all the lit features have crew-accessible spaces beyond; it's just that the partial unlighting of the quartet of rectangles indicates spaces that do not need to be lit when "operating", while the flashing of the roundels indicates spaces whose lighting depends on machinery operating.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Nero's Shadow

    Nero's Shadow Captain Captain

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    I've always thought the four square panels were large windows possible over rec areas of the ship so crew could look outside at the stars other stellar wonders, I feel that the crew would get bored and go space crazy not looking out of a window.? So it would be a meeting place so they could relax and enjoy the stars. IMAO
     
  18. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    And it just so happens that we have two two-story recreational rooms seen in the series (redresses of Engineering) which are ideally suited towards this purpose. There's the gymnasium, and there's the auditorium (where the Karidian Players performed). Now, we can also have a TMP-style "rec deck," and some form of sports facility, and that would pretty much cover all four, and all four make perfect sense for a ship the size and complement of Enterprise.
     
  19. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I believe I said that about four posts back...
     
  20. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    And I've said it dozens of times, and was agreeing with the overall sentiment again.