TOS Nacelles

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Patrickivan, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    I don't know about that. I'd say the removal of the crystal from engineering isn't removing the power- it's removing the use of the available main power transfered from the nacelles. The crystals in each nacelle m/arc would no doubt be equally important, but remove the one from main engineering, and you're left with having to use the back up reactors that have significant less power because they're probably not m/am. There would be something with the way the systems are integrated that removing that main engineering crystal takes away the use of the warp engines despite their independent m/arcs.

    But how and why would become the question. One point I make would be that it Starfleet ships being borded must be incredibly rare, and getting past security to get to engineering and remove that critical crystal would be highly highly unlikely, despite the Enterprise getting disabled so bloody often.

    Now I say they would be a safer type of energy producing reactors because the main point of having the nacelles so far from the ship was partly due to the dangerous nature of the m/am reactors in them- and possibly due to the warp engines in whole themselves.
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the episodes as aired are necessarily the best sole guides of intent. I'm pretty sure that they went with what they deemed to be "good enough for prime time". Extra care and consistency was gravy, but falling short was clearly not a show-stopper.

    Notes and background material used to develop the show should also be important things to consider too, but I don't have access to that stuff, beyond what can be gleaned from TMoST. The stuff in TMoST appears to have been quoted from the TOS writers/directors guide, which seems to contain nothing additional, and by the way thanks CRA for posting that in Captain April's Junk Drawer.

    Canonical inconsistencies do occur. I think it's really a very complicated process to determine how much weight to give each individual element, that may be in the end, to borrow a phrase, more, hmm, art than science.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Adding author intent to the mix seems unnecessary to me, when there's already so much material that "actually" describes the fictional universe, in the "with our own eyes and ears" sense.

    Agreed. But our heroes would probably mention past brown-outs or express other concern about the observed effects of the thefts - whereas the dialogue merely has them claim that the ship cannot operate at full power without "the crystals", but never indicating that such a limitation would actually have kicked in.

    Which might mean that losing ALL the crystals is bad, but losing just 2+2 isn't...

    In any case, the articulation frame in "Elaan of Troyius" appears to only hold one paddle of dilithium, and sabotage to this one cripples the ship - yet in "Mudd's Women" three crystals were lost in sequence, without Scotty running down to Main Engineering to replace a burnt one with a fresh paddle each time. This might favor an interpretation where something fundamental changed about the engineering arrangements, and a move from a four-slot device in "Alternative Factor" to a single-slot frame in "Elaan of Troyius" would fit the bill.

    On the other hand, I've always seen the articulation frame thing as a waldo of sorts, a tube-mail system for accessing a deeply buried reactor's dilithium innards. The system might well handle more than one frame, despite only one popping out at a time. And given how rare dilithium seems to be in that era, the ship might have varying numbers of paddles in its reactor at different times, there being another acute shortage during "Elaan"...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Lets be careful.

    What you're identifying as the "articulation frame" is not identified as such on screen and could be something totally different than the device explicitly named that in TNG.

    I consider the "cathedral of tubes" to be the main energizer assembly, personally, but for the sake of this conversation I am not calling it that.

    Same thing, really, isn't it?
     
  5. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Lets be careful.

    What you're identifying as the "articulation frame" is not identified as such on screen and could be something totally different than the device explicitly named that in TNG.

    I consider the "cathedral of tubes" to be the main energizer assembly, personally, but for the sake of this conversation I am not calling it that.

    Same thing, really, isn't it?
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    If our eyes and ears didn't witness any inconsistencies, you'd be right. But there are inconsistencies, which is why I think we could benefit from having a picture of intent, as a potential aid to assist in resolving them. I'm unwilling to swallow all "canon" as equally valid, when there are clear discrepancies in certain cases.
     
  7. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Another thing to keep in mind is that we don't know for sure that the crystals are all in the same place? There could be one in each nacelle, one in the engineering hull and one in the primary hull impulse deck, with two spares located somewhere for back ups, or any combination of the above? The crystals are associated with the energizers it seems, and those in turn seem to be in various places? Anywho, just a thought, carry on.
     
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Has anyone else taken a run at addressing the perceived inconsistencies?

    Agreed :)

    I'm pretty sure Kirk laid out the consequences of not being at full crystal power in earlier dialogue:
    KIRK: You have a talent for understatement, Lieutenant. Without full crystal power, our orbit will begin to decay in ten hours. Re-amplify immediately.
    and when the first 2 are taken:
    KIRK: ..two of our dilithium crystals are missing,
    and without them the Enterprise cannot operate at full power. They must be found.
    We don't see if there were any brown outs due to the gaps in the episode but based on his earlier dialogue, Kirk was likely under the gun to find the crystals (or leave orbit) in 10 hours or so before the orbit decays. I would imagine that's why Kirk chased Lazarus down to the planet without waiting for backup to get the crystals back.

    Other than it's what I believe is called the "crystal converter assembly" and not the "articulation frame", I agree that pre-Season 2 the four crystals were held in one spot in the energiser. Season 2 and onwards it appears to have moved under the new engine room. The question (as you've posed below) is whether the Enterprise's new energiser design reduced down the need for crystals to just 1 crystal paddle or are the 4 (or more?) crystal paddles on some sort of carousel type system that exposed them one at a time?

     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The absolute need for a full set of crystals is a bit curious in "The Alternative Factor". The ship seemed to achieve much greater things with just one (cracked) crystal in "Mudd's Women" than mere "hovering for ten hours above a planet"!

    We might argue that Kirk isn't really worried about losing a fraction of the crystal power - but rightly concerned about what actually happened, namely the total loss of active dilithium crystals for the time being. Lieutenant Masters got four of the crystals nurtured back to health reasonably fast, which might eliminate the risk of a fiery descent; the repeated thefts and sabotage would complicate things, but there could still be more than four paddles in all, and enough time and enough energizers to restore power to all of them.

    Certainly the idea of restoring power to the crystals speaks against the idea of the crystals themselves being the ship's source of power; they seem to be recipients, rather. The idea of them acting as a medium of transfer gets reinforced in this episode in many ways.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, the Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide itself doesn't even need to be looked at? Right, whatever, I'll keep that in mind. This is the first time I've heard/read someone (besides a fictional character) seriously propose that evidence should be excluded ahead of time before even knowing what that evidence might be. I guess I should have realized it was inevitable that someone would eventually think that was reasonable.

    And for the record, I wasn't suggesting that author intent should outweigh the revisions that GR and the story editors routinely made on submitted scripts to keep them consistent with the intended vision of the show. I was referring to the material that Gene and other story editors used when they made their revisions. A better description than "author intent" would be "show creator intent". This included the writers guide, but what did they draw on for things that were not covered in it?

    As for what evidence should be considered in this forum, I quote from the forum FAQ thread:
    Seems like all I have suggested is the use of explicitly identified source material in ways only completely consistent with the forum guidelines.
     
  11. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    In "Mudd's Women" they lost the last crystal even before entering orbit. Since on (reduced) battery power they could hang in orbit for 3 days but on less than full crystal power they could only hang in orbit for 10 hours I suspect that there is something different about the planet in "The Alternative Factor" that can pull down the ship faster or requires more power to maintain orbit.

    I agree that they are a medium of transfer but would add they also act as a buffer or temporary storage that is comparable to the Lithium Ion batteries in a modern day laptop.

    We see the crystals used to buffer up enough energy to open a portal for the Lazarus ship in "The Alternative Factor" so they do charge up and discharge rather than just pass energy straight through. They could be as Kirk described, "the heart of the ship's power" in the regard that they store up power and discharge power via the energizer. A nearly drained crystal would mean the ship's no longer able to output full power as indicated in the dialogue. I think "Full power" then is not the maximum power that the M/AM reactors can put out but the reactors + the buffered up energy of the crystals.

    A secondary function could also be in the creation (or regeneration) of antimatter supplies since they seem to be tuned to the antimatter universe.

    For longer-term energy storage, I see the ship's batteries then holding the excess power.

    I guess that would depend on whether you feel that the episodes should be consistent to the writer's/creator's guides or if the episodes are the final product. If the outside source matches up with what is described in an episode, that's great. If it doesn't, what happens then? Does the episode take priority over the guide?
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Not having a specific case before us, I can't nail down exactly what I would propose. However, I was more thinking along the lines of using the writers guide as some of the evidence that might help resolve the issue between two pieces of mutually inconsistent canon.

    Furthermore, when it comes to filling in the blanks by drawing non-canonical inferences out of what has been established on screen, that's when I would really want to take a look at all the production material, and give it at least as much consideration as some fan's pet speculation.

    With this in mind, I was simply asking what other information was used during production to flesh out the design of the ship. Are there surviving notes from Matt Jefferies, for instance?

    What's the big deal with this sort of inquiry?
     
  13. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's fair enough. I think where it can get tricky is when some folks lobby that the design/creator's intent take precedence over aired material. It'll be a fun thread :)
     
  14. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I don't suppose the fact that "The Alternative Factor" is one of, if not THE, all time worst episodes of the entire run should be considered a factor...?
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ....well perhaps it would be an.....alternative factor? ba dum tish.
     
  16. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I tend to agree on this point, a good example, I think, might be Kirk's cabin? On screen it's repeatedly stated that it's on deck five, except one time when it's on deck fourteen. In the face of this (gasp) can:rolleyes:n contradiction, we can refer to TMoST where it is established that it is indeed supposed to be on deck five. Therefore we can reasonably conclude that the deck fourteen reference is, exactly what it was, a mistake. Of course, ones mileage will inevitably vary. ;)
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you! This is what I would call a textbook example of the "right approach".
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Or alternatively, Kirk's cabin was on Deck 12 in "Mudd's Women" and his yeoman's cabin, Rand's, was also on Deck 12 in "The Enemy Within" suggesting that in the early days Kirk's cabin was on Deck 12 and he didn't relocate to Deck 5 until later.

    Or alternatively, Spock took Mudd and his women to Deck 12 for something and then preceded to Deck 5 in "Mudd's Women" and Yeoman Rand's quarters is just many decks away from Kirk's.
     
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Was it deck 12 instead of 14? Oh well, in any event, we can always come up with excuses for why Kirk's cabin may have been on deck 12 in that particular episode, but really, at the end of the day it is what it is, just a mistake.
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    What about Yeoman Rand's cabin then? (Seems a bit far away for his personal assistant.)