Antimatter converter assembly?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by TIN_MAN, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2009
    Those are good points which I haven't included in my theories yet.

    Well the crystals mentioned in "Mudd's Women" were lithium crystals not dilithium. I don't think we have to throw this away as early series weirdness, the two crystals seem to have too different functions. dilithiums crystals are clearly referred to as the source of the ships power. While in "Mudd's Women" ships power is being feed through the lithium crystals.

    As far as the shape of the crystal goes that could make "scifi-sense" if the shape the crystals are cut into affects the resonance of the energy inside. Perhaps the only was to get a certain energy to flow out of the crystals is for them to be cut in a shape that allows that certain resonance. So crystals that aren't optimally shaped would have unpredictable output, maybe too much, maybe too little.

    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 5, 2009
    North Wales
    It would be a lot of trunking though, to pump the matter and antimatter down the pylons, into at least 3 reactors and then back up the pylons into the nacelles again.

    As far as "jettisoning the pod" meaning "jettisoning the nacelle", I am completely on board. However, I do instead interpret the dialogue to mean that there is a single nacelle (each nacelle has its own reactor and antimatter fuel tank) which has been fused and is driving the ship the ship ever faster. Because the nacelles are automatically paired, the other nacelle is also generating the same crazy speeds. Jettisoning the malfunctioning pod will reduce the speed back to normal (albeit with a single nacelle) but due to the massive deceleration it is incredibly dangerous (hence everyone's reluctance to do it).

    It would be great to keep lithium in the series - the crystals we see in MW are certainly quite different to the paddles in later episodes. But which does what?
    The lithium crystals clearly can't be central to the M/AM reaction as Kirk talks about bypassing the one remaining damaged one in MW.
    However, the dilithium paddles can't be central to the reaction either, as Scott is able to eject one and examine it in "Paradise Syndrome" without the whole ship shutting down. There are indeed references to dilithium being a great source of power, but I take it to mean that they can hyper-efficiently translate the chaos of a M/AM reaction into shields and phasers.
    So it seems that while lithium and dilithium may or may not be the same, they certainly perform the same function
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Sorry, long response ahead among with more thoughts:

    A shuttle accelerating at warp speed will leave a trail of antimatter residue. ("Metamorphosis")
    SULU: Steady. No, Mister Scott, bearing three ten mark thirty five just cleared. No antimatter residue.
    SCOTT: All scanners, spherical sweep. Range, maximum. They'll have to pick it up.
    UHURA: If the shuttlecraft powered away, Mister Scott, but if it were just towed?​

    A shuttle also has a "main reactor" ("The Galileo Seven") that can take energy (from modified phasers) to generate fuel for the pods. Earlier when the fuel leaks out, it does not result in a huge explosion from an antimatter leak. And later in orbit when the fuel is jettisoned it has to be ignited. This fuel supply is finite ("The Menagerie", "The Galileo Seven") but also not antimatter. Is there something else on the shuttle that converts the fuel to antimatter to account for "Metamorphosis"? (This non-antimatter fuel would make the shuttles very safe as far as stowage in the hanger bay!)

    While at warp, thrust is used to accelerate forward or reverse ("The Immunity Syndrome", "The Ultimate Computer", "Court Martial").

    Warp and Impulse engines provide propulsion and generate power. That power is interchangeable - impulse power can be combined with warp ("The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Immunity Syndrome") yet impulse engines are fusion-based ("Doomsday Machine"). Warp power can be sent to impulse (TMP). I suspect that impulse fuel/power is recharged/generated by the main energizer when the ship is not under duress.

    Impulse Power is finite ("Doomsday Machine", "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Mudd's Women", "The Immunity Syndrome").

    Warp power levels (available power) drop when the ship is under heavy continuous attack or sustained heavy power usage like taking hits in "The Changeling" and "The Deadly Years" but I assume when the engines regenerate the power levels are returned to full ("The Mark of Gideon", "Tomorrow is Yesterday") and is effectively infinite ("By Any Other Name", "Mark of Gideon")

    In both situations where the matter-antimatter reaction is boosted (the "power surged") the ship accelerated and went faster. This ties in with the ship being "propelled by matter-antimatter reactors" ("By Any Other Name", "The Changeling"). I didn't see any mention of the ship's overall power levels increasing or random systems overloading from the power surge - this would suggest that the m-am reaction is exclusively for propulsion and a percentage of the reaction energy is diverted to shipboard energy use.

    In "Elaan of Troyius" it resulted in the loss of both warp drive and weapons.
    SCOTT: Not without dilithium crystals. We can't even generate enough power to fire our weapons. ​

    It would seem that dilithium crystals and the crystal converter assembly that is part of the main energizer is critical to power generation and not exclusively a warp drive component. The warp drive must depend on some power conversion from the energizer to function and the energizer depends on the matter-antimatter reactor to generate power.

    I'm partial to the idea of there being a 3 m-am reactor setup, where each nacelle has a reactor and it's own matter-antimatter fuel reserve. These reactors propel the ship with antimatter thrust and generate the space warp. The central reactor in the engineering hull feeds the main energizer which tie into nacelle matter-antimatter generators that generate matter-antimatter fuel for the nacelles. The more energy the central reactor generates, the more fuel is produced and the more fuel the nacelles consume and the faster the ship goes. Cutoff the energizer and the nacelle reactors will quickly starve and shutdown and the warp ability is gone. But you could temporarily idle the matter-antimatter reactor and run off the stored charge in the crystals ala "Elaan of Troyius". This would account for I think most cases listed.

    In the same sense, we could say my laptop's power is pulled through it's lithium ion battery (which is fed from an external AC power source) and that if the energy flow is chaotic it could damage sensitive circuitry in the laptop...

    I probably missed some stuff so I'm interested to see what you guys come up with to mash it all together :)
    uniderth likes this.
  4. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2009
    Lots of good ideas in your post.

    I just reviewed "Elaan of Troyius" and I have some observations. First it seems Kryton's plan was two fold. First he plants a bomb to blow up the anti-matter pods when the ship activated warp. But he also fused the "dilithium crystal converter assembly." Possibly so that if the bomb failed, the ship would still be immobilized.

    Next, in this episode, after the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" is fused Scotty says that they can't keep the shields up without the "matter-antimatter reactor." So is the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" the same thing as the "matter-antimatter reactor," or is one part of the other?

    Lastly. Scotty says that there is no chance of repairing the fused "dilithium crystal converter assembly." at the same time we see a burned up dilithium crystal. Scotty also says that without dilithium crystals they can't restore warp power or fire weapons*. But then later when they get the crystals from the necklace all they do is replace the damaged crystal and they are good to go. So what is the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" that can't be repaired? Also, if the DCCA is fused, why would swapping out dilithium crystals work? Also, if swapping out crystals works why do they need the Dohlman's necklace if they have spare crystals? Unless ALL the dilithium crystals got burned up when the DCCA fused.

    *Since all weapons were unable to be used this means that the energy for photon torpedoes must come from from the ship. I think this further supports the caseless torpedo idea. Meaning, torpedoes of this era were more like phasers than the projectiles we see in The Wrath of Khan onwards.
  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 5, 2009
    North Wales
    The dialogue in this episode is a little vague, to say the least. First, Kryton is seen messing around with the dilithium paddle unit. Upon discovering him and investigating the issue Scotty tells Kirk:

    After the advert break however, Scotty has revised his assessment of the situation - the pods aren't merely rigged to blow, there's an actual bomb!
    Before long however, there is another problem:
    No mention of the "bomb" it seems our intrepid engineer found a way to disarm it after all?
    However, with the dilithium energy translation unit fused, it's no longer just a case of getting the nacelle reactors going again. Without tapped-off energy to power the structural integrity field or the inertial dampeners, going to warp would be impossible (or at least suicide). Since there is no power for phasers either, I think we can assume that Kryton also managed to drain the backup power supplies

    As for the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" I think it is likely that this is the same "converter assembly" that was blown out by the excessive use in MW and which Kirk hoped to bypass the crystals with. Same situation here; the converter assembly is out of the picture and Scott cannot repair it.

    So, what is left? Why, the original dilithium circuits, of course! Unfortunately, the entire set of dilithium paddles are damaged and non functional (he did a thorough job, that Kryton). If only we had an alternative source of dilithium from somewhere...
    blssdwlf likes this.
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    I think Mytran covered your questions nicely. I do have slight variations on my answers on some of your questions below :)

    This I think is a failure in the writing or production department and we're kind of left to bridge the gap on what happened to the bomb.
    SCOTT: The antimatter pods are rigged to blow up the moment we go into warp drive.
    KIRK: Scotty, that bomb he planted. Can you dismantle it?
    SCOTT: Not without being blown halfway across the galaxy.​

    Since we see them able to to warp later on with the new crystals we can assume that the bomb must have been neutralized. My theory is that whatever Scotty did to neutralize the bomb ended up fusing the crystal converter assembly.

    I believe that Scotty said that the shields were up using impulse power but they would not be able to withstand more than a few hits. Indeed after a few hits, the ship was down to 31% impulse power and shield 4 had collapsed.
    KIRK: They're trying to force a fight. Scotty, what's our energy status?
    SCOTT: Ninety three percent of impulse power, sir.
    SCOTT: Our shields will hold for a few passes, but without the matter-antimatter reactor, we've no chance.​

    The "crystal converter assembly" is part of the main energizer but relies on energy from the matter-antimatter reactor.

    SCOTT: I've got bad news, Captain. The entire dilithium crystal converter assembly is fused. No chance of repair.
    SCOTT: It's completely unusable.
    KIRK: No chance of restoring warp drive?
    SCOTT: Not without dilithium crystals. We can't even generate enough power to fire our weapons.​

    Here's my thinking based on this episode and "Mudd's Women". The entire crystal converter assembly is fused - basically melted or burnt circuits. We know that these circuits are composed of lithium/dilithium circuits and bypass circuits. We know in "Mudd's Women" that if the bypass circuits are blown/fused/burnt out that they can't be replaced. But we do know from "Mudd's Women" that the dilithium crystal can be replaced to restore a dilithium circuit.

    So for "Elaan of Troyius" all the circuits in the assembly are fused. But since Scotty said all they needed were more crystals then it stands to reason that the crystals in the circuit fused first and it was a matter of swapping out the bad crystals for fresh ones. Which funny enough just like "Mudd's Women" they had no spares...

    I do suspect that with the bypass circuits gone that was the reason why weapons weren't available. We've seen the ship on impulse power-only fire her phasers ("The Apple", "Doomsday Machine"). And TWOK they were down to her batteries firing phasers and torpedoes. In TWOK's case although the main energiser was knocked out multiple times the difference with "Elaan" was that they could be bypassed so some power could still be routed around the ship. IMHO...

    EDIT: Upon further reflection, I think before Scotty likely accidentally fused the converter they still had phaser power. Otherwise the phaser crew would've reported a problem. This poses an interesting question - are phaser banks charged with energy so they can be fired at anytime or are they charged at the time they are fired?

    After the converter was fused, Scotty complained that they couldn't generate the power to fire the weapons. But before the converter was fused, where was the phaser power coming from since the matter-antimatter reactor was still idling? (I'm assuming stored power in the dilithium?)

    If the phaser banks were already charged, they should have been able to get a few shots off but that wasn't the case. Or maybe the phaser crew activated the banks but decided not to charge any of them until given the order to fire?

    KIRK: Give us every ounce of power you can from the impulse drive, and find a solution to the bomb. Kirk out. Mister Sulu, stand by to make your manoeuvres smartly. She'll be sluggish on response.
    SULU: Aye, sir. One hundred thousand kilometres. Ninety. Eighty.
    KIRK: Phaser crews, stand by to fire on command.
    KIRK: Hold your fire.
    SULU: She's passed us without firing a shot.​

    Oooh that's a whole different can of worms! :)
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  7. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007
    It would seem that -due the rarity and expense of good quality Dilithium- that spares are not always available?

    Perhaps "Lithium" crystals are a a more common and less expensive commercially available substitute which can be used in stead (WNMHGB,MW) but are not normally considered "military grade" for use in starships?
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    I think that is plausible. The only thing we are sure of is that (raw?) Lithium crystals were in use in early episodes and then they started using Dilithium crystals. The Dilithium crystals came in paddle form with only the raw crystal form showing up in "Elaan of Troyius".

    I prefer the theory that in TOS early space warp didn't use Lithium/Dilithium at all and star drives were huge and bulky and short-ranged. And at some point it was discovered that Lithium crystals could be used to make much more compact power generation and energy storage systems and was in use for many years before ships switched over to Dilithium because it had even better qualities (perhaps more resilient, higher energy storage capacity or handling capacity, etc?).
  9. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007
    Was Dilithium used in the NX Enterprise, or mentioned at all in ST:E?
  10. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 5, 2009
    North Wales
    Yes, it was mentioned a few times. They seemed to burn through a fair bit as they had enough spares to use it for trading with in one episode
  11. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007
    Thanks Mytran.
    So Dilithium has been used for quite awhile then. This suggests that "Lithium" crystals might be a substitute after all? Unless we just want to ignore the usage and retcon it.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    ST:E uses Dilithium crystals to control the reaction, just like in TNG. From "Bound":
    KELBY: The injectors feed into the dilithium chamber.
    D'NESH: That's where the matter and antimatter mix.
    KELBY: That's right.
    D'NESH: The crystals let you control the reaction.
    KELBY: That's right.​
    and "Cold Front"
    TUCKER: The gravimetric field displacement manifold, commonly known as the warp reactor. Just think of it as a great big engine but instead of using electricity or chemical fuel it runs on antimatter. See this swirling light? When matter and antimatter collide it creates a whole lot of energy. We channel that energy through those conduits over there. They lead to the two large glowing cylinders you may have seen on the outside of the ship.
    SONSORRA: The nacelles.
    TUCKER: That's right.
    SONSORRA: Which contain warp coils that create the subspace displacement field.
    TUCKER: I see you already know a thing or two about starship engines.
    SONSORRA: I'm a warp field theorist.
    TUCKER: Oh. Well, I guess that covers the basics. Any questions?
    ALIEN: How do you regulate positron flow in your dilithium matrix?
    TUCKER: Good one. I'll bring up the schematic of the reactor assembly and you can see for yourself. If you'll just come with me. We use a series of magnetic constrictors to align the positron stream.
    TUCKER: If any stray particles escape backups automatically kick in. During one of our training tests we momentarily lost the primaries and the backups.
    TUCKER: About a billion positrons cut through the plating on three decks. Nearly caused a hull breach. We spent a month redesigning the system. It hasn't given us a single problem since.​

    So basically TOS, TWOK and TVH (and probably TMP, TSFS) are the odd ones out as far as how dilithium is used if you try to plug them into TNG continuity. You could substitute in for TNG's version of specific TOS episodes and movies alternate versions of the episode. For example:
    1. In "Mudd's Women", the dilithium crystals fractured in the warp core when they saved Mudd and they had to go to a planet with Dilithium miners.
    2. In "The Alternative Factor", Lazarus stole the crystals after shutting down the warp core. Twice.
    3. In "WNMHGB", they went to a Dilithium cracking station.
    4. In "The Naked Time", they needed to do a proper phase lock instead of warming up the fuel. Scotty never said he could do restart in 22 minutes. Oh wait, TNG did do this change :)
    5. In "The Paradise Syndrome", Scotty looks at a dilithium crystal display instead of ejecting one to inspect.
    6. In "Elaan of Troyius" the Klingons graciously wait 20 or so minutes for the Enterprise to restart her warp core after plugging in the raw crystals into the articulation chamber (or they use the "Naked Time" procedure to jump start the warp core.)
    7. In "TWOK" they use the "Naked Time" procedure to jump start the warp core to warp away in the nick of time.
    Etc, etc :)

    I checked but didn't see any mention of Dilithium or Lithium or antimatter being used in "First Contact"... So is dilithium and antimatter necessary for warp drive in TNG?
  13. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 5, 2009
    North Wales
    Possibly, or maybe (as with some lines in TOS) we need to look at ENT with regard to the context and it's place in the tineline as a whole (i.e. pre-TOS)

    Kelly is busy being seduced by the Orion pheromones and as such is not the most reliable of witnesses. Where D'Nesh said "That's where the matter and antimatter mix" he probably heard "That's where the output of the matter and antimatter mix goes".
    The reaction that the crystals control is simply that of the wild energies sent down from the main reactors in the nacelles. As discussed upthread, the dilithium (pre TNG) translates the M/AM output into a form useable by the rest of the ship's systems.

    Tucker of course is in quite a different position to Kelby, since he is in his right mind and giving a tour (AKA showing off). I do find it I interesting that even in early stage of Starfleet, nicknames and slang have already started to be used for very precise and specific equipment. A "gravimetric field displacement manifold" sounds more like it should be connected to the Symmetrical Warp Field Governor (that TMP looking module), supporting and regulating the output of the nacelles rather than fuelling them. However, such a critical balancing system would in fact be at the heart of higher warp speed systems, so maybe the moniker "warp core" is appropriate?

    To summarise: I think the NX01 had one larger reactor in each nacelle (like the 1701) but the output is irregular and needed the help of the SWFG which had it's own dedicated mini-reactor in main engineering.

    Tucker's line "We channel that energy through those conduits over there. They lead to the two large glowing cylinders you may have seen on the outside of the ship" doesn't necessarily contradict this setup, since the energy from the GFDM does (after a fashion) connect to the nacelles, even if it is via the SWFG.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  14. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007
    A coin has more than two sides, it has corners and edges too, not every thing is black or white, this or that, good or bad etc. etc.

    So, with this in mind, some thoughts…

    1) A “circuit” doesn’t necessarily have to be an electronic circuit, it can be any closed system or feed-back loop. For our purposes here, we may want to consider that a Dilithium/Lithium “circuit” is an electro-plasma system driven by the crystals, consisting of anywhere from one (TNG Tech Manual model) to three -possibly four- “circuits” (TOS “Mudd’s Women” model). In this setup, the bypass system in TOS was precisely that which bypassed from one dilithium/reactor/plasma system to another as needed. So perhaps with the limited “power generating” capacity of natural dilithium in TOS, in order for the ship to operate all systems at “full power” the “load” is spread out, i.e. one “Dilithium circuit” powers phasers and torpedoes, another powers shields and or deflectors, one or two more for propulsion (both warp and impulse power – which I think is normally powered, or at least supplemented by, a M/A-M reactor?) but the bypass system also allows for redundancy, in case one system fails, another can be used in stead?

    In other words in “MW” they were using so much energy that they burned out each of their crystal/circuits in turn (1st three crystals in quick succession and later a fourth) and the system bypassed each “blown” crystal/circuit (with a subsequent reduction in power levels in turn) to another circuit, i.e. they bypassed from the normally dedicated deflector/shield dilithium/reactor/plasma system to each of the others in turn until they were left with only one, either a fourth circuit or perhaps just a spare crystal that was put in one of the other circuits, but which was nevertheless damaged and later gave out under the strain of “pulling the entire ships power through it”.

    In other episodes, like “The Paradise Syndrome” the ship was at “full power” (all dilithium/reactor/plasma circuit systems operating) trying to use the deflectors to stop the asteroid when Scotty ejects one of the crystals to inspect it, with subsequent loss of power due to the necessary shut down of one reactor/plasma circuit.

    The crystals that Lazarus steals in “The Alternative Factor” are not in the reactors but in the energizing circuit lab being tested/re-energized after being drained by the “winking out” phenomena. Not all the ships crystals (presumably spares included) were drained by the phenomena.

    2) Much of the confusion between TOS/TAS and TNG+ can be chalked up to differences in terminology, take the following examples

    In TOS “pod” is nacelle; In TNG “pod” is anti-matter fuel tank. If TOS tech had such small fuel tanks, they were likely referred to as magnetic bottles. (“Obsession”)

    In TAS there was reference to “the engineering core” which can be set to explode and destroy the ship, so it would seem that this is equivalent to TNG’s “warp core”.

    That’s it for now, I have some other thoughts but this post is long enough, so I’ll come back later for the rest.
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Hmm, maybe. On one hand, we know late stage the men get delusional but at this early point he's very eager to please so I would think that he would be as honest with her as possible to get "rewarded". But, even if you ignore him, her understanding is very TNG, the "crystals let you control the reaction [where the matter and antimatter mix]."

    The detail here that says TNG is "How do you regulate positron flow in your dilithium matrix?" Again, only TNG-related thinking has the antimatter being regulated by the dilithium. It's one of the key differences between TOS and the TNG and TNG-related spinoffs. Unless we alter events in TOS to "TNG-ify" them then they do not fit. Or alternatively, hand-wave it off and say the TOS-TOS Movie era used totally different technology for reason X but later on discarded it because it made the ships too fast :)
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Which funny enough is consistent with "Mudd's Women". Just like in "MW", each loss of a crystal circuit reduced the maximum power available. If Scotty ejected 2 more crystals we would expect them to start supplementing with battery power because one crystal circuit generates at best guess 1/4th the total full power of the ship.

    Since the crystals in TOS (and TWOK and TVH) are never seen in the reactors and never said to work in the reactors then I'm not sure where you are going other than perhaps to suggest that dilithium crystals need to be placed in a different energizing circuit than the one they normally are in to get re-amped? After all, are not the crystal circuits energizing the ship under normal use in TOS?

    Sure, examples where terminology is mostly interchangeable:
    1. Antimatter Pod = Nacelle. Even TNG's "Timescape" still references the starboard antimatter pod on the runabout.
    2. Circuit = Conduit. You can add in descriptors like "Plasma", "Power", etc to be specific that energy flows through it vs being used as a control line.
  17. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007

    The thing is, this is a two edged sword, because we don't know exactly how the TOS crystals relate to, or are tied into, the reactors, then this cannot be used to either prove or disprove whether they work like TNG, therefore we cannot assume that they do not.

    More to the point is that in "The Alternative Factor" Lazarus need not steal the Dilithium directly from the reactor, as you suggested in an earlier post, but merely from the energizer facility.

    In a manner of speaking, yes. But by the same token, we could say that the Dilithium/warp plasma "circuit" (along with various energy taps) is energizing the ship under normal use in TNG.
  18. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2009
    I apologize for my overly long response to EVERYONE's comments. I kept putting it off and the discussion kept getting longer. haha.

    Interesting thoughts. Though I think Kirk's question, "No chance of restoring warp drive?" is pointing more towards the actual drive system, rather than the support systems that make warp travel survivable.

    As to the weapons I guess we need to figure out where they get their power from. It their power dependent on the DCCA or other sources. In "The Apple" the ship's anti-matter rendered inert. This deactivated the warp drive systems and Scotty is told to channel power into the impulse systems. So it seems that the ship still has power it has just lost, warp propulsion. Now it has to rely in impulse to maintain orbit, which they can't do for long. They are also able to fire phasers without warp. So I guess we need to find out if there is a case where weapons are able to be fired with the DCCA offline. This would then determine if they get their power from somewhere else.

    I agree that they are probably the same system. However, it seems that the function of the lithium crystals is different from the dilithium crystals. In Mudd's Women the lithium crystals are destroyed because excessive power is being pulled through them. Whereas dilithium crystals, for the most part, seems to be described as the source of power. Now perhaps, in-universe, these lithium circuits got switched out for something else (more reliable) later on. But at least for me, they seem distinct enough in function that I'm going to consider the dilithium crystals and lithium crystals to have two separate functions, and they probably existed alongside each other in the "converter assembly."

    This actually make me wonder if the re-amplification/energizer circuits are all connected somehow to the DCCA. So that when the DCCA fused, it blew out all the dilithium crystals, everywhere.

    That's certainly reasonable. I don't think Scotty ever said that the fused DCCA was Kryton's doing.

    This plus, other episodes, then seems to indicate four sources of power for the ship. Dilithium Crystals, Warp Power, Impulse Power, and Batteries. But the Warp Power and Impulse Power require a working Dilithium Converter Assembly to function. Is that a reasonable assessment so far or did I just talk myself in circles?

    Do we even know what the energizer is? I can only find two references to it that aren't from the Movie Era. The first is in relation to the circuitry that re-amplifies the dilithium crystals. The second is when the "main energizers" are damaged by the Doomsday Machine. Are they even the same thing? There seems to be little information on what a system known as an "energizer" does.

    Well, I think in reference to "Mudd's Women" we have to use the word lithium, because that's what was used in the episode. But yes as you said when the crystals blew, from an "overcurrent" condition, they took out the bypass circuits with them. But replacing a burned out crystal with a new one would resume normal function even though the bypass circuits would remain burned out.

    Agreed. Which must mean that the DCCA includes all crystals onboard, not just those that are in use, but those being reamplified as well. What interesting about Mudd's Women, though is that we know there are four lithium crystal circuits that get burned out and there are none left. Yet at the end of the episode Kirk gets six crystals. So I guess we ordered two spares.

    Mmm. Not quite convinced of that. But I already touched on that above. Though I don't think we can reliably use TWOK here because the systems were probably different. Perhaps they realized that the DCCA setup wasn't the best, and increased the battery capacity to allow firing of phasers from batteries. Plus the conversion from caseless to vcased torpedoes allowed them to be fired with very little energy expenditure.

    That's a good question. In "Balance of Terror" Kirk orders "Energize main phasers" only after going to battle stations. So at least that episode would indicate weapons can be charged but are only done so prior to entering combat. But in "Elaan of Troyius" Kirk has the weapons made ready and is about to fire on the Klingons after he knows about the bomb. But weapons only become unavailable after the DCCA is fused. Do either he had the phaser systems discharged back into ship, or having the DCCA fused can stop a fully charged phaser from firing.

    *evil voice* Yeeees... EVIL :devil:

    I'm going to bet the farm on this. Dilithium crystals are so rare that ships can't carry backups. Which is also why everyone goes cookoo bananas over planets like Coridan, Elas, and the Halkan Planet.

    As mentioned above I still thing they perform different functions and are not interchangeable. Dilithium crystals are a source of power, while lithium crystals are a channel for that power. It would be like trying to put a piece of wire where your battery goes. Ain't nothin gonna happen.

    Lithium crystals were only in one episode.

    That's pretty much my theory at this point. The space warp was a separate (sub)system that Matter-anti-matter annihilation to feed the warp engines. While dilithium crystals were the source of power for other ship's systems. Then later maybe either Motion picture era or prior to The Undiscovered County they figured out they could get more power by bombarding the dilithium in the matter/anti-matter reaction. So basically the DCCA and the Matter-antimatter reactor were combined .

    I think that's applying just a but too much handwavium. I don't see why energy production technology has to be static in the TNG configuration for three hundred years in the Star Trek universe. It makes much more sense that were different, more primitive energy production technologies that lead up to the TNG version.

    Yes. This is why many people assume that the Phoenix used a fission reactor to power it's warp drive. But there are mentions of "plasma injectors", "warp plasma conduit", and "warp core." So take that for what you will. I'm trying to devise a non-TNG warp system that uses these terms to describe a more primitive warp technology.

    Interesting. Though if I'm understanding you correctly I don't think that matches how the term bypass is used in relation to the energy systems. In "Mudd's Women" They have only one crystal left and then are considering trying to bypass. This seems to indicate that the bypass circuits are (presumably bulky) ciruits that can perform the same function as lithium crystals. Meaning they channel power from the power generation source (presumably dilithium crystals based on later episodes) to the ships systems. This means they have to rely on that one broken crystal and can't route power around it.

    I apologize if I'm being pedantic, but there is no mention of plasma in relation to power systems in any of the Star Trek series episodes.

    I generally agree with the terminology issue. But with things like the "engineering core" I think were also dealing with different systems as well. They may end up performing the same or similar function; but because it is 100 years older it's probably a different system.

    That's true. But that also doesn't mean they are the same thing. If I take the battery out of my toy car it will have the same effect as if I remove the wire connecting the batter to the motor. In both cases, there will be a reduction in maximum power available at the motor, but they are not the same thing.

    Yes, it appears that the dilithium crystals are either in the converter assembly or in the energizer being re-amplified. I think we can safely conclude that there are no extras just being stored in a closet somewhere.
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 26, 2007
    Quick reply before I head of to work.

    Spare crystals are mentioned in TAS, as is a "dilithium vault" -don't recall off the top of my head whether it was associated with spare crystal storage, but it's a safe bet.
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    On the contrary, we don't know enough as to how they work in TOS, but we can prove that it is not like TNG. Of the evidence presented so far, in TOS the one place that lithium/dilithium are shown to operate is definitely not in a matter-antimatter reaction where TNG has them. Additionally, lithium/dilithium in TOS generate power but does not regulate matter-antimatter reaction as in TNG. Those two pieces of evidence are not really disputable and I'm not sure why you'd want to. It would be easier to just say for many decades after ENT and before TNG Star Fleet and the Klingon Empire experimented with warp engines that did not use lithium/dilithium for regulating m/am reactions.

    Actually I was wondering whether the dilithium were already in their energizing circuit providing power (since that is what I'm assuming a crystal circuit is doing - energizing the ship). It would make sense that you could re-amp/re-energize the crystals in place like a lithium battery in a laptop while they are also providing power.

    Except that in TNG they've been explicit in Dilithium's role is to regulate m/am reactions. You burn out the dilithium in TNG and the whole warp core goes offline because they can't regulate the m/am reaction ("Coming of Age").