Engine Room(s) on the TOS Enterprise (revisited)

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Henoch, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It never looked any bigger to me than the one on the refit.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The blue dome is only slightly larger, but the "engine block" around it is much bulkier in the Reliant than in the Enterprise. And of course Khan has two of the domes! (The one underneath his ship is lit a bit differently - but then again, the two on the Stargazer were not lit at all.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    The bottom structure doesn't have a dome. It looks more like a pit or opening.
     
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  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Cool. The ubiquitous CGI Mirandas of DS9 have another inaccuracy there, it seems...

    (Or did Kirk at some point blow up this dome, too? :devil: )

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    We could say that the future versions of the Mirandas in DS9 got an upgrade with the always on glowing nacelles and a bottom dome was added. :)
     
  6. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I assume you don't disagree that the nacelles would need to operate in perfect unison, otherwise a starship would run around in circles at best, tear itself apart at worst! :eek:

    You are quite correct to point out that the dialogue of the episode seems to indicate a single, central reactor, at least when viewed in isolation. However, in the context of the rest of the series it is quite clear that the nacelles are the main reactors and source of power for the ship.
    And while I can't deny that my notion is fairly speculative, if Scott had already settled on either the port or starboard nacelle as the one which didn't "feel right" then the rest of his commands ("check the bypass valve" etc) follow naturally as referring to that one. It also fits right into the rest of TOS engineering scenarios.
    Finally, there is (aside from the September 9, 1968 draft) one piece of dialogue which indicates that Scotty is doing his heroic work inside a nacelle - it's the reference to the "pod" being ejected. In all of TOS the term "pod" in an engineering context only ever refers to the large warp engines at the end of the pylons, never a mere fuel tank like in TNG.

    The August 8th draft has the dangerous stuff take place in the secondary hull AKA "the warp nacelle area" but the sabotage is limited to the M/AM control systems. The September 9th draft makes specific reference to Scotty's cramped work area as being inside the nacelle itself.
    Therefore, I don't think that the Engine Room (any of them!) is in the nacelle, but I do think that the room with the hatch that Scotty slides into is. IOW, Scott and his two engineers rode up the pylon to the malfunctioning nacelle and into a monitoring station, one of the few inhabitable parts of an operating nacelle.

    The episode transcript has really bad technobabble, but wasn't the point of the multiple streams across multiple facets of the dilithium crystal to increase the efficiency of the existing fuel?
    I know in theory a M/AM reaction should be 100% efficient but it seems that in Trek a portion of that output is swallowed up by warp plasma. Geordi's solution was to reduce that inefficiency by having lots of smaller M/AM reactions instead one larger one or, as he puts it: "we've found a way to extend the matter-antimatter energy supplies"
    I'm not super familiar with that episode though - am I missing something?

    If all the dilithium in the secondary hull reactor's dilithium is doing is converting matter into antimatter, then pulling the crystal would simply result in a header tank full of deuterium - safe enough under the circumstances I'd say! :whistle:

    Really, either would be impossible - he just picked the first objection that came to mind.
    And in the scenario of the self-refueling starship the dilithium would still need something to convert into antimatter, wouldn't it?
    Or even if the dilithium spontaneously generates antimatter (or somehow sucks it in from another dimension) to refuel the tanks, what about the ordinary matter supply?
    Fortunately the Kelvans don't even need to consider such problems, since they have a handy dandy plot device to plug straight into the engines :biggrin:

    Reactor #3 certainly exists, no argument there! :techman:
    It is mentioned in Catspaw as a supplemental power source and in Day Of The Dove as a location of the entity at one point.
    I agree that the flashing red nacelles domes were meant to represent the main reactors - which is fine. As for reactor #3 the only other reactor consistently mentioned is the Impulse Deck - which is unarguably in the saucer, right where most of the action in DOTD takes place. There's no mention of Reactor #3 in TWS nor its function in relation to the other two.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  7. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    Even though thin, they are surrounded by matter. It's called interstellar gas. As long as you can extract it from space, then you can run forever barring equipment breakdown or crew starvation.
     
  8. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I assumed that was for impulse, with the added drain of phaser usage and also possibly long range communication. The matter reserves might be supposed to be able last as long as they can regenerate.

    Whatever the dilithium crystal does, it should be used to explain how warp plasma is made with what would ordinarily just produce energy. As for the locations of the reactors, Scotty does mention there being crystals in either the nacelles or a separate room of some kind in "The Terratin Incident" in TAS.

    Presumably there is a way to convert matter into antimater for use in the engine.

    As for where the matter comes from, it would have to come in from outside through the bussard collectors, or else the matter fuel would run out too.
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    The problem with Scotty doing the work in a service crawlway in a warp nacelle is that he had to place explosives in key areas to separate where he is from the ship. Since we know that the nacelles can be jettisoned then to me he's operating in a pod that isn't normally separable. And since the engineering hull looks suspiciously like a pod... :shifty:

    SCOTT: I've sealed off the aft end of the service crawlway, and I've positioned explosive separator charges to blast me clear of the ship if I rupture the magnetic bottle. I'm so close to the flow now it feels like ants crawling all over my body.​

    You would think it was to increase efficiency of the reaction but the dialogue specifically says "accept more reactants at a faster rate of injection". The only way to read that is "inject more fuel to react". And by adding more fuel you should be running out of fuel quicker, not extending it.

    LAFORGE: ... Leah, I want to find a way to supplement the energy supply to the ship and to the engines. Could we alter the matter-antimatter paths?
    LEAH: Theoretically, yes. The system should be able to accept more reactants at a faster rate of injection.​


    What we do know is that if all the dilithium circuits blew out the crystal converter assembly would fail-over to the bypass circuits. So let's say we pulled all the dilithium crystals and triggered the bypass circuits in the converter assembly. Seeing that in "Mudd's Women" the excessive energy load fused the bypass circuits we can assume that excess energy from the runaway matter-antimatter reactor would do the same. Once fused, the reactor's energy has no where to go and then boom! :ack: Of course in "Mudd's Women" they had control of the reactor and we can assume it was just simply idled.

    In-universe I would argue that is not the case. Kirk and Spock never once disputed that fuel would be a problem.

    Well the plug in plot device helps! (But Kirk and Spock are not aware of the device until after they get onboard the ship.)

    Regarding what the self-refueling starship model would look like and how it would work - it would have to be able to generate an immense amount of energy for a long time yet only require very little volume for matter and antimatter fuel to generate that energy. How it does it of course is up for discussion :)

    Hold on, when is the Impulse Deck consistently mentioned along with Reactor number three? Desalle ordered: "Keep it up, Mister Chekov. Channel the entire output of reactors one, two, and three into the relay stations." The assumption here is that all three reactors' energy are being sent to relays that forward the energy to the impulse engines. It doesn't suggest that reactor number three is near the impulse deck...

    In DOTD, Reactor number three is in the "engineering section" which coincidentally is also what Kang captured in the engineering hull...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  10. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    I don't think they are using reactors to feed power into the impulse engines, rather the reactors are directly feeding power into the relays which are generating the electrical field on the hull. Do we know at this point that the M/AM reactors are down? If not, then all reference about the three reactors could be M/AM reactors. That puts a big twist on things. :techman:
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll jump into the fray here just to point out that Desalle initially refers to "all power systems" being used, suggesting that reactors 1,2, and 3 are a combination of all types available -m/a-m and fusion- reactors?
     
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  12. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    I mostly agree with your post except "Fusion Reactor" is never mentioned during all of TOS. I still believe any reference to "reactors" on the ship are M/AM reactors. The impulse engine itself can generate power for the ship and it may be internally fusion powered and have been call auxiliary power, but never associated with a separate fusion reactor. Batteries are also a power system. "All power systems" are M/AM reactors, Auxiliary power from the impulse engines, and batteries. "Channel reactors 1, 2, 3" are using just the M/AM reactors to power the electrical field. Auxiliary and batteries are probably running the rest of the ship. You don't want to exhaust the semi-nonreplacable fuel for the impulse engines and the limited batteries which take time to recharge. Just my opinion that is not contradicted by any TOS dialog.
    YMMV :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In "The Doomsday Machine," it's established that overloading the impulse engine will generate a fusion explosion of 97 megatons, give or take. So, canonically there's something fusion-y about the impulse engine.
     
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  14. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    I was just going to quote that. I don't know if you can get a fusion explosion from anything other than a fusion reactor, but the idea is there.
     
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  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Plasma is just highly energised gas; stick some spare deuterium in there and vaporise it, add the energy output from the M/AM reaction and bingo! Plasma for use in the warp engines (AKA warp plasma).
    As for Terratin Incident, the location of the crystals being close to the Engine Room is nothing new; whether those crystals have anything to do with the main reactor on the other hand (like with TNG) is less clear in TOS... :whistle:

    The reason we only know that nacelles can be jettisoned upon command is from a line in Savage Curtain though. Prior to that Kirk talked about "discarding" the warp drive nacelles and leaving with just the "main section", but that can easily achieved by severing the dorsal (Scotty thought this was an incredibly dangerous procedure BTW).
    Also, bear in mind that in TWS Scotty is not in a general access maintenance tube - it's a service crawlway that leads directly to the centre of the M/AM integrator. Also in TWS Scotty placed (or at least attached detonators to) explosives to blast the offending section clear of the ship. I imagine that he and his men did that prior to him entering the tube, because once he's in there setting explosives will not blast anything clear of the ship; it will just create a big explosion inside the cramped compartment he's in :eek:
    Clearly in TWS the option to blast away a nacelle is not standard procedure as it requires manual arming the jettison explosives. Maybe Kirk decided to keep the remote activation system on the bridge following the events of TWS?

    I really wish that scene was better written! As it stands Geordi is seeking a way to add more energy to the ship; Leah seems to be saying that a higher power output can be created by pumping more fuel into the reaction chamber. While technically correct in what he asked, it does so by exhausting their fuel faster - on a surface read, anyway.
    When saying "more reactants" what she ought to have said was "more reactions", ie getting more bang from the same amount of buck by spreading the M/AM streams out thinner across more dilithium facets.
    This is the only way that Geordi's line "we've found a way to extend the matter-antimatter energy supplies" makes any kind of bonkers sense...I think :wtf:

    I think I was slightly cross-talking over different engineering setups befofe. Is your reactor in the secondary hull one that mixes M/AM and then sends that output THROUGH the dilithium circuits, creating more antimatter AND converting some of it into shipboard electricity AND sending the rest up to the nacelles? If so, how does the converter assembly play into this? Does it convert the output of the M/AM reaction like in my setup? Does the M/AM reaction still occur inside dilithium in your model or can it be contained by magnetic fields like in mine?
    Since this is all based on an off-hand comment I made as an alternative option for a scenario I don't believe in, I'm content to let it go. I'm aware I've derailed this thread a lot already. :devil:

    One thing I do know for sure - we see Scotty remove a crystal for inspection in Paradise Syndrome so we know it is possible while the engines are running at high speed.

    Maybe not, but Rojan does tell him that they will be modifying the engines. Perhaps all that is required for the higher speeds is a better rate of energy absorption by the warp coils? Here is the whole exchange:
    ROJAN: Your ship, Captain Kirk. It will serve us well in the long voyage that is to come.
    KIRK: Voyage? Where?
    ROJAN: To your neighbouring galaxy, which you call Andromeda.
    KIRK: Andromeda? Why?
    ROJAN: It is our home.
    SPOCK: What brings you here?
    As per usual, Spock's interest in the situation leapfrogs over the Kirk's mundane concerns (for an act that can't happen) onto a subject which deals with deals with a fact at hand - why are the aliens here? Anyway, Rojan answers Spock's question and the ship is captured:
    KIRK: What's the point of capturing my ship? Even at maximum warp, the Enterprise couldn't get to Andromeda galaxy for thousands of years.
    ROJAN: Captain, we will modify its engines, in order to produce velocities far beyond the reach of your science. The journey between galaxies will take less than three hundred of your years.
    SPOCK: Fascinating. Intergalactic travel requiring only three hundred years. That is a leap far beyond anything man has yet accomplished.
    Kirk is concerned with the time constraints, perhaps because he doesn't want to die in intergalactic space. Spock (again true to form) acknowledges the impressive ability to cross the galactic void without reference to whether time or fuel was the previous most important barrier to such a feat.

    As mentioned upthread, the majority of evidence in DOTD points to the Engine Room in that episode being in the saucer...precisely where I would expect Reactor #3 (the Impulse reactor) to be! ;)

    The gas density in between galaxies isn't just thin, it's REALLY thin! OK, more accurately the amount of interstellar material within our galaxy (around 1 atom per cubic centimetre) is ONE MILLION TIMES denser than that in the intergalactic void (around 1 atom per cubic metre). So, if you are planning on scooping up the fuel as you go then your system needs to be a million times more efficient than usual. Conversely, Kirk's objection about the journey to Andromeda (it will take thousands of years) is merely tens of times less efficient that Rojan's engine modifications make it so.

    It seems completely bizarre but fuel does not appear to be a concern for either party on the intergalactic journey. Whether this is because the engines are made millions of times more efficient in their fuel collection (but only tens of times faster) or simply because intergalactic travel is easier on the warp engines to begin with (we don't have too many examples to compare it to) I really have no idea.
     
  16. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    My second <edit. third> sentence says the impulse engine is fusion based. Now, even though the engines use fusion internally, it doesn't mean there are separate fusion reactors laying around the ship. Power from the impulse engine is supported by dialog, but power from a stand alone fusion reactor is not supported. All ship reactor references are specifically for M/AM reactors or undefined. In the only two undefined references (Catspaw and Court Martial <edit. Day of the Dove>, both including Reactor three by chance), in Catspaw, reactors one, two and three are more probably M/AM reactors than not. The M/AM reactors were not out of service. That's what I would use to power the electrical field to get me out of the force field trap ASAP. In Court Martial <edit. Day of the Dove>, it was only used as a location (both Warp Drive and Impulse Engines were out of commission at the time.)
    Ever hear of the hydrogen bomb first set off in 1952 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Mike)... Actually, one of the main selling points of a fusion reactor is that it is inherently safe, i.e. no meltdown and certainly no fusion explosions. But this is science fiction; let's make it scary and dangerous for drama.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it (third sentence, actually) said "may be internally fusion powered." I was just pointing out that an association of some kind between the impulse engine and fusion *is* canonical.
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The episode Court Martial did not specify Reactor #3 - that was Day Of The Dove.

    As for the dialogue in Catspaw, the intent was to convey that ALL power was being put into the electrical disruption system. If nothing else, it shows that 3 reactors were available to do the job (whatever form those rectors might take)

    I think you just just summarised most of the tech-talk in TOS ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  19. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    Correction noted. I got locating Finney memories confused with locating the pinwheel memories. And I'll correct your excitement of the moment that it was Catspaw instead of Court Martial. Could reactor 3 be different from reactors 1 and 2? Maybe (but I still don't think so). If so, then the multiple (2 or more but probably an even number) impulse engines run off one large fusion reactor since we have even less evidence that there are reactor numbers 4+. :whistle:
     
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  20. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Haha. My sentence seems really dumb right now. What I meant to say is, is it possible to obtain a fusion explosion from anything other than a device intended for fusion? For example if you stacked a large enough pile of TNT together would it eventually reach a point where the explosion was a fusion one. Or can fusion explosions only come from things intended for those purposes i.e. bombs and the sun?
     
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