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

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

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Well, if the impulse engines when set to overload is able to force it's fuel together in a closed chamber with extremely high temperature and pressure to get the atoms of the fuel to fuse then you've got a fusion reaction. It would be like blasting a rocket engine at 100% but closing off the exhaust until the pressure exploded the engine.

    But I do think that an impulse engine is analogous to a warp engine in that it has a reactor to drive whatever field mechanism it needs to bend or warp space. Impulse engine uses a fusion reactor while a warp engine uses a matter-antimatter reactor. All IMHO. I also think that there are no separate fusion reactors though or they would have been handy in "The Naked Time".
     
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  2. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    I think we have to look outside the episodes for some of these answers. The episodes are all over the place.

    From the direction Matt Jefferies took the engine design for Phase II, I think it is safe to assume that what we saw in TMP (which kept all the Phase II ideas but updated the look) represents where Phase II was going. I think it is clear that the M/AM reaction happens in the Engineering hull (there are many references in the series about balancing the reaction and if it is that sensitive you would not want to have to keep 2 systems in perfect balance, not only with a sensitive formula, but with each other).

    Also, I think that the impulse engines and the power converters (whatever they are) draw from the mains (I think there is series dialog to support that), but the saucer also has to be able to operate independently and when the mains are down. The Enterprise has 3 levels of power. The main engines, the impulse engine and backup power, and battery power (and I think the last one is literally a bank of batteries that provide power in case of problems or repairs). Each of those system is mentioned. I think you have to decide which episode has the best explanation for you and go with it. My interpretation takes pretty much all of TOS with a grain of salt and finds something that agrees with as much as possible. For instance, the set had a curved corridor but I take that to represent any long corridor from a tight curve to completely straight. I do really like seeing the discussion of more accurate to sets and how they were filmed interpretations, but I'm on a different path. I really don't think there is a way to reconcile every episode so it is really a matter of which way you are going to turn your attention.

    My interpretation of the engine rooms is that there are 2. We only see the one at the back of the saucer (and to make it fit you either have to move it forward or shorten the ceiling height - I chose the latter since they didn't pan up very often). I take the pipes as being much shorter. I resized them so the pipes are the same size, but I didn't lengthen it significantly (about 25' I think). I think they represent power converters, one for the mains and one for Impulse/auxilary power. So basically whether the ship is running on main power or aux power, these units convert it for use for the ships systems. I think EPS is very TNG, but I would say that TOS uses something between modern systems and TNG EPS. Maybe a mix of the two with normal wiring for the smaller circuts and EPS to carry the power to the main systems and relay points.

    I think all of you have some excellent ideas. Food for thought since I am working on the engine and power systems for the TOS and TMP Enterprises and the Excelsior. Cross sections cut through all those systems.
     
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  3. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Can I claim that it was a deliberate mistake to show how easy it is to pick the wrong episode name, showing a little solidarity with a fellow TrekBBSer?
    Maybe? :angel:
    Oh, well. Mea culpa.
    I'm glad that you took my intended meaning, anyway :)

    I would be fine with the Impulse reactor being a single large engine. And while at first it might seem odd that Desalle wants to supplement the output of two M/AM reactors with a (possibly) fusion reactor, that's exactly what Kirk did in Corbomite Manoeuvre - and it was the tipping point that allowed them to break free of Balok's tractor beam.

    I guess when the commanding officer orders ALL power be brought to bear, he means it! :techman:
     
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  4. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Warp plasma probably has to be something different because regular plasma supposedly cannot bend space to the degree necessary, if the TNG tech manual is to be believed. I know that we are talking about TOS here, but in the real world, even a matter-antimatter reaction has a limit on how powerful it can be, that is, total conversion of matter to energy, 100% efficiency; to move something as big as the enterprise thousands of light-years, you'd need a HUGE amount of material to do that. So, if Star Trek is to line up with real science as the general viewer wishes it to, there must be some currently-fictional part of the system that makes warp-drive possible. In the TNG tech-manual, it has been suggested that the warp-coils have some kind of disrupted field generation when powered by warp plasma, which once again suggests warp-plasma has to be a fictional substance, otherwise, why not just power the warp coils with energy from the reaction?

    Dilithium should have some role in this, because it is a fictional substance that might affect the output of the reaction.

    Why does this matter to the thread? Well, if we can use the science and interpolate the rest to know what is needed for a warp system, we can better identify what parts on the ship and sets do...and if we can do that, it will be easier to determine where the engine room is, and alongside that determine things like how large the pipe structure should be if the ship were real, etc.
     
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  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Fair enough on "Savage Curtain" but I do think the ability to "discard" the nacelles existed as early as "The Apple".

    I interpret is as a service crawlway that goes between the fuel line from the antimatter bottle or pod to the M/AM reaction chamber. The antimatter pod has a magnetic field that bottles up the antimatter. The magnetic field has an opening or shaped pathway that is feeding antimatter into the reaction chamber and Scotty is essentially shoving his magnetic probe tool into the magnetic field to reshape it into a closed shape to cut off the fuel. My assumption is that the separator charges are to blast the antimatter pod clear of the ship should Scotty mess up or time runs out (reactor overloads). It's unlikely to be happening in a single nacelle since both engines are running wild according to the dialogue. That leaves a central reactor to have the integrator and antimatter pod.

    SPOCK: As I recall the pattern of our fuel flow, there is an access tube leading to the matter-antimatter reaction chamber.
    SCOTT: There's a service crawlway, but it's not meant to be used while the integrator operates.
    SPOCK: Still, it is there, and it might be possible to shut off the fuel at that point.
    SCOTT: What with? Bare hands?
    SPOCK: A magnetic probe.
    SCOTT: Any matter that comes in contact with antimatter triggers the explosion. And I'm not even sure a man can live in the crawlway in the energy stream of the magnetic field that bottles up the antimatter.
    ...
    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.​

    I suspect blasting away the nacelles is alot easier and cleaner than dumping one of the antimatter pods inside the ship.

    Agreed. But I imagine that whoever wrote that must have not fully read whatever tech bible for TNG. Could also be the same reason why we get the line "Increase to Warp Six... Aye sir Full impulse." Feels a bit like TOS :)

    I think in one of the iterations it was bounced around that:
    1. A central M/AM reactor is fueled by a M/AM integrator which pulls M/AM fuel from a matter and antimatter fuel pod.
    2. The energy output from this central M/AM reactor is captured and sent to the crystal converter assembly in the main energizer.
    3. The converter takes the energy and splits it to the 4 dilithium crystal circuits. If a dilithium circuit is unavailable then energy is routed to an available bypass circuit but care must be taken to not overload the bypass circuit as it cannot store energy.
    4. The energizer can also discharge energy as needed to the ship's systems by pulling energy from the converter.
    5. If energy usage is less than energy being provided from the M/AM reactor then the crystals will be charging.
    6. The warp engines use M/AM reactors as well. When the engines are engaged, the energizer pulls from the converter positive and negative energy to the nacelles for the reactor. This positive and negative energy appears to be analogous to matter and antimatter but in energy form for TOS. The positive and negative energy is converted into matter and antimatter in each nacelle to go in small buffer tanks before being used by the nacelle reactor.
    7. The positive and negative energy pulled from the crystals via the converter assembly is magically created energy. It can also be converted back into matter and antimatter and returned to the central reactor.

    So in this setup, the crystals are critical to it's fuel supply, power generation and power smoothing. The central reactor controls the rate of M/AM fuel creation for the warp nacelle engines. Of course, YMMV and it's not for everybody. Just one of many possible setups. :)

    Yes - but only one crystal. The other 3 crystals plus any bypass circuit was handling the rest of the load. Although right before this they had stopped all the engines. Is it just the central reactor that is at full power and the engine reactors not contributing?

    Certainly more efficiency. Many episodes earlier Nomad modified the engines to hit Warp 11 by increasing it's efficiency. The danger was the structure not handling it. Rojan's magic device might also reinforce the Enterprise's structural integrity as well as improve on the engine efficiency.

    Except for when the pinwheel entity exits the ship at the engineering hull. I'd say half and half on the evidence being in the saucer though...
     
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  6. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've come to the tentative conclusion that the best way to interpret "Day of the Dove" is to assume that for whatever reasons known only to itself, the "alien life force" (ALF?) is making everyone think they are confined to the primary hull and its "Engineering Section", while they in fact do have access to the secondary hull and the "Engineering Deck" in that location.

    This way, the dialogue reflects what the characters believe to be true, and can be taken at face value; while the "ALF" exiting the ship from the secondary hull can also be taken at face value -from the vantage point of view of the viewing audience.

    As such, it remains an open question as to whether Kang and co. are seeing the same version of the ships diagram that we -the audience are shown- since we don't get to see exactly where he is pointing when he determines to take "engineering".

    And as always YMMV.
     
  7. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well it's not the plasma that bends space, that's just what powers the warp coils. So if anything, the warp coils are what need to made from the "magic" material.
    Quick thought - is warp plasma actually "used up" by the nacelles when they generate a warp field, or is the plasma just a carrier medium for the high energy output of the M/AM reaction?

    It could have (since I think all Scotty did was place explosives on the bolts that hold the nacelles to the pylons) but I get the impression that Starfleet engineers didn't anticipate half of the dire situations that Kirk and crew found themselves in! :eek:

    I still don't see how placing explosives in that access tube could eject anything out into space, let alone what would have to be a major piece of integrated kit that the main fuel tank is. Additionally, the explosives would have to be above the tank to blast it down & out, quite apart from the fact that hull plates would also have to be jettisoned.
    Did Scotty and his 2 engineers do all this in advance?
    Or did he slide into the tube backwards, hop out the other end, place some bombs and climb back into the tube before radioing Spock?
    Or is Scotty just employing hyberbole and when he says "placed" explosives he simply means he armed the pre-existing ones?

    Unless you keep the antimatter inside the nacelles. Then all the dangerous stuff goes at once! :techman:

    Thanks for the refresher course. It's been a few years and I'm sure all our pet theories have evolved in that time.

    I just rewatched the scene and you're quite right! They're in a state of preparing to use all power for the deflectors but nothing's actually started yet. So, there goes my comparison! :brickwall:
    Although interestingly, as soon as Scott ejects the crystal to inspect it the lights on the Bridge dim, just like when a lithium crystal circuit blows in Mudd's Women. Could it be that power for lighting is an essential function of the (di)lithium crystal circuits? :devil:

    I think that would have to be a given (and we have no idea how many devices they actually brought on board)

    Wow, it didn't take long for this discussion to roll round again! :guffaw:
    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/engine-room-s-on-the-tos-enterprise-revisited.297971/page-10
    Conveniently, my answer to this conundrum is at the top of the page :biggrin:
     
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  8. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Good point, but warp plasma being made by the reaction, but also used to carry the energy of the reaction seems really inefficient considering the energy needed. There must be some more logical way for this to work. Unless...and I hate to say this..what if the reactors are actually very small, like the device Spock works on in TWOK or the device on the floor in front of the warp core on TOS, and then the big structures are just moving power around?...I really don't want this to be the case from drama's sake.

    Maybe this is the beginning of the "eject the core" procedure that became commonplace later?

    I like this but "antimatter pod" still seems like it should be a nacelle. Substitute some other TOS term for the storage tank for the antimatter and I think we have a system to start identifying what each setpiece in the TOS engine room is supposed to do.
     
  9. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    The anti-matter was stored in a place where it could be accessed in Obsession. If it was in the nacelles, that wouldn't be the case. I strongly favor a single M/AM reactor located underneath Engineering in the secondary hull. I think the evidence in the series is pretty consistent about this. I think the plasma is sent to the warp engines in a ready to use state (still using a magnetic confinement to avoid contamination). I think the TMP design just shows us what we were not shown in TOS. Not that I think it is the same exact design, but similar in function.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's untrue. In TAS, Kirk and Scott actually went inside one of the nacelles to install antimatter.

    "One of Our Planets Is Missing."
     
  11. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    When comparing an episode of TOS vs TAS, TOS wins hands down. None of the technical geniuses behind TOS worked on TAS.
     
  12. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What they say in Obsession is that they will drain one ounce of antimatter from "the main engines" but nothing was said about the extraction procedure itself. In TOS parlance the term "engines" is usually used to refer to the nacelles; not a fuel tank.
    I'm not sure why accessing the nacelles would be impossible anyway - they were idling in orbit at the time, it's not like the M/AM reactors would be in full flow! ;)

    Depends what you mean by "technical geniuses". A lot of the creative team returned for TAS; was there someone in particular you felt was missing?
     
  13. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    Keep in mind that the Enterprise runs on main power ALL the time. The Engines are not shut down (as in The Naked Time) so they are producing power to run the ship (and radiation), even if they aren't being used to travel at warp. From the way the series treated the main engines, it is a single system. It is never treated as a pair of engines. It is always treated as a single entity even if they use a plural noun to refer to it. The way the engines are handled is as a unit. A single engine room where everything can be controlled, a single anti-matter injection, a single pipe structure (or one in each engine room). The generic reference to engines could mean a variety of things. A lot was left to the imagination in the original series, but the general sense is that when Kirk or Scotty refer to engines, they are not referring to just the warp nacelles. And keeping in mind the saucer separation design and how it is referenced in two episodes follows a similar pattern. Kirk's reference is plural, but the design as specified in TMOST is singular. If I'm not mistaken, this pattern continued into the movies where we can see the main plasma flow and know that there is only one source of antimater and that the post reaction plasma is sent to the warp nacelles.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  14. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I never said that the nacelle reactors were switched off, I said that they were producing significantly lower power to run the ship (and radiation) than when at maximum warp speed.
    And anyway, wouldn't the same levels of power (and radiation) be present with a single shipboard reactor? In fact, radiation levels on that single reactor would be doubled compared to two nacelle mounted ones!
    Fortunately the Enterprise crew have radsuits to enter more dangerous areas, so either scenario can work just fine :techman:

    In a way, the whole ship is a single system. It just gets broken down for simplicity: life support, deflectors, impulse engines, warp engines and so forth.

    There are a great deal of general references to "engines" in TOS but there are also 15 specific references to "warp engines". What is it in the dialogue that suggests to you they mean something other than those two cylindrical "rocket" things mounted behind the saucer? As you say, a lot of technical talk was kept simple in TOS, so why would just straightforward dialogue suggest something more than it states?
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, "One of Our Planets Is Missing" was written by Marc Daniels, a noteworthy TOS alumnus, if there ever were one.

    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Marc_Daniels

    Besides, TOS is canonically completely silent on the subject of going into the nacelles, so it doesn't even enter the race, much less win, with respect to that question.
     
  16. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    The people who carried over from TOS to TAS were primarily the actors and writers. The producers and art department did not and they were the ones who kept the technology regulated. That is one reason TAS is kind of hit or miss with tech. For all their skill, the writers did not keep to the same standards so I do not hold anything from TAS to the same level as TOS. The TAS animators relied on how TOS showed things, but they went their own way all the time.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, D.C. Fontana, what a hack. :rolleyes:
     
  18. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In regards TAS:OOOPIM, perhaps we shouldn't be too quick lest we throw the baby out with the bathwater, the basic idea that one nacelle contains the matter and the other contains the anti-matter fuel actually helps explain why Scotty in "That Which Survives" only needs to be in one nacelle/pod to cut off the flow from the (reserve?) fuel supply to the M/AM integrator -which might be in the secondary hull -an ideal central location to receive the influx of fuel from both sources.

    They didn't need to worry about the matter half so much because that's not going to blow them up if the containment field fails and they could probably reroute it or flush out of the system somehow.

    I'm not saying I believe this is the way things are, just pointing out possibilities YMMV.
     
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  19. yotsuya

    yotsuya Commander Red Shirt

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    She is listed as an associate producer, not producer. She is responsible for TAS being as good as it was, along with the slew of writers, but above all, it was a Filmation production and Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer were in charge. I watched a lot of their shows and everything was pretty consistent. Dorothy is an awesome writer and editor and it shows, but from a technical standpoint, no one who was concerned with the tech in TOS was involved in TAS. No one. It is not a good source for any technical assessments of the Star Trek universe. And that is what we are talking about after all.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Obviously, your opinion isn't going to change, but...

    And story editor.

    By and large, Filmation animated what the writers wrote. The voice tracks were laid down (once scripts had been approved, from what the writers had written) before animation could begin, and once down they were pretty much locked in stone. The writers defined whatever tech was there, under Fontana's supervision with Roddenberry serving as executive consultant. Roddenberry didn't even come in every day. Fontana did the heavy lifting as story editor.

    Well, that's just not true, because on TOS in all things, including all things tech, Roddenberry had the last word. Roddenberry was on TAS, ergo....

    .... Plus, you're making it sound like the people who did work on TAS were all dummies when it came to understanding how the tech on TOS was supposed to work. Fontana was a story editor on TOS (end-S1 through S2), for Goddenberry's sake. She was responsible for polishing, writing, and rewriting a great deal of tech dialog on TOS in the capacity of story editor even when she didn't have writer or story credit. She'd've had as good an idea as anyone how it was all supposed to fit together.