Props Re-used

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My only contention in all this is that while "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" was indeed used in Trek scripts, at no time was the "ray generator"/"trident scanner" thing built in the second season used as a prop manifestation of a "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" script direction.

Agreed. In fact, in the memos that I referenced in my previous post - dated at the end of the first season (March 20, 1967) - Roddenberry made it clear to Justman that, henceforth, he wanted "straight scientific names for the gadgetry." "The reason is obvious," he went on to say, "although we know and understand the jokes ourselves, it encourages others to take a less than serious view of these items and objects."
Well, Kirk here actually is incorrect--and it could indeed be because Bjo's information was incorrect. (It sounds like Dorothy Jones and Bjo simply have a wrong sketch assigned to this entry in her old book. Her more recent edition of the Concordance doesn't have this error.)

It has been well documented that, unfortunately, there were errors in all versions of the Concordance.

At any rate, the point of all this is that the script calls this thing a "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" and the other prop in this scene held by Crewman II--who is still in the Jefferies tube (and which we won't get into here) is an "Irvingoscope." Of course, these are both studio in-jokes. Irving Feinberg was the Property Master on Star Trek and was responsible for procuring and maintaining all the props. This is the one and only script where this "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" term is used and, despite what the old Concordance might say, relates to this red, black and silver doohickey.
Uhm, I believe this is a far too literal interpretation of the script. It is clear from internal memos between Roddenberry and Justman (see, for example, p. 342-346 of TMoST) that throw-away names (often times as jokes, as you noted) involving some form of Irving Feinberg's name were used to describe generic gadgets. Thus, "Irvingoscope" and "Phynberg oscillating Framizam" were simply scripted placeholders for two different gadgets used in the same scene. Interestingly, in the same script, and immediately before this scene, Charlie moves towards the foreground "...where a crewman is working on a wall unit with a Phynberg oscillating Framizam." This is the scene where Charlie watches the crewman lower the rod (the directors likely interpretation of the Feinberg gadget) into the floor.

In the more modern Trek series, the word "TECH" was often used as a placeholder for a gadget.



Well, no arguments from me. I don't for a moment believe these things are called "Phynburg Oscillating Framizams" in the Trek universe--and if we ever have dialog in our Phase II productions to identify these things, it will be a better term. These goofy names are indeed just script placeholders.

My only contention in all this is that while "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" was indeed used in Trek scripts, at no time was the "ray generator"/"trident scanner" thing built in the second season used as a prop manifestation of a "Phynburg Oscillating Framizam" script direction.

I hope you all realize that the "*highly* unlikely" comment was saturated with irony.

BTW, I never meant to imply that "POF" was the name of any device in the ST Universe. As noted above, it was just a silly set name.

BTW2, I've been out of Trekdom for so long, I didn't realize that there was so much info available. *goes off to do more Googling*
Cross-posted from the Star Trek Phase II forums:

We've seen, periodically, small, colorful "Feinberger Blocks"--officially known as "jumper" blocks.

We see these small engineering/circuitry devices a few times throughout The Original Series. The first time we see them is in the episode "The Naked Time." (In fact, it is from this first appearance that these small circuitry blocks get the name "jumpers.")

In "The Naked Time," folks may remember the Lieutenant Kevin Riley locked himself in the Main Engineering Control Room. Scotty had to rig up some bypasses to route some battery power to the helm console so that the Enterprise would have at least a small amount of control while its orbit decayed.

The script reads as follows:

Scott is crawling up inside a conduit tube to attempt to
regain helm control finds the proper spot has a
Star Trek style jumper wire which he uses to divert a
circuit places it properly it somehow stays in
place he climbs back down the tube. As he does:

Coming out.
As Scott crawls out of the tube confronts a crewman

I've set the jump wire line there.
Stand by it until you get my signal.
The crewman, aware of the crises, starts up into the
tube. Scott is already on his way at a dead run.

As Scott barrels down a corridor and disappears around a corner.

With the script describing a "Star Trek style jumper wire" and Mr. Scott describing a "jump wire line," it looks like the scene in the "conduit tube" (later known as a "Jefferies tube") probably would have looked something like this scene from the episode "Court Martial:"


As it turned out, they decided not to use actual wires for the "Naked Time" scene. They used some kind of small devices that rerouted and bypassed circuitry flow. These are small devices about the size of children's building blocks, oddly shaped, and brightly colored. They have numbers and letters on them--possibly indicating ship's circuitry numbers or systems numbers. At any rate, with the change from wires to these small block-like devices, Jimmy Doohan's dialog was changed a little:

I've set the jumpers up there.
Stand by 'til I give you a signal.

So, these little doodads are called "jumpers."

Here are shots of Mr. Scott placing the three jumpers (the "3O," the "5R3," and the "7W" jumpers) in the above scene from "The Naked Time:"







Notice that the jumpers are magnetic-like refrigerator magnets--and that they simply stick magnetically to the walls of the "conduit/Jefferies tube." <Clink!>

Probably the best look we get at these things is in "Balance of Terror"--as Mr. Spock crawls under his Library Computer station to effect repairs. We see a few jumpers (the "3O," the "5R3," and the "7W" jumpers again--and the side of the "3R" jumper) on the floor next to him in one shot:



We also can see one (the "3R" jumper) inside the console visible through the little access door:



This same "Spock under the console" scene was captured in a publicity shot in the book The Making of Star Trek:


These jumpers are seen being carried around, too, on little portable devices about the size of a telephone answering machine that have some unspecified function. (I'll provide more information about these answering machine-type devices in some other post at some future date.) These portable devices have a small metal plate--which makes it very easy to carry the magnetic jumpers.

You can see a couple of shot of Enterprise crew members carrying around the answering machine-type devices with the jumpers stuck to the top in this shot from "Operation: Annihilate!" (the red "3O" and blue "5R3" jumpers):


There's also a similar shot from "The Apple"--but this time the jumpers are being carried on the inside lid of a tool box:


You can also see them on the lid of this tool box in "Devil in the Dark:"


You can also see a couple of shots of Enterprise crew members carrying around the answering machine-type devices with the jumpers stuck to the top in these shots from "The Doomsday Machine" (the red "3O" and yellow "7W" jumpers again):




There's also a shot from "The Doomsday Machine" where you can just barely see the tippy-top of one of these jumpers peeking out from behind a blue and yellow tool kit (it looks like the "3O" jumper) on the floor next to Captain Kirk as he works on the Constellation's circuitry:



And there's a shot of the blue "5R3" and the yellow "7W" jumpers in "The Changeling:"


And here's a shot of the same blue "5R3" and the yellow "7W" jumpers again in "The Omega Glory:"


At any rate, here are my jumpers. They are perfect reproductions of the ones used by Mr. Scott and Mr. Spock.



There are also a few extra ones in colors and with letter/number combinations we actually never saw. I figure there are more that just four of these blocks in the Star Trek universe. (Kirk tells Washburn to check the "2-G-6" circuit in "The Doomsday Machine" and Spock tells Chekov to check the "H-2-7-9 elements" and the "G-95 systems" in "The Ultimate Computer." So I had jumpers made with those letter/number combinations since these circuits and systems were heard in dialog.)


And a couple of other ones:


And here they are all together:


Like always, here's a little slide show that just rotates through these images:

I welcome questions or comments about these (or any!) Star Trek props.
^^ They look like they might have originally been some kind of childrens puzzle block toy? Any ideas on this possibility? Just curious.

These Feinberg blocks were inspired by the modern computers of their time. Specifically, the mid-1960s witnessed a revolution in computer technology with the development and implementation of small, file-cabinet-sized mini computers, e.g., the IBM-1130 and the PDP series. Anyone remember those? I spent hours and hours programming those things to do nothing more than simply add and subtract.

Anyway, those computers, which were built long before micro electronics, had large circuit cards that contained discrete electronic components. Each card obviously had it's own function, but some were terminator cards and others were jumper blocks. These cards were generally arranged in a matrix configuration that used letters and numbers to indicate their positions, functions, etc. Here are a couple of photos of cards from the PDP series:



Note the letter/number combination on the above cards.

These sites have more information for those that want to delve deeper.
Going back to the envelope-like command pack: I wonder if that gold "label" (for lack of a better term) seen in The Tholian Web was actually some type of seal so that Spock would know nobody had tampered with the envelope before he accessed it. It doesn't look like it goes around to the top of the envelope but I think it does wrap around the bottom.
In going back to the actual episodes (not just the screen shots I posted), it doesn't look like the label-thing goes around past the bottom edge. And certainly, when Spock sadly tosses the yellow "final orders" data tape back into the envelope, there does not appear to be a seal of any kind on the back envelope flap that had to have been broken--like breaking the tax seal on a bottle of alcohol.

I think your idea is ingenious, but ostensibly, it doesn't seem to be correct.
In going back to the actual episodes (not just the screen shots I posted), it doesn't look like the label-thing goes around past the bottom edge. And certainly, when Spock sadly tosses the yellow "final orders" data tape back into the envelope, there does not appear to be a seal of any kind on the back envelope flap that had to have been broken--like breaking the tax seal on a bottle of alcohol.

I think your idea is ingenious, but ostensibly, it doesn't seem to be correct.

Well, that's too bad. But thanks for the info!
We've seen that folks still play cards in the future but apparently the Playing Cards of The Future are round rather than rectangular. (Yes, before you get started I know we've seen rectangular playing cards too in Star Trek.)

The round ones are seen in a few different episodes. They crop up in "The Naked Time:"


...and in "Charlie X:"


...and in "The Conscience of the King:"


...and in "The Trouble with Tribbles:"


...and in "By Any Other Name:"


But the best look we get is probably in "Mudd's Women," when Eve McHuron can be seen playing "Double Jack" (not Solitaire). This is actually the very first appearance of these cards:


The gold-on-red tetraskelion oriental design on the back of the cards is a little hard to see, but here's a blow-up from that same shot:


And here's another shot from a little later in the episode:


And here are my cards. This is a '60s era vintage deck from the Jajaco Playing Card company in Japan.





"The Dead Man's Hand:"


Although only the red cards were used on Star Trek, Jajaco also made an identical set of round playing cards--identical except that the card backs were black instead of red:


Slide Show at:

wait a minute, what is that other game?

Is that 3D Checkers?!?! OMG‼‼ :guffaw: I've never noticed that before!

What's next? 3D tic-tac-toe??
I got a big kick out of seeing the Saurian Brandy bottle from "The Enemy Within" make a sudden appearance about 33 minutes into season five's Mission: Impossible episode "The Missile"--and right in front of Nimoy! LOL! Nice to see Paramount using those old Desilu props! It's also in that same year's "The Field." And this was circa 1970-71!

wait a minute, what is that other game?

Is that 3D Checkers?!?! OMG‼‼ :guffaw: I've never noticed that before!

What's next? 3D tic-tac-toe??

Yes, the 3D Tic-Tac-Toe will be next--but first, the 3D Checkers.

In 1965, the Pacific Game Company (also called Pleasantime Games) of North Hollywood, California began to produce and market a game that they called Space Checkers.


The Space Checkers game came with a large base, twelve small boards, four long spacing tubes, four small black end caps and sixteen checkers (eight red and eight black).



The large base is 8.95 inches by 8.95 inches and 0.52 inch high, molded in opaque red styrene plastic with a raised, gold-painted logo.


The spacing tubes are 8.94 inches long, with an outer diameter of 0.375 inch and an inner diameter of 0.220 inch.


The four black end caps are designed to fit onto the top ends of the vertical spacing tubes.


Each small board is 3.00 inches by 3.00 inches. Discounting the width of the narrow rims around the outer edges of the small boards, a chess or checkers player would probably consider the small boards as having one-and-a-half-inch squares.


Each small board has an overall thickness of 0.100 inch, including the rim around the entire perimeter of the board. The rim is 0.050 inch wide. The "white" squares are full-thickness, with a fine rounded-pebbling texture on the top. The "clear" squares are 0.070 inch thick; the top surface is slightly recessed below the rim. The hole in the center of each board is 0.375 inch in diameter.

The bottom of each small board is smooth, with two exceptions. One is the obvious "split collar" at the center. This collar is designed to grasp a spacing tube with a "friction fit." The two halves of the collar are molded at a slight angle, narrowing the opening at the bottom of the split collar to 0.370 inch but allowing the two halves of the collar to flex apart to the full 0.375 inch when slid into a spacing tube.

The second feature on the bottom of each small board is a small 0.185 inch diameter circular “nub” that hangs 0.050 inch down under the outer corner of one clear square, 0.050 inch from one edge and 0.070 inch from the other. There is no apparent purpose for this circle, and yet it seems to be a deliberate feature of the design, present on every board.


The checkers are 1.18 inches in diameter and 0.215 inch thick, with serrated 0.125 inch wide rims that nest when the pieces are stacked. Each piece is molded with concentric circles decorating one face and a crown on the other.


When fully assembled for a Space Checkers game, the squares alternate textured/clear in all three directions, left/right, forward/back and up/down. The game instructions indicate that the pieces play entirely on the textured squares, starting at opposing edges.


In the rare, early releases of the game, the twelve small boards were molded in clear styrene plastic. It is these clear, small boards that appear in the photo on the original box cover. In later releases, the Pacific Game Company switched to molding the small boards in the same opaque red plastic used for the base, even though the box cover photo continued to erroneously show the original clear small boards. (Caveat emptor.)

At some point after that, the Pacific Game company simplified their manufacturing even further by no longer using gold paint on the raised lettering of the large red base.


In 1971, the box cover was completely changed to feature new "mod" artwork and the photo on the box cover was changed to reflect the all-red boards.


Space Checkers makes its first appearance on-camera in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Episode 02). It is being played by the two extras behind
Mister Spock in the Briefing Lounge.



Space Checkers can be seen on-camera in all three seasons. During the first two seasons, there are occasionally two sets of Space Checkers in the same Recreation Room scene.

It can be seen in "The Naked Time" (Episode 06) in the Recreation Room:



It can be seen in "Charlie X" (Episode 07) in both the Recreation Room and in the extreme foreground in the Briefing Room:



It can be seen in the Recreation Room in "The Conscience of the King" (Episode 12)--where you can also make out the 3D Tic-Tac-Toe set at screen left:


It can be seen in "The Alternative Factor" (Episode 19):


It can be seen in two places in the Recreation Room in "The Trouble with Tribbles" (Episode 42)—at screen left in the first shot and at screen right in the second shot:



Two of them can be seen in the Recreation Room in "By Any Other Name" (Episode 50), where both game sets of Space Checkers get destroyed (rather spectacularly) during a fight between Captain Kirk and the Kelvan Rojan.



It can be seen ‘way over at screen left in "The Mark of Gideon" (Episode 72):


Lastly, there is a "cutting room floor" appearance of the Space Checkers in an unused "Party Scene" that was filmed for "I, Mudd" but not ultimately included in the final cut of the episode.



There's nothing that just screams crazy out-of-control wanton revelry like Space Checkers!

I say "lastly," but the truth is there was one other appearance. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations," Benjamin Sisko and Dax are inserted into the scene in the Recreation Room in "The Trouble with Tribbles"--the same scene in which we've already seen two sets of Space Checkers. For these "inserted" scenes, Sisko and Dax can be seen playing Space Checkers. (A keen eye can make out that this is actually not a vintage Space Checkers set. Rather, it is a reproduction of a Space Checkers set apparently made by the studio. The sizes and colors of the various components are just a little "off.")


At any rate, here are my two sets of Space Checkers. The first set is the proper set, with the clear smaller boards. This is the style used in Star Trek. These are notoriously hard to come by.


This other set is not used in Star Trek. It has the incorrect red small boards rather than the proper clear ones. These are easy to come by on ebay (but, of course, aren’t Trek-accurate).


It bears mentioning that the Three Dimensional Chess Set we see throughout Star Trek was put together by cannibalizing parts from basically two different games. The larger, main boards of the Three Dimensional Chess Set are pulled from the "Checkline" 3D Tic-Tac-Toe game set. The smaller, movable "attack boards" are pulled from one of these "Space Checkers" game sets.

For those who might be on the look out for such a Space Checkers set on ebay--beware: as I indicated above, just because the cover of the box shows clear smaller boards, the game set inside might very well contain the (incorrect) red boards. So you can’t rely on the box's artwork.

So the next time we have a Recreation Room scene, keep your eyes peeled in the background for this prop.

Slideshow is at:

(My sincere thanks to CompaniaHill at the Trek Prop Zone forum for his wonderful research and write-up of this prop.)
In 1961, the Crestline Manufacturing Company of Santa Ana, California began to make and market a game that they called Checkline: The Classic Space Tic-Tac-Toe Game.


The Checkline game came with four identical clear plastic boards, a custom plastic box with a lid and divided sections, twelve spacing tubes, four black rubber feet, a six-sided die and approximately 90 playing tokens in four different colors.



Each Checkline board has four double-sided pins molded into its corners. In the very first release of Checkline, the boards were molded with solid pins, rounded on both ends. In this mold of the board, the Checkline logo is molded raised onto the underside of the second-to-right of its bottom-row squares (as viewed from the front) and the lines indicating the separation of the squares are molded indented into the underside of the board.



Perhaps the indented lines made the boards too fragile. But for whatever reason, Crestline sold relatively few games in this style, and then soon changed their molds. In the new mold of the board, the Checkline logo is molded raised onto the top side of the second-to-left of its bottom-row squares (as viewed from the front) and the lines indicating the separation of the squares are molded raised onto the top side of the board. All Checkline sets sold for the remainder of its production run were molded in this style.


Each Checkline board is 8.00 inches by 8.00 inches and molded in hard styrene clear plastic. Discounting the width of the narrow raised lines separating the squares, a chess player would considered the boards as having essentially two-inch by two-inch squares.



Each Checkline board has an overall thickness of 0.090 inches, with the raised lines having a width of 0.110 inch and a height of 0.022 inch for a total thickness of 0.112 inches. The raised lines stop just short of the edges, and do not frame the perimeter of the board.

Each pin has an outer diameter of 0.250 inches and a length (from the board to the end of the pin) of 0.38 inch on both sides. Each pin is molded 0.250 inch from the edge of the board, which puts its center point 0.375 inch from the edge. It's important to note that each board and its four pins is one single piece of molded plastic. The pins are molded hollow, with an inner diameter of 0.150 inch, and because of the way they are molded, each pin is open at one end (square) and closed at the other end (rounded). The four square ends of the pins are on the "top" side of the board, the same side as the Checkline logo and the raised lines separating the squares. When properly assembled for a Checkline game, the four black rubber feet go on the rounded pins on the underside of the bottom-most board.


The additional boards are held apart by the spacing tubes. Early releases of Checkline used hollow acrylic spacing tubes with an inner diameter of 0.250 inch, an outer diameter of 0.362 inch and an overall length of 3.00 inches.



When Crestline changed the cover of the Checkline box, the new artwork featured a photo of the new new boards with the original acrylic spacing tubes.


The original acrylic tubes proved stiff and difficult to remove, often breaking its pin off the board, or even snapping off the entire corner of the board. Crestline soon addressed this problem, first by moving to 3-inch opaque brown tubes molded from a softer vinyl plastic, then to 3-inch solid spacing stems molded from a softer milky-white vinyl plastic in a shape with a solid cross-section for most of its length and only open on its ends. Although the cover photo continued to feature the original acrylic spacing tubes, the solid white vinyl spacing stems are by far the most common, and continued to be sold for the remainder of the game's production.





The playing tokens all seem to have been produced from the same molds, but the number and colors of the playing tokens (as well as the color of the die) varies from set to set. Each playing token is 1.125 inches in diameter and 0.080 inch thick, molded in colored vinyl with the Checkline logo on both sides. A complete boxed set will have tokens molded in four different colors, typically 30-32 pieces each of two colors and 15-16 pieces each of two additional colors. Checkline playing tokens were molded in at least fifteen different colors: white, three shades of pink, red, two shades of yellow, tan, three shades of green (including one that is mottled with red specks), aqua, two shades of blue, and black. It would not surprise me if there were more.



It is a Checkline game that is sitting on the table in The Making of Star Trek Recreation Lounge publicity photo.


This is the Checkline game that can be seen on-screen in the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Episode 02). Two extras are playing the game behind Captain Kirk, using red, yellow and blue tokens.



The Checkline game also makes appearances in two first-season production episodes, although its colorful tokens seem to have become lost as the extras are playing using red and black checkers.

"The Conscience of the King" (episode 12):



"The Alternative Factor" (episode 19):



And here are some shots of my Checkline: The Classic Space Tic-Tac-Toe Game sets:



Here's the set with the original colored playing tokens (like in "Where No Man Has Gone Before"):


Here's the set using standard checkers tokens, like in the two later Star Trek episodes:


And here's both side by side:


It bears mentioning that the clear Checkline boards were cannibalized to create the three dimensional chess set. (You can see the Checkline logo on the clear plastic three dimensional chess board in some shots--once you know where to look.) Here's the Checkline logo on one of my boards:


And you can (just barely) see the Checkline logo on the red painted square on the three dimensional chess board in this shot from "Charlie X:"


Obligatory slideshow is here:

(My sincere thanks to CompaniaHill at the Trek Prop Zone forum for his wonderful research and write-up of this prop.)

Have you covered this thing yet? Seems to be a very popular entertainment item in the 23rd Century.
Well, the real credit on documenting all the boxy table-top computer units in Trek goes to my friend Will ("feek61") over on The Trek Prop Zone ( But sometimes I help him in finding obscure background scenes where some of these boxy props can be found. At any rate, here's a write up he did of the thing he calls a "Type 3" computer. (And yes: although it was used in a variety of ways in Trek, it's earliest appearance seems to be in the Recreation Room as some kind of electronic entertainment thing of maybe a "you sunk my battleship"-style gaming console.)

The type 3 computer was a flat-topped triangular shaped grey unit that had identical controls on each angled side (with the exception of the toggles which were yellow on one side and black on the opposite side). Most likely there were two of these units. One appears to be a hero model and the other appears to be static. The control configuration on each side consists of a single raised panel with 6 staggered black buttons with silver bezels. Each of these buttons activates a light in a long frosted segmented red and green band above (separated by a narrow yellow band). On the right hand side there were two toggles and on the left side there is a large yellow light. This unit is interesting because the top was able to be modified to different configurations.


Conscience of the King

The first appearance of this prop is in the episode "Conscience of the King" during the Recreation Room scene while Lieutenant Uhura (while playing the Vulcan harp no less) is singing to Lieutenant Riley down in the enginnering room. In this configuration the prop has a long frosted rectangular section on top with six lights inside on each side (for a total of 12 lights divided by spacers). The edges of the frosted section were outlined in black. In addition on the top there is a long multi-colored segmented panel (3 rows of 21 sections) that ties into a clear round acrylic rod on each side. The acrylic rod is connected to the top of the computer by a narrower rod on each side. Two of these computers props appear together in the same configuration (we will call this configuration "A") in the "The Alternative Factor."


The Alternative Factor

The next appearance of the type 3 prop is in the episode "A Taste of Armageddon." Here we see both the presumed static and the hero props together in what we will call configuration "B." In this configuration the top parts have been removed and have been change to a triangular shaped frosted lens that covered the lights on top or these are two completly different units (which I find unlikly). Through out this episode in the council chambers we see them side-by-side but only with one lighted at a time; which we can assume that the unlit unit is static. At one point it appears that they changed them around so that the opposite unit is lit but we never see both lighted at the same time. The next appearance of the type 3 also in configuration "B" is in "Errand of Mercy" when it is depicted as a Klingon computer (which may be the static version since it is never seen lighted).



A Taste of Armageddon: Notice that only one of these is lighted at one time


Errand of Mercy

The second season debut of the type 3 (hero model) back to its original configuration ("A") is during "Who Mourns for Adonais?" when it is seen on the bridge next to the helm station. In "Amok Time" we see it in the same configuration but unlit. Also in one scene the red and green frosted area is black. This appears to be black tape installed prior to filming most likely to dampen glare from one of the over-head lights. Again the hero in configuration "A" is observed in the back-ground in the episode "Trouble with Tribbles." The next variation (configuration "C") is seen in "The Immunity Syndrome" in Kirks quarters. Configuration "C" is the same as "A" except the segmented panel and acrylic rods have been removed. A silver plug apparently was inserted into the hole where the rod was attached. The prop is getting a little beat-up by this time as you can see the paint is chipped on the edges.


Who Mourns for Adonais?



Amok Time: Notice the black tape over the panel to mask a bad light reflection


The Immunity Syndrome

Finally we see two different configurations in a single episode. In "By Any Other Name" we see both configuration "A" in the rec room with Spock and Rojan are playing chess and during the fight scene (it appears unlit in both; can we assume this is the static version?). It appears in configuration "B" in Kirks quarters. This may be the static version from "Taste of Armageddon" which would have required no change since that episode. We see the lighted hero version in configuration "A" again in Kirks quarters in the episode "The Ultimate Computer" and also in "The Omega Glory" as part of McCoy's medical equipment.



By Any Other Name


The Omega Glory

It makes it first appearance in the third season in "And the Children Shall Lead" where we see configuration "A" in the background: unlighted. The next appearance is of the hero version in the same configuration "A" in "Day of the Dove" where the Klingons bring up the diagram of the ship.

The last time we see this prop is in "Wink of an Eye" in Kirks quarters also in configuration "A." I suspect that there were only 2 type 3 computers; a hero and a static version and the tops were changed to the "B" configuration (or "C") when needed. There is no way of knowing for certain.


Day of the Dove

So, the Type 3 computer appears in these episodes:

13 - Conscience of the King
20 - Alternative Factor
23 – A Taste of Armageddon
27 – Errand of Mercy
33 – Who Mourns for Adonais?
34 – Amok Time
42 – Trouble with Tribbles
48 – Immunity Syndrome
50 – By Any Other Name
53 – The Ultimate Computer
54 – The Omega Glory
60 – And the Children Shall Lead
66 – Day of the Dove
68 – Wink of an Eye
Have you made yourself a reader tube?

Do I have a "reader tube?" Sure. As a Registered Nurse in real life (well, as real as my life gets), I focused first on acquiring the various medical- and Sick Bay-related props and set decorations.

(Here's a repost from the Star Trek Phase II forum about Dr. McCoy's "reader tubes." All these prop write-ups I've done--and so many more--are over on that forum for those who are interested.)

There is a medical/surgical instrument that Dr. McCoy has used a couple of times that didn’t get too much screen time. The name of the device isn’t known for certain, but the book The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry calls the device a "Reader Tube (for Field Use)." There is even a black and white photograph of this device in that book:


Like many of the photographs in The Making of Star Trek, the names of the various items photographed by Mr. Whitfield aren’t always the best names or really very accurate descriptions for the props as they were used on the series. Also, the black and white photographs were often cropped and/or matted poorly leading to a poor understanding of what the prop actually looked like.

You can see from the photograph that the device appears to be a long cylinder with a point at one end. Actually, that’s not the case. The device is just a cylinder—flat at both ends. The lighting on this prop is casting a small shadow at one end that makes it look like there is a pointed tip.

The first look we get at this device is in "Space Seed." It can be seen lying on the surgical instrument tray as Dr. McCoy and his nurse work on Khan:


Its next appearance is in "Journey to Babel." It’s lying on the tray of surgical instruments as Dr. McCoy and Nurse Chapel work on Ambassador Sarek:


Here’s a blow-up of that shot:


You can see that the four squarish buttons/lights on this device are colored, in order: green, red, blue, and yellow.

Clearly, the Reader Tube device/instrument isn’t used just out in the field. It’s also used in Sickbay during surgeries. Christine Chapel hands the device/instrument to Dr. McCoy and he uses it during Sarek’s surgery:


You can also make it out (just barely) lying on an instrument tray next to Ensign Rizzo in Sick Bay:


Dr. McCoy uses it again in "Return to Tomorrow," although we don’t get a very good look at it:


And here’s a blow-up:


The best look we get at this device is in "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"—and we actually get a pretty good look at it twice in that episode. In one shot, Mister Spock uses the device to remove the "Instrument of Obedience" from Dr. McCoy’s right temple, just below the skin:


And here’s a blow-up to show that at some point since its appearance in "Journey to Babel," the bottom two button/lights have been switched. Now, blue is at the very bottom instead of yellow.


We see the device again in a pretty good close-up when Dr. McCoy needs to remove the "Instrument of Obedience" from High Priestess Natira’s right temple:


It’s in this shot that we get a close enough look at the device to determine that that both ends are flat; there’s no point at either end. You can also see that Mister Spock pulls the device from the lower compartment of his tricorder. So this device does indeed seem to have some use in the field

The Reader Tube gets one more appearance: in "The Lights of Zetar:"


You can also see the Reader Tube in a third season publicity photo. It's lying on Dr. McCoy's surgical tray of instruments, right in front--although the colored button/light things are on the far side away from the camera, so you can't really see them. But you can see that both ends of the device are flat--not pointed.


And here's a blow-up of that shot:


Actually, there was one more appearance of this device—sort of. In the animated episode "The Infinite Vulcan," Dr. McCoy uses a similar instrument to treat an injured Lieutenant Sulu on the planet Phylos. The animated version of this device has the same four squarish buttons/lights on the cylinder—but now they are all red. Also, the device has a point on one end—just as the picture in The Making of StarTrek deceptively appears to show:


And here are my Reader tubes:


As you can see, I had one made with a yellow button/light at the bottom end (like in "Journey to Babel") and I had one made where the blue and yellow button/lights are switched (like in "For the World I Hollow..."). I even had a third one made—with a point and with four red button/lights like in "The Infinite Vulcan." So, as I occasionally do, I'm slipping in a prop seen only in an animated Star Trek episode.

They aren’t much to look at—but they are colorful.

Questions and comments are always welcome.

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