sehlat on June 02, 2010, 01:57:26 pm
So why is it that the Nacyl (and presumably the people inside the big field that encloses Luna) can operate electronics inside the field, but the fields of the Monopolity etc. don't permit that? What advantage is gained by running blind without radar or other aids? Not to mention not having speed-of-light weapons available?

Scott on June 02, 2010, 08:14:48 pm
To put it simply, Nacyl technology is far advanced of human technology. Even the human technology of the Coordinated Arm, which is a fair bit ahead of Cluster-human tech. (For example, Tarrant's ship the Kestrel can have electronics functioning within its sector-field.)

Consider radio. Now consider what could be done with it in the 1930s, compared with what can be done with it today. It's all in the details of application, and the discovery of hitherto unknown properties of the phenomenon.

sehlat on June 20, 2010, 11:19:41 pm
Thank you. I'm curious about one thing: everybody had to power down their suits when the Resplendent Quetzal's sector-field was activated(43). In all the "outside the ship" drawings, the sector-field extends well below the base of the ship(126/2).

In (127/1), Bretta is presumably simulating an attack on the Sweek Lestvoh by using an external access hatch while wearing an active space suit, presumably with at least the electrical components of her life-support turned on. No boom.

This is an inconsistency, as far as I can tell from currently-available information. Purely-mechanical life support controls strike me as possible, if very very difficult, but none of them have been mentioned.

Scott on June 25, 2010, 12:48:23 am
Yeah, you caught us on that one. Maybe at that particular time Quetzal had her sector-field powered down while Moonkatz ran a test of the tachyon engines, or something. Or, not. I'll have to ask Neil about that one.

dough560 on June 28, 2010, 11:39:33 am
Simple answer.  Suit electronics turned off during the operation.  The suit would contain several minutes of sustainable atmosphere.

Scott on June 30, 2010, 11:41:19 am
Yeah, possibly, but I went back over the script and it didn't say whether Bretta had her helmet on or off in that scene. So, to simplify matters I have re-done the scene, with her helmet swung back.

libertymonkey on December 06, 2010, 09:24:26 am
This one's a little late, but here's an idea for non-electical energy in a sector-field:

If I have the physics correct, any electrical current in a sector-field causes some sort of violent reaction.

Prior to flight, with the sector-field down, electric motors could be used to spin up many counter-rotating flywheel pairs to a very high rpm.  Since they are counter-rotating and very close, net rotating inertia would be zero (keeping the ship from becoming a giant gyroscope).  The flywheel pairs could then drive any type of mechanical pumps and compressors with simple transmissions.

One could also use a transmission to dump rotating energy from all of the clockwise flywheels into their paired counter-clockwise flywheels (or vice-versa).  To conserve rotating inertia the entire ship would rotate, assisting in spinning up the ship to attack other ships.

Lastly, in battle a vessel full of high-rpm flywheels would come apart in a dramatic fashion once structural integrity was compromised.

Scott on December 12, 2010, 12:53:03 pm
That's an interesting conjecture, and I can't find anything obviously wrong with it.

In lieu of electronics, a variety of sometimes fairly elaborate steam-powered engines are usually employed, with lighting generated when needed by photo-chemicals.

Of course, the nacyl have found a way to use electronics within sector-fields, so there are clearly other as yet un-developed possibilities with the technology.