Ta Da!

Presenting a more accurate version of the fanned keyboard

Fan like spread with accordion like buttons.

I say “ta da,” but perhaps I should say “do re me?” I just recently recalled another thing these buttons remind be of besides Lite-Brite toy art. Their layout is very similar to the Stradella bass button system used to play chords on modern accordions. I actually don’t fully understand what that means per se.  I’m no musician much less an accordion player, but I’ve always been fond of the idea that Trek consoles utilize similar methods to help stretch the meaningful functionality out of button based consoles.

I increased the number of peg rows in each of the four columned groups to seven instead of the five visible on the Phase Two set plans.  Getting them into a configuration that better matches screen caps was also a bit of a task, and I had to increase the size of the underlying base a little to squeeze everything in place.  This is probably my final version, though.  Considering the two reference types have noticeable differences in both the peg patterns as well as the text placement, it wasn’t too far a liberty to take.   I did add a few indicator lights depicted in the plans even though I have no images (screen capture or otherwise) backing up their realization in the final product.  The navigation station’s version does have the little cross shapes there and about, so it is possible they are there though not lit well enough to be seen.  I also corrected some text, replacing all instances of a misinterpreted “RETRY” with “RETRV“, presumably an abbreviation for “retrieve”.

Another step back view with adjustments and new components.

I also cannibalized the “Internal Communications” panel (lower center) from the communications console to make the science console’s version (far left).  Most consoles have at least a small version of this panel, but the communications and science stations are clearly more reliant on this feature.  The science station’s is slightly different with only two sets of toggles but employing more indicator lights on the base panel.  It even has a slide controller at it’s far right.  It’s neither perfectly accurate or yet finished, but it’s a start.  I have to correct the lower text labels (should be a single label shared by both sets of toggles) and add some text labels below the slide control.

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~ by starstation on August 27, 2012.

5 Responses to “Ta Da!”

  1. Graphic designer Lee Cole was interviewed for a ST:TMP Director’s Edition DVD feature, and she noted her accordian lessons as inspiration for the controls, especially the red “home” buttons in the middle of the sets.

    Still, it’s a wonder the crew can see such tiny controls when the ship is rocked about by an adversary!

    • I may have actually heard that before somewhere and had it buried in my subconscious, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind when the rendering was done. It had me Googling accordions almost immediately. 😀

      I suspect these controls are not necessarily priority but more akin to computer library access and the like. Many stations have small sets of them, but the fact that the science and navigation stations are the only ones with these giant fan shapes is an interesting detail. They are almost certainly intended as a means of complex data input and access, so they go very well with a station like navigation, which requires maps and coordinates to plot courses, as well as a science station, that regularly surveys and logs an enormous host of interstellar phenomena. The other stations that have them almost all certainly need some form of pin point accuracy in their assigned duties (helm, weapons & defense, transporter room), but I’ve always found it curious that the communications station is one of the few that don’t have any such panels.

      • Lo and behold, I went back to the reference drawings I used for these consoles and took a peek at the descriptive pages that go with the images (haven’t looked at those in years). Sure enough, there is direct mention in the descriptions of “accordion buttons” and they are primarily referred to as “computer interface” on most stations that have them. However, they are labeled “computer library keyboard” on the science station.

        I’d forgotten all about the descriptive pages, but I’m glad I gave them a look, since they have more labels that I haven’t been able to decipher yet. 😀

  2. Fantastic!!

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