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Shipboard lighting during power outage

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:01 am
by Robert_V_Frazier
Hi, new reader here. I'm hooked for the long haul, working my way through the archives. Hard to believe I just found out about Crimson Dark this week! Better late than never.

Anyway, reading Chapter 06: Page 23, the ship's power is out. How can we see the characters?
No fire means no light source, so technically speaking the final panel should have simply been pure black. This would have saved me some effort, but webcomics are a fundamentally visual medium so I hope you'll forgive a little artistic license on my part. Just imagine that you, dear reader, have special night-vision augs, which allow you to see in a perfectly dark room.
There's no artistic license necessary. Even in the twentieth century, military ships have battery-powered lamps installed in nearly every compartment and passageway, and especially in the important ones, such as the one Whisper and Kari are stuck in. These lamps are connected to the ship's power, which keeps a small electronic relay open. In the event of a power outage, the relay loses power, and a switch closes, allowing the battery to light the lamp. The lamp stays on until the battery dies or ship's power is restored, whichever comes first. I was in the U.S. Navy for six years, and part of my job was maintaining these lamps.

You can also see lamps with the same design in most hotels, if you know what you're looking for.

HERE is a typical civilian model.

Such lamps are very cheap insurance for maintaining visibility in the event of a loss of power, and I expect no spaceship would ever be without them. Apologies to everyone if this has already been brought up and I'm dredging up old news.

Robert V Frazier

Also, talking during a power outage

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:19 am
by Robert_V_Frazier
Chapter 06: Page 34

Even in the twentieth century, there were voice-powered telephone systems in Navy ships. Yes, the act of speaking into them generates enough electricity to power the receiver at the other end. Just to be extra-geeky, the part you talk into and the part you listen to are interchangeable. They aren't very loud, and the maximum range isn't very far, but they work fine on board a ship, even one two and a half city blocks long, which my ship was. They don't use ship's power, nor need it, so they work as well in a power outage as ever. Better, since there's much less background noise to deal with.

Robert V Frazier

Re: Shipboard lighting during power outage

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:27 am
by David
Very interesting, thanks for that!

I should point out that Niobe isn't a military ship, it's a luxury yacht with civlian mods. Eve if she once had emergency lighting (and Hal does complain about its absence), it probably died decades ago.

Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:00 am
by Some Useless Geek
[comment deleted]

Re: Shipboard lighting during power outage

Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:12 pm
by Vile
Ah, but! :ugeek:

Crimson Dark clearly assumes that humanity must have left health & safety regulations behind at some point. If not, by the 27th century everyone would be cocooned in padded rooms slurping non-allergenic yogurt through rubber straws ...

Re: Shipboard lighting during power outage

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:35 pm
by Goran Thrax
As I recall, all the ship systems were knocked off-line by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) which literally cooks electronics. Yes, the Niobe may be old, but the engines and bridge systems would no doubt be shielded against an EMP. As we saw, they were able to get the ship running again, and restore power even with significant damage to certain systems.

Having said that, would you really expect emergency lights, especially civilian emergency lights to be shielded against an EMP so massive it can knock out the entire ship's power system? I mean sure, that would be ideal but it seems unlikely.

I would rather think that we, the the clairvoyant observers of the events transpiring aboard the Niobe, are just equipped with milspec night vision goggles. ;)

Goran Thrax