Control Panel

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A Control Panel is a device that monitors or controls a mechanism.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

A mechanism is any of the devices, drives, sensors, weapons, defenses, or other installations which equip a ship.

The control panel is the interface between mechanisms and the crew. A control panel includes data output (such as a visual and audio display screen adapted to the sensory needs of the user) coupled with data input devices (touch and sound responsive).

Computer Control Standards[edit]

Computer Controls: In almost all cases where the ship's computer can control a given ship function (gravity, doors, etc.), orders fed in at the central bridge computer take precedence over those fed in at local controls. Only if the computer is inoperative will a computer override be ineffective.[1] Some ships have been known to be built with a different system set-up, but this arrangement is commonplace on most vessels within Charted Space. [2]

Control Panel Types[edit]

Control panels are directly linked to the mechanism, device or system that they control. They are either mounted on the mechanism itself or housed in a console.

  • A general rule of thumb is that a separate control panel is required for approximately every 500m³ of volume of a mechanism.
  • A control panel that includes "Linked" within its name has a physical connection to the ship's computer.

Mechanical Control Panels[edit]

  • A basic mechanical control panel has wheels, knobs, levers, switches, and rudimentary readouts typically consisting of gauges and dials. It is available from TL-5.
    • Some very advanced mechanisms have basic mechanical controls as a failsafe cutoff mechanism.
  • An enhanced mechanical control panel has sophisticated controls capable of very precise settings and includes a variety of operator aids such as power assistance. It provides a broad range of data feedback and readouts in the form of gauges, dials, lights, and audio alerts. It is available from TL-6.

Electronic Control Panels[edit]

  • Electronic: An electronic control panel contains its own internal computer processor. It typically includes electromechanical controls, such as a joystick, and computer interfaces such as pressure pads or keyboards. It has a combination of detailed flat 2D computer displays, sophisticated mechanical displays, and digital electronic gauges and readouts. It is available from TL-7 and includes data ports.
    • Electronic Linked control panels are available from TL-8 and include data ports.

Computer Linked Control Panels[edit]

They are an evolution of electronic linked control panels. They have sophisticated software, voice control and voders, movement-sensitive interfaces and other advanced features. They are available from TL-9 and include data ports.

Dynamic Control Panel[edit]

A dynamically configurable control panel that includes electromechanical controls, such as a joystick, and computer interfaces. It has a combination of detailed flat 2D computer displays and digital electronic gauges and readouts. The operator may reconfigure the controls at a moment's notice. It is linked to the ship's computer. It is available at TL-10 and includes data ports.

Holographic Control Panel[edit]

A holographic control panel is fully interactive, containing both electromechanical controls and dynamically configurable 3D controls. The operator may reconfigure the controls at a moment's notice. It is linked to the ship's computer. It is available at TL-13 and includes data ports.

A linked control panel has a hard connection to the ship's computer.

Data Ports[edit]

  • A Data Port is a physical interface for connecting cables; it typically includes a wireless connection. A Data Port by itself cannot be used to control a mechanism; it is a connection between the mechanism and some other device.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

A crew workstation consists of a combination of one or more control panels and displays housed in a control console and including a seat (which is often an acceleration couch).

Different cultures and sophont societies have different standards and expectations of what a bridge, cockpit, or crew station will look like. Each of the major races have their own style and expectations.

Control Panel Development Sequence[edit]

Technological Overview of Control Panel Evolution[edit]

No information yet available.

TL:1-3:
No information yet available.

TL:4-6:
No information yet available.

TL:7-9:
No information yet available.

TL:10-12:
No information yet available.

TL:13-15:
No information yet available.

TL:16-18:
No information yet available.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 6.
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak