Control Console

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A Control Console combines Control Panels and display devices that allow operator input and provide feedback.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Interior fittings: Deck plans typically show various furnishings and fittings which appear within the ship.[1] Furniture hinders movement and may, in some instances, blocks sighting and weapon fire as well.[2]

Control Consoles: Those provided with chairs are low banks of controls and displays. Each console has a specific function; the crewperson should feel free to designate the functions monitored from a particular console where these are not already designated or obvious.[3]

Stand-up consoles are set higher and are normally monitor panels not intended for constant use.[4]

The practical operation of a ship would be impossible without an extensive network of controls. Almost every mechanism on a ship has one or more control panels, input-output devices attached directly to the item. For convenience and accessibility these control panels are mounted in consoles, forming workstations for the crew.

Console Types[edit]

A console is a unit containing interconnected hardware. This typically consists of a housing, which may be as small as a wall panel or a desk or may be a walk-in area as large as a stateroom. The surface or exterior of the housing mounts one or more control panels, along with any input devices such as keyboards or levers and associated data feedback equipment such as display screens or gauges. The interior of the console contains a complex network of mechanical connectors, piping, cabling, linkages and relays, power supplies, and electronic equipment.

There are three main types of Console:

General Console
A General Console allows the user to interact with data for administrative purposes. The ship's computer provides access to common office activities: language use, math, communications, information, and entertainment.

  • A General Console may also be referred to as a Data Station.

Operating Console
An Operating Console allows the user to monitor the activities of a mechanism or system and to make adjustments to its operation. Operating Consoles are best adapted to mechanisms which operate continuously, and whose operation must be adjusted for efficiency or for changed circumstances.

Command Console
A Command Console allows specialized input to the ship's control systems or computer with special interfaces: a yolk, joystick, steering wheel, or tiller to convert fine hand or manipulator motions to control signals. It may have foot or ped controls to allow additional simultaneous input.

  • A pilot's position is always laid out as a Command Console.

Console Sizes[edit]

Consoles come in a variety of sizes, determined by need and by the space available. The following units are representative:

A Console is permanently installed in place as part of a Workstation: it cannot be moved to other locations. The Console is related to the size of the User; while the volume occupied by its mechanical components or electronic equipment may be quite small, the Console itself must be large enough to accommodate displays and input devices as well as the user.

Display Types[edit]

A console may be augmented with improved data displays.

Heads-up Displays:
The device displays information in pictoral form in the operator's field of view, which avoids the need for the operator to look at separate panels or screens.

  • A basic heads-up display projects an image in the operator's eyeline. It will generally follow the operator's eye position but can be locked in place. It is available at TL-9
  • The holographic version displays readings and output in an interactive 3D form. It is available at TL-13.

Large Holodisplay.

  • A large holodisplay/plotter unit used for showing all manner of 3D tactical, trajectory, flight path, and sensor information, as well as displaying 3D communications and recordings. It is available at TL-12

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.[5] 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. [6]

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Consoles are touch screen interfaces with analogue keyboards as backup and in the case of a Pilots Console may have a physical joystick and throttle lever. Higher Tech Level Consoles will have voice control features and may even have some limited AI response system. [7]

A console base C+S is equal to the ship's Tech Level. This is shared out between its various functions. So, a typical pilot's Consoles on a TL-9 Ship could allocate 3 to each Power Plant, Maneuver Drive and Sensor functions when not directly controlled by the pilot. Although it would probably be better as 5 for Sensors, 3 for Maneuver Drive and 1 for the Power Plant during easy/routine operations. [8]

Expected Console Development Sequence[edit]


References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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): 5.
  2. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 6.
  3. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 5.
  4. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 5.
  5. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 6.
  6. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  7. An unpublished factoid written by Eric Lyon-Taylor
  8. An unpublished factoid written by Eric Lyon-Taylor