What is the purpose of Voyager's miniature transporter?

In Voyager’s transporter room, there is an alcove on the side, and embedded in the wall is what appears to be a small transporter pad. I don’t believe anyone is ever shown interacting with this, so there’s no definitive explanation for what it is. Assuming it is what it appears to be, what would be the purpose of a very small transporter like this?

@dylanTheDeveloper@lemmy.world avatar

Uber eats


It’s the transporter play set, in stores now!


Just don’t leave your hand in it while running it!

@khaosworks@startrek.website avatar

It’s a replicator. The transporter waveguides at the back are common in Intrepid-class replicators. You can see a smaller one in Janeway’s quarters.

Under the replicator is supposed to be an equipment storage locker (according to the Star Trek Fact Files and the USS Voyager Illustrated Handbook), so it’s likely for creating extra away team equipment. It may also be for food - we see a food dispensing slot in the USS Enterprise transporter room in TOS: “Tomorrow is Yesterday”.


it’s the pattern buffer. Neelix tries to touch it in some very early episode, and Tuvok intimates that doing so might kill him in some terrible way. it’s not unusual to see technicians fiddling with it while in the background of scenes.

@FarceMultiplier@lemmy.ca avatar

Uber Eats: The Next Generation


Is that not a replicator?


It’s a replicator.


Very small rocks?

@NewEnglandRedshirt@lemmy.world avatar

A duck!


For beaming down snacks? Can’t have your main transporter getting covered in the smell of weird leftovers.


The old method of the site to site transport was to send them to the transporter room then out to the destination, but at some point that wasn't referenced anymore. I assumed this was the component that automated that process but without having to rematerialize at all, my same head-canon for the hidden back room on TNG(?).


The TNG tech manual says they go through the pattern buffer, which is under the pads- no rematerialization required.


My best guess is that it’s either for samples from the surface (though we have seen multiple cases where those were beamed directly onto the main pad or in the cargo hold)


possibly a tools or weapons grade replicator.

The transporter is a vital component on the ship like the engines and requires constant maintenance so maybe they figured it was easier just to have something like that in there to make quick/easy access for replicating the tools they needed when/as they needed it instead of lugging it around.


One possibility I just thought of is the 24th century version of a vacuum tube system, but if that were the case I would expect them to be on key locations all over the ship (engineering, sick bay, the bridge, ready room, etc.) and I don’t think there are any others shown on the ship.


I’m struggling for a non shitpost response to be perfectly honest. Voyager was a science vessel… so Perhaps some sample return with quarantine?


That’s actually not a bad thought. Some kind of special sample transporter is certainly a possibility. It would be easier to set up a containment field around the smaller platform.


I’d agree if it wasn’t for Tuvix.


Perhaps it was not an expected hazardous sample / the transporter chief was not notified the sample was present.


That's exactly the thought I had about it. (The sample return part.)

Perhaps also with a small containment field with its own power supply? Thus the smaller size would allow for more efficient use of such a field, whether by allowing it to be more secure while using the same power as a larger field or to sustain a smaller field for a longer time in cases of general power failure?

@jrs100000@lemmy.world avatar

You could also safely hold a sample without stranding the away team in the event containment had to activate.


Wow good eye. Without looking too I depth, maybe for emergencies if the main is being used?


It’s about the size of a replicator, so emergency use is probably not likely.



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  • bestnerd,

    Oh I couldn’t really see the stand or whatever. Maybe it for supplies on away missions


    Oh I couldn’t really see the stand or whatever. Maybe it for supplies on away missions


    You’re misunderstanding. It’s not to prevent emergencies, it’s to create them 👍

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