Two notes: (1) Is it mentioned in an episode that combadges have an idle mode? I don't think this is supported alone by the fact that officers tap the badges, which doesn't always seem consistent. (2) Don't all modern combadges have a universal translator? -- Mjwilco 23:50, 30 Aug 2004 (CEST)

(1) I never heard it mentioned in an episode if combadges have a idle mode. I found this in the TNG Tech Manual. The canon policy is still unclear on the use of the TNG Tech manual as a reference. (2) I also never heard mentioned that a combadge contains a universal translator. The TNG Tech Manual says it is an sophisticated computer program but not where it is run. A conclusion would be that being a sophisticated program a combadge simply does not have the 'power' to run it, so it might serve as a link to the main computer where the actual program is running. But this is guess work. This is the problem with most of the technical equipment used, in episodes there are only using it not explaining how it works. Q 19:25, 31 Aug 2004 (CEST)
(2) Considering the vague properties of the universal translator, I don't think we'll ever know. Obviously it must have one built-in, as our stranded heroes have often conversed with new alien species while being stranded from their ship/tricorder/other computer. But that can also be explained as dramatic license. Quanta 7 Jan 2005
The fact that the translator is in the combadge is mentioned on several Technical manuals, but the only strictly canon reference I can think of would be Janeway saying "we have universal translators, which can make us hear your language" or something like that, and pointing to her combadge in "The 37's". - AJHalliwell 03:19, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Yes I remember that the Japanese guy states that everyone is speaking Japanese, and what not, and she does motion to the combadge. Which rules out it being the tricorder, though how it ever works makes no sense because it does do a neural link to each person so i think we will just give it creative leeway for the sake of making a show- Kahless 03:51, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Combadge access Edit

It states that only the wearer of a combadge can use the badge. However this is not true. On several episodes another person, often non-starfleet personnel use a combadge to contact help. Often when the wearer of the badge needs medical help. They do not remove the badge from them, they simply use it.

I can't remember the episode, but I can give an example from TNG. A visitor aboard the Enterprise uses the combadge of their tour guide to alert sickbay of a medical emergency when their guide pasted out. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Benjrh (talk • contribs).

I can't think of this episode, nor many episodes with tour guides... Although, other citations would include when Seska took over the ship, all the Kazon wore the starfleet combadges. So did Verad Dax and his band of mercenaries. So evidence would seem to prove to the contrary. - AJHalliwell 03:19, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)
In one TNG episode (sadly, I don't remember which) a dead crewman's combadge only becomes usable after the crewman's own hand is used to activate it, circumventing the protection of the integrated 'dermal sensor'. I believe the episode is cited under the combadge or communicator entry in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. 23:40, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
In the Voyager episode Renaissance Man, the Doctor uses the combadges of different bridge officers he is impersonating. I suppose he was still wearing at at the time, but the combadges did not belong to him. 20:13, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Also at the end of the Voyager episode Meld after Tuvok fails to execute Lon Suder and passes out from the exertion, Suder uses his combadge to call the bridge to alert them of it. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Tech ManualEdit

I was under the impression that the Tech Manual was not a citeable source -Kahless 03:10, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)

So noted, and removed. - AJHalliwell 03:19, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)
The tech manual information taken from the page could be cited below the corresponding paragraph in italics or at the bottom of the page in a Background section and did not necessarily need to be removed. --Alan del Beccio 10:36, 28 Jul 2005 (UTC)

"For The Uniform" Edit

I saw "For The Uniform" used as a citation. Didn't O'Brien say that combadges wouldn't work on the Defiant' because of the computer's core being knocked off-line by Eddington's cascade virus? I only bring it up because I just saw that episode on Thursday or Friday and it's still fresh in my mind. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The various Tech Manuals go into more detail on this, but communicators act like a cellphone network -- if the central network fails, the extended transmission capability is off, leaving only the "walkie talkie" option, which is communicator-to-communicator contact, which is limited to shorter ranges, and easily disrupted by warp cores and radiation sources.
Basically, if the ship's computer is off, the communicators are only good for orbital communication, and might be unreliable aboard a space vessel without its own internal network being on. that's why Picard can tap his communicator in the Bynar space and have the computer put him live to Starbase 74, but if you were trapped on a planet with no ship nearby you couldnt call much further than orbit. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 01:18, 3 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Odo's combage Edit

I was wondering if we shouldn't add something about Odo's badge. Is it a real one? When odo shapes to another form, the badge seems to change shape of color like the rest of odo. Sounds like it's not a badge, but part of him, like the uniform. But it's working! When he morphs into a dog, he could hide the badge into his body, but in some instance it's impossible, for instance in vortex, when he turns himself into a drinking glass. --Rami 21:59, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure his badge was always a part of him, obviously excluding when he wasn't a changeling. He has managed to disguise himself as Starfleet cases and equipment before, so he should be able to mimic the circuitry of a comm badge. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).
I always assumed he had some sort of microchip that he carried in his body for communication, and just created a comm badge around it, but that is only my own speculation. There is nothing in canon giving any answer, so we should leave it a mystery in the article as well. -- Jaz talk 19:42, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Or, dare we even think it, maybe it's much simpler. The fact that it appears that the badge morphing with him seems to support that it's just an affectation. And yet we see him countless times throughout the series using it to contact others. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the producers and writers are just so silly that they didn't expect us to pick up on that. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Locating crewmembers Edit

At some occasions, it is signified that the computer pinpoints the combadge to locate an officer (for example, when someone removes one's combadge and the computer reports the location of the officer erroneously as the location of the deserted badge; it happened in a DS9 episode). At other occasions, however, the computer seems to locate an individual on a genetic level or something (for example, in TNG episode "Identity Crisis", Geordi is mistakenly reported as absent from the ship because a "parasite" has altered his DNA; also, the crew has, at times, asked the computer to locate civilians and other people without Starfleet combadges). Is this issue addressed anywhere? Could we address it?

TNG's "Reunion" shows another example of the combadge NOT being used to locate crewmembers. Lieutenant Worf takes off his badge to chase his mate's murderer to his own ship. The computer subsequently signifies that Worf is off the ship, despite the fact that his badge lies in personal quarters. List other examples here of either variations. --Liberlogos 02:28, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

In "Once Upon a Time" (VOY), Neelix can't find Naomi Wildman because she's left her combadge in her quarters and the computer reports her being there. - 21:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
More specifically, Naomi puts her combadge on her Flotter doll. -- Miranda Jackson (Talk) 21:53, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
In "Renaissance Man", The Doctor steals the crewmembers' combadges and uses them. They weren't located, but that doesn't mean that anybody tried to do so. I also remember a different time when the ship (don't remember which one) tried to beam over someone who had taken off the combadge, but only got their combadge. It showed a close-up of only the badge being beamed. My guess is that, as a default, the computer uses the badge to find the location, if there is one. The computer would only use a bio-scanner if there was a problem with the combadge method (not being found is not a problem). Not sure, of course. -Platypus Man | Talk 06:27, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
The episode with the combadges only being materialised is called VOY: "Investigations" bjorn98009_91 22:28, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes but that being said, we go back to the Worf example from the TNG episode Reunion. When he left the Enterprise, he left the badge behind. By your logic the computer should have reported him as still being on the ship, if it uses the badges by default and the bio signatures only if the badge is faulty. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The computer will likely apply some logic to the location process, taking the requested name and running a series of checks; first it would check boarding/disembarkation logs to see if they're aboard ship (this explains Worf in "Reunion"), then if they have been issued a combadge, if they have it would check ODN logs to see the last 'access point' the combadge connected to (this explains the 'deserted combadge' tactic), if they haven't been issued a combadge it would either check internal sensor logs to find the last recorded location of the persons biometrics or scan the entire vessel for the biometrics of the person in question. MikeWard1701 (talk) 02:08, February 16, 2013 (UTC)

I also recall in one TNG episode, the computer will automatically provide an update to requested information if that information changes within a certain time-frame from the request. In the episode, someone requests anothers location and the computer states their location, a moment later, the computer then states "New information, X is no longer aboard the Enterprise". MikeWard1701 (talk) 02:10, February 16, 2013 (UTC)

In the replying to the 'how it is attached' section below, I remembered that in all the instances where we see people remove or attach a combadge, it's accompanied by a very short electronic chirp sound, similar to when the badge is pressed. Could this be evidence that removing/attaching the badge alters its operating state in some way? If so, it calls into question how someone could use the 'derseted combadge' tactic. MikeWard1701 (talk) 02:51, February 16, 2013 (UTC)

How is it attached? Edit

Has it ever been talked about how a combadge (or Rank Pips, portable Holo-emitter, various attachable medical monitors) are attached to clothing? If so, do you think its worth mentioning in the article (I do, I came to this article with that question in mind) 17:08, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

It's never stated in 'canon' how it is done, but for costuming, they are attached with velcro as shown through the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. :) - Adm. Enzo Aquarius...I'm listening 17:11, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I even once read that they had two versions, one velcro-attached and another attached with a strong magnet - you can see the latter in the DS9 episode where Dax meets his/her former love and Sisko brings her upside down badge into the right position on the dress uniform again. They used the velcro version most of the time when the combadge didn't have to be removed for script reasons.--Emissary77 14:47, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't recall it ever being mentioned on screen how devices like these attach to clothing/skin/other objects, but given current (2013) technology and research of micro-adhesives, nanotechnology, and how certain animals (insects, spiders, lizards etc.) achieve such high coefficients of friction, its likely any of these methods could be used. It's possible they could also use magnetism, magnetic fibres woven into clothing would allow it to attach, and conductive/capacitive fibres could provide some additional benefits, such as acting as an antenna, or keeping the device powered using body capacitance. MikeWard1701 (talk) 02:42, February 16, 2013 (UTC)

500km? Edit

I realize that 500 kilometers was stated as the normal range for a combadge to function on the show, but it seems to me this was a serious script error, considering even low earth orbit is typically around 200 to 2000 kilometers. Crew members would almost never be able to contact the ship unless it dipped down dangerously close to the surface! Gregly 15:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

The ST:TNG Technical Manual made note of this in its entry on communicators, explaining that thr orbiting starship must play the "higher power role" (or something) by amplifying the weak inbound badge signal. FWIW. 18:08, September 19, 2015 (UTC)RapidNadion

Communication Edit

How does the computer know to whom a person who uses the communicator is going to talk to? For example if Captain Sisko says: "Sisko to Odo!", how is it possible, that only Odo's communicator recieves that transmission? It seems to me that only a connection to Captain Sisko's brain could make that possible, which, however, seems highly unlikely... The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

I thought of this just last night, and I figured it recorded what they say, then sends the recording to the correct person, then establishes the connection. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Larger combadge? Edit

Kitface recently added a claim that the combadge prop initially used in TNG was larger than the one used in later seasons. Assuming that this isn't talking about the design change that was introduced in Star Trek Generations, is this accurate? I was reluctant to revert the addition, as this could just be something I'd never noticed before; but I'm not sure what this is referring to. —Josiah Rowe 16:20, October 8, 2010 (UTC)

I've recently been watching the first season of TNG, and maybe it's because the uniform is tighter, but the combadge appears to take up more space than in later seasons. And I was talking about the one with the oval back, rather than the rectangular one. You'll probably see what I mean if you watch them. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, but it seems like it's bigger. 17:08, October 8, 2010 (UTC) ah, sorry. I forgot to login on my phone :( Kitface 17:10, October 8, 2010 (UTC)

Your perception may be right, but that seems like somewhat tenuous evidence. Perhaps we should park the observation here on the talk page until we can get confirmation, either from screencaps or some behind-the-scenes production information, that the prop changed. —Josiah Rowe 19:48, October 8, 2010 (UTC)

Alright, but I only said it seemed larger. Meaning it might not be, but it looks like it could be. Kitface 19:55, October 8, 2010 (UTC)

Maybe somebody else can chime in on this: I don't want to remove potentially useful information, but we shouldn't be putting too much speculation into articles either. I'm not sure which side of the line this falls on. —Josiah Rowe 20:01, October 8, 2010 (UTC)

Rectangle? Edit

I'm not sure "rectangle" is the right description for the background shape behind the arrowhead (or as it is sometimes called, the Delta Shield). The on-screen version clearly does not have any parallel line segments or right angles, and a rectangle is a shape composed of two sets of parallel line segments connected at right angles. A very close look at the gold-colored background shape shows that the top is either two upward-sloping line segments connected to the side segments at equal but inverse obtuse angles, or a very gentle arc connecting the side segments, and that the bottom is the inverse of the top, or close to it.

The side segments are not parallel either, but angled inward from the bottom to the top at equal inverse angles. This raises several possible descriptors, depending on what's really behind the arrowhead. If the top and bottom are arcs, then it would seem to be an irregular quadrilateral (or irregular tetragon, if you prefer to stay with Greek-based polygonal descriptors instead of Latin-based). If the top and bottom each comprise two straight intersecting line segments, then it's an irregular hexagon.

Either way, as depicted, it's definitely not a rectangle. Boomshadow (talk) 07:59, April 6, 2017 (UTC)

I think you might be overanalyzing this a tad- but what term would you suggest to use instead? 31dot (talk) 09:27, April 6, 2017 (UTC)

I would call it a round-edged symmetrical trapezoid with a horizontal slit running through its center.