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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
The transporter console was a component of the transporter system. Located in the transporter room, it manually controled the functions of the transporter and its maintenance. It was typically operated by the transporter chief or other operations division personnel.
Commonly seen aboard starships from the 22nd century all the way through the 24th century, the transporter console utilized three sliding controls (either manual levers or touch sensitive panels) to achieve transporter function. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
The console allowed the operator to monitor various functions of the transporter system, including pattern buffer operations, signal resolution and even matter stream contaminants. The transporter operator could also detect the presence of weapons or phaser fire within the transporter beam, and in some cases, could deactivate the weapon before re-materialization.
As yet another security feature, the console allowed the operator to erect a force field around the transporter chamber. Prior to the introduction of biofilter technology, the console controlled the activation of the system's decontamination feature. (TOS: "The Naked Time", TNG: "Violations", "The Most Toys", "Realm of Fear", "Relics")
By the late 24th century, site-to-site transport became more commonplace and did not require a transporter console. Site-to-site transports could be activated by voice commands to the computer fairly easily. A site-to-site transport from a starship to another starship could also be done, from any console, such as a bridge station. The use of a bridge station to control transporter operations was a feature of some starship bridges as early as the 23rd century. (VOY: "Bliss", Star Trek Nemesis, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
| Command • Communications • Emergency Manual Override • Engineering • Environment • Helm |
Mission Ops • Navigation • Ops • Propulsion Systems • Science • Security • Tactical • Transporter
During the making of both the original pilot "The Cage" and the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Star Trek's production personnel reused the bridge helm console as the transporter console. (citation needed • edit)
A concept illustration that Michael Minor created for Star Trek: Phase II's transporter room included a more streamlined transporter console than had been featured in the original series. (The Art of Star Trek, p. 63) In a technical document called the "Enterprise Flight Manual" (which was produced in February 1978), the transporter console's workings were analyzed in depth. (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p. 108) A circular transporter console, seen aboard the orbital office complex in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was originally built as a nurse's console for the Enterprise's sickbay. (text commentary, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD)
The transporter console aboard space station Regula I, as seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, was actually a reuse of the helm/navigation console from the K't'inga-class battle cruiser IKS Amar, from The Motion Picture. Though some graphics were replaced (in accordance with the alteration in the console's function), the Regula I transporter console's basic red color scheme was retained from the Klingon console. (text commentary, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (The Director's Edition) DVD)
According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, the three touch-sensitive light-up bars on the Enterprise-D's transporter console were an homage to the three sliders used on the original Enterprise's duotronic transporter console in the original series.