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Caged Buttons
by Greg Tyler
December 22, 2001

Since the beginning of Star Trek, the artists and designers of the various television series and feature films have worked to make the technology of the Star Trek universe as believable as possible. Many fans are familiar with the colorful and detailed "Okudagrams" -- flat-screen control panels and display screens -- that have been a staple of many recent Star Trek television series and feature films. The following images from "The Cage," the first episode of the original Star Trek television series, highlight some of the buttons of the USS Enterprise as seen in that early episode. The level of detail on the buttons is "fascinating."

Image 1 Bridge control panel. Click to view full-size.
Image 1 shows a control panel on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. The panel has a built-in printer at its front edge; in this shot, a hardcopy is being produced on yellow paper. Note that the white buttons on the panel are labeled. As closely as this writer can determine, the labels read as follows:

Button Position Caption
Lower left corner button group, button #1 (left) PROGRAMMER CYCLE
Lower left corner button group, button #2 MONITOR COMPLETE
Lower left corner button group, button #3 PROGRAMMER CYCLE
Right button group, button #1 (top) CHANNEL 1
Right button group, button #2 CHANNEL 2
Right button group, button #3 DECODER NO. 1 TEST
Right button group, button #4 DECODER NO. 2 TEST
Right button group, button #5 CALIBRATE

Image 2 Bridge control panel.
Image 2 shows the same control panel as shown in Image 1. As a bridge officer removes a hardcopy from the control panel's printer, the camera pulls back to reveal that the station has at least one other labeled button. As near as this writer can tell, the button reads either "CHANNEL 1" or "CHANNEL 2." (Incidentally, the text on the hardcopy is too small to read.)

Image 3 Starfleet-issue energy weapon
As Image 3 shows, this energy weapon has a detailed control panel. Note that some of the buttons on the panel are of the same design as the labeled controls on the bridge stations. This suggests that the weapon's control panel has similarly detailed labels. The tinted scope mounted above the panel suggests a high-tech targeting system.

Image 4 Enterprise transporter console
Image 4 is a close-up shot of the transporter console. As closely as this writer can determine, the labels on its buttons read as follows:

Button Position Caption
Column 1, button #1 (top) (illegible) 114 RELAYS
Column 1, button #2 (illegible)
Column 1, button #3 DECODER NO. 1 TEST
Column 1, button #4 INTERLOCKS RESET
Column 1, button #5 GUIDE + 10
Column 2, button #1 (top) (illegible)
Column 2, button #2 (illegible)
Column 2, button #3 DECODER NO. 2 TEST
Column 2, button #4 GUIDE - 10
Column 3 (all illegible)


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