Re: Some questions about EPACs, ECAPS, and magnetic bottles

Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 14:54:55 -0700 (MST)

> The Japanese texts are always very clear on this: E-caps store Minovsky
> particles in a very compressed state, teetering on the brink of collapsing
> into mega particles (which must then be released immediately). Since
> they're pre-compressed, only a small amount of energy is required to tip
> 'em over the edge.
  Don't Megabeam cannons _also_ fire Mega-particles? Then what is the
difference between a beam cannon (Gundam) and Megabeam cannon (Zugock)?
  One thing I've always wondered is that if EPACs store M-particles in a
super-compressed state... well, isn't it _stupid_ to store them on your
SHIELD!? I mean, your shield is getting pegged by Beam weapons left and
right, what do you think is going to happen if your EPACs get hit by a
stray shot?
  I'd wager it would be something similar to a reactor explosion in power!

  I was also wondering if any Gundam mecha has ever used its spare EPACs
as jury-rigged explosives for use in getting into a colony, etc...

  Hey, when does Gundam make the shift from rocket-based bazookas to
energy bazookas? I was under the impression that the Mk.II's 'zook still
fired shells.

> >Clearly, a weapon requires not just M-Particles but energy to operate.
> Absolutely. Though I'd long resisted this conclusion, I'm starting to
> think that the ignition energy must come from the mobile suit, or else its

  It has to, otherwise the whole reliance of beam-weapon stregnth on
reactor power goes out the window. I think we've talked about this before
and I've theorized that the EPAC power gives the shot 'punch' while the MS
power gives the shot 'accelleration'. I.e., the more EPAC juice, the more
powerful the 'burst', the more MS-generator power, the longer range (and
better accuracy_ of the shot.

> generator would have no bearing on the use of beam weapons. This does leave
> us with the mystery of a couple of instances where beam weapons fire while
> detached from the mobile suit, but I guess you could always posit some sort
> of built-in battery reserve...

  You'd have to, especially to explain how the heck "Funnels" are supposed
to work without generators. Could really explain why their range is so
short though, right?

> >I guessed that the EPAC or ECAP actually stored the highly charged
> >particles and that the MS itself provided the 'firing' power... though
> >it doesn't really explain how the original GM's ECAPless gun worked.
> I'm pretty sure that's correct - the first part definitely, the second
> probably. As for the GM, I guess it must have some way to "pipe" particles
> into the gun from the mobile suit's reactor, though at a very slow pace and
> thus with very low beam output.

  Right, but doesn't this really seem like a problem to you!?
  I mean, it seems really odd to me that we would have all these
structures such as EPACs and ECAPs to be resivours of M-particles for use
in firing, and suddenly we have this old mass-production MS that somehow
seems to be able to pipe out M-particles through its hands! Don't shake
hands with a GM! It just seems wierd to me that the GM should have this
kind of feature while no other MS does... doesn't it seem like if a GM
could do this then the Gundam should be able to _recharge_ its rifle
(Slowly) through its hands?
   One could argue that the GM's gun must have therefore been
super-underpowered, but then why does the GM-GS require a big cooling
bottle on its beam-pistol?

> the E-cap is the "magnetic bottle" in question. I believe the bottle
> attached to the Gerbera Tetra's rifle is identified as a coolant tank,
> presumably to prevent the rifle from overheating when fired in burst mode.

  Sigh... oh well. I suppose that makes some sense as well.

> machine gun" was originally designed as a 180mm machine gun with a drum
> magazine (subsequently retconned to a beam machine gun with an E-pack that
> _looks_ just like a drum magazine). I think Mika Akitaka, the designer of
> Cima's various weapons and, I believe, of the 0080 weapons, just likes
> putting bottles on beam weapons.

  Yeah, though apart from the GM-GS and AGX-04 I can't think of any other
Gundam MS that have them... They do look neat though!
  I really wish they would have stuck to the Zeta-Gundam "Trapeziod EPAC"
design rather than make EPACs look like Gunclips! That's really goofy!
(And it gets more common too, especially in CCA)

  See, another reason why I thought there might be separate 'energy clips'
and 'particle clips' is because of the Guerra-Doga Command's beam-bullpup
gun that has a bullet-style clip on top and a square battery-type clip on
the bottom.

> Judging from the VSBR, the trade-off between impact and penetration is
> also a factor of particle speed; if they're moving more slowly, the beam
> spreads out over a larger area and does more damage.

  It does _more_ damage if it spreads out and goes slow? That seems
counterintuitive to me!

> > Of course, it is also possible that the bottle is nothing but some sort
> >of coolant supply for the beam-rifle. The GM-GS has some sort of tubing
> >going from the back of the gun to a 'sleeve' like structure under the
> >barrel of the weapon, while the GT has a large, thick 'jacket' wrapped
> As I noted above, this is what the call-outs on the line art claim. As
> usual, Probe thinks of everything. :-)

  Heh heh heh! A man must be thorough!


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