Ricky Lai (x-lai@uchicago.edu)
Mon, 12 Mar 2001 17:58:13 -0800


I am pretty certain there have been previous discussions about one of
the deadliest weapons in the UC universe. I suggest you perform a
search, possibly via a search engine, on the mailing list archives for
additional and more authoritative information. Otherwise, here is my
two cents:

Funnels are unmanned, drone weapons controlled by Newtype pilots with
sufficient brainwave (or psycho wave) emission typically via a Psycommu
system onboard an MS. It all began with the Zeon military, specifically
the Flanagan Institute, which first made concrete observations of the
physical manifestations of the Newtype phenomenon. Tapping into the
nature of brainwave -- that it cannot be disrupted by Minovsky
particles, which jams all radio waves -- the Flanagan Institute swiftly
produced an ingenius application of such an innate ability of Newtypes
called the Psycommu system, which captures the abnormally powerful
brainwave emissions of a Newtype and translate them into mechanical
commands, making it an extremely useful on the
Minovsky-particle-saturated battlefield.

Skipping a few steps in the development of the Psycommu system to the
direct predecessor of funnels -- the bit. Bits are essentially
equivalent to funnels, except for the fact that they feature an onboard
generator, thus allowing bits to operate virtually indefinitely if not
were propellant constraints. As a result of the onboard generator, bits
are much larger in size (Elmeth's bits are 8.4m in length, with Nu
Gundams Fin "Funnels" even longer!) and their single weapon -- a Mega
Particle gun -- much more powerful than that on funnels.

With the advancement in technology, drone weapons can be miniaturized
with the employment of ECAPs, which allow a unit to utilize beam weapons
without the direct support of a generator. After all, the whole point
of using drone weapons is that they are smaller and thus much more agile
-- crucial properties to the All-Range attack to be discussed later.
Since the tiny ECAPs onboard funnels can only carry enough power and MPs
worthy of several shots, as well as propellant for very limited field
time, funnels must return to the mothercraft for recharging every so
often. Due to size and power-source limitations, funnels usually pack a
less-powerful beam gun rather than a whopping MP gun. However, it is
because of the same reasons that funnels are much faster and more agile
than bits. Speed and agility equal deadliness in drone weapons.

As Edward aptly puts it, funnels (and bits) are the next level to the
"small, nimble mobile suits can sink capital ships" mentality. Just as
MSs can fly around warships because of their size and agility, funnels,
bits, and other psycommu weapons boasting All-Range Attack ability can
surround and attack larger enemy units -- in this case MS and warships
-- more efficiently targeting at blind or weak spots than the
mothercraft, which could only attack from one direction. The formation
of drone weapons simultaneously shooting from multiple angles that
constitute the term All-Range Attack is most elegantly realized by
funnels.

The first generation funnels are narrow on one end with a beam gun and
wide on the other end with thrusters, similar in shape to real-life
funnels, thus earning them their name. In CCA, only the highly
cost-inefficient MA, Alpha Azieru, features funnels that actually
resemble the shape. Even Geymarck of the ZZ era sports
non-funnel-shaped funnels.

As for Nu Gundam's Fin "Funnels," they are technically bits, since they
are powered by an onboard generator, without which they would not have
sufficient power to erect a beam barrier capable of blocking shots from
Alpha Azieru's oversized funnels, which must have been at least as
powerful as shots from a standard MS beam rifle. However, I personally
find it hard to comprehend why Char would cry out that Amuro is "out of
funnels" (considering that Amuro is Char's only enemy to have drone
weapons -- unless Char was talking to Nanai about Gyunei having all his
funnels destroyed in the combat against Amuro's ReGZ). Theoretically,
Nu Gundam's Fin "Funnels" are capable of firing an infinite number of
powerful beam shots, just like Elmeth's bits. As for funnels, my guess
would be that their ECAPs carry just as many shots as an MS beam rifle,
possibly around 20.

DuckFlesh@aol.com wrote:

>> Alright, here's what (little) I know about funnels. They are a
>> newtype use
>> weapon that detaches from a mobile suit and can attack an enemy from
>>
>> whatever direction the newtype chooses. They are controlled by the
>> newtype
>> mentally, and are highly maneuverable. I think Lalah Sun uses them
>> on her
>> mobile armor, who's name escapes me at the moment. They are also on
>> the
>> Sazabi, and several other Newtype use suits. My favorite ones are
>> the Fin
>> Fannals from the Nu Gundam, as they look cool and make that awesome
>> beam
>> barrier. I wish I knew more about them, maybe someone else can tell
>> you
>> more. I was wondering though, in CCA Char (I think) says "He's out
>> of
>> Funnels." Does this mean that they have a small power supply of only
>> a few
>> shots? If so, about how many shots would each funnel be expected to
>> have?
>
> Ohh, I see. BTW, Lalah was in the MAN-08
> Elmeth, and Burke refers to its funnels as "bits"



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