Author Topic: Quick question, re. suspensor units  (Read 3567 times)

Offline Koval

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Quick question, re. suspensor units
« on: June 30, 2010, 10:24:26 PM »
This got asked on one of the old 'Claves, there was quite a debate on it as I recall. I don't actually remember what the outcome was, although I remember Charax wading in at some stage.

Suspensor units. Servo-skulls use them, some Tech-Priests like them, the Deathwatch slap them on their heavy bolters.

But what exactly does a suspensor unit do?

I'll explain why I'm asking -- I'm trying to work out the physics of one being on a sword, and this was the bit that was the subject of an old-'Clave debate.

Does the suspensor negate mass (and thus render the sword a very fancy display piece), or does it negate weight (and thus give you a very light, very fast sword that nonetheless has a lot of power behind it)?

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 11:42:27 PM »
If a suspensor is anti-grav technology, then theoretically, it should only affect weight - afterall, by reducing the effect of gravity upon an item, that item's weight is reduced.

That's my take on the matter, anyway.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 07:38:21 AM »
To my mind, the name suspensor suggests a ''weight'' reducing effect - anti grav.

Not quite sure why a mass reduction tool would be produced for ''small'' things, it seems to me to be more useful for dealing with vehicles, bulk products or simillarly massive items - surely it would be more useful to reduce the mass of a cargo of ore than just reduce its swinging arm weight. Flyers did spring to mind, but then I seem to remember they were based around anti-grav tech.

Of course, its always a big universe, so...
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Offline Nash

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 07:07:48 PM »
Just for info such "huge swords with in-built suspensor unit" exist  in the fluff....

One such is mentionned in the BL book Soul Drinker (in the hands of an Interrogator IIRC). The book even says it takes a special training to learn how to use those lightweight weapons correctly...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 07:10:00 PM by Nash »

Offline Koval

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 07:28:51 PM »
If a suspensor is anti-grav technology, then theoretically, it should only affect weight - afterall, by reducing the effect of gravity upon an item, that item's weight is reduced.

That's my take on the matter, anyway.
OK, thank you. So as I understand it, the character with my hypothetical suspensor sword will still be swinging around a few kilograms of sword, just faster (and therefore with more force behind it)?

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 10:13:55 PM »
A suspensor negates *weight*. You'll be able to hold the big heavy eviscerator up, but not to swing it around.
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Offline Myriad

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 10:28:59 PM »
If it's really negated weight you could probably throw the eviscerator  :).

It would still have inertia, so the problem (or not) could be it would keep going until it hit something.  Might prove tricky to control in combat I guess.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 01:27:24 PM »
I once watched a comedy routine between a crane operator and a lorry driver which demonstrated weightlessness versus mass/interia, ending up in the cab of the flat-bed being very efficently flattened by a shipping container.

I'd imagine that unless you have specific training/extensive experience even a high WS character is in danger of losing control, maybe the equivalent of knocking of 10-15 points?
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Offline Koval

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 03:23:46 PM »
I once watched a comedy routine between a crane operator and a lorry driver which demonstrated weightlessness versus mass/interia, ending up in the cab of the flat-bed being very efficently flattened by a shipping container.

I'd imagine that unless you have specific training/extensive experience even a high WS character is in danger of losing control, maybe the equivalent of knocking of 10-15 points?
The character receiving this sword is purely fluff-based (being as I don't actually play Inquisitor) but this comedy routine sounds scarily relevant. Any idea where you saw it?

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 04:59:15 PM »
I recall a part near the start of "2001: A Space Odyssey" where there was a brief section about how people from Earth usually ended up making fools of themselves for their first few weeks on the Moon base. Same mass... but not as much weight, and thus, not as much grip.

(Near the start of chapter 10 if any of you have a copy and want to find the passage.)

However, with that said, I think any human who'd spent enough time travelling between worlds would be familiar with the difference between mass and weight. Not every world has Earth strength gravity. Some are less than "normal", some more so. Not to mention the quirks of a ship's artificial gravity.

After enough worlds, you'd get used to the difference.
Actually, on the last 'clave I believe, I talked about why this made the lasgun a practical weapon for the Guard. As gravity is one of the main forces on a projectile's trajectory, and a regiment can be sent to almost any planet (with widely ranging gravity), a solid projectile weapon would be much harder to use at any real range.
Lasguns, being almost unaffected by gravity, are therefore a much more practical choice.

But that's not really the point in question. Anyway, I'd say someone who'd been wielding the sword long enough would be familiar with its quirks. However, if anyone else were to pick it up... well, I can't say for certain (you'd have to ask astronauts, or just anyone who's experienced zero grav), but its unnatural combination of mass and weight might well make it dangerous.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2010, 12:45:09 AM »
Presumably this is similar to training with wood or plastic swords, then picking up a metal one...
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 07:44:38 AM »
Quote
this comedy routine sounds scarily relevant. Any idea where you saw it?

On a development site in Uxbridge about 3 years ago. The comedy element was that the truck driver couldn't reverse (really - not as uncommon as you might think), and the crane driver got so ''upset'' he took over, but forgot that he reversed the truck in form a different angle. Still in a bad mood, he swung round, realised he was going to hit the truck cab, stopped, laughed that he wasnt stupid and then watched the container lazily swing into a scaffolding contractors (brand new) truck cab. Poles all over the place...and scafolding everywhere ;)

Guess you had to be there, and as for the paperwork...


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Offline Heroka Vendile

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Re: Quick question, re. suspensor units
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 11:55:05 PM »
in my mind a suspensor most be one of two options:

1) it provides an upwards "boost" in the form of a compact anti-grav system applying a negative G-force on the vertical plane (eg -0.3G)

2) it provides both an upwards and a downwards force - effectively making the object act as if in zero G as it is suspended in a stable position even if not held (providing there are enough suspensors attached to the object in question to negate its weight).


I expect it is more likely to by the 1st option of the two.
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