... Antenna Hinge Angles
We've concluded a graphic analysis of an oft-ignored aspect - the antenna swing angle. Many of the comms differ here and thus the feature can be used to assist with IDs. Some opened to be parallel with the midplate, some less (the classic "30 degree" look), and yet a few others swung all the way underneath until the antenna hit the bottom shell. The angle is first dependent upon the placement (or the absence thereof) of the stop peg inserted into the hinge wheel in relation to the holes that the antenna wires were inserted into. This peg hits the inside of the shell, impeding further rotation.
Even once built, the swing angle could be adjusted slightly by bending those wires as they exit the hinge wheels. Of course, if the stop peg fell out, then nothing stops the rotation until the bottom shell does, with the final angle determined either by the back edge of the perforated brass hitting the shell or the antenna wire hitting the edge of the wheel hole cutout - which ever happens first. At least two, Iota and Gamma, had the peg fall out and replaced. With Iota, it came out then again and seems to have stayed that way. And some have stop peg holes in both wheels which might be at different places, so a peg could have fallen out of one and put back in another, changing the angle. So we've shown the most common or average angle(s) as seen in shots where the actors' fingers were not in the way of any moving parts:
Also, not all antennas flipped open easily with the casual flip of the wrist. As seen with Alpha, a skewed hinge wheel rubs on the axle that passes through it, making the antenna open stiffly but then allowing it to be positioned in various angles once set down. A good example of this is with Kappa in The Enterprise Incident. The same results could also be rendered from corrosion or dirt in that axle hole as with Zeta's condition today. Perhaps one of the reasons some communicators are seen more than others is that they were more popular with the actors or directors, being that their antennas opened with more consistent ease and thus didn't ruin takes.
Included in the graphics above is the overall height of the comm, the hinge wheel position, and the expected Velcro length on the underside.
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